Observing shadow using blocks of tone
I first did some quick sketches in my sketchbook, using different frame sizes and materials. I tried different objects, placement of objects, direction of light and framing (horizontal vs. vertical). I also tried different textures to see how I wanted to represent the blocks of shadow and light. This practice gave me the chance to observe and study the structure of the shapes.
For the final drawing, I chose a (approx. A1) Fabriano paper and lightly blocked it with some powdered charcoal so as not to begin with a fully clean white paper. I then used willow charcoal to draw and an eraser to bring out light. Below is an idea of how I went about it, starting with the general shapes and areas of light and shadow before adding the details. I wanted to draw a very simple composition for this exercise so that I could focus more on how the light worked on the objects rather than on creating a great drawing. One of my main intentions as I searched for objects was to find two different forms, so that light would behave differently on each one. I enjoyed the process of observing these common household objects closely, something I normally don’t do, and in the end I feel good about the results.