Exercise 1: Detail and tone

I chose the deer skull for this exercise as I wanted something which had enough going on as a single object. I started off by doing a quick sketch to get the feel of it with my fountain pen and then had a go with some conté crayons. I went for some cross-hatching as per the instructions to build up tone but it wasn’t terribly effective:


I swapped the skull over to face the other way as the light was better, and did a pencil sketch using 9B, 5B, B, 2H and 5H pencils. I really like this drawing but I got a bit engrossed in tonal values and forgot about cross-hatching:


I think I have good areas of light and dark and have managed to get the shapes and sutures quite well. I enjoyed doing it and it gave me a good idea about the end result I wanted to achieve.

For the next drawing I used newsprint paper as I’d just bought it and it is nice and smooth, and A3. It wasn’t the best choice as it didn’t ‘take’ the pencil very well, being slightly shiny; consequently it is rather an insipid drawing but I wanted to experiment:


This paper does show up the cross-hatching quite well and I have got a range of lights, darks and marks. Am I filling the paper in a varied and interesting way? I think I need to be a lot more bold and use better paper. I find crosshatching tedious and it takes a long time to build up the tone which I struggle with, not being the most patient of souls.





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