Main menu


2022 still life painting tips and tricks

featured image

Welcome to our guide. still life painting tips and tricksA still life is a drawing or painting that focuses on inanimate objects. Subject is inanimate, and generally does not move household items, flowers, or fruit. Still life painting contrasts with figure painting, which focuses on a living human model. Still life lets you see objects never move and lets you practice objects with different characteristics such as shiny metal, clear porcelain, and bulbous apples. Fruit bowls are popular because they are made in a simple shape and everyone rolls fruit around.

Creating still lifes is a good starting point for practicing basic skills. When drawing inanimate objFects, you can make sure they stay in the same position until you move them, which makes things easier for beginners. Still life comes in many different styles and mediums. Brush strokes can be loose and wild, or precise and bold. Still lifes can also be drawn with pen and pencil as long as the subject is inanimate.

Originally used to practice shapes and forms, still life painting has evolved into a full-fledged art genre. Artists primarily use oil paints, but watercolor, acrylic, and charcoal pencil paints are also popular. Developing your skills with a painting book is a great way to acquire basic and technical skills for drawing, painting, and composing with digital media.

It’s never been nice to start something you were sure was boring, but wouldn’t it turn out to be one of the most beautiful things to do in the last few weeks? That’s what happened to us. To be honest, when we started drawing still life as the first subject of our sketch project, we weren’t looking forward to it. I thought this was one of the essential basics that everyone has to go through, like a chore before moving on to more interesting subjects. Below, we have discussed some tips for professional still life painting.

Here is a list of 13 still life painting tips for students

start still life

For a still life, you should first draw the object as if it were a transparent wireframe shape with construction lines visible. This technique helps you to fully recognize the shape of each form and its position in relation to other forms.

  • It is important to lightly sketch the object. This makes it easier to correct mistakes or erase construction lines.
  • This transparent drawing technique uses vertical and horizontal construction lines to draw convincing ellipses and help balance cylindrical symmetry.

start with an idea

Arranging a still life is largely a matter of experimentation and observation, but the first step is to decide on the concept. I often prefer to stick to a single, rigidly defined concept for still life rather than different objects. This will give your design immediate consistency and unity.

For the step-by-step still life painting I’ll show you in this article, I decided on a very simple concept. It is to arrange different pieces of wood with different colors and shapes. The challenge was finding a way to make it interesting. Move objects around, discover interesting relationships and effects, and slowly improve and refine your composition, following the principle of “trial and error”.

Explore objects

Paying attention to the physical and formal possibilities of the object, examining different shapes, scales, surface textures and material qualities to see what they offer for interesting images of your liking Please Confirm. You can choose different objects that create interesting clashes of contrasting information, or you can choose related collections of objects that repeat a particular trait, rhythm, or theme that come together in a visually pleasing way.

Drawing the right proportions is very important

Maintain the relationship between height and width and make sure the direction of the line matches the direction of the model. Look at the saddle angles in and around the object. A viewfinder helps you see angles and lines. Viewfinders can be purchased relatively inexpensively, but you can also make your own from materials you have at home. We made mine out of matboard.

light and darkness

As shown above, drawing inanimate objects can be as diverse and dynamic as desired. Inspiration can come from a love of subject, composition, playing with light and shadow, or simply improving your image-making skills. There are many different ways to think about and approach still life. Personally, I like using shadows to layer objects and create subtle interactions between objects. The thumbnail above was created with black pencil on tracing paper.

The sketch on the right is my quick reaction to a still life set in the studio. I wanted to see if a single light source could create a simple chiaroscuro pattern. The next step on the left was to show a little more of the actual shape we’re using and add a darker area to the top of the image to suggest a background or shadow. is used to divide the space in interesting ways, suggesting additional space behind the subject.

messy origami

Let’s start with a slightly tricky question. why? Because this exercise will help you greatly improve your proportions and shading skills. All you need is a (relatively blank) white paper. And then just smash it and draw. that’s it. But of course it’s not as easy as it sounds. Each time you do this exercise, the paper transforms into a new shape and your brain has nothing to compare it to. It’s just a shadow.

