Project – Still Life

Exercise – Composition of Natural Objects


Sketch 1.  The largest object was placed in the centre and the remainder placed around it in a balanced form. The “looking down” aspect was not particularly interesting.

Sketch 2.  Again a central object with a balanced surround but a lower level aspect. The sketch is a little more interesting but has no character insofar that it’s a picture of a large pear with fruit arranged around it.

Sketch 3.  A slightly on edge aspect with a more random arrangement which results in a better picture with more depth and interest.

Sketch 4.  Drawn “on edge” which is an unusual but interesting view and which possibly could be enhanced by drawing in the support and the surroundings.


Drawing 5. The final choice of layout which puts the pear back in the middle but with the intention of the pomegranate and the pepper providing the background and the smaller fruits creating the foreground.

Unfortunately it hasn’t worked in the final drawing which is the fault of the pomegranate which on the plate looks stable but in the drawing appears unbalanced. Maybe I should have exaggerated the pepper to redress the balance..

Do you think it is easier to suggest three dimensions on man-made or natural objects? Try to explain your answer.

It is probably easier to suggest three dimensions on man-made objects as they are generally more regular or consistent in shape, also smoother in surface as they are usually made to be more tactile or visually pleasing.

Most natural objects tend to be erratic in shape often having more textures as nature does not require a tactile element having other purposes for its surfaces.

It is also easier to portray the perspective of man-made objects as the lines leading to the vanishing point can be more readily produced as the continuity of shape can be more readily projected.  Furthermore with most man-made objects even if part of the object is covered the eye/brain can anticipate the remainder of the object. Not so easy with natural objects

However the portrayal of depth and perspective is probably related to the skill of the artist.

How did you create a sense of solidity in your composition?

Firstly by creating an arrangement of the items that had depth and variation of texture and displaying that in the setup and then portraying that dimension by the use of line and space.

Also by incorporating shadow into the drawing and by varying the gradation of the shading.

Do you think changing the arrangement of your composition makes a difference to your approach and the way you create a sense of form?

Not particularly. Each arrangement was a task that had to be fulfilled. If one composition was more difficult than another then a different approach of, say, shading might have had to be employed and perhaps the lines of perspective would be different.

However it would be possible to make an arrangement that was easier to be drawn than another insofar that placing objects on the same plane would be easier to draw than one with an irregular or disappearing plane.

How did you decide how to position yourself in relation to the objects?

I looked for the aspect that would produce the most interesting  drawing, i.e. had variety.

This was achieved by sighting the object from different levels and angles but in the event the objects were moved to accommodate where I was sitting. I didn’t position myself, i.e. the plate was rotated and raised to obtain the view.


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