Step by step composition for still life with bottles and vases
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Step by step composition for still life with bottles and vases

August 27, 2019


Finding a composition with bottles and vases for your painting doesn’t have to be that hard. Just pay attention to how you look at things and I guarantee … … you will see compositions everywhere. Just after this. Hi there, my name is Albert van der Zwart, welcome to Imperfect Paintings … … where it is all about improving your painting skills by looking at art, yourself and the world around you. Whatever house you live in … … you have to put your sofa or couch somewhere. And perhaps a side table … … a plant … … and some art on the wall. The object are a bit too small for the room, but by zooming in it looks better. Do you realize that by places objects in a space, you are making a composition? You do it all day, every day. Basically it is putting stuff down somewhere. Like your car, I hope you own a blue one. The flowers in a garden or the bottles of paint I work with. The first step is diversity. Taking a number of the same object like these, isn’t interesting to look at. When doing this in a portrait, it looks strange. In case you want to make art … … this could be an interesting direction to explore around the subject identity. An old family photo you want to look at because of the people on it … … and a row like this helps to remember the names or the order of birth of your ancestors. I take a number of bottles and vases. The second issue is space. Giving the objects a little more room doesn’t really change the image. Placing the object linear is less interesting to look at in a painting … … and you only use this part of the space. By placing them in a different order, and also on a bigger piece of the surface … … it gets way more interesting to look at and you use more of the space you can work with. The third step is looking at lines. Try to move away from order and logic in general, there must be something more to guess or look at. And a row likes this is easily associated with a stock market or other financials going down … … and nobody likes to look at that. That’s why corporations have logos that point top right up like these, directly or more subtle. This is better, but still not very interesting to look at. Changing it like this is still more or less going downhill. But if you would do it like this you create some interesting lines to look at. Changing it a little makes the lines a bit different. Step number four is groups. This looks more or less as 1 group. By moving them a little … … you get 1 at the left, 2 next to it and 4 on the right. And the lines stay the same. Aspect number five is light and shadows, pay attention to the shadow of the objects. What light do you want? By closing the curtains the natural light goes away and only my daylight overhead light stays on. Now the overhead light is off. I take a movable warm light source and the colors change. But again, look at the shadows and decide how you would like your shadows to be in your painting. Do you see what an immense influence the light can have? Take a look at this painting by Vincent van Gogh for a second … … it is called De Aardappeleters or The Potato Eaters, and count the number of light sources in the room. Van Gogh could easily see the shadows. Now take a look at this. Again, count the number of light sources. I know for sure I prefer to have several light sources in my home. But understanding light and shadows in a painting is hard to learn … … when you see multiple dimmed and overlapping shadows around every object. The last aspect, number six, in this still life painting with bottles and vases … … is the question from what angle would you like to look at your still life or … when painted, present it to the public? Do you want to zoom in or out? Move the objects to the right or the left side? Look from above? From the table looking up and zoomed in? Getting even closer? From a different angle looking down, almost as if the objects are glued to the wall? Anything is possible in painting. It is up to you what you want or how creative you dare to be. For another video, link up here, I made a more classical composition choice and used this angle … lighting and shadows because I wanted to show you how to paint like Giorgio Morandi. You can also paint without the use of vases and just focus on the flowers. I can show you an interesting way of painting flowers by this American artist. Click on the link and I will see you over there in the next video.

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