Jake's Art: Still Life Picture: Homeschool Lesson 3

Still Life Picture Cobalt Bottle Homeschool Art Project

Oh my, what a fun journey in Art we have embarked upon this homeschool season. This week's assignment Still Life PicturesGather some fruit and other interesting items, arrange them on a table, and draw them as realistically as possible. Well, let's just say it took all of our stressometers to the max. Enjoy!

Still Life Picture Apples and Cobalt Bottle
The Still life example looked similar to this one 
with a cobalt bottle and fruit.
As, Jake sat having a melt-down, I searched the web for famous examples of still life. The lesson does mention not everyone has a natural ability to do realistic drawings, but practice makes perfect.

Picasso Still Life Painting
Picasso, Still Life with oranges.
Let me tell you, I've had years of practice. I cannot draw a realistic still life. So, I told Jake we would interpret our own realism like Picasso did in his interpretation. After all, everyone must start somewhere and the photographic images could stifle the most confident of young artists. I showed him many amazing still lifes. Examples are at the bottom of this post. He struggled with the contour drawings wanting to draw the entire table no matter how many times I explained, "Just pretend this is all you see."

This one depicts the entire surface of the table.
"Jake, please try again.  You are making this much too difficult.  Just draw a line to represent the table surface."  "I Can't!" He cried smashing his pencil down onto the table.

Still life on table with outline.

Still life with apple totem.

Still life third try.

Now, I didn't make him draft the outline five times. It was his perfectionist choice. I was ready to color-in the second one once he understood the concept of a horizon line, but he was compelled to continue the torture. His final drawing is below and quite lovely with its soft shadings, faint line of the table in the background and arrangement. (Nevermind the bottle lines showing through the fruit~choose your battles.)

In the meantime, his little sister (Mandy Mayhem) and natural born creative, drew this still life including the table, the windows, the painting on the wall, the wall, and some additional items she felt added to the picture.

 "I'm done Mommy. Can I do another one? I really like the Fishbowl Matisse, can I do one of those?"  Sure, Mayhem just do it quietly so Jake can concentrate.

Matisse Fishbowl Still Life Picture Goldfish
Matisse with Goldfish.

If only, Jake could concentrate. Remind your kids to relax!  Relaxation is the most important element of quality art. He has a special talent, but this project was very stressful for him.

The pictures below, especially Wassily Kandinsky,  gave him the courage to trudge ahead. We also found Paul Klee and Joan Miro still lifes. 

Everyone who studied art had to do a still life. Note the Paul Cezanne's skulls. So, paint what you enjoy. Make the project your own, but fulfill the assignment.

Warhol Still Life Image
Warhol Still Life
Cezanne Still Life Skulls
Cezanne Still Life
Picasso Still Life
Picasso Still Life

Kandinsky Still Life
Kandinsky Still Life
Picasso Still Life
Picasso Still Life

Matisse Still Life
Matisse Still Life

The still life was our worst struggle by far, but it was also a turning point. The next post is a much happier, carefree one. As Jake's journey continues you will see a calmer more reflective, budding young artist.

Remember these points:
A little encouragement goes a long way.

You don't have to erase in ART. The mistakes can make a Masterpiece.

Never tell your child or anyone else their drawing doesn't look real. It is art, a beautiful interpretation in the eye of the beholder. What if Picasso or Warhol stopped trying because they weren't successful? 

Andy Warhol is a fantastic example. Practice does make perfect but not necessarily photographic. Once he abandoned the notion he needed to be a "real artist" not a graphic artist; he finally became a Master of his own success.

Read more about Lesson one (Line - how do you feel about art.) and Lesson two (tunnel book perspective.)

And this one next (if you are following in order): Oh happy day: progress with watercolors and paper arts.

Recommended Reading:

Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel*

Art of Still Life Drawing (Art of Drawing)*

ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.