Oil Painting – Setting up and Arranging the Composition

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,517
    Artist Martha Spak demonstrates how to oil paint and how to set up and arrange the still life compostition.

    Martha Spak: Hi, I am Martha Spak with MLSGallery and I am here to show you how to paint a still life oil painting. Right now I am going to show you how to set-up and arrange a still life composition.

    Today I have chosen a simple subject using fruit, pears and I have chosen three pears to put side by side and I am going to lay one on it's side and put it slightly behind the center pear. It's a linear view for a viewer. It's goes from left-to-right or right-to-left. There is another option that you could also chose, which is movement through the painting, back-to-front, front-to-back, but today we are using the linear format. Another important element of choosing and setting-up a still life composition is the lighting. I have a simple swing arm lamp that I use in all my compositions and this helps to decide where I like to place the highlights on the subject or fruit. So right now I am just showing you overhead lighting or left or right lighting and today I am going to choose to place the lamp on the left side, highlighting all the pears in a dramatic way and before we move on I wanted to give you one tip that I use, I take my digital camera and photograph my still life composition so that I can preserve this and use it as I continue my oil painting process. So now let's move on, we are going to set-up our paint palette, mixing mediums and sketch our scene.