Project 2 Exercise 2 Observing shadow using blocks of tone.
The two simple shaped objects I chose for this exercise were two yellow – very ripe (and just about to rot!) quinces. I placed then on a white cloth and lit them from the side with a lamp – during the exercise I realised that there was another light source playing on the objects – that of the ceiling (the light I was obviously using to work).
I worked with large charcoal sticks on a grainy, roughly A2 sized, paper. My first instinct was to draw lines to outline the quinces – in the upper drawing you can see the lines I used quite clearly. I then used a small stick and my finger to manipulate the tones. This quick drawing worked well but I needed to practice more the use of tone only…. in the lower drawing I introduced some background detail to help define the shape rather than draw the shape. I used line only at the end of the sketch – see below:
I then realised that it was entirely possible to work in just tone to make the form believable so made two more sketches on another large sheet. This time I worked carefully with a small piece of charcoal to find the midtones, leaving the whiter lighter areas blank. Then as the exercise required worked up the darker elements using very little rubber to find the highlights. Again in the second (lower) sketch I introduced background elements to emphrasize the form and used very little line.
I noticed the secondary light source shadows and shadow cast from the RH quince on the other. Also in the upper LH quince I managed to show a little of the form of the fruit emerging from the stalk.
After finishing the exercise and reflecting on my work, I felt that there were some basics that I missed. Firstly I did not have a background to fill the sheet and introduce more shadows/reflections – or at the very least an interesting background to help ouline the form of the objects. Secondly, I could have changed the composition or changed the objects to add variation to the exercise. I did not have time to do this as I had to prepare for a business trip to Europe (next week).
From a very early age I have been awestruct with the still life drawings and watercolours of apples by Cezanne – for that reason I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise and will revisit it in the future – the works of Cezanne are now in my sight as a challenge!