Christine Thornton's Art Studio

teaching art skills and creativity

Drawing a Still Life from Observation

Art Start November 2018

Drawing from observation is such an important skill for artists to develop, and my students were eager for the challenge! First I taught them how to draw 3D cubes and cylinders using a worksheet for practice. Then for the next level of practice, they chose from a selection of cube or cylinder shaped objects and sketched them from observation. When they came back the next week, I had lots more objects out to choose from. Each artist arranged their own still life, placing an interesting variety of objects in front of themselves with the tallest one in the back and the shortest in the front. Then they started drawing, using light general shapes at first then getting more detailed as they went. They were careful to include overlapping, multiple sides of an object at once, and shadows and highlights to help make their drawings look realistic. For the finishing touches, artists had a choice of sharpies, ebony pencils, blending sticks and kneaded erasers.