Art - Tips for Still life sketching

Hello everyone!!

       Hope you all are doing well. In the next few days I will be displaying my old sketching and pencil work along with some tips and experiences. Looking at my previous work I inferred that there is always a scope to improve. At the same time not forgetting that it takes practice, hard-work, concentration and of-course "time" to reach a great degree of fineness in any field.

                                                   Still life: Steel Glass, 2003

                  I started practising the art of sketching seriously about 9 years ago. The above given is one of my initial still life sketches drawn back in 2003 as the date on top-left indicates. Signed by my school drawing teacher Mr. H J S Walia, a great teacher and a great artist too. The day I sketched it, it was near perfect to me. Today I will say, it is pretty good if not that good! Also I will put up better quality images through scanner later on.

               The thing I understood over years about still life sketching is that the correct display of light intensity is very important. In simple words "the various shades of grey" are to be chosen carefully specially for "still life". The combination of dark and light shades gives us the ability to create real like contrast on the paper. All these are to be created using different pencil types and "pressure". Pressure here is really important because a fine range of shades of grey can be created using one single pencil. The artist who masters the intensity can easily draw the glass, liquid etc. effect in still life. Also the smooth transition or blending of the various shades gives it a 3-dimensional look on a 2-dimensional paper.

            The other important thing about still life is "what you see". Not what you look at but see! Still life sketching is rather a very disciplined form of art as you have to draw as you see, lesser chances of manipulations.  So, when you look at an object kept in front of you, you should be able to analyse:

  • The shape of the object on the whole
  • The individual small shapes it is composed of
  • Source(s) of lights and shadows formed
  • the distortions caused due to glass, fluids etc.

           If you notice the correct things, you'll be able to express them in finer way on paper. If never sketched still life before, go place some object like a vase, glass half-full with water in front of  you and start now! Share the joy by showing your work to others. Be confident, be expressive, be happy and keep sketching!


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