Creating a Natural Look Set-Up

Believe it or not, painting masters Cezanne and Chardin spent hours just for setting up their subject matter before they sketch them out. This task could be very hard especially for the novices. But don’t worry! To help you with, I listed down some important things you should do to in how to set up a still life setting for your painting.

Arranging the objects for a still life study

First, let us define composition. In artistic terms, it means the arrangement of the objects within a painting. When you create a good composition, it is more likely for you to come up with a good piece of art. It is more upsetting for an artist that to spend hours sketching the setting, having the right combination of colors and appropriate tones only to realize that the arrangement looks gauche.

The Negative and Positive Space

Always remember the two parts of every painting!

  1. Negative Space: Refers to the background and foreground area around the subject matter.
  2. Positive Space: The subject matter itself.

The negative space is frequently unnoticeable in a painting, however, if you would give an equal attention to these spaces, your composition will look balanced and more pleasant to the viewer’s eye.

On the other hand, it is important to be aware of the negative space when it comes to arranging the objects. Consider it as having shapes as much as the objects.

What makes a good composition in a painting?

When arranging a still life setting, the question needs to be asked if there is too much negative space within one area.

  1. The painting of too heavy on one side and leaves too much negative space to the left.
  2. The painting is too flat and leaves too much negative space below and above.
  3. The composition doesn’t look natural. The objects are all pointing to one way.

How to make the setting looks more natural?

Consider the following:

  1. Are the objects are too close together that there no enough negative space between?
  2. How about the shadows in your painting? Shifting the light source could cause one to spill off the edge of the art work and will eventually give an unbalance look on it.
  3. The viewpoint. A little bit of change make all the difference. An unusual viewpoint can yield novel and interesting results. Of course, photography is very important in this case.
  4. How about the setting? Does it look so unnatural? There are times when a still life can happen by accident, for example, the discarded toys on the floor or a worktop displaying forgotten tools. An ideal still life is the one that looks as though it has happened by accident, the one that looks natural!

Giving equal attention to negative and positive space will do much to help the arrangement. Be careful with shadows as these can appear as solid as the objects themselves. Consider trying a different viewpoint and lastly, look for the natural still life that happens in everyday life. It is a good idea to ask what makes the object natural and how to try to imitate this effect when setting up the scene.

Interested in abstract paintings? You may want browse this site and look at our available abstract art paintings or you may also consider reading our articles about abstract art that includes helpful tips and ideas in how to create an abstract art piece.

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