Project 1 Step 1

Pick a still life from the eight choices below to be the subject of your first project, which is a monochromatic master study. The images are displayed as thumbnails for the sake of the length of this post. Clicky click any of them for a bigger view.

Please e-mail me the title/artist of your chosen still life NO LATER than 11:59 pm on Thursday, January 28.

I realize this is a somewhat tight turn around and you probably have a gabillion other things going on (and it’s only the second week of school… what the what?) However, it shouldn’t take too long. Therefore, I ask you pretty please with mounds of buttercream frosting on top to do this for me, because I have to prepare appropriately sized painting surfaces, and I’d very much like enough time to do it that I can avoid accidentally sawing off body parts.


(I know… I know… that image is SO wrong, but I couldn’t help myself)

Tips on Choosing a Still Life

When you have the aforementioned gabillion things to do, it’s tempting to just pick the thing that looks easiest and go with it. I suggest, however, that you take time to really consider what you’re most interested in trying and learning from. Don’t be afraid to declare, “Challenge Accepted!” Pushing limits is how we go from meh to AWESOME.

Also, consider the subject matter, the composition and even the color. Yes, color, because although we’ll be working monochrome now, these still lifes are going to grow up in a big ol’ way later in the semester. As stated in the Project Detail, we will use tracings of the paintings to establish the baseline drawing, so you don’t need to worry about anything but building beautiful values (in other words, don’t let a sophisticated drawing scare you off).

The Candidates

Still Life with Herrings by Chardin

Still Life with Herrings by Chardin

Goldfinch by Fabritius

Goldfinch by Fabritius

Still Life with a Skull by Champaigne

Still Life with a Skull by Champaigne

Still Life with Salt Tub by Claesz

Still Life with Salt Tub by Claesz






Basket of Plums by Chardin

Basket of Plums by Chardin

Still Life with Fish by Manet

Still Life with Fish by Manet


Still Life with Pitcher by Picasso





Still Life with Pitcher and Fruit by Cezanne

Still Life with Pitcher and Fruit by Cezanne






Answers abound. Comment or e-mail, and I’ll do my best to help.


8 thoughts on “Project 1 Step 1

  1. Hi everyone,

    I did get e-mails and comments from almost all of you about which still life you want to do. Here is what I have on record:

    Stacy—Still Life with a Skull
    Tyler—Still Life with Salt Tub
    Yazmin—Still Life with a Skull
    Doug—Still Life with a Skull
    Crista—Still Life with a Skull
    Chelsea—Still Life with Pitcher
    Jeremy—Still Life with a Skull
    Chloe—Still Life with a Skull

    If your name is not on this list, it means I haven’t received an e-mail or comment with your selection. I am headed to the studio to cut panels in a few minutes. If I don’t hear from you by 4pm, you will not get a panel cut properly to size. Furthermore, on Monday, I will be printing color images of your still lives for your use. Again, if I haven’t heard from you, I will not be able to print your choice, and you will then be responsible for doing it yourself.

    Friends, don’t let friends go without panels and prints. If you know someone who hasn’t submitted a choice, let them know they need to get in touch with me a.s.a.p.


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