Still Life Studies | Hunter Museum of American Art 7.0.33-0+deb9u12

Still Life Studies


  • Table
  • Objects from the house (plants, cups, toys, etc.)
  • Paper
  • Pastels or Crayons
  • Pencil
  • Marker or Watercolors

A still life is a specific kind of artwork that shows an arrangement of objects. Usually, these items are set on a table and include regular household items, including food, dishes, and cloths.Artists have been making still life art throughout history using objects in their homes, from the common to the extravagant. They use any method, material or style they like. Look at Dutch Still Life with Art Books and Field Guide to Western Birds by Paul J. Wonner and Orange Lamp and Oranges by Janet Fish and then create your own still life from objects in your home.



  1. Find a place to set up your still life, like a table or counter. Arrange your objects on it, using a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures.
  2. With a pencil and paper, lightly draw the general shapes of the objects. Notice how some objects are in front or behind others.
  3. Next, trace your drawing with pastels or crayons, adding lines for texture.
    – What kind of lines can you use? Zig-zag? Dashes? Dots?
    – Do something different for each object, taking time to be neat and thoughtful.
  4. Finally, fill in the rest with color! Your watercolors or markers won’t stick to the crayon, letting your texture marks shine through. When dry, give your still life a title and hang it in your home.

Share your creations @huntermuseum

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