Sunday, February 19, 2012

Still Life Painting

There is a rarely found cult book on composition called The Painter's Secret Geometry by Charles Bouleau. This book is written to give a history to pictorial composition in paintings. This is called geometrical construction.  In the text Bouleau gets quite complicated in his analysis of some of the paintings - verging on the point of being incomprehensible.  At his best he talks more consisely about the golden ratio, rabatment, musical proportions (ratios of consonance) and aesthetic lines.Various artists I know have told me they think this book is a bit of a joke.  I found it interesting to read and I recommend you take a look at it if you can find it.

One of the compositional ideas discussed in the book is illustrated in a painting by Sanchez Cotan, Still-Life.  As you can see below the fruits and vegetables are placed on the arc of a circle which governs the composition.

Composition in still life painting is one of the subjects that will be covered in our summer still life painting workshop at the Academy of Realist Art, Boston.  Details are below.

Still Life Painting
August 20 – 31 10 days 10 am - 5 pm  Cost $1150
Instructor Brian MacNeil

Students will compose, set up and complete a still life painting. Learning topics will include still life composition, paint handling, lighting, and oil painting techniques and materials. Brian will share his experiences on still life painting and how to overcome common difficulties that may occur during the process.

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