Saturday, August 08, 2020

Still Life Art - Outdoors!

When we think of painting out of doors, we don't often consider still life painting. 

Maybe we should! 

In an outdoor setting, an artist can easily find interesting subject matter for a still life painting. 

Our goal was to create a mixed media still life painting using pencil, India ink, watercolor, and soft pastels. 

Our first step was to gather our still life elements. I supplied a few "man- made" items, such as a fruit basket, glass vases, and a jar. Each artist selected one or two of these, one or more pieces of fruit, and one or more natural objects from our outdoor environment. 

They then created their still life arrangement and sketched the basic shapes in pencil on taped watercolor paper.

The next step was something new! We quickly moistened the paper with clear water using large watercolor mop brushes, then we dipped the sharp end of a wooden skewer into our India ink and traced over our pencil lines. Oh no! Some of the lines began to bleed - for a (surprisingly) nice effect...

We continued with the ink, allowing the drawing to draw itself, so to speak.

Since we were outside, the paper dried quickly, so sometimes we had to add more water. 

Next, we opened our watercolors and painted our still life drawings. We could paint them using actual colors or make up new ones. 


We simplified the table surface and the background using any chosen colors.

After the painting was dry, we added a few white and brightly colored soft pastels to highlight just a few areas of our paintings. Not too much!

Then we removed our dry paintings from the painting boards.

The kids really enjoyed applying the India ink with skewers. Those who had time wanted to try this technique again. They used India ink to draw their own personal art subjects, and added color as desired. 

Our thanks to KinderArt for this great lesson idea!

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