The Essence of Still Life

Self-Study Class Includes Lifetime Access, Online Community & More!

6 Lessons – $72.25 $85

Lynn Whipple takes a fresh and contemporary approach to a traditional subject matter—the still life. You’ll create three 12″x12″ paintings and one 16″x16″ painting on wood panels. Lines, interesting shapes, new ways to cover and uncover color, abstraction, mark making and poetic editing are a few of the key elements you will explore in this six-lesson class.

Now available as a self-study class.

TEACHER: Lynn Whipple

Class Description


The Essence of Still Life
Instructor: Lynn Whipple

Quirky is okay!

In “The Essence of Still Life,” we’ll enjoy playing with new ways to depict a traditional subject matter, the still life, as we create fresh and contemporary paintings and drawings that are infused with the core essential qualities of our favorite objects. We will surround ourselves the with wonderful things that we have collected throughout the years and the simple things that add a special spark to our everyday.

In this artful exploration, we will create three 12″x12″ paintings and one 16″x16″ painting on wood panel, starting each lesson with with a quick drawing exercise. Charming line, interesting shapes, new ways to create, cover and uncover color, abstraction, mark making and poetic editing are a few of the key elements we will explore in this class.

The best part is that we will have fun as we share our discoveries together in our special “Essence” community! I hope you will join us! I can’t wait to see what you will create!!

All my best!



Lynn Whipple, Essence of Still Life

Class Itinerary

Lesson 1: Fresh Look at Favorite Things
Settle in and surround yourself with several of your favorite things! We will focus on looking at and drawing our objects today, seeing their shapes with new eyes. This collection of drawings will set the tone for our painting to come!

Lesson 2: Ten Things on my Table
We will begin with a quick drawing exercise: using a tender, quirky line, create a simplified version of your ten things on colored paper. Go for the essence of the item, describe the special quality, see if you can capture the simple characteristics. Next it’s time to create our first non traditional still life painting, by creating an under layer of color and drawing into wet paint.

Lesson 3: See-through, Peek-a-boo and Pentimento Shape Making
Today we will begin with a drawing exercise focusing on overlapping line, then move to a 12″x12″ wood panel and create a quick underpainting. On top place a pleasing collection of drawings with a variety from small to large. Next fill in some of the overlapping shapes with color using your pencils and crayons. Notice a little of the color from underneath. Make marks, add some white and sign your name with it feels just right!

Lesson 4: Favorite Cup
We will start with a drawing exercise called Ten Cups. Your favorite cup will serve as your muse. Draw your cup ten different times using at least 4 different pencils, markers or crayons on a piece of colored paper. For our third 12″x12″ painting, we will start with the background and create an abstract, energized, field painting as the perfect backdrop for our favorite cup.

Lesson 5: Composition and Color: Setting your table
Look at your previous drawings from class and choose at least 5 drawings of your items, with an eye for charming shapes. Next, sketch a few thumbnails or seed drawings using a different shaped table plane and a circle shape. Place items on the page, some super close to you, mid ground, and one far away and smaller. On your 16″x16″ panel, create a variety of color sections, use your scraper tool and brayer, add areas of energy and marks, some darks, thick and thin line. Draw in your table plane, items and circle shapes. Make overlaps and create a large background shape with white paint.

Lesson 6: Setting your Table, Final Finishing Touches
Today you will your bring our 16″x16″ painting to a finish. Cover up as much color with white as you like and continue to scrape it back to reveal the underlying color. Add some white drawing on top as well as bright white paint in certain small areas to create a pop. Add some small dark areas to pull the eye as well. Continue to activate energy areas with thick and thin line. Add some pencil drawing. Stand back and look at your painting, continue to be in dialog, noticing what small additions or erasers you can make to bring it to a finish!



  • Your favorite selection of everyday items such as cups, bowls, jars, bottles, vases. Choose different shapes and sizes, some taller, some shorter. Think variety and personality.
  • One pack of assorted 8.5″x11″ colored paper, card stock is perfect
  • Selection of colorful water-soluble crayons, water-soluble pencils and markers
  • Graphite pencil or regular pencil
  • Assorted colors of acrylic paint, be sure to have white. I am using Golden, but any brand will do
  • Acrylic satin gel medium for a final top coat
  • Scraper tool or credit card
  • Soft rubber brayer
  • Assorted brushes and a one inch brush, hardware store brand is fine
  • Rag and water bucket
  • Scotch tape
  • Three 12″x12″ cradled wood panels, side depth can be 7/8″ or deeper
  • One 16″x16″ cradled wood panel, side depth can be 7/8″ or deeper

Lynn Whipple

Lynn Whipple writes, “I am deeply grateful to live my life as an artist. Play and discovery are my dearest and most constant companions. There are a zillion tiny challenges in each art making experience, and so often I find, just as many small, sweet victories. Without a doubt, living creatively is the most enjoyable and satisfying game I know.”

Lynn shares a warehouse studio with her husband, John Whipple, in Winter Park, Florida. Lynn’s work includes found-object mixed-media assemblages; found images altered with a combination of drawing, painting, sewing and more; and her well-known Ninny Boxes, collages combined with found objects, and assembled within a box format. Her unique pieces have a playful, quirky, and often absurd, charm.

Lynn explains: “I allow myself to play and let my pieces reveal themselves to me…I have been fascinated by old books, history, and odd bits of memorabilia. I find the things that interest me the most are slightly absurd…My hope is to create something real and somehow poetic but not commonplace. My goal is to keep communicating in my language.”

Lynn’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and her new book, Expressive Flower Painting, was published July 2017. Visit Lynn’s website at

Nuts & Bolts

  • This class is now available as a self-study class.
  • Immediately upon class signup, you will receive access to the class videos and corresponding materials.
  • A private Facebook group will be available for you to (optionally) share your artwork and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. You may also email your teacher directly with questions or feedback.
  • You will have indefinite access to this class.
“Nice fresh spin on still life” — Erin K.
“One of my favorite classes ever” — Micaela S.
“This was my first class and I’ve fallen in love with drawing, painting and color! ” — Lori S.