It is very difficult to figure out which shades to draw and with what intensity, how to shape this strange shape. We recommend starting with the relatively simple “crunch”. Try folding it, squeezing it a bit, and drawing a few before moving on to more complex shapes. You can also use lined paper to make things a little easier. Because while waiting for the train, I have a Starbucks receipt or two in my purse or wallet that I can use for quick sketches.

color selection

This is a delicate step, as choosing colors that resemble what our eyes perceive can be very important to the success of a painting. Unlike techniques, you can easily correct the color. Use a large, sharp-edged brush to sketch the highlights and shadows so that you get a warm shadow he tone in the cold light.

warm your eyes and hands

Of course, once you have found the objects you want to draw, place them, and compose, you are ready to start drawing. But you can also do what the experts do, and it will take you a few more minutes. Please take a good look. See proportions, perspectives, angles, and how each object relates to the others. Pay attention to materials, textures, where shadows fall, and where light reflects off surfaces.

Of course, these are all things you notice when you first draw them, but it’s a lot easier if you know the subject well before sketching the first lines. That way I can divide the page better, shade it properly and draw smoothly without having to take long breaks to study the next part of the subject. It also allows you to plan certain details from the beginning.

Have you ever noticed that the first few sketches you make during a drawing session are often much worse than the final one? The analogy applies here too. Drawing is like a sport. So if you take a few minutes to warm up before moving on to more complex work, you’ll find work, create lines with more confidence, and have more control over your materials.

Erase construction lines

Once you are happy with the shape, proportions, and composition of your still life, you can erase the construction lines. This gives you a precise outline of each individual shape and the certainty that all objects are correctly placed. Now you can work on the details of individual objects.


First, I placed the drawing board right next to the still life and set up a vantage point about 8-10 feet away from the setup. Using vine charcoal and string or a ruler, I took some basic measurements, including the top of the frame, the top and bottom of the Pinocchio doll. We went back and forth from the vantage point to the drawing to create these specs on paper. .

try shadow

Look for shadows in still lifes and enhance them with dramatic, directional lighting. Shadows add vividness and impact to a scene. You don’t have to understand the different types of shadows, but just be aware of the different types of shadows, their colors, densities, and equivalent transparency.

Keep comparing each part of the drawing to the others

Hold your pencil in front of you and note the angle of the line and how tall each object is relative to the others. Notice how the edges and lines intersect. Transfer the same angles and relationships to paper, but keep them rough and sketchy. Add more shapes to create the illusion of roundness and keep it rough.


The key to drawing different kinds of objects in the same solid color (using a graphite pencil, for example) is practice. Especially in still life paintings, there is not always a context to give the viewer a clue as to what material the vase or box should be. To recognize it anyway, you have to practice drawing. But how do you perceive materials, not by their colors? For example, textures. Is it smooth? Or is it rough? Is it matte or is it glossy? More importantly, how do you draw smooth, rough, matte and glossy?

In this exercise, choose different materials and find out why wood looks like wood and why fur looks like fur. Try using glass, metal, plastic, wool, or cork. You can find something less distracting from the pattern. You may have to try the same material several times to find the best display.

See if long or short lines, marks or spots should be used, where shadows should be and the reflectivity of the surface. All of these help clarify what you are drawing. For this exercise, don’t worry too much about the actual proportions of the objects. You can also divide the paper into several squares of the same size and draw material on those squares without worrying about their actual shape.

The last word

I hope you liked this article on still life creative tips. In this article, we will create a composition of glasses, pitchers, wine glasses and decorative glasses. Place it on a white tablecloth near a natural light source (a window in this case) so it is clear how the light interacts with the glass. It’s a good idea to have a reference image as the sunlight changes position and color depending on the time of day and can be time consuming to work with.

I hope you understand this article. still life painting tips and tricks.