Allerford 6 Page Seven


This was where we were up to on page 6, and I have now completed the underlayers of the garden wall and the main part of the foliage (whole view shown below left).

I can come back to this part of the picture later and fine tune it when the rest is in position

The process was as follows :

Working first of all on the wall. I put in the shadows with a light warm grey

( don’t get too hung up on exactly which grey, you will be using a variety of colours on this wall and you just need to look at colours as steps in a progression).  Using a slightly darker grey, I added some scribble lines working in perspective across the wall in rows.  I added small areas of apricot and ochre very lightly to show up the different stone colours and built up more and more little shadow areas using the picture reference as a general guide.  I then worked a series of random scribble lines into the tree using first of all a green just a shade darker than the underpainting, and then added cross scribbles with other light greens and yellow greens.

Then I added the tree shadows and intensified the wall shadows to match

Now I have to complete the window boxes and the foliage alongside the house wall base

This detail (below) is much enlarged but it will give you a better idea of the build up of colour and you can see how the other random colour elements have been included as well as the tree shadow.

It is a question of giving the IMPRESSION of wall and foliage rather than the exact detail,  leaf by leaf and stone by stone

LEFT  I have worked away at some of these fiddly details this evening and I really need daylight to get the colours and balance right so I have drawn this stage to a close for now.

You will note that I have completed the window boxes and the three pots outside The Packhorse - the right hand house. ( I have also filled in the name on the sign board - the building is let as holiday apartments).  Shadows make everything sing. The shadows give form to the pots, show that the window boxes stick out from the wall and give form to foliage.  I have feintly brought some detail into the thatched cottage in the background.  Not too much detail and tonal strength as I don’t want it to come forward to far.  A little bit of road edge has been sketched in and I think that will do for the moment.

BELOW LEFT is the story so far from Pauline, one of the working group.

She has included more flowers and is working to a much brighter style than I am, but the effect is excellent.  I like the way she has included weeds along the road edge under the wall.   Pauline had a problem with the wall appearing to lean inwards into the garden beyond, and we identified that this was down to the lines of perspective in the wall stonework.  The lines were re-drawn and the result looks much more stable.

Pauline also has a nice feel of sunlight on the scene with the deep shadows under the overhanging branches

One of the beauties of Coloured Pencil is the ability to correct


The next step for me is to look at that central building, and I will start from over on the left and work across the roof space first.  The colour scheme for that building will need a range of natural reds and I may have to dip into the Polychromos box, but we will see how we go.

Your colour printing of the reference may not show the true colours of the red brick involved in the centre building of this scene.  I suggest that you check your print with this image below and choose a selection of natural reds that will go with this brickwork.

In the Pablo colour range, I have some useful reds like Dark Carmine, Bordeaux Red, Mahogany, English Red and Venetian Red.  The darker ones will be needed for small areas of tiles.  I will also need cool and warm Greys, Sepia, Slate Grey and  Cream.  It may well be that other colours will be identified as we go.

In the Polychromos box we have several colours that may prove useful

Faber-Castell Polychromos

You may find it helpful to have a copy of the detail of that centre building in a PDF file. It will give you a clearer image to work from. CLICK HERE for the PDF


First of all some close attention to what we are about to tackle.

The roof has 13 rows of tiles (and a top capping row) so I reckon we would need to draw in at least 10 rows if we were to actually draw them in.

If you squint with your eyes as you look at the reference, you will see that the tiles appear to be in vertical rows - it is harder to see the horizontal lines.  This is because the sun is from the left and the ridged tiles show more shadow that way.

Our emphasis therefore needs to be to draw the vertical lines when we mark out the tiles.  BUT Like most building artwork, we are not going to draw in every brick or tile, merely give the impression of the surface.

To get a feel for the size of those tiles, there are 10 vertical rows between each of the upper gable windows!  No way will you get 10 lines of tiles drawn in that space on your picture even with a very sharp pencil !

No, the approach is to put down a set of background layers of colour to get the feel of the roof, and then add some fine grey or umber lines later.  Don’t forget to leave those leaded areas either side of the gable tops (they show light on the reference).

I have started off shading in with horizontal strokes on ‘patches’ of colour using the light ‘Venetian Red’ from Pablo and the darker ‘Dark Carmine’.

I will steadily build up the pattern using three of four colours, remembering that later I will be adding the rows of shadow, and the colours I lay down will have to form straight edged blocks to fit with the tile rows.

I have also put in the detail of the shadowed ‘edges’ around the windows and the top and bottom of the roof, so that I can see where I am going with the shading.  I have used Umber for this.

