Before we discuss the importance of still life drawing, it helps to clarify just what is is. Interestingly, still life art typically depicts everyday natural or man-made objects that are inanimate and, in contrast to the name, generally lifeless.
But it’s the depiction of what may be a lifeless (actually including dead animals in some cases!) object in a way that draws in the viewer, almost as if it was somehow ‘alive’, offers the first clue to its importance.
Whether you’re considering a career in 3D or 2D animation, gaming graphics, fashion design, advertising art, or any graphic-related profession, the importance of learning still life drawing shouldn’t be missed.
1. Creating the Illusion of 3D in 2D
Even if you want to jump straight into 3D animation, understanding how to make a two-dimensional object look three dimensional gives you a practical understanding of what you’re doing on the screen.
2. “Animate” the Inanimate
The art of still life drawing is depicting objects that we might never notice day-to-day, other than for practical purposes (like a can of tomato soup!), in ways that lets the viewer see them differently, see different aspects and even different meanings in them.
If you can do that in a drawing of a bottle, you’ll be better able to do it in any graphic art form.
3. Setting the Scene
Still life artists take time and care to choose and compose their subjects before composing their drawing. It’s like sketching with the objects of your art instead of with pencil and paper. And it helps your ability to compose any scene, whether it’s on paper or digital.
4. Capturing Colour Theory
In addition to composition, still life art can rely heavily on colour theory to add meaning, mood and dynamics to the subject. All of which are valuable tools for every artist and animator.
5. Adds an Interesting, Unexpected Dimension to Your Portfolio
In addition the your areas of specialization, still life drawings add a sense of versatility and depth to your portfolio.
Still life drawing is a major component of the Fine Art Portfolio Skills Class at Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art & Design.