Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Well, we went to the farmer's market this past weekend and it got me totally inspired today. While I was looking at all the yummy fresh veg in my crisper I started thinking about the use of still life and the different ways to capture still life. So I started with my peppers... they were red and yellow and looked absolutely PERFECT to photograph!

My Peppers!

I love the colours, so yummy!!

A single red pepper

A yummy yellow pepper!
After making a few photos I thought it would be neat to actually talk about still life! As some of you may already know still life is an essential and common tool in learning most types of art. In University I used still life in Photography, Drawing, Painting and even sculpture. It helps you learn to distinguish distance, shape and shading in all your art. Thinking about this I decided to use some of my lovely peppers to create a little exercise.

What I used: A large sketch pad, artists charcoal, and peppers! As always you can use whatever you like, from painting to even collage! I've even seen still lifes made into quilts... exciting hunh??

Once I got my materials ready I places my Peppers the way I wanted to draw them. One trick about drawing still life is once you have them places DO NOT MOVE THEM. I find it's hard to re-place the pieces you are using in the exact same position. Also try not to change where you are sitting, if you are a fidgitter (as I am known to be lol) then place them far away from you, then when you move your view of your subject won't change as drastically.

Next we sketch the basic shapes. This helps you learn to pick out shapes, instead of looking at the object as a pepper you start to see it as circles and squares. The ability to see shapes instead of objects for what they are is a great tool for artist, especially if you are into realism. When drawing anything from fruit to portraits if you can step back and just look at the shape your images will be more exact to the original. (Not that that is EVER necessary... I love non realism just as much!)

basic shapes
Once I got my shapes in I started filling them in. I used a harder charcoal to start with, this leaves lighter marks on the paper, then switched to a softer charcoal for the dark finishing shading.

Starting to form the shapes into peppers
Adding darks to create depth
Final Image

After I finished my picture I came on the computer to look at the final photos and what did I think about but another famous artist who also photographed peppers!

Pepper by Edward Weston 1930
Edward Weston was an amazing Photographer from the states. I looked at a lot of his works when I was in University and is still one of my major inspirations in photography. You should check out his stuff HERE!

After re-looking on the internet at some of Weston's amazing photographs I decided to play with Microsoft Office Picture Manager (my trial of photoshop expired... *cry*) and see what this free program can do. Using the picture of the Yellow Pepper I took I removed the colour and played with the brightness and contrast scales. This is what I got!

Moody Yellow Pepper!
Not too bad hunh??

Well, I hope you may be inspired my your veg. As usual I'm more inspired to create art with them than to eat them LOL.

Until Next Time
Keep Creating!

Link Parties I'm participating in:
 Sweet Shot Day

Photo Art Friday


  1. Hey Angie - I learned so much reading your post. Love the treatment and composition of your edit. Thank you for sharing your work at Photo Art Friday!

  2. You did well too :-)with your moody shot.

  3. Love the highlights and shadows in the photo! I like your sketch too!

  4. First off what a great post. Lots of information and tips that were quite interesting.
    Love you peppers - It was fun seeing them in color but I really like what you did with the last photo. Very unique.

  5. Beautiful- the black & white one almost makes it look like one of those tiny pumpkins.

  6. Thanks for all the lovely comments.

    @Ida I know... it's insane how much the pepper looks like a pumpkin!!

    Thank you all for stopping by! :)

  7. Very cool, I love all your pepper photos and jealous that you can draw too...LOL! I love black and whites, I'm a big fan of Ansel Adams, just think he's amazing as well.

    Thanks for sharing.


  8. What a difference in mood a shift in colour can make. From happy sunny yellow pepper to moody dark pepper. Looks like you got to know your pepper very well. It seems unusually round...almost pumpkin shaped. An excellent model.

  9. Gorgeous drawings. I also like the dark look of the desaturated photo. That has to be great for Halloween.