I have left the big chimney stack for now until I get some practice in on the rest of the brickwork. This feature is central to the picture and it needs to be ‘right’.  Incidentally, there is another high chimney stack on the left hand end of this roof which would have been just visible above the left hand ‘black’ roof if we had been working to a correct reference for the three gable windows.  You would have to know the view very well to spot it is missing, though.   I don’t propose to add it now !

The next step has been to make sure the tops of the light coloured lead strips on the gables are all level, by running a ruler across the six light areas.  I have then put in some slightly off-vertical shading in line with the lines of tiles as we see them.  

Note that perspective applies here too, with the lines straight in front of us vertical and the ones either side sloping.  This will give us the effect of the sloping tiles when we complete the roof artwork.   I have levelled up the bottom of the roof and also re-aligned the shadows around the windows.

The shading looks a bit rough and ready at the moment but it will all sort itself out as the further colour layers go down.

More layers of colour, and we can start to see an evening out of the overall tints but at the same time we are keeping that sloping effect of the roof.

I am now able to square off some of the shading to fit in with the way the tiles look in the reference.

Using Bistre ( a cool grey/brown ) I am able to refine some of the shadow edges.  Those gable windows are not equally sized from the underpainting and it is annoying me, but I really need to finish the roof a bit more before I wander off into further areas.  I will just tidy up the  shadows either side of the white windows to ensure the window spaces all look the same, and then finish the roof.

Having evened out the windows,

I have now added some more light colour shading , to the roof itself, and then added the tile shadow lines with a charcoal grey.  I have done them freehand, very lightly, and even then, they are too strong, but a further layer of colour on top will set them back. I have (below) burnished the whole roof area with Bluish Pale Pablo Cp - a very useful colour for blending back colour into the mid or background

I will need to bring up the shadows a shade darker, but this can follow on once the walls and windows are completed.  

The next step will be the three gable windows.

These need to be completed carefully with a straight edge to make sure that window panes are aligned.  I usually use another pencil for this type of task,to act as a small ruler. The pencil shape enables me to see exactly where the pencil point is touching the paper.

 There are 6 panes in each of the upstairs windows.

 A tip here, is to carefully draw in the three left hand lines as shown and then add the 6 base lines. That gives us the best approach for getting the 4 corners of the panes level with each other.

We can then add the rest of the lines and complete the darker areas. Note that some of the white curtains are in shadow and some in sun , and at least two of the windows are open.  I am going to leave the left hand windows shut.  I have used a Slate Grey CP for this but darkened the centre areas with a line of Ivory Black ( !!!!! )

I have then used a battery eraser to carefully cut back the lines on the outside edges of each window

(see below). In fact I can see a little more work may be needed but I will look at that when I do the overall tidy up at the end

Let us now have a look at how we will show the wall stonework.  

The sandstone of the wall to the left is much redder than the older stonework to the right.  

I have chosen Bordeaux Red (Pablo) for this section of wall and I have scanned the artwork in mid flow of working it. (Right image - upper)  

The selection of the first colour is a little bit arbitrary, as I am able to modify the colour later and warm up the cold red/brown with a warmer shade.  

This later layer of English Red (Right image - lower) has partly blended in the gaps so that the mortar is less obvious, and a final burnish over the whole lot will further blend the layers together. Don’t get too wound up over getting exactly the right colour for your start. I originally intended to chose two colours that will work together as first layer for each of the left and right hand ends of the building, and a further two colours that will work with them to build up the colour.

HOWEVER, second thoughts take me to another option which is worth a try.

If it works, it will demonstrate (as I expect it will) the power of tan under  layer to determine the outcome.

INSTEAD of working with 4 or 6 colours for the two tones of the wall , we will use the same two/three colours for the whole wall, but lay down a light first layer of either white of Ivory for the right hand side.

This should result in a substantailly lighter result for the right hand side.  In order for this to work well, we need to fill in the darker stones on the corner of the building on the right side first, and make sure that the underlayer of white/ivory is thinner where we want the chimney stones to be darker

Keep an eye on the reference and make sure that little things like the house name plate at the front door are left clear, and also that the vertical stones over the door and windows are shown.  

I will bring down the shadow areas from the roof overhang later when I do the burnishing of the wall itself.   

We will be doing the actual bridge later, but see how the colour of the house is very much redder than the very old stonework of the packhorse bridge - that will be mostly umbers and greys.

There is quite lot of pressure put into laying down the colours above, and you can see the much lighter tone in sample 5 on the right from sample 2 on the left, showing the effect of the first white layer

We are about to move on another step.  I have virtually completed the centre house - except for some tidying up later.

This is the story so far.  I will have a look next at the bridge - but not today.

Note how effective the climbing roses are around the brickwork, they are merely scribbles with  one very dark green on top of the original light green underpainting.  The dark green in this case was Pablo Olive Black.  I may put in one or two roses later.





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