Pr3-Ex3: A Limited Palette Study from your Sketches


  • A3 ingress
  • Conte pencils. White, Burnt Sienna 62 p, and Umber 79 b.

I chose this view to develop from the sketches as it had a fair amount of buildings in it as well as an expanse of water to get to grips with. Also I like the composition with the sky mirroring the shape of the water and the buildings enlarging horizontally towards the edges from a Vanishing point around the centre. Below I take a personal critic of the drawing so I start recognising what I like and what can be improved when I am drawing. By writing down in this way if I don’t remember I can look back. Hopefully this method will help me improve.


  • It was a good exercise to get to grips with tone.
  • The perspective is passable as are the proportions.
  • I am please with my selections and the bits I have chosen to leave out.
  • I was conscious of arial perspective which I think I have got to work in this drawing. The far distant buildings such as the church spire could have been fainter still or a little white on top to suggest mist.
  • The trees on the left. (Four in a row) work better that the saplings on the right which I attempted first. The left hand trees have a sense of form in the trucks. I deliberately fade out the twigs more the further from the trunk they got using lighter pressure and a sharp point. I also lightly smudges so of the very end twigs to soften. Lately I have become a bit of a tree spotter! Spending a fair bit of time staring at them. I have noticed that at the ends you don’t really see the individual twigs but a smudge of an in between colour and value of the sky and twigs. Looking at some paintings of trees I am now noticing some painters emulate this perfectly. Again a reminder to draw what I see not what I know.
  • The waters ok. I think you can tell its water. The elliptical waves expanding from the for most duck are two circular. they should be squashed more horizontally.


  • It is to faint. Like an under drawing and there for looks unfinished. The camera has actually improved the image as it has increased the contrast. The real thing is a bit more wishy  washy.
  • Way to much under colour showing (the papers). Again making it look unfinished. I tried to use the paper tone as a mid value. The Umber for dark  and both light burnt sienna and white for high lights. I have seen this method use to get uber 3D looking effects. Yet my attempt at form is looking sadly flat. Maybe I should have worked it some more? Maybe using a black for the darkest darks would help?
  • I whimped out on putting in the balconies due to time ad under the excuse of simplification. In truth I was worried the angles would be off and through the drawing.
  • The windows far left are out of kilter vertically. Oops!
  • I think Perhaps the tooth of the ingress paper that works so nicely with soft pastels in really a bit ruff for conte pencil. I used a paper stump to work the sediment into the groves but as I did this it also faded out the pigment. Maybe a smother surface would be more pleasing to work with when using conte pencils.
  • The ducks probably don’t stand out enough and at first might not be recognisable. I’m happy with there shapes. Again I think a spot of black could have helped here.

About Emma Perring

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


  1. Hi Emma I think it’s a very accomplished piece of work – I can see what you mean about the tone being a little flat perhaps it just needs some black as you say or even a dark inky blue maybe – but nevertheless I think it’s a beautiful drawing – if I could draw that well I would be very happy!

    • Thanks Arlene,

      Inky blue sounds interesting! good idea.
      You can certainly paint very well! and I think your course time keeping way better than mine.. One day I WILL meet a deadline 😉

  2. Ah deadlines! I’m going to miss my next one – but I’m sure it’s more important to take time to thoroughly investigate and feel like you’ve done your work justice 🙂

    • I agree. If there’s a part I want to spend a bit more time on I do. I think the main thing is to both enjoy the course and get what we want out of it. That’s more important to me that the grade I think.
      It’s all the times I don’t hit the course work at all that needs amending!
      Back to the books then.. How ever frustrating the learning can get I know I’ll miss it when it’s over. Thankfully a long way of yet.
      Keep drawing!

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