Still Life Paintings Activity

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Updated on Apr 12, 2013

During the 1600s, Dutch still life painters were some of the highest paid artists! Painters would use items such as flowers, wine goblets, fruits and foods to create detailed paintings. Your child can learn more about still life painting as well as the Dutch influence on horticulture and art!

What You Need:

  • Small bowl
  • Mixed fruit – such as apples, grapes, and bananas
  • Flowers
  • White paper
  • Pencil
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes

What You Do:

  1. Start by taking a closer look at famous Dutch still life paintings with your child by either by doing research online or heading to your local library.
  2. Now help your child to set up a still life in the style of the Dutch Masters by covering a workspace with a tablecloth. He can use the dining table as the base for his arrangement. This way when he’s done, there'll be a beautiful centerpiece for others to enjoy!
  3. Offer your child flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, vases and bowls to create his detailed arrangement to use as his still life.
  4. Once he’s satisfied with his arrangement he can get out his paper and a pencil to create a first sketch. Encourage him to work lightly.
  5. Now he can get out the paints and begin painting his own Dutch still life creation! Encourage him to take his time and think about including lots of detail, just like the Dutch Masters did. This includes shapes, shadow, light and colors. Not only is he paying attention to detail, he’s honing his hand-eye coordination!
  6. His finished still life can be proudly displayed somewhere in the home for everyone to enjoy!

Did you know: Many of the Dutch Masters' still life paintings of flowers were often created by looking at studies or book illustrations and not actual flowers? This is how painters created stunning paintings depicting fresh bouquets of flowers that may have not been native to their homeland!

Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.