- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Learn to Paint
If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would be painting grapes, lemons, glassware and crockery day after day, I’d say “No way!” Well, it turns out I never tire of observing the variation, contrast and detail found in familiar objects that make up still life. There are moments of unexpected color and reflection, and so much more to discover.
So, why paint still life?
To begin with, convenience is a factor. A still life can be set up just about anywhere, using pretty much any objects! With the exception of food and flowers that wilt, your subject patiently waits and you can paint whenever it suits you.
Subjects are readily available: food, books, tools and more. You can choose objects for a composition that reflects your mood or vision, from subtle and serene to bold and energizing. Or quirky and humorous!
Still life provides unparalleled learning opportunities for a painters. Working with actual objects allows you to observe subjects closely to see exactly how forms connect or how they vary. Depth perception is important in realistic rendering and it’s easier to observe from 3-D objects than a photo.
Observing the distortion of a surface pattern as it rounds an object like a teacup or fabric fold is a lesson in perspective as well as the effect of light and shadow on a form. Different every time, while following the same rules!
Learning to mix colors of every hue, value and intensity is not only possible, but it’s inevitable as subjects are so varied.