A Guaranteed Method of Painting a Killer Still Life


If you want to create a beautiful still life painting, one way to guarantee it would be to have it lit by natural light from a window. Put it on a dark table top. Have one object be clear glass, the others of shiny surface. Keep the background fairly dark.

The dark table top will reflect the object. This photo shows a goblet. If you squint at it, you’ll see white lines. Paint the lines just as you see them. Notice the stem of the glass reflects underneath the base. You’ll paint the dark tone all the way around the goblet, then inside of it where it is the same value. There are some areas with lighter value. Put them where you see them.

The apple and the figurine both have white highlights. Put them in first so you’ll know where they go. Then draw the shapes of the different values you see in both items, painting them in later with the correct colors and values.

What will really make the painting “SING” will be how you handle the reflections underneath them. The values of the reflections are not as bright. The left edge of the apple reflection is dark, so it gradually goes from very dark and almost unknown to the faint red color.

Try this technique. You’ll love it!

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Comments on A Guaranteed Method of Painting a Killer Still Life Leave a Comment

January 14, 2009

Jennifer @ 6:31 pm #

I loved the commentary. I thought it was very helpful since painting still-life with oil paints is what I am interested in. Thanks!

Christine @ 7:47 pm #

I really understood exactly what you were teaching in this point. You are a great teacher, and I can’t wait to learn more.

January 16, 2009

Margaret @ 1:41 pm #

Such a great set-up. Your explanation makes it so much more enjoyable to look at paintings to see what the artist sees – eye openers, of course.

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