Sunday, May 5, 2013

Still Life Drawing Class at the Norton Simon Museum of Art

On Friday I attended a still life drawing class taught by artist Jamie Sweetman.  While most of my sketches are pretty loose, these are even more so because we were sketching with colored pencils and the erasers didn't work with them...  She had us look at an incredible and intricate still life painting by Frans Snyders, that I will try to post some images of tomorrow.  Then we went into a different gallery and she had us pick some plastic fruits and various objects to sketch from.


She advised that we start with a general shape and then refine it from then.  She also suggested that we shade from light to dark and mentioned that the darkest shadow on an object is called the core shadow.  Once that is in place it helps to define the object.  She also talked about negative space, the space between the forms of the object and how it can help in seeing the object more clearly.  She also suggested prismacolor or faber castel colored pencils for drawing.


She then set up a more elaborate still life and said we could attempt to sketch it or continue sketching the individual objects.  I blocked in the basic shapes and then went into some of the smaller details, I'm pretty slow though, so I didn't do much in the way of shading.  I'm not sure why, but I think what I really wanted to draw was the plastic bug...


It was an interesting class.  I don't usually sketch from life, she calls it observational drawing.  She says there is a definite difference between drawing from life and drawing from a photograph due to the 3d versus the 2d nature of the experience.  I am definitely far too slow to paint from life though, my flowers would wilt before I could finish.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the class since I feel quite self conscious sketching in public, but it was definitely an enjoyable way to spend an evening!  Which is good since I've signed up for three more of her classes at the Norton Simon...

To view more Sunday Sketches, please visit:

5 comments:

janice smith said...

Sounds like a wonderful class! I'd like to do something like that...it's been years since I sketched or painted with a group. I love what you did...can't wait to see more!

Patrice said...

I love watching your process, Lisa!

A Creative Harbor said...

Your sketches are wonderful and thanks for sharing the process you learned in class ~

Thanks for 'visiting' ^_^

Magic Love Crow said...

I love the bug too ;o) I think you did excellent with your sketches ;o) Take Care ;o)

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

Thanks very much, it was definitely a different experience than sketching at home...