part two: project two: still life

exercise two: still life in tone using colour

I struggled to find the enthusiasm for this exercise. I went into it happily enough, reading up on colour theory and getting used to using colour pencils in my sketchbook. When it came to putting coloured pencil to paper however, nothing very exciting happened. I spent what felt like hours scratching away at the paper, at risk of tendonitis. I’m not sure if the results are disappointing because I’ve chosen unexciting colours or I simply haven’t applied enough colour – though adding more colour seemed to deaden everything further.

On the whole this is probably just testimony to my inexperience with colour…and I’m hoping things can only get better!


I had two or three goes at the above – all ended up in the bin – but I stuck it out with this one.

Things I’m happy with:

  • the shadows: I had stolen my boy’s reading light and got some dramatic shadows, unfortunately when he reclaimed it I found it impossible to replicate but I had enough to go on and I think they’ve worked out well, even if they’re not entirely accurate.
  • the two objects on the left seem to have form
  • there is a sense of strong light coming in from the right

Things I’m not happy with:

  • the colours – especially the green – makes me feel slightly ill
  • the tall vase, which in reality is a very odd shape, doesn’t look very solid. It’s relationship to the other two objects is not clear.
  • I had put the objects on a chess box butted up against a piece of cardboard on the wall. Because the chessboard was in quite dark woods I wasn’t really sure how to handle this – the dark colour, but the bright light.
  • the whole is timid and unsure

Frustrated I decided to try smaller versions in different styles and colours. Yes I realise I should possibly have done this first but I thought the messing about I’d done in my sketchbook would be enough.


I had read about blenders, so bought one and I think by my fourth try I understood what it could be used for – actually blending colours together (duh!) so I am beginning to see what could happen. I still think my choice of colours is suspect but I have been fired up by my visit to the Camoin exhibition with all those gorgeous oranges and lilacs sitting happily together.

One exciting thing has happened here though. From my last feedback I want to work on not always having an ‘edge’ to objects, I’ve been trying to give variation to my line and let things ‘tail off’ though somehow my heavy hand always forgets this. In the top right however, I suddenly found myself with no edges to my objects, none at all, and I really like the effect – my objects are bathed in light.

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