Still Life Painting

Part One:

For this watercolour painting, you’ll be creating an image of a bowl of fruit. This painting is a bit more advanced than the landscape painting activity. Watch the videos or read below for a step-by-step guide on how to create your own still life painting. (Scroll down for part two of the video!)

Step One: Gather Materials

You’ll need to gather the following materials before you start painting. 

  • Pencil for sketching 
  • Particleboard 
  • Red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, brown, white, and black paint (multiple shades of each colour) 
  • Paintbrushes 
  • Paint mixing tray (you may also need an extra mixing tray or some plates) 
  • Tupperware full of water 
  • Paper towels 
  • Book of watercolour paper 
  • Garbage bag or an old bedsheet or tablecloth 
  • Masking Tape 

Step Two: Set Up Workstation 

You’ll want to make sure you get your painting station completely set up before you start. You’ll be working continuously once you get started so you can finish your painting before the paint dries. 

Cover the table or countertop you’ll be working on with the garbage bag, tablecloth, or bedsheet to protect it from paint. Place two pieces of paper towel nearby, stacked on top of one another, and put your container of water near the paper towels. 

Step Three: Sketch 

Remove a piece of watercolour paper from your book and tear away the perforated edges. Use your pencil to sketch the bowl of fruit.  

Start with the shapes of the bowl and each piece of fruit and then add the details. Tape your sheet of paper down to a piece of particleboard and get ready to paint! 

Step Four: Banana 

In your mixing tray, mix different shades of yellow for the banana, shades of green for the apple, shades of red and purple for the mango, and some white and black paint for mixing.  

Wet your brush and combine a few shades of yellow for the banana. Paint the outline of the banana with a thin brush or the point of a brush.  

Then use a thicker brush or the side of the brush to paint the inside of the banana. Add some black to your paintbrush and darken the end of the banana. 

Step Five: Apple 

Clean your brushes, then wet a paintbrush and combine a few shades of green. Paint the apple, starting with the outline and then filling it in. 

Step Six: Mango 

Clean your brushes, then wet a brush and combine some shades of red and purple. Paint the mango, starting with the outline and then filling it in. 

Step Seven: Bowl 

Clean your brushes, then prepare some shades of brown to paint the bowl. You may need an extra paint mixing tray or some plates to accommodate the extra paint colours.  

Use the point of the brush to outline the bottom of the bowl with a light brown colour, then fill it in and smooth it out with the side of the brush. Combine some red and brown paint and use this colour to fill in the top of the bowl. 

Create a new shade of brown by mixing some more dark brown into the reddish-brown colour you just used. Fill in the diamond shape pattern of the bowl with this colour using a smaller brush, leaving the outlines of the diamonds white. 

Take the light brown colour you used for the bottom of the bowl and use It to outline the rim of the bowl. Add some black to your dark brown colour and use this to paint the inside of the bowl. 

Step Eight: Background 

Wet a large brush and combine a few shades of orange and red. Paint the table that the fruit is resting on with this colour. You can choose to start with the outline around the bowl using a smaller brush or start with a large brush and then use a detail brush to refine the outline afterwards. 

Grab a new brush and mix together white, black, and blue to create a blue-grey colour for the background. Start with the outline around the fruit using the point of the brush. Then fill in the rest of the background using the side of the brush. 

Part Two:

Step Nine: Banana Details 

Mix the yellow colour you used for your banana with a little brown. Wet your brush and use this colour to paint the back edge of the banana. Choose a bright shade of yellow and paint a line of bright yellow right next to the darker line. 

Use a little bit of brown paint on a thin brush to imitate the spots on the banana and to darken each end of the banana. 

Step Ten: Apple Details 

Add a little bit of black to a darker shade of green and paint the outside edge of the apple. Use water to blend the darker area with the rest of the apple. 

Use black to paint the stem of the apple and to add a bit of shadow around the stem. Blend this with the rest of the apple using water. Add a bit of darker green to one side of the apple and gradually lighten it as you go towards the other side. 

Step Eleven: Mango Details 

Mix together some yellow and green paint and add this colour to the bottom of the mango. Clean your brush and get a little bit of the red you used for the base of the mango, then blend the red and green by bringing some of the red down into the green colour. 

Add some darker red to the far side of the mango. Wet your brush and blend the colours together. 

Get a tiny brush and put some yellow paint on it. Add some small dots all over the mango. You can use a wet paintbrush to soften any of the dots that look too bright. 

Step Twelve: Bowl Details 

Use a very dark brown colour to fill in the white outline of the diamond pattern on the bowl. Add some dark brown to the far side of the bowl to create a shadowed effect.  

Mix a little yellow paint with the original base colour of the bowl to lighten it. Then use this lighter colour to blend the colours of the bowl, making the colour gradually lighten as you move across it. 

When you’re finished painting, be sure to clean and dry your brushes right away so that the paint doesn’t dry and stick to them! Clear away the rest of your materials. 

Your still life painting is now complete. Don’t forget to take a picture and share it on social media with #DAREtogether and tag DAREarts so we can see what you’ve created! 

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