What I learned from replicating this Still Life by Pablo Picasso

This is number 3 in the series of replicas of famous paintings that I have been working on. I am a self-taught painter and my goal is to learn painting techniques by replicating paintings by famous artists. My aim is to learn more about creating colour, understanding structure, defining lines and suggesting atmosphere. These are a few lessons I learned on reflection of the finishing the painting.

‘Still Life’, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20cm by Ruth O’Hagan Image via: https://www.facebook.com/ruthohaganartist/


When I began painting, I started off with observing the objects on the table.  I looked at their shape, size, and composition. The objects sit slightly in a diagonal line which leads the viewer’s eye from one object to the other.  The inanimate objects are almost a caricature of real objects, similar to Picasso’s abstracts portraits. These objects are illustrated in their simplest forms. The lines of the objects are sharp and give the object’s definition. The outlines are thick and bold, which accentuates there shape and proportion.

Depth of colour

There is a lot of depth using colour within this painting, especially when it comes to the background. The depth of the background sets the contrast for the objects on the table as there are light and dark tones. There is a suggestion of ‘light’ behind the candle slightly suggesting the room in which these objects are based inside.  The depth of the objects is created by painting dark shades for shadows and through thick line work. This can be seen on the ‘jug’ through its triangular shade in the middle and shadow (dark shade) within it.


In this painting, Picasso uses minimal shapes and minimal colour for this painting. If we dissect the shapes of the painting, we can see it is mainly made up of triangles and rectangles. Picasso contorts basic shapes in order to bring harmony to the composition (see contorted rectangular table and jug). This painting is not a photorealistic representation, it is a suggestion of the objects.  Picasso reanimates these simple, everyday objects in a way that is curious to us. We comprehend through our eyes and minds what these objects are, but Picasso paints them in a way that makes us think of these objects differently. The abstraction helps us appreciate the simplicity of everyday life.

Still Life Paintings By Picasso Jug, Candle And Enamel Pan, 1945 - Pablo Picasso - Wikiart
Original Still Life by Pablo Picasso Image via: https://drawingartpicks.com/still-life-paintings-by-picasso/still-life-paintings-by-picasso-jug-candle-and-enamel-pan-1945-pablo-picasso-wikiart/

Thank you for reading! If you want to see more of my artwork check out my Facebook. I’ll be continuing with this series of artworks by great painters in Art History in order to learn more about painting.

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