For this exercise, the objects I chose were a stainless steel teapot and a little glazed pottery chicken I made last year. I set them on the table with a white canvas behind so I could use it as a viewfinder of sorts – so I could see how to fit the objects on the page. I chose A2 cartridge paper and willow charcoal; I find the inconsistency of natural charcoal both a blessing and a curse but then again compressed charcoal lacks any character! I used the natural light from the window to the left to provide the light source and although the shadows and reflections weren’t particularly dramatic, the shininess of the pot and reflection of the chicken on that surface were appealing.
The instructions were to fill in the areas of shadow first as in the previous exercises but I tried that with little success, so sketched in the main shapes first. I drew the chicken first and found the shine of the glaze on a dark brown irregular surface quite difficult to interpret as the glints were very patchy. Some were bright white and others just lighter but they varied hugely with the slightest adjustment of my viewpoint.
I then moved on to the teapot and after a few attempts at the ellipses on the lid and base, I settled on the shapes. It was so interesting seeing the reflections on the silver surface and I enjoyed filling in all the marks and highlights.
I really like the finished image. I scumbled round the objects with a not terribly sophisticated sweep of the charcoal but there wasn’t much by way of discernible contrast. I had also peaked with my attention span and I recognise that there are times when one should go back and work more on a drawing and I might try that with a different arrangement when I am feeling inclined!
Reflections: (pardon the pun)
There were more highlights that I could have put on to the teapot and the front edge between the spout and the lid went wrong so is more defined than it should be.
I think it works as a drawing despite not being wholly representative and considering my fears about the exercise in general I am very pleased with how it looks. They look like shiny surfaces and I perhaps could have been more brave with the intricacy of the various reflections but I wanted to do an effective if not very adventurous completion of the exercise.