Part 4. Project 3. Exercise 2. Essential Elements 

This exercise looked at tonal values.  Each pose was 10 minutes long. I found it difficult to do this exercise in the life drawing sessions I attend as the lighting isn’t great for strong tonal contrasts. I decided to try the Croquis Cafe on YouTube.

I found it hard to get the level of tonal depth I saw in the time frame of a 10 minute pose. I moved from pencil to drawing pen then to oiled charcoal which gave me the dark tones I wanted.  I developed a curvier shading style which helped convey the shape of the body. For some of the drawings I used pre-prepared pages painted with white emulsion with some pastel or pencil underdrawing. This created some interesting effects. I especially liked the combination of oiled charcoal and sgraffitto in fig.  4 and also the subtle tinted background in fig. 3. The emulsion seemed to work better with ink and oiled charcoal than pencil.

Fig. 1. Pencil on a background of pastel mixed with emulsion paint.
Fig.2 3H pencil on paper
Fig. 3. Drawing pen on pastel-tinted emulsion over pencil underdrawing
Fig.4 oiled charcoal over emulsion tinted with blue pastel and marked with sgraffitto
Fig.5. A dip pen disaster. I tore it up then collaged it. It looks like the scene of a massacre!

I think figures 3 & 4 best convey a sense of the pose while also looking at form through tone. Fig. 2 captures the proportions but doesn’t have quite enough tonal contrast.

Fig. 5. Pencil on paper using line and cross hatching.
Fig. 6. Charcoal
Fig. 7. Gel pen

During the drawing sessions I felt frustrated that I often ended up with a small drawing on a large page and made an effort to draw large. I do find the small figure marooned on the page in Fig. 5 & 7 gives a feeling of vulnerability which is interesting.


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