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How to Paint Watercolor Still Life

Artists of Any Age Can Make This Cool Art!


What is a Still Life?

A still life painting is a painting of something still (not moving), not a landscape, not a figure - it is one subject in front of the artist that they're painting in that moment in time. Still life drawings are a great way to practice drawing without asking people to stay still, and also lets artists decide on the composition of the painting.


What You'll Need

- Watercolor Paper

- Watercolor Paints

- Water Jar

- Paint brushes: small, medium, and large

- Paper towels


OPTIONAL: Masking tape, for the edges of your watercolor painting.

First, let's use masking tape around the edges of our paper so that way, at the end of our project, we can take the tape off and our art will have a border, like a frame. Beautiful!


Step 1: Make Your Composition

Whenever you're starting to paint a still life, you have to look at your subject and give a lot of thought to the composition of your painting. Composition means deciding on where things go in your artwork, and where they'll be positioned on your paper. In our example, we're going to paint a vase with daffodils. Since this subject is taller than it is wide, we're going to make our papers portrait style (tall, rather than wide).


For our daffodils, first, we're going to with our medium brush. Since the vase is less than half of the total height of the object, we're going to start by painting the outline of the vase a little bit underneath the bottom half of the paper. Start by mixing a transparent grey by using a lot of water on the side of your palette with a little bit of black. Draw the sides of the vase, then draw the top edge and then, the back edge. Now you have the shape of your vase!