EXERCISE 2: Simplified Still-Life in pastel
This exercise helps you play around with colour and composition without investing much time. 10 minutes is all you need
I’ve used my image from exercise #1
Using chalk pastels I coloured the basic areas. I left out the little ornamental shoe as I didn’t think it would work that well
I avoided getting into details and just did a bit of line work using the red pastel.
EXERCISE 3: Collage of Berthe Morisot’s still-life
@thegreatwomenartists (Instagram) is one my favourite resources when I’m after some art inspiration. Episode #62 is all about Morisot. As always the podcast makes great listening— an easy and entertaining way to expand your art knowledge. You’ll find the images to accompany the podcast in the Instagram post. Saves you searching for them
for this exercise find some magazines and do your best to replicate ‘Peonies’ (1869).
I find it’s best to avoid using magazine images of flowers or leaves.
Clothing works well and text offers depth rather than a flat colour.
Berthe Morisot, Peonies, oil on canvas, 1869.
EXERCISE 4: All about perspective
I put together a still life using plants, fruit and a jug. I used a patterned cushion case and draped it over a large book to create a tier effect.
I sat to draw my still life with soft charcoal. I focused on the closest objects first. I didn't sit too far away either.
I then stood and drew the rest of the objects from a higher point of view to create two perspectives in the one drawing.
This is inspired by Cezanne's still life where often the objects and table are drawn from different perspectives.
EXERCISE 5: Two-colour still-life sketches
I chose a favourite little potted plant for this. It’s an exercise in playing with colour and some drawing practice. I am using oil pastels here.
choose a subject.
choose two sets of colours.
use the lighter colour as the background then do your sketch over the top with the other colour.
EXERCISE 6: Continuous line drawing of three objects
Using a continuous line means you create more lines on the paper than usual as you move from one point to another. It’s a playful exercise where you can alter your drawing to fit the space you have.
Choose three objects to draw
A fine pen works best.
Keep your pen on the paper as you move from one item to the next.
Rotate your page as you go.
EXERCISE 7: Semi-abstract still-life collage
I really love collage these days. It never used to interest me but I think the speed with which you can put something together as well as the limitations mean you create something unique each time.
use a still-life photo as your reference. Feel free to use mine if you want.
look through magazines for the colours that match your photo, or close enough
cut out the basic shapes and stick them down to recreate your image. A glue stick works nicely and isn’t too messy.
EXERCISE 8: Half-eaten still life
To set up this still life, I arranged fruit that was half eaten and peeled.
I fiddled around until I came up with an arrangement I liked.
Using charcoal I drew my still life.
There were some interesting shapes created by the peel and half eaten apple.
Still-life inspired by Matisse
This exercise involves putting your own painting into your drawing. If you don't have one you could put Matisse's "Dance" in instead.
Set up a still-life using a painting and table.
Do a line drawing of your still-life. You could use colour if you like.
Still life with “Dance”, Henri Matisse 1909
EXERCISE 10: Distorted still life
For this I chose objects that varied in size.
I then created a contour drawing, placing the objects in different positions and drawing them at different sizes.
I allowed the objects to float on the page and just drew whatever came to me.
EXERCISE 11: Still-life with found patterns
A google search for natural patterns will help with this exercise or you could use patterns from around your home.
choose a simple subject and use a pen to draw the outlines of the main shapes
find patterns to fill in the shapes. I looked used patterns from an Instagram account @naturalpatterns
, lichen and frog spawn.
use one pattern for each section of your drawing.
I used with oil pastels and worked into it with baby oil.
EXERCISE 12: Still-life with soft colours and hard outlines
I put together a still-life from some of the things I'd created, a sculpture, a painting etc. I chose chalk pastels to use as they they smudge easily.
I put down the basic colours, not going into the details and then wiped over them with a tissue.
I chose three of the darkest colours I had to draw the outlines. I didn't draw my outlines perfectly over the colours for a more interesting effect.