Scroll To Top
Artyfactory Banner

Still Life - Painting Bottles


Still Life - Painting Bottles

This step by step lesson explains and illustrates the technique used to paint the bottles from our Still Life Painting lesson. By following the illustrated stages below we lead you through the key points of their painting technique from the flat underpainting of shapes to the subtle mixture of transparency, opacity and reflection that we find in glass objects.

Painting Bottles: Step 1


Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 1

It is most practical to paint the background first.

  • It is more practical to paint the objects in order from back to front, as it is technically easier to paint the edge of any object over the preceding one.
  • Note how the bottles are painted in order with the background and apple painted first, slightly overlapping the edge of the bottles.


Painting Bottles: Step 2


Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 2

Underpaint the bottles with flat opaque colors.

  • Each bottle, one light in tone and the other dark, is neatly underpainted in a flat opaque color.
  • Take care to establish their outlines as accurately as possible.


Painting Bottles: Step 3


Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 3

Apply the first layers of dark tone with a thin glaze of color.

  • Using a fine sable brush, a thin glaze of transparent brown is applied to the light bottle to establish its dark tonal detail.
  • Apart from the normal refractions you would expect to see through moulded glass, there is an additional complication of drawing the distorted shape of the apple.
  • A deep green glaze is applied to the dark bottle, whose tonal refractions begin to establish its rectangular form.


Painting Bottles: Step 4


Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 4

Build up the tone with additional glazes of color.

  • Some subtle but effective refinements are made at this stage.
  • The dark tones of the light bottle are strengthened to counterbalance the tonal weight of the dark bottle.
  • Similar light green tones are then built up in glazes emphasizing details on both bottles.
  • On the light bottle, the soft green tones enhance the reflected color from the apple and the background.
  • On the dark bottle, their contrast intensifies the luminosity of the deep green glass.


Painting Bottles: Step 5


Still Life - Painting Bottles: Step 5

Build up a range of highlights.

  • In this final stage, the brightest highlights are built up on both bottles using tints of local color mixed with white for added opacity.


Painting Bottles: Step 5


Still Life Painting - The Finished Bottles

Painting of the bottles in the finished still life.

  • When seen in the context of the finished painting, the subtleties of transparency, opacity and reflection depicted in the bottles augment the strong visual elements at play in the still life.

Painting Bottles


  • Slide Show

This still life slide show illustrates the step by step process of painting bottles.