Before you dive in to the meat of the course I wanted to take some time to give you an overview of my approach to painting and designing still life artwork.

Keep in mind there are no absolutes in art. However, to get the most out of this course it's imperative to understand the approach used in the design tutorials. I think this video will guide you in that direction and hopefully answer ant questions that may come up later on.

Here's how I approach design and composition in this class

The key to what I'm doing is shapes and space. More importantly it's about reducing your objects into basic geometric shapes and arrange them in a compelling manner within the frame. By frame I mean the four edges of your canvas, or paper.

If you can develop this vision of NOT seeing reality and reducing it to basic shapes you are well on your way to making design and composition easier. Plus you start to develop the vision needed to not see literal objects. If you can do this you will begin to simplify the painting and design process.

When you are designing try to include a good variety of shapes from large to small. An example of a well balanced design includes a one large, some medium, and smaller shapes. If your shapes are all big, or all small, and so on, the design will not work well. The key is to find the right balance of different sizes and arrange them within a frame so that the design looks interesting.

There are many factors in addition to size that play an important role in design. Like scale, color and so on. Each demonstration targets a different aspect of design so I hope that it will deliver a variety of methods and skills you will need to advance in still life painting.

Here's a breakdown of the exercise demonstrated in this lesson.

  • Use cheap, inexpensive paper. Print paper works great!
  • Your frame is always the main shape.
  • As mentioned previously reduce objects to basic geometric shapes.
  • Now try to locate, or define, large, medium and small shapes.
  • Does your inspiration include a good variety of shapes? Or, will you need to add other objects to get a better selection?
  • This idea works for any subject, not just still life.
  • There's no better teacher than experience.
  • Explore subjects and practice reducing objects down into basic shapes.
  • Become familiar with your subjects. Spend time understanding the things that are synonymous with them so that you develop a repertoire of shapes you can use if, and when, needed.
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Stop Struggling To Create Still Life Art

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