Modern Still Life by Sari Shryack

Thanks to NetGalley, I was able to read a digital ARC of Modern Still Life: From Fruit Bowls to Disco Balls by Sari Shryack.

The book is comprised of a short introduction, then ten chapters covering supplies and mindset, still life setup, drawing for painting, value studies, colour, warming and cooling, discoballs, modern still life, style sandwiches, and cleanup and closure, before ending with a conclusion and an index.

The chapters are short and succinct with examples clearly showing the various principles. Some would have benefited from a little more instruction. Almost all of them contain handy tips, such as using a hand mirror as an analogue version of flipping the canvas when using digital painting methods.

I liked this book. It’s very pretty and full of colourful images. Techniques covered are not necessarily explained sufficiently for complete novices. For instance, various drawing tools are mentioned, but no actual instruction is given so if you don’t know how to measure with a rod/pencil/whatever it’s not something you’ll learn here.

I am not at the point where I’m interested in actually painting with acrylic/gouache/oils, but still found it an interesting read as some chapters offer valuable information regardless of medium, such as the ones on composition, value and colour studies.

In summary, this is a lovely book but not one for total beginners. Nor does it offer much to the advanced painter. ★★★★☆