This exercise was to draw 5 household objects, all beginning with the same letter, using a limited palette of 3, the 2 colours. I chose Chair, Cup, Curtains, Cat, Cushion to illustrate.

As I tend to use a limited palette anyway, I thought this would be fairly straight forward exercise but it didn’t turn out that way.

I wasn’t going to do a straight observational drawing of some household objects so I had an idea of using print in some way. This meant I had to use very simplified images. I made a working “sketch” using cut up bits of paper.


working sketch

I made a linocut for the background and then made the objects out of a variety of materials to print off.

I decided to use blue, orange and a mix of the two as the third colour. I tried to print off each of the objects and then manipulate the image digitally. I was very disappointed with the result. I went back to my original “sketch”. I thought that the charm of the original sketch was that I hadn’t tidied up the images, but even though I tried to retain that, I thought that the objects I had made to print off had more charm than the actual print.


lino plate and objects used to print off

I decided to change tack and make the whole thing out of cardboard. Cardboard is a material I really like working with, but I usually use it as at a working stage, not usually as part of a finished image.

The cardboard (brown) was one colour and I used blue and white as the other colours.palette

My final image I did using shades of blue green. It turned out to be the most successful image. I think this in part was due to my handling of the cardboard. I really enjoyed using it and would like to use it again.


Final and favourite image

With only using a very limited palette an initial decision on the background colour became very important. My normal working pattern is to focus on the main image as a starting point, and to just add the background at the end. This reversed my pattern and I physically built up the image in a totally new way for me.


One thought on “Exercise: Less is more

  1. Pingback: Further response to Tutor’s feedback | spill---ustrate

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