I love dramatic shadows and reflections, so the still-life arrangement is like a theatre – in a Lidl box to control the diffused light, with an IKEA lamp clipped to the side. Still life is not really natural anyway, so some extra drama is just fine.
I have a 5mm board covered in paper placed against the back to create a narrow vertical shadow and alter the heights of the horizon. This board is really narrow, but look at the difference it makes!
There are many ways of planning a composition – you can look through a viewfinder or use a viewfinder with a grid on acetate to be more accurate. These days I use my ipad as a viewfinder. I take a photo, then I edit it so that it is square.
I establish the centrepoint which is between the bottle and the vertical shadow, and near the neck of the bottle, and start the drawing. As soon as I have established the proportion of one object – in this case the size and the position of the bottle, I stop looking at the photo and go back to drawing from life.
This snowdrop got snapped up but it is officially for the April auction. I also did another little one in a transparent bottle one which you’ll see in April on my website www.linkerrdesign.co.uk/silent-auction.