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Still-Life Design & Composition For Beginners

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Step 2: Thumbnail Sketches For Still-Life


Once you’ve determined your arrangement, make a few thumbnail sketches to finalize your composition. Whether it’s in portrait or landscape, sketch quickly, and don’t forget to pencil in the shape of the cast shadows. When your outlines are done, plan out where the shadows and highlights need to be by assigning values (i.e. light vs dark) to the different shapes and forms. In this way, you’ll break up your painting space into positive and negative shapes, and find the best composition while saving yourself a lot of time later on.

That concludes this quick crash course on still-life design. Feel free to grab some different objects, and practice until you can compose with ease!