This is the set-up I ended up liking the most. I preferred the edge-on view of the basket handles, and the simpler shadow that they cast on the wall. I wanted to confirm that the proportions of the composition were good. I had been composing it using an 8-9 ratio view-finder, which is slightly taller than a square. After looking at the set-up through a few different view–finders, I decided that I’d stick with the 8-9.

I noticed that more light than I liked was coming through my shades. My spot light is on the right side of the set-up, and the window is on the left. It can be confusing to have more than one light source, though I do find that I often like the effect of having a little cool light reach my set-up from the window on the opposite side of my spot light. It can add a balancing coolness to all of the warm light and warm-colored objects I tend to favor. In this case, I only want a touch of cool outdoor light. My shades aren’t very effective at blocking out a lot of light, so I improvised by covering them up with cardboard.

Here’s everything ready to go!

The last step before starting my drawing is to figure out how large the painting will be. I have found that still lifes look best when the objects are life-sized because the illusion of reality is enhanced. I begin by measuring the length of my set-up towards the front, and using this measurement as a starting point for the length of my drawing.

Using a T-square and triangle, I drew a rectangle on a sheet of drawing paper taped to my drawing board. The length was the length I measured above. I calculated the height using the 8-9 ratio. I now sub-divided the space into halves, quarters, thirds, and sixths both horizontally and vertically. These marks correspond to marks on my view-finder. For an explanation of how I use a view-finder to locate objects in my drawing, see I then quickly located and drew the main objects to see how large they’d be using this size paper. I found that they were smaller than life-sized. I thought that life-sized would look better, so I increased the size of the drawing a bit, using the same proportions. I had to redraw all of my guide-lines, too! I added 1/4″ to both height and length to allow for the overlap of a frame when the painting is complete. I can now order my canvas! I’ll use the time before it arrives to work on my drawing. If past experience is my guide, I’m sure that this basket will take quite a while to draw!