The magic of a still life is that it can show us a new way of looking at the ordinary objects around us. Once objects are placed into a specific arrangement and then captured in paint, ink, pastel, or any other medium - the objects take on a whole new meaning. They are imbued with a life beyond the ordinary. Their existence becomes recorded in time. A still life is an artistic representation of inanimate objects, usually everyday things such as chachkies, fruit, flowers.
Painting from life allows artists to slow down and carefully observe the world around them. As a beginning art course, this project begins by emphasizing realism to build and reinforce both observational and technical skills. As students become more proficient in translating objects from the real world onto paper, they are encouraged to breakdown representation and dive deeper into conceptualization by using abstraction as a tool. Ask yourself-- can an object represent a deeper meaning, a memory, a feeling? What types of marks and expressive lines can an artist use to evoke these deeper concepts?
This acrylic painting project introduces students to basic painting techniques, value range, color blending, and a variety of mark-making types.
-- Walk around the still life and decide on a space that interests you.
-- Use your phone or a view finder to zoom into the still life. Select a view that "spills" out of at least 3 sides of your canvas. -- The effect creates an open composition.
-- We are not going to draw the still life. Instead, we are going to find form through paint strokes.
-- Begin painting with a neutral ochre (earth-tones) and gestural marks.
-- Continue painting until you find the general and then more precise representation of the composition displayed in front of you.
-- Once you have the objects depicted on your canvas and you feel confident with the overall composition, you're ready to incorporate more colors.
-- Search for detail, model form, add contrast, focus on dramatic light
Add expressive marks & lyrical lines
Lyrical line drawings have an intimate, subjective character and reflect a sensitivity of expression. We connect a certain exuberance with lyrical drawings. Lyric verse is akin to song and its forms include sonnets, elegies, hymns, and odes. The earliest ones were written to be accompanied by the lyre, from which the word lyric is derived. In art, lyrical lines are ornate, intertwined lines that flow gracefully across the page like arabesques.
Contour lines and decorative lines are frequently combined to create a lyrical mood. Lyrical drawings reinforce a mood of lightness and gaiety. Repeating curvilinear lines establish rhythmic patterns fitting for a relaxed theme.
Generally, the more deliberately controlled a line, the more objective it is. The more spontaneously a line is stated, the more subjective it is. Lyrical lines fall under the subjective category and are characterized by sensitivity of expression.
The whimsical / lyrical line may change its width arbitrarily. Exaggeration and unexpected juxtapositions play a major part in creating a whimsical mood.
Artists who are known for using lyrical, decorative lines are Pierre Bonnard, Raoul Dufy, Edouard Vuillard, and Henri Matisse.