Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Setting up a Still Life

Sitll Life with Limes
36 x 24

Still life set ups can be tough to compose. I went to a second hand store and bought several bowls, plates, vases and cups to add to my meager collection of elements and, this new selection suddenly overwhelmed me. It's much easier to set up an arrangement when you only have 4 vases to choose from.

I wanted to use limes in a set up because their colour caught my eye at the supermarket, but I struggled with choosing objects to place with them. I decided that I would use warm colours to contrast with the green fruit. Because the fruit is rounded, I needed to echo their shape elsewhere, so I put a platter at the back.

Too much roundness is boring, so in went the upright glass vase and, for more variety, the short, dark vase.

The small blue flowers are a nice touch of small, irregularity in a composition which would otherwise be made up entirely of large, simple shapes.

The next choice was perspective. I chose an aerial view in order to achieve a sense of spaciousness around the objects and to give lots of room for the warm, light-struck fabric which covered the table.

If you'd like to play with setting up still lifes, have a look at the National Gallery of Art in Washington's site. It's meant for kids, but I had a great time manipulating objects, drapes and lighting in their virtual picture frame.

4 comments:

Sharon said...

This turned out really nicely Ingrid! Not sure if mine is done or not :)

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thanks, Sharon. I look forward to seeing yours finished. Your limes were a wonder of tangible form.

suzannepaints said...

Great composition. This is a great part of the battle, nest-ce pas?

Ingrid Christensen said...

It certainly is! Thanks for visiting my site, Suzanne. It's brought your lovely work to my attention.