Exercise: A limited palette study from your sketches

Buttermarket, Stowmarket - Sunshine between showers (coloured pencils)

Buttermarket, Stowmarket – Sunshine between showers (coloured pencils)

For this picture I abandoned the Conte pencils used in the previous exercise and opted for coloured pencils, preferring their subtlety as it suited the old town scene better.

In a break between the rain showers a rare glow of light fell on the top half of the buildings in the Buttermarket in Stowmarket, which is really little more than an alleyway with buildings, old and not so old, on either side.

What has worked

The limited colour palette (red, light brown, black pencils, white from the paper itself, plus grey-blue ink) suited this picture and gives it a stillness… with a slight sense of foreboding (not  intentional) because of the shadows and slightly  dodgy looking character.

Using medium textured cartridge paper kept the colours light and subtle too. The blue-grey ink wash across the pavement, and windows gives a slightly wet, reflective look, which feels right. The perspective lines of the buildings are not perfect but reasonable. The contrasting areas of light and shadow enliven the picture. There is a foreground, middle ground and background, and sense of distance. The ground level was uneven and I think I’ve conveyed this.

What hasn’t worked so well

The face of the building on the left looks a little dented. I think this is because the main bottom window was actually built out slightly and I’ve flattened it. The building in the distance is a little less sharply focused than the others but I could have made this even less defined. Some of my vertical lines are a little out… this is something I need to keep an eye on as I think they are straight when I’m working and then realise later when I step back that they are not. The figure looks as though he is frozen to the spot as there’s not much sense of movement about the feet / legs.

I enjoyed drawing this.  My confidence in drawing buildings and tackling perspective  is beginning to grow and the techniques learnt have been (and will continue to be) extremely useful.

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