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Still Life Paintings

Still lifes have never required some larger symbolic meaning. The form is respected as a difficult endeavor taken on by contemporary still life artists. Creating beautiful composition out of a commonplace item takes high level of artistic passion and skill. The genre has evolved over time, but several parts of still life remain the same.

The biggest similarity from century to century — and the biggest difference — is subject. The subject is the life. Over the hundreds of years, flowers, fruits, architecture, and more common elements have appeared over and over. Times change and objects change, but stillness and beauty don’t.

Fruit and flowers are always a good place to start, and a good way to learn how to create or observe great still life. Something about the vivacity and freshness of fruit and flowers keeps bringing artists back.

As the subject is the most important part of a still life, picking the right subject for you is the best way to put the life into a still life. There’s no such thing as a boring subject — there are always a few ways to add some interest to the imagery.

As with any other painting, thematically beautiful colors, dramatic lighting, and an eye for composition will make any everyday object fascinating.