Kate Quinn's Top 10 Tips

Kate Quinn's Top 10 Tips

Posted on 27 Oct 2022

Art to Art artist Kate Quinn paints beautiful still life artworks. Kate loves to paint, and loves to share this passion with others, even running fun-filled courses and workshops. Watch below as Kate speaks about her absolute top 10 tips for creating stunning still life paintings, that she uses every day in her own art practice.

Dividing Line

Tip 1 – Consider Light and Shadow

Kate Quinn's Number 1 tip for painting still life artworks is to make careful use of light and shadow, particularly when painting glass. Kate suggests always taking note of where the light source is coming from, and carefully looking at where the light and dark areas of the object are.

Tip 2 – Make the Most of Shadow

Tip Number 2 is to make the most of shadows in your scene. This will help give more dimension and interest to you artwork and keep them from looking flat.

Tip 3 – Keep Your Subject Slightly Off Centre

Kate Quinn recommends keeping your subject slightly off-centre in your artworks (also known as the rule of thirds) to allow for a less rigid composition. In Kate's opinion still life paintings always look better if the subject is not perfectly centred, and she likes to keep her horizon lines above or below centre as well.

Tip 4 – Include Imperfections

Don't be afraid to include imperfections. Kate Quinn's top tip number 4, is to let these elements help add something special and interesting to your still life artwork, whether a dropped petal or drooping branch, these imperfections will help your artwork stand out.

Tip 5 – Use a Projector

Using a projector to help sketch out your subject will save you a lot of time in the long run, and help you get everything in place as you want it.

Tip 6 – Work from the Inside Out

It may seem simple, but Kate Quinn always starts painting from the centre of the artwork, then works her way outwards, allowing her to rest her hand on the unpainted areas of the artwork to give her brush more support and control.

Tip 7 – Don't Over Blend

Tip number 7 is to not over-blend your paints. Working with oil paints, Kate finds allowing areas of colour to stand separate gives her works a beautiful, slightly abstracted effect that she loves. This allows the brushstrokes to sing, and is Kate's favourite way to paint still life artworks.

Tip 8 – Use Different Brush Shapes

Using different brush shapes and sizes will allow you to have a variety of different effects in your painting, and is something Kate definitely recommends. This is another tip to help add depth and interest into your piece.

Tip 9 - Leave a Tiny Gap Around Your Subject

Leaving a tiny space between your subject and background can help your subject stand out. For Kate Quinn, this usually means letting just a few millimetres of undercoat show through all around the edges of her subject.

Tip 10 – Paint the Edges of Your Canvas

For her final top tip, Kate Quinn recommends always painting the edges of your canvas, often continuing the background shapes and colours. Kate always buys deep edge canvases and makes sure to paint the edges. This creates a beautiful clean and finished look once framed, or means the painting can even look beautiful hung on the wall as is.

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