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How to Draw a Still Life

In this document, I will show you one of the processes of drawing a still life in pencil. Drawing is something that has always been in my life. I’ve been drawing for about twenty years, give or take. It’s something that I enjoy and do almost every week.

Gather Supplies

It’s important to only grab a few objects for still life if you are a beginner. (figure 1)

- Subjects of Still Life
(Deer Skull and Dried Rose Head)

- Pencil (Mechanical or wood will work)

- Sketch book

Choose a Comfortable Place

Choose a comfortable place with plenty of light to draw. Make sure there is space for your supplies.

Arrange

Arrange still life in a way that is appealing to you. It should be fun or interesting to look at.

Examine Your Still Life

If the entire scene is taller than it is long your paper should be positioned horizontally. If the entire scene is longer than it is tall your paper should be positioned vertically. This will ensure everything will fit on the page

Draw Basic Form

Draw the simple shapes you see in your still life on a separate page to get an idea of general makeup of the scene.

Measure

Measure your still life with the pencil and thumb method. In (figures 6 and 7) you can see that the skull, from the horn down, is a tad shorter than the antler. This method will help you draw your proportions more accurately.

Sketch

Sketch in basic shape of skull and rose. Keep it simple at this stage.

Add Detail

Add detail to the drawing. The cracks in the skull, Eye sockets, grain of the antlers.

Add Shading

Add shading to the drawing. Start with the darkest point and work your way to the lightest.

Clean

Clean up your drawing. Erase any stray lines, or places that are supposed to be highlighted. Bold lines that should be dark. Then you are done!

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