10 Unusual Still Life Ideas

Creative Painting Inspirations

10 Unusual Still Life IdeasThe key to finding good still life painting ideas is keeping an open mind. Compositions can be found in unusual areas as long as the artist is willing to look.

painting ideasStill Life Painting Ideas in the Kitchen

The kitchen is full of different textures, shapes and finishes. Because of this, there is an unending supply of still life inspiration in this room. For example:

  • Rummage through the silverware drawer and come out with a handful of utensils. Lay a dishcloth on the counter and toss the handful of silverware onto it. Each piece will make an interesting design as it overlaps onto another piece.
  • Arrange a grouping of pots and pans like a cityscape. Vary the heights of the pieces and make sure that there are several items with different finishes for visual interest.
  • Arrange dirty dishes in the sink and fill it with suds and hot water. The sheen of the water and the transparency of the bubbles will add a challenging element to the painting.

Still Life Painting Ideas in the Kid’s Room

Children’s items are full of color and shape. When looked at with a fresh eye, the artist can find a multitude of still life subjects in a kid’s room. Try these ideas:

  • Arrange video game controllers and games into a teetering tower.
  • Rummage through a toy box to find damaged dolls, broken trucks and other well-used toys to produce an interesting commentary on a child’s life.
  • Collect baseball, football, Magic, Pokémon, or other cards that children collect. Arrange them on the child’s bed.
  • Look under the bed. Use a homemade viewfinder or a camera viewfinder to crop an interesting composition.

Still Life Painting Ideas in the Toolbox

creative inspirations
A person’s tools say a lot about their personality. Depending on the person, the tool box and the types of tools can very drastically. Consider these types of toolboxes and tools as still life subjects:

  • The Artist’s Toolbox- This can include paints, brushes, pencils, markers, colored pencils and more. Try to arrange the items in their storage and in abstract groupings.
  • The Mechanic’s Toolbox- Grab some wrenches, screwdrivers and nails and scatter them on any interesting background such as cement, greasy corrugated cardboard or shiny chrome for an interesting composition.
  • The Seamstress’ or Tailor’s Toolbox- Open the lid to any sewing box and you will find an instant subject; simple open the lid and look down on the contents. The composition is framed and the mix of threads, buttons and shiny needles will add instant textural appeal to any painting.

Artists can use these ideas, or use them to brainstorm ideas of their own, for new, interesting still life paintings.