Window Sill


Start Date:15.02.2013 Finish Date: 17.02.2013

Oil on canvas, 10″x10″

Colours used: Windsor & Newton Winton, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Alizarin Crimson and Zinc White.


I Started off drawing a quick pencil sketch to work out how the shapes work together and to assess the perspective.

I was draw to the window sill scene particularly because of the contrasting light and shadow between  wall plains. Also the way the light shines through the blooms and foliage.


I blocked in the shapes using thinned Alizarin Crimson. I decided to crop in closer than I had done in the drawing, so I could make the pots and plants large enough to add further detail without getting to small and fiddily.


Then I colour blocked the larger shapes. Mixing all the colours needed from the three primary colours + white pallet. This is my second attempt at using just a red,blue and yellow + white. I read in a great book ‘Fill your Oil Painting with Colour and Light’ by Kevin Mcpherson a current American Plein Air painter, that it’s the most straight forward way to create a colour harmony. Having tried it a couple of times now I would have to agree. Not to mention it saves money not buying every hue available.

The rest of the time I spent filling in the detail. I reckon about 10-15 hours in all was spent painting. I didn’t want to make it to tight as I wanted a suggestive brush strokes rather than photographic representation.


The end result. Although I think I will revisit the orange buds left,top,centre. They had dropped off by the time I got to them so I had to make them up. I think they could do with a little more shaping. I think perhaps it’s a little darker than I had hoped. The light in the scene was what drew me to it and I really wanted to capture that light airy feel. So I think its a touch to dark and heavy. However that said I did colour match from life and tried to be accrete to what was in front of me. Those leafs really are very dark in places where shadowed from the sun.

I’m pleased with the composition. The white and red pot is about on the three quarter mark. The pots and the flower heads make a nice journey for the eye to follow round the image. I’m glad I got a bit of the empty wall in. I think it’s a nice contrast from the busy window sill as well as helping to show the sill is a sunny place.

I am preferring painting from life rather than photos at present. The colours have much more diversity and are as they really are when seen by the eye. Once they go through a lenses, camera , computer and printer they are all wrong.

Now on to the drawing for the start of Creative Arts Degree..


About Emma Perring

I am an artist working in mainly soft pastel at present.

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