Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.  -Plutarch

For this lesson I created a still life setup, using a vase of forsythia flowers.  I tried a couple different angles, moving the vase around, I even had a chair in the set up but didn't like it, so I removed it.  I felt the simplicity of the flowers with the vase was enough for this piece.  Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is more!  

Set up your own still life using anything you would like to paint.  This can be multiple vases filled with flowers, or a bowl full of vegetables, or a teapot with a teacup and a piece of fruit.   Anything that feels visually pleasing to you. Often times having an odd number of things in your still life will make it a stronger composition.  Bringing in something personal often makes it more enjoyable to paint.   Move things around until it feels well organized but interesting.  Look at your still life from different angles to see how/what you can change to make it feel perfect. Look for a strong focal image, what is in front, is it what you want to focus on? What stands out the most?  Where do your eyes want to go as they look over the setup? You will want to form a connection from one thing to another to make the viewer's eyes move around the entire painting, not just focusing on one thing.  Where is your light source coming from?  this is going to make a big difference in how your painting feels.  I used a natural light source, so the shadows were very minimal. It will be up to you if you want to bring in light sources or use natural light. 

When painting your piece choose a simple limited color palette as we have done in the previous lessons.  If you prefer you can paint the background in first, using any color of acrylic or gesso that you would like.  Gently sketch it out, using a thinned out paint and smaller brush.  Once you have it sketched out you can begin to look for the darkest values and applying them in the correct places.  From there begin to move up to the next values, keeping your marks loose as you put them down.  Continue painting in a loose style, softly touching your paint covered brush to your painting with each mark. 

Please feel free to use my image above if you don't want to set up your own still life.