How to Paint a Still Life with Jessica Cooper

Top tips from our Modern Creative, artist Jessica Cooper on how to approach a still life painting

Absorbing yourself in a drawing or painting for a couple of hours can be very therapeutic and a wonderful way to spend a rainy day. Here are some tips on how to paint a still life, from this month’s Modern Creative, artist Jessica Cooper. No experience necessary!

What you’ll need

  • Paper/board/canvas
  • Pencils, crayons, pens, pastels, inks, paint
  • Water, brushes, rags, kitchen roll
  • Some everyday objects to arrange: tableware, fruit, flowers


  • Take your time arranging your objects
  • Set yourself up somewhere comfortable
  • Make sure you have all your materials to hand before starting


  • Choose objects that you have a connection with, i.e. A favourite cup or flowers that you love.
  • Take time to get to know your subject, spend at least five minutes looking at what you’re about to work on.
  • Don’t worry about not having the best materials to work with, brilliant pieces of art can be created on scraps of paper.
  • If you get stuck, always stop and look at your subject again, don’t make marks for the sake of it.
  • Have fun and enjoy what you’re doing.