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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How To Make A Still-life Painting

Lets paint a still-life. Get your paints, get the canvas or whatever surface you have chosen. Now just sit and relax, think about the many objects you encounter everyday, think about how these objects are used, what function do they fulfill? Think about the fact that the world would be nothing if it were not for objects. No objects, no world. Alright, now that was simple, wasn’t it? This is a fact that is always before our eyes, so we never notice it. We never notice that this universe of ours is totally made of objects.

What this will do is put you into the artist mindset. An artist sees the world, and its objects in a much deeper way than the average man or woman. This is part of what separates him from the rest of mankind, along with artistic talent. I want you to allow the objects to talk to you, I want you to feel the rust on the shovel; feel the that tree branch that has fallen from that oak tree to the ground; think about the old cuckoo clock that now lives its life down in the basement. Still-life art is the art of showcasing an object or objects. In still-life artwork the objects are drawn or painted in a static mode, but their essential qualities seem to be projecting life, a life usually not revealed to our busy unobservant minds.

Next, I want you to think about and study the colors of the objects you’ve seen in the past and the ones you encounter presently. A still-life conveys its message strickly through its ability to communicate the essential functionality and outer charcteristics of its objects. Still-lifes explore and focus our minds on an object's character - the color, age of a workman's hammer, for instance. That hammer has its story to tell and through the use of color, and shape an artist attempts to convey that hammer's story. Colors used don’t necessarily have to reflect the object's actual color(s), an artist’s main task is to reveal the outer and inner qualities of the chosen item(s). He may chose to highlight what he feels is an objects inner qualities - focusing on these rather than any outer characteristic.

Now your really feeling like an artist. Your opening your mind to a creative flow, this is the usual mentality of any true artist. Let us continue. The next step in producing our still-life masterpiece will be composition. What is composition? If you’re an artist I’m sure you’re familiar with this term. But for the rest of you, composition simply means layout - how will you arrange the objects in your still-life? Are you going to stand that book up or have it in a laying position. A good composition will result in an exciting and attractive art creation. How you layout and plan the placement of objects in your artwork will definitely affect the overall impact of the still-life. Composition determines the role each item will take, some will be in the spotlite, and some objects will only play a supporting role. Think out the placement of the items and look at them from different angles. By doing this you will come to a view that you like. Sketch out this composition, does the layout have the effect you want? If so, this will be your setup. Now you can start to paint the still-life. I’ll leave you now and allow you to began creating your still-life. Think of me when you’re done.

Art is a big part of life, it’s everywhere, you can’t miss it: a framed art piece, a billboard, a design on a piece of clothing. Many times it is in the eye of the beholder. What you feel is art may not be what he feels is art. The individual has to make his or her own decision. The above is all about a particular kind of art form: still-life. I call this form of artwork “static art”, but it is only immobile outwardly, not inwardly. Now go ahead and immerse yourself in this art form, the enjoyment will be yours.


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Anonymous said...

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