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Still Life Drawing Tips and Tricks

Welcome to our guide, we will show you the Still Life Drawing Tips and Tricks. A still life is a drawing or painting that focuses on inanimate objects. The subject is inanimate and does not move, usually household objects, flowers or fruit. Still life contrasts with figure drawing, which focuses on a living human model. With a still life, you know the objects will never move, and you can practice objects with different characteristics such as shiny metal, clear porcelain, or bulbous apples. Fruit bowls are a popular choice because they are made of simple shapes and everyone has fruit lying around.

Creating a still life is a good starting point to practice basic skills. When drawing inanimate objFects, you can be sure they will stay in the same position until you move them, making the task easier for beginners. Still life comes in many different styles and mediums. Brushstrokes can be loose and wild or precise and bold. As long as the subject remains inanimate, you can also paint   a still life with pen and pencil.

Still life, originally used to practice form and shape, has evolved into a full-fledged art genre. Artists primarily use oil paints, but watercolor, acrylic and charcoal pencil paints are also popular. Developing skills in painting books is a great way to gain basic and technical skills for drawing, painting, and composing with digital media.

Isn’t it great when you start something you’re sure will be boring, but then it turns out to be one of the most beautiful things you’ve done in weeks? That’s what happened to us when we recently discovered our love for still life. To be completely honest, when we started drawing still life as the first subject of our sketching project, we weren’t looking forward to it. We thought it was one of those mandatory basics that everyone has to go through, almost like a chore before you can move on to the more interesting subjects. Below we mentioned the Still Life Drawing Tricks for Professionals.

Here is the list of 13 Still Life Drawing Tips for Students

Starting a still life drawing

For any still life, you should first draw the objects as if they were transparent wireframe shapes with visible construction lines. This technique will help you become fully aware of the shape of each form and its position in relation to the other forms.

  • It is important to sketch the objects lightly, as this makes it easier to change any mistakes and erase construction lines.
  • This transparent drawing technique uses vertical and horizontal construction lines to help you draw convincing ellipses and balance the symmetry of cylindrical shapes.

Start with an Idea

Arranging a still life is largely a matter of experimentation and observation, but the first step is to decide on a concept. we often prefer to stick to a single, tightly defined concept for a still life rather than a variety of different objects, as this immediately gives coherence and unity to the design.

For the step-by-step still life drawing described in this article, we decided on a very simple concept: an arrangement of different pieces of wood in different colors and shapes. The challenge was to find a way to make it interesting. Following the principle of “trial and error”, we move the objects, discover interesting relationships and effects, slowly improving and refining the composition.

Explore your object

Pay attention to the physical and formal possibilities of an object and look at different shapes, scales, surface textures, and material qualities to see what they offer for an interesting image that you might like. You may want to select a variety of objects that create interesting collisions of contrasting information, or alternatively, related collections of objects that repeat certain characteristics, rhythms, and themes that come together in visually satisfying ways.

Drawing the Right Proportions Is Very Important

Make sure you maintain the relationship between heights and widths and that the directions of the lines match those of the models. Look at the saddle angles within and around the objects. A viewfinder will help you see angles and lines. Viewfinders are fairly inexpensive to buy, but you can also make them yourself with materials you have at home. we made mine out of matboard.

Light and dark

As shown above, drawings of inanimate objects can be as varied and dynamic as you wish. Inspiration can come from a love of the subject, composition, the play of light and shadow, or simply improving your image-making skills. There are many different ways to think about and approach still life. Personally, we like to use shadows to layer objects and create subtle interaction between objects. The thumbnails above were created with graphite pencils on tracing paper.

The sketch on the right was my quick, responsive reaction to the still life we had set up in our studio. We wanted to see if we could create a simple chiaroscuro pattern with a single light source. The next step on the left was to show a little more of the actual shapes we were using, and add a dark area at the top of the image to suggest a background or shadow. We’re basically using the darkness at the top to divide the space in an interesting way and suggest an additional space behind the subject.

Messy origami

Let’s start with a somewhat tricky question. Why? Because this exercise will help you drastically improve your proportion and shading skills. All you need is some (relatively blank) white paper. And then just crumble it up and draw it. That’s it. But of course, it’s not at all as easy as it sounds. Every time you do this exercise, your paper turns into a new shape and your brain has nothing to compare it to. And since there is no color or special texture, all that gives the paper ball its three-dimensional shape is the shading you draw on it.

