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Producing still life art is a popular pastime, for not only is the artist in control of the environment but also the subject matter. But a creative block may occur when it comes to rendering convincing orange peel, getting smooth effects for highlights, working under shifting lighting conditions or simply making a still life painting appear three-dimensional. How can such hurdles be overcome?

Inspired by my teaching experience, I have collated troubleshooting ideas for the aspiring artist or student who wishes to improve on still life painting techniques. Chapters include: ‘objects in my still life appear flattened and lack form,’ ‘how can I paint a still life without odours or mess?’ ‘the porcelain in my still life looks more like clay,’ ‘my still life looks as though a child had painted it’ and lots more.

Various aspects of still life painting are explored in depth including colour mixing theory, setting up a composition, effective use of light, understanding tonal values, oil painting techniques and strategic use of light. Avoid muddy colour mixes when darkening the colour of tomatoes; suggest rust or pectin by scumbling; avoid common pitfalls with backgrounds and add atmosphere by learning to look at tones.

This troubleshooting book for still life painting offer advice for most problems the artist might encounter whilst learning to paint a still life. This book has 26 chapters, a step by step demonstration on painting strawberries and approximately 100 illustrations, including numerous paintings and diagrams.

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