3rd grade- Janet Fish Still Life Drawings

Part 3: Subject Matter- Still Life

The 3rd grade will complete their unit on the three types of subject matter.  We’ve learned that landscapes show nature and portraits show people, so now we’re moving on to learn about still lifes.  They are artworks that show objects that do not move.  The objects are still, so they’re still lifes!  Which type of subject matter do you think is the most challenging?  Why?

We’ll learn about Janet Fish’s realistic still life paintings.  She loves to challenge herself by painting transparent objects, like glass.  This is the first time we’ll draw from observation.  We will look at a still life in front of us and draw what we see.  We’ll focus on using overlapping shapes, shadows, and realistic colors.

  • Why do you think painting glass would be so challenging?
  • What do you notice about her artwork?
  • How does she use lines, shapes, colors, and textures?


Here’s how a still life is made- on an iPad!

The longer version:

  1. Write your name & class on the back of your paper. Draw a horizon line. This will be the line for the table.
  2. Your teacher will pass out 3 fruit. Pay close attention to which fruit you receive and how they are arranged.
  3. Carefully draw the fruit closest to you. Draw lightly. You might need to erase some parts. Make sure your fruit is below the horizon line.
  4. Draw the next closest fruit to you. Repeat step 3. Remember to show if one fruit is overlapping in front of another.
  5. Draw your last fruit. Repeat step 3. Your still life might look differently than your neighbor’s. They might have different fruit closest to them.
  6. Use oil pastels to color in the fruit. Add realistic colors (apples are more than just red!).
  7. Blend white and black oil pastels to make gray shadows.
  8. Use oil pastels to color your background/wallpaper.
  9. Use tempera cakes to paint your table. Check your goals and write your reflection.