Drawing a still life in color is a great exercise for learning fundamentals in drawing.
Techniques shown in this video include how to set up a still life, the basics of color theory, and a drawing technique using Caran d’Ache Neocolor 1 Crayons.
See how to select objects for a still life, using back drop cloths, strategies for creating dynamic compositions, and more. Demo led by Art Prof Clara Lieu.
- Benefits of doing a still life
- Negative views of still life
- Still life set ups are not difficult
- Dutch Vanitas still life paintings
- Pick objects you want to draw
- Grocery shopping: find objects
- Search for objects outdoors
- Plan ahead with your objects
- Common mistakes in still lifes
- Objects: shape, color, size, etc.
- Color saturation
- Complementary color pairs
- Warm & Cool colors
- Light & Dark contrast
- Background cloths
- Height of objects in still life
- Layering backdrops
- Arranging: overlap, diagonals
- Lighting a still life
- Positioning your easel
- Viewfinders: composition
- Thumbnail sketches
- Line sketch in yellow ochre
- First layer of color: blocking in
- Layering colors
- Finishing: details & contrast
Prof Lieu’s Tips
This is very dorky advice, but I sometimes write down a checklist of things I want to be conscious of when I am going into an artwork, especially when I have specific goals I am trying to address.
My checklist might include warm/cool colors, light/dark contrast, texture, anything you want to target.
In general, I like to have short term and long term goals for myself. Short term goals are what I want to do this week and next week, maybe I want to be looser and more gestural in my drawing approach. Long term, maybe I want my drawing process to be quicker and more efficient.
- Chalk Pastel
- Hairspray (Note: Hairspray is NOT archival!)
- Black Paper
- Crayola Crayons
- Oil Pastels
- Colored Pencils
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