Detail and tone

Project 1: Detailed observation of natural objects

Exercise 1: Detail and tone

I looked at various natural objects for this exercise, first sketching a mushroom and a pinecone and a pepper that was in my fridge, then focussing on the pinecone for the A3 sized work.

I started by doing a couple of sketches in my sketchbook:


Fig. 1

Figure 1, of the pinecone and mushroom worked – I think I might use this idea for a still life later, but would add another object and a background to it, as feel it needs more.


Fig. 2

Figure 2, of the pepper was a random decision to sketch, as I was looking at the shape of it and thought the irregular shape looked challenging… I thought about drawing this object for my A3 size piece, but decided I liked the pinecone better! It had a lot of shine to it, which I have tried to show in my sketching.


Fig. 3

Figure 3. For the A3 piece in this exercise, I focussed on the pinecone, as I thought it had a more interesting shape and it was good one for practicing cross-hatching and building up tone with lines.

As the exercise suggested using smooth paper, I used Bristol Board, and a range of soft / medium pencils (B – 6B sketching pencils).

I started by sketching the rough shape onto the paper, to try to fill the space,  and drew a line down the centre of the object so that I didn’t distort it too much as the cone wasn’t sitting straight! I found the paper very smooth and unusual to draw on, it didn’t seem to make such dark lines and take to the paper as well as it did on the paper in my sketchbook.

When building up tone, I used the softest pencils in my collection, 5B and 6B, and drew lines in the direction of the various ‘filaments’ in the cone, then cross-hatching more over these to make them darker and build a deeper tone.


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