Still Life painting with Giorgio Morandi

I must confess… Morandi’s paintings have always inspired me.  There is a gentle painterly beauty that drives me crazy… Not in the wild hyper-emotional frenetic way that other Artists drive me crazy, but in a soft, thoughtful, and attentive way.  The shape, colours, and composition are considered to work together in a unification of paint that holds the test of time.

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Giorgio Morandi (July 20, 1890 – June 18, 1964) was an Italian painter and printmaker who specialized in still life. His paintings are noted for their tonal subtlety in depicting simple subjects, which were limited mainly to vases, bottles, bowls, flowers, and landscapes. (text source Wikapiedia)

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Morandi deliberately limited his choice of still-life objects to the unremarkable bottles, boxes, jars, jugs and vases that were commonly found in his everyday domestic environment. He would then ‘depersonalize’ these objects by removing their labels and painting them with a flat matt color to eliminate any lettering or reflections. In this condition, they provided him with an anonymous cast of ready-made forms that he could arrange and rearrange to explore their abstract qualities and relationships.

Morandi’s choice of still-life objects allude to his Italian heritage and their composition is inspired by the character of its old buildings. When assembled in a still-life group, his dusty bottles and boxes take on a monumental quality that evokes the architecture of medieval Italy – a style with which he seems at ease. Bologna has many examples of medieval architecture and is home to the oldest functioning university in the world: the “Alma Mater Studiorum”, founded in 1088.  (text source

See the rest of the Article here.


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Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 2941 Published Credit: © 2016 Artists Rights Society, NY/SIAE, Rome/DeA Picture Library/Art Resource, NY

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Let’s take a look at more online to discuss.

Please upload your Favorite Morandi painting to our Teams Chanel.

Our project:

Day one:

One-day activity is to paint three different blocks in 3d using washes to build up your image.  You will do this in a 3D space providing a figure-ground relationship. Think composition, coulour, and how your objects not only relate to each other but the space they reside within.  (Submit on Teams)


Day Two: (musical chairs Keller style)

Take a look at the arranged objects on the tables/counters, find something you like, find a viewpoint you like, and sketch.  Repeat 3x over the class.  (Submit all three ketches on Teams)


Day Three: finding/choosing your pallet


Let’s talk about  What’s a Morandi pallet?


Find a vantage point you like. Grab a pallet and your sketchbook and think about all the colour/tones you will need for your painting. Now mix SMALL amounts of each and arrange them in a logical way in your sketchbook.  (Submit on Teams) If you finish early move to day four.


Have you ever painted a colour wheel?  Yes- move on.  No- See me

Need more help understanding how to find your Pallet? Take a look at what’s happening Here


Day Four:

Grab a canvas board, sketch out your image- PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE… think about the composition…  Show it to me for approval… If IF IF!!! approved- find some paint and start building up your WASHES!  No THIK paint to start…

Days 5-8:

Paint, ask me questions, paint more and more and more… ask me questions… paint more. (Submit on Teams)


We will have a critique of your work.