A Simple Still Life with Limited Palette

A still life painting by Simon Bland

45. 8x10, oil on linen panel. 2017

This is a direct painting, done without any kind of block-in. Painted as an exercise, my original goal was to create it with a few distinct strokes of a painting knife.

To start I mapped out the different facets of the subject on a separate piece of paper. I broke it down into regions of similar color and value, giving each one a number (there were 45 of them in the end).

I didn't allow myself to smush the paint around, except in the background. This forced me to get the color and value of each part right first time.

As the work progressed I had to keep refining the initial model. Although I got most of the colors mixed right on the palette, I needed to make corrections in a couple of areas. In particular, I had to make the lightest values lighter.

The palette was ultramarine, alizarin, bright red, cad yellow medium and raw umber.

Stay in Touch

Get information about events and special offers delivered to your inbox.

Your Email

Enter your email address to receive occasional emails from Portraits by Simon Bland. You must be at least 18 years old to sign up for the newsletter. Your data will be managed in keeping with our Privacy Policy.