Textured Still Life

Next we look in detail at a very fine example of a textured still life drawing. You can see that there are many objects that have definite textural qualities to them, and they lie juxtaposed to each other to give a textural diversity to the group, which in turn makes the group composition visually very exciting. To make a drawing like this you need to select a number of textural objects, put them together in an interesting composition, and place the textures in such a way that they complement each other. For instance, put rough against smooth, furry against shiny, hard next to soft, and so on. Use a window mount to frame the composition, selecting the most interesting array of textures. Start by drawing the outline of your objects through the window mount. When you have completed this task, you can fill in the textured areas.

You can construct the drawing and establish the composition by using as your example the Van Gogh copy of sunflowers on page 40. Having successfully drawn the outline of your objects in the composition, you can now start to make the drawing. Use mark making that expresses the idea of texture and surface. The best way to approach this is to experiment with marks that might imply the textures that are present in the still life. When you are happy with your results, apply them to the appropriate part of the drawing. In the series of drawings shown over the next couple of pages, we can analyse how we have achieved this.

1a/ The straw hat has many textures that make it a visually dynamic object to draw. The basic construction of the hat is made of a series of lines that follow the form. Between these lines is a series of marks, which forms the implied pattern of the woven texture of the hat.

Implied Texture Drawings

The woven texture of the hat then opens out to a broader weave, leaving air-type holes that help to keep the head cool. In the analysis of this texture one can create the rendering of this surface by drawing first a series of crossing bands. This gives us the negative holes in the hat pattern, which we tone in as a black shape, which in turn implies the holes in the hat. It also gives us the positive weave pattern of the straw, in which we place the mark of the woven texture.

1b/ You can see that we have started to construct it in the same way as the previous band, using a series of bands that cross over each other to create a diamond type pattern. We have then uniformly filled in some of the pattern of the diamond shapes with a black tone, leaving us with a crossover band pattern. This crossover pattern has a woven stitch texture. This is done by placing a little black mark that forms the pattern of the stitch on the bands. At the top and bottom of the band there is another type of stitch. This is put in by a series of small vertical lines that follow the edge of the band.

2/ The broccoli is drawn, and then texture is implied by a series of tiny little dots or circles placed tightly together to give the textural impression of the flowering of the broccoli. The stem is drawn using a series of parallel lines that echo the form of the stem.

3/ The cabbage is drawn using a number of organic type shapes that follow each other's contours and the form of the cabbage. Leaving a small uniformed space between the shapes that act as the veins of the cabbage leaf. The shapes are then shaded in with a very dark tone to give a very convincing impression of the leaf.

Textured Leaves Drawing

4/ The celery is simple. Draw the structure as with the other objects. Then it's just a matter of putting a series of straight lines that run close together down the stem of the vegetable.

5/ The onion is similar to the celery in that you again draw the structure first, and then draw the lines that imply the outer layer of the skin that forms the bulbous effect of the onion. At the top of the onion draw in the leaf type growth. Putting in such finishing touches to the texture will make the object just that bit more convincing.

Vegetable Human HeadFamous Still Life Drawings
The finished drawing.
Still Life Drawing Texture

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