Now let's look at what happens when the group of objects is more complex in form. For this it is important to be systematic and follow a sequence so that you don't leave bits out - this will make the work easier for you. There is no value in difficulty for its own sake. Method helps to reduce the most complex picture to a manageable scheme.

The watercolour above, based on Cezanne's still lifes, shows some familiar objects on a wooden sideboard, plus a rather sketchy large orange object to one side. Drawing with a brush, use a light brown for all the main shapes, including the edge of the sideboard. Taking a larger brush, wash a yellow-brown colour over everything except the objects. Then, put in the yellow on the apples, the orange area to the right and the deep blue of the bottle. With green, brown and purple, put in the texture on the background areas and the surface of the sideboard. Now for the reds and greens of the apples; allow the reds to wash off into lighter and darker shades. Put in the green on the bottle and the pattern and shadows on the china pot. Leave plenty of white paper showing on the pot and as little highlights on the bottle. The fruit bowl can be treated in a similar way to the china pot. Finally, emphasize some edges with extra dark colours, as shown. Put in a dark line along the wavy edge of the sideboard. If they don't look strong enough, splash in any really bright colours like the orange, red and yellow areas. Notice how well this works without it being a super-realist type of picture.

Here we present only three objects, but each one requires quite a bit of thought and care when tackling it. The pine cone has a particular texture and aspect, which is very different from the shiny metal bottle and the earthenware pot. First put down a pale outline of the three shapes in a very light tone on the mid-toned paper. My paper is a rich buff colour.

Once the shapes are there in essence, block in the background colour, in this case blue with some white. A good bit of work on the pine cone should be the next stage, rendering all the basic shapes of the scales in a warm brown outline. This will enable you to put in the projecting edges afterwards with a very light yellow-buff, and to use a dark brown for the deep shadows in between the scales. Play around with several versions of red-brown, yellow-brown and dark brown, to get the feel of this richly textured object.

By contrast, the earthenware pot is much simpler in its strong ultramarine and cobalt blue

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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