Drawing a still life
Still Life is the best subject in art for learning and teaching the skills of drawing and painting. It teaches you how to look at objects and see them like an artist - with a perceptive awareness of their outline, shape, proportions, tone, color, texture, form and composition.
Our step by step still life lesson will teach you the drawing techniques used to create the still life above which was done with a 2B pencil on cartridge paper.
Step 1: Starting the Still Life Drawing
In any still life, you should start to draw the objects as if they are transparent wire frame forms with visible lines of construction. This technique helps you to be fully aware of the shape of each individual 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 any lines of construction.
NOTE: This see-through drawing technique uses vertical and horizontal lines of construction to help you to draw convincing ellipses and to balance the symmetry of cylindrical forms.
Step 2: Creating an interesting composition
When composing a still life, try to introduce the qualities that make an interesting arrangement. You need to be aware of the abstract structure of your arrangement: its rhythms and contrasts of line, shape, tone, color, pattern, texture and form.
Step 3: Erasing the lines of construction
Once you are happy with the shape, proportion and composition of the still life, you can erase the lines of transparent construction. This will leave you with an accurate visible outline of each form and the confidence that all the objects are positioned correctly. You are now ready to work on the details of each object.