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Still life back ground guidelines/advice.

Can anyone advise me in regards to guidelines of cloths etc, colors, arangement, etc for doing still lifes. The shadow box is like a little stage and just as a sunny or cloudy day is a major thing in a landscape, the background " setting " of a still life has got to make a big difference to the final result of the work. If you read this Mark - HEEEELP!!!! buddy. I can not thank Mark enough for all he has done in his field to help others, it is a foundation and work of greatness and it continues, but I have not found any advice on the massive impact, conscious or not, of the back ground or setting for the work, not that I hold that against him or anyone, but insight into the aspect would be greatly appreciated, thoughts......


  • edited May 2017
    Well I don't know much on the subject as I have yet to paint a still life. But what I have noticed in the videos is he does not use an ironed piece of cloth, he usually has something with some wrinkles in it, probably helps catch the light at different angles makes it more interesting. And he spends like a whole day just setting different objects into the box looking through his view finder on his camera to see how it looks, asks Emily for advice, moves and plays with the shadows..... so take your time and there is a video of him doing this....I forget which one it is though.

    found it:

  • edited May 2017
    It's good to play with different backgrounds, and take your time setting it up think through things carefully and have fun with it too, especially if you invite someone you trust to help as well. I have taken a whole day to set up a still life, I took a week once really going for it! And my very basic rule is keep it real simple, not complicated or difficult. I look for wrinkles for values and contrasts between lights and darks but not too much to take away but to add to the composition as a whole. The great thing about the shadow box here is that you don't need a large piece or sample of cloth to use. I plan to set up a tile background on wood to place into the shadow box and have more ideas. If you really wanted to you could set up a temporary brick wall in there as a background! My set up is quite solid to handle such things as backgrounds. Going with Mark's suggestions is a very good start! You will get the hang of it and discover what you really like!
  • Pick your subjects and arrange them in different ways and lighting effects and post a picture. The simpleist thing is to drape a sheet with a few folds in it. Experiment see how the cloth reflects colors or adds light (maybe where you don't want it). or just paint your background out of your imagination.
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