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Transcript of Still Life
A brief historical look at still life as a subject matter in art
Composing your still life
Practice with charcoal
What defines art as "
Goals of the still life project:
Gain an understanding of still life as an art form throughout history.
Build observational drawing skills.
Improve compositional techniques.
Learn the medium of charcoal.
Complete an original still life drawing.
Egyptian and Roman
Egyptian tombs were painted with still life objects for use in the afterlife. Objects were stacked one on top of the other and no thought was given to perspective or shading.
The Greeks and Romans made wall paintings and mosaics which showed more realistic perspective and shading. These were used as signs of hospitality and as celebrations of the seasons and of life.
Egyptian Tomb painting
"Still Life with Peaches, found at Herculaneum"
"Still life with eggs and thrushes,
from the Villa di Giulia Felice, Pompeii"
Petrus Christus 'Still Life with
Wine and Smoking Implements'
The emergence of rich traders allowed art to break away from purely religious themes (although often they persisted in terms of symbolism). Still life paintings became filled with flowers, fruits , and other treasures from around the globe.
Jan Davidsz. de Heem c.1660
Pieter Aertsen (circa 1508–1575) Butcher's Stall with the Flight into Egypt
This particular style of still life paintings featured items that symbolized the richness, but impermanence life.
Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne, c. 1623
Vanitas, by Pieter Claesz c.1644
Adriaen van Utrecht | Vanitas Still-Life with a Bouquet and a Skull, 1651.'
More Styles and Artists
Use a viewfinder to isolate an interesting grouping of objects for your
Look for a
and use the
rule of thirds
to help avoid a boring composition.
Let objects touch the edges and consider your use of
Student Example Projects
Rule of Thirds
17th Century Dutch
How artistic elements are used to organize the space of an artwork.
Negative Space -
space around objects in an artwork.
Focal Point -
The first part of a work to attract a viewer's attention.
Rule of Thirds -
Divides the space into thirds and moves the focal point away from the middle.
Thumbnail Sketch -
A small quick drawing to test out a composition.
- How artistic elements are used to organize the space of an artwork.
- The empty space around objects in an artwork.
- The first part of a work to attract a viewer's attention.
Rule of Thirds
- Divides the space into thirds and moves the focal point away from the middle.
- A small quick drawing to test out a composition.