Assignment 1: Natural object still life – Final Drawing


The finished drawing

  • A1 Ingres Paper, Grey tone
  • Soft pastels

This drawing was supposed to be a quick spontaneous response to the flowers and light fall. However it progressed into a laborious study taking many 1-3 hour sittings spanning a week.

I selected a nice piece of A1 ingress paper. The colour is a grey with a hint of mushroom and blue. It’s a cool tone. I had original selected it for the bottle drawing that never was, so decide to use it for this floral drawing as I though it would provide a suitable base colour for this still life.


Marking in out line


Blocking in the basic colour shapes

I lightly drew in the arrangement using a white pastel pencil. I had decided how I wanted it to appear on the page from the thumbnail studies.

Once the out lines where in place I blocked in the colour of the blooms stood back and considered if I was happy with there placements.  Next I blocked in the leaf shapes and added some colour to the jug so as to be aware of  how it would look when finished in relation to the blooms.


Set up – showing light source from window and lamp.

After this I plotted in the shadow areas. I love the way the cast shadows bring a bit of drama and theatre to a piece. In hind sight I would change the out line of the cast shadow. Being more aware of the buds and flowers I had drawn in. I just looked at the real life shadow. The shadow silhouette and the out line of the bunch of flowers in my drawing don’t correspond correctly. Hopefully this isn’t blindingly obvious to an on looker and I just about get away with it.

After this it was just a case of filling in the detail. This took quite some time. I found the roses the most challenging. All five of them where done in a slightly different way using different shade colours as I couldn’t find one to perfectly match the real shade tone.

I probably did not do enough preliminary work on this one. As I am conscious of time slipping away it was a deliberate decision. Also from a personal point of view I enjoy the spontaneity of working things out in the drawing. Over studying objects can make them dull as the bottles started to get.

I’m pleased with the large drawing here. I like the colour relationships. The glass jug worked well thanks to all the glass study I’v been doing of late. I think the bottom corners of the jug where the curbed base meets the vertical sides should be filed down a bit. They are a bit pointy and there for slightly loosing the elusion of form.

The sheet should really have had more work. It suggest the light source ok though. I was very aware of light and dark areas in this drawing as in the past I have often lost the light source by using highs and lows to depict form and not strictly as they appear.

The cast shadow I decide to leave blank as the paper tone was close enough to the shadow tone. Also I was interested to see how it would look. The back round has turned out more yellowed than the wall was. I like how this brings a warmth to the picture. Spring is in the air now, that long hard winter has final past. This is how I’m feeling at the minute and I think that shows in this drawing. The predominate yellow colour of the drawing might also help to counter balance  the jug which is quite a shouty element. Its harmonious with the back drop because of the analogue colour values.


Added flowers in first before they wilted

I’m happy with the arrangement. If I where to do it again I would try one with the arrangement larger on the page to fill it to see how that looked. I set this one back because I wanted to include the cast shadow. That is also why I put it a little to the right (from looking at it). In the hope the cast shadow would balance it. I dint want to leave to much negative space to the right. Then the shadow may have pulled the picture to the left. The large bulk of flowers sticking out further to the right than the ones on the left to help with balance also.

I used soft pastels again for this. I’m quite familiar with pens and pencils as I’v been drawing for many years now. These soft pastels are new and I really wanted to see how they handled on paper. So pleased with the saturation of the colours. Helps a drawing so much to be able to use these wonderful pastel sticks.

Over all I’m pleased with this drawing. Wish I’d managed time better to have been able to do a large bottle drawing. Wish I’d involved footage some where, I did intend to when starting this assignment.

Looking forward to finally moving on to part two. Must work quickly through the exercises to catch up the three weeks I’v lost on this assignment.


Detail from work in prog


About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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