Do you have any tips for paint­ing a still life prac­tice piece?

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q&A -

Geneviève Har­quin, France

An­swer Sara replies

I’d al­ways rec­om­mend set­ting some time aside for a still life paint­ing ses­sion. You’ll learn re­al­is­tic ren­der­ing tech­niques, mean­ing you can paint cred­i­ble de­tails and cre­ate a more in­tri­cate il­lus­tra­tion. It’s also use­ful to keep your eye trained to cap­ture colours, shades, pro­por­tions and to learn how to paint inan­i­mate ob­ject like fruit, cloth, and glass and metal ob­jects.

For this ar­ti­cle I put to­gether a com­po­si­tion us­ing the glass­ware, a jug, a wine glass and an or­na­men­tal glass. I place them on a white ta­ble cloth, close to a source of nat­u­ral light (in this case a win­dow), so that the way the light in­ter­acts with the glass is ob­vi­ous. Be­fore start­ing the paint­ing I take a photo: sun­light changes its po­si­tion and colour dur­ing dif­fer­ent times of the day, so it’s bet­ter to keep a ref­er­ence im­age be­cause the work can take a long time.

Since my pur­pose is to por­tray a still life com­po­si­tion, I don’t worry about the back­ground. I sim­ply sketch some lines to out­line per­spec­tive and ta­ble top, bear­ing in mind that its colour will af­fect the lights and shad­ows of the scene.

When I prac­tise, I choose to por­tray ma­te­ri­als such as glass, to bridge the tech­ni­cal gaps in my knowl­edge. To get the most from your still life ses­sion, en­sure your light source hits prom­i­nent ob­jects in the com­po­si­tion.

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