Exercise: Study of light reflected from one object to another

cows

Butter dish and cow creamers

These cows were challenging to draw. They are plain white china and quite featureless so I had to rely on the shadow and reflections to give definition. I used a lamp on the right and when I started to draw there was also some light from windows either side. The light and the reflections changed quite a bit as I worked.

I drew what I saw and think I’ve captured at least some of the complexity of the light and shadow patterns. I found that the more I looked the more I could see. I expect if I was to draw these again I would see more.

I used charcoal pencils, putty rubber and few dabs of white conte crayon to put back the light in places where I had over worked the charcoal pencil with the putty rubber. I used A1 paper and found myself more comfortable with the larger size.

I relied very heavily on the negative spaces to draw what for me is a complicated composition. When drawing the light and shadow I found it helped to focus on one small area at a time rather than the total picture so that I could draw what was actually there rather than what I might think ought to be there!

The result if a slightly surreal picture. Perhaps I should have made the background a green grassy meadow to reinforce this…

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