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  #46   Report Bad Post  
Old 08-05-2006, 10:41 AM
Elaine Elaine is offline
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

What good advice, Sandra, and how much I needed to see it and be reminded that my art has to come from an intuitive process to make it uniquely mine. I was always afraid "mine" wasn't good enough. Thank you for reminding me that it's the process that counts, the journey not the result.

I used to be a journalist, and I well remember writing feature articles and reading them after I was done and being surprised by the meaningful content. It was as though someone else had done the writing. I think you are right that if you are honest and paint what is important to you, and stick with it, eventually you will have something.

Thanks again,
Janyce in North Carolina
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:40 AM
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purplepansey purplepansey is offline
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

Lots of good advice on here for setups.

Someone on WC showed how to make a shadow box to set up still life. If you can direct me to that I'd appreciate it.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:28 PM
lpb lpb is offline
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplepansey
Lots of good advice on here for setups.

Someone on WC showed how to make a shadow box to set up still life. If you can direct me to that I'd appreciate it.
Did you see post # 36. What a clever idea, at least when you want a softer light effect.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:01 AM
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

Quote:
Originally Posted by powerline
One of the best ways for me to set up a still life is to sit in a chair, stare out the window and let my mind roll on. I begin with just a germ of an idea and then I wait, and I wait, and I wait until an image forms in my mind's eye. I keep tweaking the image until I have a composition that I like. Its when I start to get a tingle of excitement that I know I am on the right track. I also keep a moleskin notebook in my purse and jot down ideas whenever they come to me. Whenever I need a bit of inspiration I just look in my notebook and off I go. I spend hours in my mind setting up my still life and not much time in the actual setting up in my studio. The work is pretty much done by the time I get to placing the pieces. Its got to come from an intuitive process otherwise your still lifes run the risk of looking contrived, or following a formula. You must make it uniquely yours, which it will be if you allow it to rise from somewhere deep inside yourself. If you feel totally uninspired, just go to the produce department of the grocery store,find a piece of fruit or a vegetable that attracts you, sit it on a table and paint it. Its the process that counts, the journey not the result. If you are honest and paint what is important to you, and stick with it, eventually you will have something.
Good luck,
Sandra

Now you ARE someone whose advice matches their work. Stunning work and daring use of unusual canvas sizes!
I have been struggling with wanting to do a still life but I realize it only seems like a 'simple' thing to set up....NOT...
This is a little pencil comp of a setup I put together this evening. It's about the light - chiaroscuro - and the the juxtaposition of muted coloured and brightly coloured objects... ...So far this is an exploratory sketch. Graphite 6x6
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:51 PM
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

A Ruth Cox did an excellent essay/ tutorial on building a shadow box. It was the first clear explanation I'd run across. Very useful tool to help light still lifes. Here's the link:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/2514/127/

Last edited by Keron : 10-26-2007 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 12-23-2007, 03:17 AM
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

I am having the problem of the lamp I am using creating those awful spots of light, and therefore making the still life look unrealistic and "stage"



How do you make a still life which you set and photograph a desirable one? Does it need natural light to improve it? Do is it overall too dark? Maybe a different fabric?

What are your suggestions so this can be painted?

Cheers Chrissy
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Old 12-24-2007, 09:51 AM
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

Chrissy, In this set up, I believe the "awful" spots of light you refer or in actuality, the reflections. are created by using a single source, the lamp, apparently "head-on. " This creates a bit of a flat look to the set-up. This is obvious to me by the minimal modeling on the bottle. I would move the lamp a bit to the right (Our right) to create an angled light source that would light one side of the bottle, and the glass also, more than the other. This would also create some additional shadows on the setup.

Alternatively you could add an additional source of light in addition to the one you have. in any case, remove the direct head-on lighting you have in this instance.

However the awful spots, as you call them, are nothing more than reflections of light from the light source. You can't and shouldn't eliminate them entirely. They add interest and reality to the picture.

One other thing to consider is making the second light source less or more intense that the first. Also move it higher or lower than the main light source. What you really need to do is play around with the intensity and direction of the light sources. and remember what you are really painting is the light. No matter what the object or what the background is, it is the light that makes or breaks a painting.

Chuck
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:10 PM
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Bill Wray Bill Wray is offline
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

I keep thinking that the best still life might be one that doesn't look set up. Is that crazy talk? Sometimes the way my girlfriend has put some fruit down on the kitchen counter at random or her dark sunglasses on the light bathroom tile look appealing to me. That's why I've painted some stuff that is sitting "naturally" on my palette. I've broken that rule, but the idea still resonates.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:08 PM
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

I agree with you Bill. I have seen still lifes that are super-contrived, and, or the composition needs to be first class, and/or the artist's skill highly honed for them to turn out to be good pieces. I also go for a set up that looks more like a piece of life than a still life more still than alive!

In your set up, Chrissy, I would for example move the bottle so the label doesn't offer such a perfect (arranged) frontal view. There's also some truth about the number of objects shown, and thinking about the two lined up cherries in the foreground, adding one more with the stem pointing another way may prove to be a better arrangement.

Finally, playing at cropping the four sides, be it just one or all, will definitely make the whole composition more dynamic and interesting. And the key word is "playing". For some of us setting up the objects is the most troublesome part... Most artists who are successful at it at WC! take many, many shots!
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:46 PM
GreenWave Solutions GreenWave Solutions is offline
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

I am new to art and painting. I love reading all of the advice and knowledge that is available on this forum. I have learned so many cool things.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:03 AM
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Anwar Anwar is offline
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

Probably trying to "say" something might be the best place to begin. Say you want to say....I love the USA or something..... Well this might suggest an arrangement of red white and blue objects.... or maybe you have a copy of the Constitution or something or a bust of Washington. Or maybe you just want to say...my daisies are awful pretty..... Well some daisies together with objects which "show up" the daisies qualities....something dark to show how white the daisy is.... some neutrals perhaps a purple or blue gray to bring out the yellowy centers of the daisies. Basically I think if a still life set up is begun with the painter knowing just what is so good about it prior to painting it ought to be a good one.
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:50 PM
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

Great advise here this is a link I found which may help also
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/st...phy-tips-15099
querin
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:21 PM
BeeGee BeeGee is offline
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

I am new to painting still life and would like to know an easy way to set up the setup, you know the table, backdrop, etc how do you do that? should I make a box?
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:16 AM
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Re: how to set up a decent still life

BeeGee, the best advice I can give you is to go back through and read the four pages of postings under this subject: "how to set up a decent still life." In the postings are several links that you can follow that also may be of help to you. In addition, run a search on Google with the words "how to set up a still life" and follow those links to find information that you can use in your own painting. Also, "The Carder Method" is a very unique way to approach still life painting - run a search on "The Carder Method" and look at his Web site. He is selling his informative DVD, which will tell you all about how to make the still life light box yourself, the lighting, draping, etc., plus everything else he does or uses in his artwork - if you like his style of painting, you may find his DVD to be extremely useful to you. Hope this helps.
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