A Floral Still Life Painting with an Old Vase

Still life painting is fun. There, I said it. Gathering the elements of the painting, setting it up, getting the light just right and then finally getting the paint out. It’s all fun. For this particular still life painting, I found something else to have fun with: Going to a thrift store and looking for an old flower vase…

"Autumn Glow" by Craig Shillam, oil, 16" x 12"

“Autumn Glow” by Craig Shillam, oil, 16″ x 12″


 A Still Life Painting with Flowers


This particular still life painting was done on a cradled gessobord, as I was looking to experiment with the substrate. I liked working on it very much and will do so again. My favorite part of this painting is the vase, which I purchased at a thrift store just for this painting. It is imperfect,  rough around the edges and has a very nice shape. I might even use it again some time.  After finding the vase, I went on the hunt for the flowers, and finally settled on a colorful fall assortment.


The Beginning. CashArtBlog

The Beginning. CashArtBlog



Not having painted flowers very much, (the last time was a still life painting of pansies done over a year ago), I was somewhat apprehensive. To combat that, I dove right in and shared the progress with my friends on Facebook over about a three day period. I had never done that before and don’t know if I will again, but it was a fun exercise and  it allowed for some interaction during the process.


Still Life Painting step 2 - CashArtBlog

Still Life Painting step 2 – CashArtBlog


This still life painting was for an auction, so I had a deadline, which is alright with me. With that in mind, the decision was made to work on it a little each day for about three or four days and then finish it up at the auction as part of the “quick finish” portion of the event. Some artists do quick draws, and some finish up a new work right before the auction starts. I have found that I end up talking to the patrons so much that I don’t get much work done, so I decided long ago to go for a quick finish. That time before an auction starts is good networking time. I talk to people using form , hand out business cards, and talk with other artists.


A Still Life with a Still Life - CashArtBlog

A Still Life with a Still Life – CashArtBlog


The vase was quite fun to paint and I will probably use it again in another painting at some point. It was frustrating to photograph the painted version of the vase as it was always coming out much more blue than the actual painting. It seemed that no matter what I tried, it was always more blue.

In painting both the flowers and the vase, I tried to keep it to a minimum of strokes and not fuss with it to much. Richard Schmid makes it look so easy doesn’t he? What does the lemon and the hard to see prune have to do with flowers? Nothing. The lemon adds some interest at the base of the vase and the prune brings some of the purple down to that part of the painting.

Wrapping it up – Another Still Life Painting


If I were to criticize myself on this painting I would say that the vase could have been a bit wider, the flowers on the right could have been a little more orange, and I could have added something coming over the front edge of the painting. Overall the painting was very well received, had a couple of bidders and did sell. After the auction I did realize that this was the only still life painting in the entire auction that featured mostly landscapes and western art. It was somewhat out of place in the context of the whole lineup of art. I’ll have to consider that next time.


Thanks for reading CashArtBlog!. I really appreciate it and hope you come back. You can have every article delivered to your in box free. Just type your email address up in the box at the top right of this page and that’s it. Free, easy and confidential. If you  like this or any article here, please share it. Thanks!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Craig Shillam

Leave a Reply