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Still life settings don’t have to be complicated.

The setting

I laid out a large sheet of white drawing paper, with some off-cuts of olive-green paper on top to provide a bit of variety. Then I posed a trio of old bottles on this surface, decided that I preferred a view from above and then proceeded to paint a small still life from the setting.

Painting the bottles’ shadows

With extra lighting from the back (I use an ordinary desk lamp), the bottles cast translucent shadows towards the front. The shadows were the most difficult element for me to paint; the rest of the setting was straightforward.


At first I was going to use Three Bottles as a title, but that’s a bit literal, I think. I’ve now settled on Trio instead.

Unframed watercolour painting. Size 6 x 6 inches / 15 x 15 cms.

Sorry, this painting is not available for sale.

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