With this exercise, the aim was to use different colours for different tones. I wasn’t looking forward to this as I am not very good at seeing tone, or rather I am a bit heavy handed and never know whether to start with light and go darker, dark and go lighter, or mid-tone and go up and down…
I had a go with some knobbly lemons, strong daylight and soft pastels:
I find using a monochrome image helps me see the tonal values. I didn’t really like the composition so I added another lemon: (And temporarily a kitten, which was swiftly removed…)
I quite like the pastel drawing but the problem with lemons is that they’re too colour-specific and I thought they’d just look like random knobbly shapes if I used colours other than yellow. I did have a go with some oil pastels but I was not at all happy with the result (although my skills with oil pastels are middling to none):
As highlights are always a bit of a challenge – I usually forget to leave them white – I decided drawing something shiny where I could colour in the lightest bit might be fun. I made some notes in my sketchbook:
The soft pastels are wonderfully painterly but I used conté crayons for this as I needed to draw outlines and wanted to keep the demarcation between the tonal values crisp:
The perspective is a bit wonky and I’m not sure I’ve communicated the screw top of the glass jar (far right object!) very well. I think it is effective in that I can tell that the different colours represent different tonal values and I like the combination of colours. Erasing mistakes is always difficult and the instructions said to redo the drawing until I was happy but I always find that doing that usually just swaps the problem for another and I’m happy enough with this.
The exercise asks for quick working, variations in mark-making, and an air of energy and spontaneity. Have I made good use of line, tone and colour? I think so. I enjoyed this drawing and I’m wondering if it will help me to see tone more easily? I liked the conté crayons and felt they worked well as they have versitility: fine lines as well as broad sweeping strokes.