A big project is a lot easier to do when you break it into smaller steps – the same is true with drawing!

Fig 1

Stage 1. COLLECT objects from around your house to group together for your still life. Objects can have meaning and tell a story (family heirlooms, souvenirs from a trip, or a special gift) or they may just have interesting shapes. An odd number of objects tends to create more visual interest. If you’re a beginner, try to select shapes that aren’t too complex to draw. (Fig 1)

Fig 2

Begin drawing objects as if they are wireframe forms. Draw construction lines to show the perspective from the top of your tallest object to the lowest object and will help you with scale. When you are happy with position and composition, you can erase the lines. (Fig 2)

Stage 2. ADD DETAILS. Be aware of different sizes of objects next to each other, shape, tone, texture, pattern, and form. Begin to draw light lines to show texture and where shadows lay. Redefine outer shapes (Fig 3)

Stage 3. SHADING. Begin to add shadows on objects using the side of your pencil to define its shape and where light and dark shadows fall. Recognize shadows on your table by lightly drawing its shape like a wireframe form. (Fig 4)

Stage 4. BUILD UP THE TONE. Using the side of your pencil, fill in shadows cast onto your table by the objects. Repeat over areas that appear darker. Use your finger to rub in and soften your shadows to define the forms and shapes. (Fig 5)

Stage 5. FINISHING TOUCHES. Focusing on the spaces between your objects, deepen these tones. Use an eraser to lighten areas where your light source reflects the most to completed your still life. (Fig 6)

Thank you to Kyle Wille, HV Arts Council Board Member, for this incredible Daily Dose of Art!

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” – Twyla Tharp



Stay in touch and share where your imagination has taken you by posting your project photos on Facebook or Instagram with the tag #HVArtsDailyDose or email a photo to us at info@hvartscouncil.org!