Part 1, Project 2 (Basic shapes and fundamental form) – Exercise 2

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.


blocks of tone sketch

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.

Observing shadow using blocks of tone 2.jpg


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