The other day I devised a grouping of hooks and wire for such a purpose.
After figuring the background and deciding on the still life arrangement, I began painting. Here you can see again, my usual rough estimate of object placements. At this point it is crucial that I establish the size of one main object, and draw the other objects in proportion and relation to that first object. This helps me to not only be sure that the objects are in a comfortable size so as to remain on the canvas and not come too close to the edge, but to also judge for pleasing composition.
This is only an estimation and I refrain from creating a detailed drawing, for I will only cover it with paint directly upon completion. Also, I find that if I spend so much time on the drawing, when it comes time to paint, I rely too much on the drawing and it becomes a paint by number feel for me, and the painting becomes stiff and inaccurate.
After the initial drawing, I locate the easiest shape of value and color to get correct. I chose the light side of this pitcher. Soon after establishing the values and colors of this pitcher I laid in some of the darks around it to be sure that my values were correct - color and value is, after all, relative to it's surrounding colors and values. Painting the cloth underneath the pitcher was also important as it was a different shade of white - it was good to see the contrast between both shades as they were on the canvas exactly as I was seeing with my eyes.
I aim to complete this 16x20 painting by the end of next week - check back to see the progress.