|The Remains by Joe Gyurcsak, 2007, oil painting, 24 x 24.|
If I start my morning with a bit of artistic inspiration, it really carries me through the whole day, just like a wholesome breakfast does! And today is a very good day because I was able to begin by going through the "pages" of our free eBook, Creating a Powerful Still Life Painting: 25 Tips to Enhance Your Still Life Art.
In it, artists talk about how they let loose their artistic inspirations through their still life paintings. Janet Walsh covers why attending to the direction of the light is a critical step in creating a dynamic floral still life. Lisa Dinhofer discusses the fact that still life drawing is an essential part of her work, as a draftsman and as an oil painter. Still life art is where she starts every new idea, and often her best artistic ideas come to her while drawing still life setups in her studio.
Dinhofer chooses objects for her still lifes—marbles, toys, masks, insects—that have universal appeal, and people relate instantly to them. She also spends time just playing around with the objects, letting the story or concept unfold for her rather than trying to come up with a story that really only references the objects in a secondary way.
Joe Gyurcsak uses still life oil painting as a way of brushing up on the essential methods he needs as a practicing artist. He often starts by toning his canvas to eliminate the brightness of a gessoed surface so that the pupil of the eye stays open and sensitive to the slightest color changes and light transitions on the surfaces of the still life objects he paints. Toning the canvas also makes the surface less absorbent and allows for a smoother paint application.
|Losing My Marbles by Lisa Dinhofer, 2003,
oil painting on wood panel, 38 x 52.
Whether it is fruit on a tree or dishes in a sink, Gyurcsak is committed to keeping still life painting a part of his artistic practice. Not only because of the convenience of painting in such a way, but also because still life painters grow by leaps and bounds through the work they do. And that's no wonder because all the oil painting techniques a painter uses when painting the figure or a landscape are utilized in still life painting too.
Knowing all of this has kept my head turning all day, thinking of the objects I could use in a still life painting and how I could present them. It is a great way of thinking about the building blocks of art, and I'm happy to share Creating a Powerful Still Life Painting: 25 Tips to Enhance Your Still Life Art with you. Download your copy now!
P.S. If you know someone who needs a morning pick me up in the form of artistic inspiration and instruction, send them Creating a Powerful Still Life Painting. They will owe you breakfast!