It’s incredibly difficult to figure out which shading to draw and at what intensity, and how to give this strange shape its form. we recommend you start with a relatively simple “crunch”. Maybe fold it or squeeze it a bit and draw a few before moving on to the more complex shapes. You can also use lined paper to make things a little easier. This exercise is also great for on the go, because you can always find a Starbucks receipt or two in your purse or wallet to use for a few quick sketches while you’re waiting for the train.

Selecting colours

This is a delicate stage because choosing colors that resemble those our eye perceives can be very important to the success of our painting. Of course, since we work digitally, we can easily correct our colors, unlike traditional techniques. we use a large, sharp-edged brush to sketch highlights and shadows, making sure to have warm shadow tones in cold light.

Warm up your eyes and hands

Of course, once you’ve found your objects to draw, arranged them, and worked out your composition, you can just go ahead and start drawing. But you can also do what the professionals do and take a few extra minutes. Take a moment to study your subject. Look at it closely. Try to see the proportions, perspective, angles, and how each object relates to the other. Pay attention to the materials, the textures, where the shadows fall and where the light reflects off a surface.

Of course, these are all things you’ll notice when you first draw, but believe our, it’s much easier if you know your subject well before you sketch the first lines. Then you can better divide the page, get your shading right, and draw fluidly without having to take long breaks to study the next part of your subject. And you can plan for certain details from the beginning.

Have you ever noticed that the first few sketches you make during a drawing session are often much worse than what you end up creating? The analogy applies here as well: drawing is like sports. And as such, you’ll find a job, have more confident lines, and more control over your materials if you take a few minutes to warm up before moving on to the complicated stuff

Erasing the lines of construction

When you are satisfied with the shape, proportions and composition of the still life, you can erase the construction lines. This will give you a precise outline of the individual shapFes and the certainty that all the objects are positioned correctly. Now you can work on the details of the individual objects.

Take Measurements

First, we placed the drawing board right next to the still life and set up a vantage point about 8 to 10 feet away from the setup. Using the vine charcoal and a string or ruler, we took some basic measurements: Top of the frame, top and bottom of the Pinocchio doll, etc. We went back and forth from our vantage point to the drawing and made these specifications on our paper.

Experiment with shadows

Look for the shadows in your still life and enhance them with dramatic and directional lighting. Shadows add vibrancy and impact to your scene. You don’t have to understand the different types of shadows, but try to recognize the different types of shadows, their color, density and comparable transparencies.

Keep Comparing Each Part of the Drawing to the Others

Hold the pencil in front of you and notice the angles of the lines and how high each object is compared to the others. Notice how the edges and lines intersect. Transfer the same angles and relationships to the paper, but keep it loose and sketchy. Add more shapes to create the illusion of roundness, and keep it sketchy.

Materials

The key to drawing different types of objects with the same solid color (for example, with a graphite pencil) is practice. Especially in a still life, there is not always a context that gives the viewer a clue as to what material that vase or box must be. To recognize it anyway, you have to practice drawing. But how do you recognize the material if not by the color? Well, it can be the texture, for example. Is it smooth? Or is it rough? Is it matte, or is it shiny? And more importantly, how do you draw smooth, rough, matte, and shiny?

For this exercise, choose different materials and try to figure out what makes wood look like wood or fur look like fur. Try using glass, metal, plastic, wool, or cork. Anything you can find that doesn’t distract too much from a pattern. You may need to try the same material several times to find out how it displays best.

See if you need to use long or short lines, marks or spots, where the shadows should be, and how reflective the surface is. All of these things will help you be clear about what you’re drawing. Don’t worry too much about the actual proportions of your objects in this exercise. You can also just divide your paper into several squares of the same size and draw the material in those squares without worrying about the actual shapes.

Final Words

We hope you like this article on Creative tips for still life drawing. For this article we make a composition of the glasses, a pitcher, a wine glass and a decorative glass. We place them on a white tablecloth, near a natural light source (in this case a window), so that the way the light interacts with the glass becomes clear. Before we start painting, we take a photo: the sunlight changes its position and color at different times of the day, so it is better to have a reference image, because the work can take a long time.

I hope you understand this article, Still Life Drawing Tips and Tricks.

Amy Hinckley
Amy Hinckley
The Dell Inspiron 15 that her father purchased from QVC sparked the beginning of her interest in technology. At Bollyinside, Amy Hinckley is in charge of content editing. Emma's interests outside of working include going for bike rides, playing video games, and watching football when she's not at her laptop.

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