Still Life Drawing in Crayon

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 I crayons. You’ll get insight into how to select objects for a still life, using back drop cloths, strategies for creating dynamic compositions, and more. See how to light the still life to create shadows, how to create thumbnail sketches in pencil and in color, and then how to build many layers of the Caran d’Ache crayons to create a rich and vibrant finished crayon drawing. Demo led by RISD Adjunct Professor Clara Lieu.

Video Walkthrough

  • 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

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