Painting with Traditional Oils – Creating Still Life Paintings

Traditional Oil Still Life Paintings  

The Beginning!! You can watch me progress. I created these paintings during the past 3 weeks.  Really, oils out of tubes!!!  Some paintings have turned out better than others – no surprise!!  The first painting which you see was my first oil painting.  I  actually destroyed the canvas but kept this photo of it. Fortunately, I photograph various stages of a paintings development. This was a very early stage of  the oil painting.  I kept painting and painting until ultimately I ruined it. It was not worth the time to try to recover it – I just threw it out.  I’m glad I had such an early lesson on the detriment of overworking a painting.  

Above – My first oil painting  –  I can see plenty that’s off – but it is what it is!!

Lighting is  one of the most important aspect of creating a still life,  Having a few fun items to paint is important as well. Almost anything can be interesting if well lit. I have used both daylight and artificial light as a source. I plan to create a video showing  how I created a three sided and 4 sided “shadow box”.  It’s pretty much as easy as lying a box on it’s side and cutting out the top so light can come in – I build a shadow box which is  a bit more  substantial as well.  I then placed a light to one side of the box, so it can cast shadows for a dramatic light effect. Daylight can also serve as a beautiful light source.  I used daylight for the above painting of the orange and the pear.

I continue to enjoy lots of texture in my paintings, which I create allowing my brush to “dance” as I paint. Pretty fun. It’s all experimental at this point.  Most of these paintings are 8×10.

It also gave me practice in painting grapes. I paint almost everyday – stoping for a day only when I burnout,  before proceeding again.   It’s really difficult sometimes to get color accuracy photographing paintings – some more so than others. I enjoy the richness of the painting above – but this digital file does not reflect the color accurately.

Above – my first attempt to paint brass. I will certainly create more.


A bit muddy. Some paintings just don’t work out as you envision but one always learns something. I will post my progress regularly.

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