Pomegranate Still Life Paintings By Reuven Rubin
Tackling a still life is daunting even to the most seasoned artist. They are the most raw reflection of an object in naked detail. It is up to the artist to decide how the shading, placement, and composition will be captured with precision.
Here are a few tips if you’d like to try painting pomegranates for Rosh HaShanah or anytime throughout the year.
To draw/paint an image similar to Rubin’s Pomegranate Still LIfe paintings, complete the following steps:
- Select Paper that will accept the medium of your choice: pastel, paint, charcoal, etc.
- Draw a “foreshortened circle” on your page. This will create your bowl/plate.
- If you can buy a pomegranate and cut it in half to help set up your still life, that would be the most ideal so you can draw what you see. If not, then print copies of the image above and do an observational drawing of what you see.
- To fill in your drawing with color, you will need to mix your materials accordingly. Painters will need different shades of red to create their pomegranates, but their bowls, table, and walls can be any colors you like. They do not have to be what Reuven Rubin created.
- I generally advise my art students to put their yellows down first so that they get true yellow shades; and black last, especially when working with oil pastels because it smudges so easily.
The below Reuven Rubin painting is a bit more advanced, but easy enough for all who would like to try it out! Use it as a template and just draw what you see. Feel free to change colors accordingly, just be sure to keep the color value the same. If you look closely at each object, it is filled with different shades of the same color, which gives the illusion of a three dimensional shape by highlighting the lighter side and darkening the shaded side.
To draw a scene as in the picture above, begin by placing some objects on your window sill wherever you like the scenery the best.
You will need a pomegranate, a pitcher and white cloth. But if you want to use your imagination, you can cut your pomegranate in half and put it on a plate if you’d like and put flowers in your pitcher/vase for some added Israeli flair.
Whatever you decide to put into your painting, be sure to sketch lightly and always draw what you see, not what you think you know!
Sketching lightly, draw a horizontal straight line about a finger’s width above the bottom of the page. This will be the bottom of your window sill.
Then draw another line about 3 or 4 fingers widths higher up the page. This will be the top line of our window sill.
You can see Rubin’s window opens outward from the right side. If you’d like that in your painting, then add it in, or paint whatever you see outside your window!
In the painting above, the pitcher starts off nearly white on the left and as it rounds its spherical shape, it gets darker; giving the optical illusion of a rounded cylindrical shape. White highlights and darker shaded lines in specific places along the contour line/outline of the object help give the object its definition and shape. Be sure to always draw what you see, not what you think you know.
When adding things you see in the distance, be sure to make them smaller than the objects that are in your foreground. Objects in the middle ground of your picture plane should be slightly smaller than the objects in the foreground, ie: the pitcher, pomegranate, etc. Objects far off in the distance should be significantly smaller in order to depict them off in the distance.
By blending light and dark shades of colors you can paint the illusion of dimension. You must decide where your light source is coming from and place the lighter shades of colors down accordingly in order to paint the highlighted and shaded sections accordingly; which will depict an image such as Rubin’s landscape scene. Nothing in the art world is made of one solid color. You must use several shades of color in order to create the illusion of dimension. This takes time and practice, so be patient and enjoy the art process.
You are always welcome to email your image and any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like assistance.
Painting as a part of a class or art group? Send us your selfies and group pics for a shoutout throughout our global Jewish community who loves sharing the Israel connection with their fellow Virtual Citizens of Israel around the world. Follow us social media and you can either post your pic online and tag us in your post or email it directly to Stefie@IsraelForever.org.
Help your students find unique ways you to incorporate the Israeli flag and the flag of the country in which you reside into your drawings as well, so that the world can see the vast number of nationalities of our IFF artists!
Stefanie Jo Heideman, founder of Art Escapades, is an art educator who believes that art is not supposed to be competitive, but rather a peaceful, relaxing experience for one to engage in and enjoy. As the Arts and Education Specialist for Israel Forever, Stefie is able to weave her love of Israel into her projects and lesson plans for individuals of all ages and stages of life.