Check and log: Still life

~ line and tone drawings (details)

~ line and tone drawings (details)

• Which aspects of each drawing have been successful, and what did you have problems with?

Line drawing – success:

I was pleased with the composition, the way the beetroot leaves framed the central subjects. Also, I liked the roundness of the artichoke, and the internal depth of the pepper. I think the blue of the tablecloth in the background sets off the colours of the main subjects.

Line drawing – problems:

I wish I had varied the colours in the leaves more, perhaps using a little blue to create a greater feeling of depth in them. Also, I found it hard to predict how darkly, or otherwise, the inks would dry. Consequently, I feel that some of the dark tones could be deeper. However, if I had added any more ink to those areas, the paper would have suffered.  Lastly, I do think it might have worked better overall if I hadn’t ‘finished’ the drawing quite to the extent I did.  Perhaps it only needed colour in selected areas, instead of all over.

Tonal drawing – success:

I like the colour combination I used. Also, the vegetables have a reasonably three-dimensional quality. I feel the composition worked well, t00. I think I succeeded in creating some degree of depth.

Tonal drawing – problems:

I found it very difficult to discern differences in colour tone confidently. In addition to this, the handling of the pastels themselves was problematic.  Their inherent bluntness made it hard to add the finer details, such as narrow shadows and highlights. Working on smoother the paper, as I did in the first version, didn’t suit the pastels.

• Did you manage to get a sense of depth in your drawing?  Which elements  of the drawings and still life groupings helped to create that sense?

As I stated above, I think the tonal drawing has a greater sense of depth than the line drawing. I’ve already commented on why I think it was less successful in the latter.  In the tonal piece, it was close observation of shadows that created the feeling of depth. Using strong lighting in the first place also helped with this.

• Which difficulties were created by being restricted to line or tone? 

Being restricted to line made it harder to create a sense of depth. Also, it was necessary to be selective about which details to include.

Being restricted to tone felt uncomfortable, as I’m more familiar with line drawing. Therefore, I had to try and adjust to this way of drawing at the same time as learning to work with pastels. Tonal drawing involves a different way of looking. Although I accept that this way of seeing is more like the way people see naturally, I found that it is quite unlike the way I look, when studying objects.

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