Still Life Composition

Judy Vilmain, Instructor

Dates:  Tuesday & Wednesday, October 18 & 19

Time 10 am – 4 pm

Portsmouth Arts Guild, 2679 East Main Road, Portsmouth



$225 Members

$255 Non-members

Materials List:

  • All your usual painting gear.
  • A variety of supports in different sizes and aspect ratios.
  • A viewfinder.
  • A hand mirror.
Judy Vilmain, Portsmouth Arts Guild
Judy Vilmain, Red Pitcher with Lemons

So much of the time we artists paint from photographs, whether it’s landscapes or cityscapes or portraits.  Setting up a still life in your own studio from time to time gives you the very pleasurable experience of painting from life, and it keeps your drawing skills sharp.  It also allows you to have complete control of the shapes, colors, and arrangement of your subject matter.   

But you don’t want to paint another ordinary, boring still life.  In this workshop we will go over different types of still life paintings, and explore in detail what it takes to make your still life paintings more compelling:

Here are some of the things that we will touch upon during this workshop: 

    • How to find and choose objects you will enjoy painting.

    • How to arrange objects into a good composition.

    • Different ways of lighting a setup.

    • Common mistakes in still life paintings.

    • How to arrange your studio for still life painting

About Judy Vilmain

Judy Vilmain is a Psychologist and painter living in Providence, Rhode Island, and is an Exhibiting Artist Member of the Providence Art Club.  Her work includes intimate outdoor scenes and still-life paintings.

With the objects I choose, and the way in which I paint them, I’m trying to present a world that feels familiar, solid, and grounded, hopefully providing the viewer a quiet break from the chaos.

Regardless of the subject matter, I’m always considering the formal aspects of a painting:  color, line, shape, and surface texture.  Using these, I work towards a level of realism that still shows the hand of the painter — I want the viewer to keep moving back and forth between “seeing” the three-dimensional objects and seeing the paint and brushstrokes that created the illusion.  That back and forth is what I find magical in a painting.

With thanks to our generous sponsors

Prudence Island Quilters Guild