I used charcoal, 4B pencil, fine nib drawing pen, brush pen, and oil pastel for this exercise, and I drew what I could see in the kitchen from the table I was sitting at. I used a MUCH bigger piece of paper than is usual for me, after repeated encouragement to do so from the course instruction file. And, guess what, it had exactly the predicted effect of making my drawing freer and more expressive. Silly me for taking so long.
I particularly liked the freedom of the two things that you have less control over ie charcoal and brush pen. On the bottom left of this page is my drawing of an electric fan using brush and indian ink. When I was drawing it I thought what, this is rubbish, no one will be able to see what this is. But now I can see that it's lovely and free and evocative. More of that please.
For the wash part of this exercise I used red drawing ink in two intensities (one diluted with water), and indian ink for the darkest parts. I got a bit lost with the plates at the top, and it rubbed off some of the charcoal, making it greyed in the wrong places.
Adding the wash and ink turned my scrappy strings of onions hanging against tiles into a proper drawing, through adding tone and therefore volume.
For the bowl of fruit I tried out wax resist with a white wax crayon for a few highlights, but unfortunately it picked up the soft pencil and turned grey! Doing a wash over the whole thing lost the pencil shapes so it's a bit of a mess.
The most successful media I used here were the pen and wash onions, and the brushpen fan.
Just noticing how much better I am at this sketching thing now than I was at the beginning. Better in the sense of more accurate and more free.
I picked a sketch which was of an area of clutter behind the back door. This had elements of darkness and complexity which appealed to me. And it also had a feeling of domestic reality that I liked (as opposed to the perfect houses you see in magazines and on tv).
|Behind the back door|
This is the first sketch I made of this corner of the house, as part of the earlier survey of all the corners.
It doesn't convey the darkness but it does show the clutter.
You can see that some things have moved since then, and that it was done from a lower angle than the photo to give more of an enclosed and crammed feeling. I used the sketch to do the following studies.
First, using black paper and pastels to outline the tone variations.
Then black conte crayon on white paper (below). I was more aware by now of the composition with diagonal lines joining the two brighter areas.
My next study was a monochromatic one. For once I remembered to take a photo in the middle of drawing it - in this case once I had filled in the darkest areas with acrylic paint.
The one on the right is the same study with all the tones filled in, again with some emphasis on the brighter areas and the way they are joined together. I have emphasised the contrast in this one.
The jar has somehow turned into a jug!
After all this tone work, I wanted to get some detail into the next one, but in this case to try to use it to show both tone and texture. I used dip pen and indian ink for this, which was something I hadn't tried to any extent before. The squiggles did nicely represent that fuzziness you get when you try to see detail in the dark. I found that due to the very fine line the pen made, it took an extremely long time to do the darker areas! Doing some in squiggles and some in cross-hatching showed me the difference that makes in terms of texture. I added some graphite pencil to add to the contrast (smooth), and when that wasn't dark enough, some conte sketching pencil, which gave an additional texture of its own (bottom right especially).