A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural or man-made. Still life paintings often adorn the interior of ancient Egyptian tombs. It was believed that food objects and other items depicted there would, in the afterlife, become real and available for use by the deceased. 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. Take a look at these easy yet amazing still life drawing and painting ideas for beginners and enhance your skills.
Still life Drawing and Painting Ideas for Beginners
Simplicity at its best
A single object is all about simplicity. The entire focus is on that object, the surface on which it sits, the fall of light and shadow, its surface decoration, and composition. Consider a very simple exercise – draw an egg or a piece of fruit, using a single light source to practice shading. Think about form, volume, weight, texture, contrast, line, detail, and surface. When composing a drawing with a single object, the position on the page is important: think about the distance of its edges from the ‘frame’ of the page.
Traditional still life
The traditional set-up of a still life — draped fabric, a bowl of fruit, jug, a bottle of wine, or a vase of flowers — usually combines a variety of textures, patterns, and shapes to allow the artist to show off their technique and to delight the viewer. The biggest challenge is getting a pleasing arrangement. It’s really easy for a traditional still life to look boring, so you need to really examine your set before putting pencil to paper. More still life drawing and painting ideas for beginners ahead.
The vintage still life
If you’re looking for a project that mixes traditional and modern, turn to the vintage still life. This gives you the opportunity to work with older objects, employ modern composition, and play with interesting drawing techniques to make the drawing look as old as the object. Create an arrangement of antique wooden kid’s toys (or the like) and old storybooks. Rocking chairs, old kettles, a ball of yarn and knitting pins have visual interest as well. A single object cropped in close or a group on a window-sill can look great.
Skulls and bones
When skulls or bones appear in still life paintings, they often have a moral purpose, with the aim of keeping humanity’s morals in check. Skulls symbolize mortality and ephemerality. They are a reminder of the fleeting pleasures of life. Skulls in art also represent inner contemplation, eternity, and life beyond the earthly and visible. Beautiful still life drawing and painting ideas for beginners.
Narrative still life
The artist arranges the subject so that the viewer has the feeling of walking in on a story – one that is in progress, has just happened, or is about to happen. A bloody knife, a broken object, historical items and photographs, clothes on a chair – objects can be loaded with meaning. A traditional narrative painting will usually be full of figures with dramatic gestures and action. In still life, the objects need to communicate the story for you. Imagine that the protagonist in your ‘story’ has just left the room – perhaps in a great hurry! What is left behind.
The Contemporary still life
Forget, heirloom or traditional. Go for modern clean-cut looks (skip the postmodern cultural eclecticism), urban grungy metal, or sterile plastic with fluorescent light. Arrange a few stainless-steel utensils on a black background, and do a tonal study in graphite pencil, or look for plastic objects with interesting cut-outs and molding.
Here goes some more examples regarding still life drawing and painting ideas for beginners to creative some master art piece. In the mean time, the true artists out there, can also go through some different types of paintings and technique to add something more to their knowledge.
Still life has provided a platform for artists to explore their relationship to the objects that inhabit their world. Use these still life drawing and painting ideas for beginners to develop your own skills and techniques in the art of still life.