Part 3: Project 5: Exercise 3 – A limited palette study


Using your sketches from the previous exercise, select a drawing to develop in colour.

Begin with a horizontal line that defines your personal eye level. Use a limited palette for this exercise – no more than three colours. Traditionally these would have been deep brown, sanguine (red brown), black and white, but decide which works best for your subject. Use conté pencils, coloured pencils or ink and work on smooth or rough paper.

• Draw the strongest verticals of the primary focus, i.e. the main building.
• Draw in the diagonals.
• Begin to build in some of the detail.
• Add a touch of colour by applying light pressure on the coloured pencil. This will allow you to build the surface and tonal values gradually.
• As the picture evolves, gradually increase the pressure to give a stronger line and more depth.

If it doesn’t seem to be working for you, either move on to find another viewpoint or just keep drawing. Often, as your sketches progress, what at first appears uninteresting can evolve into something exciting; concentrated observation and drawing often reveals a scene in other more interesting ways.

Remember that the white paper is your lightest tonal value. The conté pencils will give you the middle and darkest values and help you describe the colours and textures of the buildings.

Were you able to create a sense of depth with your limited colour palette?


Part 3 Project 5 Exercise 2 - Townscape study using line - sketches copy
Part 3 Project 5 Exercise 2 – Townscape study using line – sketches copy

For this exercise my selection was the above scene sketched as part of exercise 2. With a photographic copy of this sketch I mapped in the main horizontals, with the bottom green line being my eye level; the main verticals (red) and main diagonals (blue). When I drew the original sketch I was sitting further down the street on one of the bollards seen in the picture.

This seemed to me to be an ideal townscape scene to try and develop in colour.


Working with 2H and 2B pencils I firstly sketched in the scene and then used Polychromas colour pencil to add in and develop the colour element to the composition – venetian red, walnut brown and schwarz black.

Part 3 Project 5 Exercise 3 - Limited palette study
Part 3 Project 5 Exercise 3 – Limited palette study

My feeling is that I did manage to create a sense of depth with the limited colour palette, but as usual, it could probably always be improved – I am beginning to not get hung up about this though – it is the best I could do in the time, it is what it is, and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
24 October 2015