Tutorial: How to Paint a Still Life

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Since I have started school, blogging has been placed last on my priorities list.  I've missed the cooking and DIYing, and of course, I've missed hearing from my readers. Then I came up with a great idea...why not bring my school work to my blog? Sounds fabulous!  Remember the painting class I was so excited for that I made a bag to hold all of my paint brushes?  Well, it's going wonderfully and I am having a great time learning how to paint.  I'll show you basic steps to start you on your still life, and let me know how it goes!  It is very relaxing, and the perfect escape from a busy schedule.  It does take a while to complete, but you don't have to complete it in a single day.  I would encourage you to give it a shot :]

Oil Paint
Palette for your paint
Solvent Mixture (1/2 part stand oil and 1/2 part mineral spirits)
Piece of paper
Pencil & Eraser
Paper towels (to clean brushes)
Easel or surface to paint on
Light source (I used a desk lamp)
Apron (optional, but recommended) 

Step One: Set up your display
Keep in mind that you want a pleasing composition.  A light source adds shadows, which will give your painting dimension.

Step Two:  Thumbnail sketch
 This will allow you to decide where exactly you are going to place your objects on your canvas.  (Landscape vs portrait layout, fitting everything the frame vs cropping)

Step Three:  Sketch it on your canvas
Make sure to include the shadows! (I know my vase is shorter than it is supposed to be, but I didn't want to crop it out of the frame.)

Step Four: Refine
Use Burnt Umber to outline your sketch, but be sure to refer back to the display.  (Your sketch drawing may not be completely accurate.)

Step Five: Fill in shadows
Use Burnt Umber again to fill in the shadows, applying the solvent mixture to thin out your paint.

Step Six: Paint your darkest darks and lightest lights

Step Seven: Cover your canvas

Step Eight: Blending and Details
The thing I love about oil paint is that it takes a while to dry, unlike acrylic.  So blending is much easier to do. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! You don't have to have a fancy set up to do this (I covered my ironing board and used it for my materials). Just have fun :]

<3 Saleena

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