Saturday, May 8, 2010

Unusual Still Life

Sea Wall
Watercolor 8.5" x 11" Matted to 12" x 16"

Our unit of study this session in my advanced watercolor classes is still life paintings.  When one thinks of a still life, a bowl of fruit is usually the subject one thinks about first - or perhaps a vase of flowers.  Based on the definition of a still life from the Tate Museum Glossary, the subject of a still life is "anything that does not move or is dead."  (I like this definition.)  :)  This definition opens up a whole new world of what can be considered a still life.    Traditionally, some objects in a still life were likely to have been selected for their symbolic meaning, but this symbolism eludes most modern day art gallery visitors.    A still life is a work of art of inanimate subjects, typically commonplace objects. 

My watercolor above, Sea Wall, is one of my favorites-- very simple still life of a sea wall with a chain and rope.

Watercolor tip:
The background of this painting used a technique that I found interesting.  The wet watercolor paint was dusted with flour in spots to add texture to the sea wall and give the illusion of age and pitting from the sea.  The paint and flour were allowed to dry and then dusted off creating some interesting texture.

Find something that "does not move or is dead" and paint yourself a still life!    You'll have fun and smile when you think of the definition!

Happy Painting!

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