OCA Drawing 1, Part 2, Project 1, Exercise 1 -Detail and Tone

Practising using pencils and cross-hatching to build up light, medium and dark tones in a natural still life drawing.

I chose to draw cedar wood roses as I thought these would give plenty of opportunity to practice capturing light and dark tones.

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After a few goes at drawing the roses in my sketchbook, as well as sketching some other natural objects on the beach and in woods around Dorset, I started by lightly sketching the outline of this final composition.

I then looked for the darkest areas and hatched these in.

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For the next few hours I tried to show the difference in tone over the hole composition, especially in the roses themselves and the shadows around them.

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I reworked many areas of the roses to try to get the sufficient contrasts, but I wonder whether I have left the lighter areas too light. I used five different grades of pencil: 3B, 6B, 8B, 2H and H. I started with the 8B to get the darkest areas blocked in, then switched between the others to achieve different tones and effects. I chose to place the roses inside a wooden box in order to get lots of angles to contrast with the curves and crevices of the roses, and to create lots of shaded areas of various tones. I could have placed the objects further into a corner to get different shadows, or closer together for the same reason. I could also have simply placed them on a different surface with contrasting patterns.

 

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