Figure Colour Study

In this small sight-size painting (25 x 35 cm) I focused primarily on capturing the colours I observed. I set up very naturalistic colour palette that my teacher suggested:

  • Cobalt/Ultramarine Blue
  • Ivory Black
  • Raw Umber
  • Cadmium Red  (No Crimson! I put it on my palette by mistake….)
  • French Yellow Ochre
  • Titanium White

The naturalistic colour palette like this was used by the old masters.


1. I drew by eye the outline of the figure. Then I squeezed my eyes to bring things  out of focus. This helped me to find the lightest light and the darkest dark on the figure. Lightest light was in my opinion on the enlightened part of the  cloth. Darkest dark was the shadow cast by the figure.


2. I continued with building middle-tones.


3. As I was painting I was simultaneously refining my drawing. I tried to keep every brushstroke clear and definite.


4. I am pleased with my work resulting in a very subtle image.

Figure study, oil on board, © 2015 Petra Terslova

colour study



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