Part 1, Project 2 (Basic shapes and fundamental form) – Exercise 4

Shadows and reflected light

I went around my house looking for shiny objects and decided on two coffee percolators. When I placed them side by side, I really liked the similarity of form and the contrast of size. I spent a good hour just trying out different compositions and placement of the objects, looking for a interesting play of light and shadow and reflections as well as an interesting composition. Especially as the two objects were so similar, I really wanted to emphasise as much contrast between them as I could.

I ended up thinking about Odilon Redon’s Two Trees from the previous exercise and how he managed to make one of the trees appear “masculine” and the other more “feminine”. So with that in mind, I tried making the bigger percolator seem heavier and “serious” and the smaller one look more childish and playful by leaning it against the big one (parent and child, perhaps?). I only did two sketches for this exercise, as I knew what I wanted to do after playing around with the objects and the lighting.

greca sketch 1greca sketch 2

The final drawing is made on a 13 x 17 in. Fabriano paper with willow charcoal, compressed charcoal for small details and an eraser to bring out light. The paper that I can buy here does not come in A sizes and I think I will have to buy bigger sheets in order to be able to cut them into the proper sizes asked by the exercises. For now, I’ve been using paper that is between A3 and A2, so I don’t think this is too serious. For the first assignment (and beyond), though, I want to be exact.

There are some structure problems in the smaller percolator and I see that now in the image. It was quite challenging to draw an object that was diagonally placed from the surface; I haven’t practiced this much before and feel that I need to practice it more. I also wasn’t sure if I could manage to show, believably, the reflected parts of one object on the other and I really thought it would come out a confused jumble that would mess with the structure itself of the objects but it wasn’t as difficult as I though it’d be and I’m pleased with the results.

Greca (final).jpg
Big percolator and small percolator, charcoal on paper



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