WORKING with GREYS and BROWNS

Still life composition

Still life composition

I arranged a still life composition comprising 4 objects of red brown, yellow brown and grey with a colour highlight of cerulean blue.

First studies

First studies

As usual I began with a pencil sketch to analyse the composition and then painted 3 colour sketches. In the first of these, illustrated here, I worked closely with the actual colours of the objects.

In the next 2 colour sketches I played around with patterns of colours and colour relationships. I wanted to see if it was possible to increase the colour temperature of the image while still staying with browns and greys.

Final image

Final image

The final painting, I feel, is rather disappointing and I wonder if this is partly due to the amount of analysing which went into it.  But this was necessary as I really had so little knowledge or experience of colour relationships.  Even though the final piece is not good, I did learn a great deal through doing it, not only in terms of colour patterns but also basic skills of mixing and applying the washes.  There are so many skills involved in a simple still life composition such as this…at the time I wondered if I would ever feel to be in control!

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About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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