Question about still life

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  1. #1
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    Question about still life

    Hi everyone,

    im starting my first still life tonight...yes first! I was wondering would it be wrong to take a picture of the still life to establish a type of frame of where stuff should go/how big to make my canvas on photoshop or does this defeat a huge part of still life?

    As a beginner would it be ok? Or am I better off trying to establish this from eye - since well, it is called still life

    thank you

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  3. #2
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    Well sorry for the topic, but I went ahead and said im learning so I eyeballed it and tried to get it right, hopefully it turns out okay!

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  4. #3
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    If you're still learning, you are allowed to fail. Not every piece has to be a masterpiece. This doesn't mean you don't do your best throughout the progress. Learning to compose directly on the canvas is also part of the progress. I hope you learn lots from your still life.

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  5. #4
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    yea taking a picture would defeat the purpose, remember when you use your eyes everything looks in 3 dimensions, look at the object your drawing then close one eye then open it, then try closing the other eye and vice versa a few times, the object has slightly moved from one side to the other, you have 2 veiw points so in reality your eyes are sort off wrappind around the form, a photo will never give you that its flat, heres a little tip to help as well with form, squint your eyes at your object it should look all fuzzy, this will help with your darks and lights,

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  6. #5
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    thanks for the tips
    i just get really nervous and frustrated because I cant get it to look the way I want and end up spending 7-8hrs just on trying to make it look right, which is hard to get use to as a novice

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  7. #6
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    You are still learning. Duh. You are going to fumble and retrack, it's inevitable.

    As for framing - cut two L-shaped pieces out of cardboard and use them as a viewer to pick the best framing.

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohq View Post
    i just get really nervous and frustrated because I cant get it to look the way I want and end up spending 7-8hrs just on trying to make it look right, which is hard to get use to as a novice
    Keep it simple, and start with a simple object in a shadow box with a single light source. Use a cheap and foregiving medium, like charcoal on paper, and keep working it until you cannot do any better. Expect to fail. Or, expect to learn!

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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  9. #8
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    One trick is to visually divide your composition in half vertically and also horizontally - you can hold your pencil up in front of it. Find the midpoint. Just doing this alone helps immensely - you can see what fits into each quarter of the image. On your paper you can make a dot at the center, or draw very light lines at first to help. Later you shouldn't need to do this (well, maybe a dot.. )

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  10. #9
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    Often when people draw they tend to draw things like how they expect them to look instead of how they actually look. To help yourself avoid this kind of thing and helps drawing from life in general is this tip here.

    Hold out your pencil in front of you and juxtapose it against and angle or slant in your motive. Hold the angle of the pen and put it against your paper. More often than not you will find that the angle in the pencil is more extreme than the angle that you were planning to draw. That is because our minds like to straighten out and normalise things.

    The pencil is also very useful to compair lenghths in the same manner.
    Good Luck.

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  11. #10
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    The goal isn't to make a nice-looking still life, it is to train yourself. You can make pretty pictures later, when you have acquired the training.

    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

    "There are two kinds of students: the self-taught and the hopeless."
    - Dr. Piotr Rudnicki
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  12. #11
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    Well its not really making it nice more than trying to make it right, but I guess when its right it looks nice?

    but thank you everyone for the responses, I spent all night on it here it is if anyone wants to look at it, the metal was really hard for me which is why it took so long
    also off on perspective on the handle but got tired of trying to fix it, will move on to the next one! thanks again

    Name:  still_life1.png
Views: 141
Size:  1.23 MB

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  13. #12
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  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Black Spot For This Useful Post:


  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    You really need to work on those ellipses first and get them right.
    yes i know I made the huge error of not making the entire top of the bowl so it would make sense, and also the lid wasnt matching but I changed it many times to point I couldnt get it, thought i'd try again in a different still life

    EDIT: I posted in the critique section! thanks

    Last edited by mohq; January 19th, 2014 at 07:18 AM.
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