Shadows and reflected light

Project 2 Basic shapes and fundamental form

Exercise 4: Shadows and reflected light

For this exercise, I looked for two objects that had reflective surfaces. I had a coffee pot that was pretty similar to the example used in the course handbook, so thought I would have a go at drawing it.

I started by sketching the coffee pot with an expresso cup next to it in pencil, and, not being happy with the way it turned out, had a couple more attempts at ‘quick sketches’, focussing more on the shape than the shadows and reflections.


When doing the actual exercise, I swapped the small cup for a wine glass, as I wanted to keep my focus on the reflections rather than the pattern on the side. To challenge myself, I set the objects up together with the wine glass standing up and the coffee pot on it’s side. I tried to sketch out some rough guiding lines with graphite before swapping to willow charcoal.


Looking at this, I think perspective is something that I need to work on, as I do struggle when drawing from real life – most of the drawing I’ve completed in the past has involved drawing from photographs or images on computer screens.

I also think I need to try to work better at composing my work in such a way that it does fill the paper better, or at least sits more in the centre, and get more comfortable with the medium of charcoal.

I tried to work with the tones and shaded the mid tones, and then added the dark tones. I think I may have been a bit heavy on the darker shading in some areas, and hadn’t sketched the objects large enough onto the paper to get the finer detail into the reflections in the wine glass. It has made me think more about how I would position my objects in the work I do for Assignment One.


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