anyone can learn to draw Follow howtodrawit on Twitter

Sign up for a free drawing lesson every week.

SIGNUP BONUS: Get all the animal drawing tutorials on this site in a printable, downloadable pdf ebook.
Enter Your Email Here:  


Bookmark this site

MORE DRAWING TUTORIALS:

Rose
Dragon
Horse
Wolf
NEW: Fox
NEW: Bee
NEW: Wasp
NEW: Turtle
Betta fish
Draw animals from pears
Owl
Cat
Draw animals from alphabets
Frog
Parrot
Bird
Butterfly
Sheep
Pig
Swan
Penguin
Peacock
Lion
Rabbit
Cow
Dachshund
Seahorse
Tiger
Kitten
Monkey
Unicorn
Phoenix
Deer
Squirrel
Crocodile
Dinosaur
Whale
Duck
Giraffe
Snail
Koala
Angelfish
Elephant
Griffin
Walrus
Cocker spaniel
Poodle
Donkey
Chicken
Rooster
Porcupine
Kangaroo
Bear
Mouse
Octopus
Turkey
Goat
Camel
Hippo
Possum
Rhino
Centaur

Learn to Draw > Drawing still lifes

Pencil study of varied objects and shapes Again in still life we bring together subjects which have already been treated separately: plants, animals, and objects. As in landscape, the separate objects are not there for themselves; the significance of a still life lies in their combination. The usual combinations of subjects in a still life are of interest primarily to painters, not draftsmen. The concept must be extended to include all the obviously chance combinations which are of constant interest to draftsmen, such as dented metal jugs in a corner, a hole in the ground, a dead bird.

The difference between the painter's still life and the draftsman's consists, without any inner reason, in the difference between the deliberate combination and the chance find.



Here arises the problem of the purpose of a still life. The French call it nature morte, which is less telling thcn the English concept of still, secret, and outwardly unmoving life. The term is derived from the Dutch Still even and was adopted by art historians in the eighteenth century. A still life is concerned with, one might say, the helpless, unconscious existence of things, whether they are really dead material or partake of the continuous life of a flower, a fruit, and, if we see more closely, of a dead animal, too.

The classical still life painting, pictures of flowers, hunting trophies, or fruit pieces, as they are called in dealer's parlance, arise from the painter's delight in his ability, his technical self-satisfaction. It is a piece of virtuosity, like elaborate compositions played by virtuoso pianists and violinists, or the passages sung by a coloratura, with nothing particular outside itself to communicate.

In such pieces the artist at last finds the opportunity to show off his brilliant technique. It is no different with the purely painterly charm of the still lifes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: a complete contrast to the Piece of Lawn of Durer or the Sunflowers of Van Gogh, where all thought of the technique of the master is forgotten in sym pathetic contem plation of the existence of these small things.

Same objects as in previous illustration, arranged for a study in color (glue colors)

A composed still life is a useful way of practicing composition and studying painterly effects, different materials, the changes of color in light and shade, and their use for harmony or dissonance, and trying out combinations of different strong colors or emphasizing one dominant color with subordinate or complementary tones. Sometimes under the hand of a great master these technical exercises produce works of art.

The still life based on the chance find is something else. A pair of old shoes thrown away and forgotten may cause the artist to seize his pencil; and while the open seam, tw,isted leather, and torn soles may present interesting problems of form and interpretation, his imagination may be inspired by the amusing or tragic implications of the subject.

The beholder of the drawing will certainly respond in this way. Thus, it is usually "ugly" things that interest the draftsman, what is forgotten and, for the former owner, long since dead. These things would probably mean nothing to the artist while they were bright and new with no patina of use and age. The charm comes not alone from what is picturesque, but also from a feeling for recording small things for their own sake.

Having thought of a still life in this way, the student may approach the incidental objects in a picture with a higher intention; in fact, a picture of quite a different subject often contains still life as an accessory. Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century should be examined for this. In the portrait of Georg Gisze by Holbein the loving inclusion of the many small still life objects enhances the extraordinary clarity of the face.

Next: Caricatures

how to draw cartoons

Draw Cartoons

If you're worried about not having enough artistic "talent", try some free cartooning lessons. You'll be drawing and laughing in no time flat.


coloring pages

Coloring Pages

Free printable coloring pages for kids.


magic tricks for kids

Magic Tricks for Kids

50 tricks and that anyone can do. Puzzles and brain-teasers, too.


Home | contact | about | privacy | blog | sitemap | © 2012 City Different Marketing LLC
Disclosure: Sometimes we are compensated for purchases made from links on this site. Click here for details.