I’d like to expand a little more on the still life setup box that I made.
It was inspired by Carol Marine‘s instructions for a still life shadow box. Her dimensions differed from mine a little – I had Lowes help me out and cut down the plywood to 18×18″ and based all of my other dimensions off of that.
The height does measure a few inches more than the width of 18″, which means it can accommodate for vases and larger dioramas. I was able to find a clip on lamp at a local thrift store which cut the price by $10-15. The whole project ended up costing about $110 and a day and a half of my time.
It really makes a difference to be able to look at something in front of you and really see the way light changes your subject rather than working from a photograph. Working from life will also give me a better understanding of how objects and volumes relate to each other in space.
The box is lit from a warm flood light as well as a cool CFL. Colors and shadows are so much more interesting now.
The 18″ depth/width offers an interesting flexibility in the fact that a lot of flooring options are available in 18×18 (see Home Depot’s site if you don’t know what I am talking about). I picked up two “slate” effect vinyl tiles to work as an alternate to drapery for my shadow box. Best of all it was less than $4 for the both of them.
All I have to do is put one on the bottom and lean one on the back. It’s pretty convincing, and I could pick up different tiles if I wanted. I had thought about ceramic tiles but the weight would not work at this point in time, as the box is not secured to the stand that it is on. Perhaps in the future.
On a side note, it’s important to think about process. I dove in to my first project with this box without underpainting. I was so excited to start that I completely forgot about the process. If you do not follow a process paintings can take much longer. I found myself struggling with the draping in the painting, but I think it’s turned out fine. I’ll post it tomorrow – keep an eye out for it.
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