12″x12″ Acrylic on Canvas by Betsy
Why make the effort to paint still life? To learn.
What might I learn? To work from life. To mix color. To create a composition. To handle reflections. To understand color and mix color intensity. To vary edges. To understand values…
In this piece, Betsy concentrated on value work.
Betsy innately understands line. Her line work is fluid and expressive. The rendering of lights, darks and midtones does not come as easily to her. Painting still live offered Betsy the opportunity to isolate the value work. To squint her eyes and understand each shade of value and the shapes they made in the bowl, bottle and carrot. It allowed her practice with the values within each object. In turn, the values help to create an illusion of three-dimensional form.
I think that Betsy’s vibrant color and expression transcends the three common objects she used for this exercise. What she learned here will carry over to her next piece, whatever she chooses to make.
Understanding how to paint a boring old still life can help you create magic in all of your work. It can allow you to concentrate on a particular skill while employing those that you have already integrated into your artistic bag of tricks.
OR you can set out to arrange a still life that is anything but expected. Check back next time…