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Basic Geometric Shapes - Still Life From Observation

Materials:  vine or willow charcoal, 18 x 24 newsprint pad.

Exercise 1:  four 5-minute drawings of a geometric still life. Each drawing should be from a different vantage point (see below).  These quick drawings are warm-up drawings and are recommended before every drawing session.

Materials: compressed charcoal, 18 x 24 drawing paper pad.

Exercise 2:  four 10-minute drawings of a geometric still life. Same idea as the first set of drawings but use stronger values to emphasize the shading.


In this drawing problem, you are to arrange a composition on a table using the three basic 3D geometric forms: sphere (e.g., apple), cube (e.g., small box), and cone (e.g., funnel).  After arranging the forms (objects) in a composition, use a single light to illuminate your compositional arrangement.  Now you are ready to draw the composition from different vantage points.  For example, you can draw it from the left sitting at the table, then stand or use an easel so that you are looking down on the forms, or you could sit facing the light source so that the cast shadows are coming towards you.  It is important to concentrate on the negative shapes (spaces) as well as the positive shapes (objects) you are drawing.  The negative shapes are the space around and between forms. If you get these shapes accurate, you will have a very accurate drawing of what you are observing.

Examples of Students' Basic Geometric Still Life Drawings

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