Still Life Painting with Fresh Peppers and Cup

Still Life Painting

Still Life Painting with Fresh Peppers and Cup” Craig Shillam oil/canvas, 9″ x 12″

The great thing about using fresh fruit or vegetables in a still life painting is that the colors, shapes, sizes and textures are almost endless. Picking the subject matter, arranging, and then painting is so much fun, I feel guilty some times.

Still Life Painting using Peppers


This still life painting features peppers from several different countries, and has somewhat of a triangle composition. As with other paintings, picking out the subject matter at local markets is part of the fun. Peppers are great subject matter because of their shapes and colors. As you probably know, there is not a ton of texture in peppers, so the painter can handle that as they see fit.

Still Life Painting

Still Life Painting with Fresh Peppers and Cup –
triangle composition. CashArtBlog

Still Life Painting and Vibrant Colors


While probably not the best subject matter for the living room or den, as a practical matter the colors in a painting like this can really bring a kitchen or dining room to life. That kind of thing does matter if you want people buy your work and love it in their own home.

When you go to someone’s home and see one of your paintings as a focal point of a particular room, it’s a wonderful thing. The painting Still Life with Fresh Peppers did that for me. It also made realize that you can be as inspired and tunnel visioned as you want, but there is a practical side of almost everything, and it does need to be paid attention to, in my humble opinion.

But as always, a painter has to follow where the spirit leads, right? Otherwise, it’s a helluva lot like work.


This Still Life Painting Process

On this particular still life painting, I started with the dark background, the rubbing out the shapes of the peppers while the paint was still wet. The next step was to start blocking in color and refining shapes. At that point, the table top was addressed, and then tightening up the peppers from left to right. The cup and small, red, Thai peppers and their shadows were next. The highlights are almost always added last.

On to the next painting.

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  1. Janie Sheehan says:

    I had to read it twice; paint to slow what? Confusing when poor grammar is used. Paint TOO slow or paint slowly.

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