Assignment One – natural forms


Final version adjusted (post tutor feedback) to provide a support – in this case floor boards.



Vegetable basket (A2) – drawing pen, ink, pencil


I chose vegetables as they gave me an opportunity to experiment with different shapes and textures. An arrangement in a ‘trug’  made sense so that my veggies didn’t keep rolling around and actually this was a nice object to draw too. I used drawing pen, pencil, graphite pencil, charcoal pencil, putty rubber and Brusho inks as well as some blood, sweat and tears. I drew some of the very fine lines such as the markings on the onions in pencil under the ink wash and put some of the bolder lines (leek leaves) and deeper shadows (between objects) on top of the ink using drawing pen and graphite pencil.

After experimenting, I positioned the trug on the floor so that I was looking down on it and I preferred this position as it put the focus on the vegetables rather than the container.

Overall I think this picture has worked quite well, even if it is a bit neat for my liking. It is very easy to lose reflected light when working with inks but I’ve manage to retain it, just about. I’m pleased that the two green areas, the courgettes and the leaves of the leeks look distinctively different and clearly have different textures. The shadow under the trug may be a bit harsh and would possibly have been better in pencil rather than graphite pencil. I could have tested this out in my prep sketches.

Prep work

veg-prep1My initial pencil sketch was drawn with the trug on the table in front of me and an an onion in front. I didn’t really like the overall shape of this but the drawing was useful practice in familiarising myself with the objects. I initially thought I would keep the colour palette  limited and I used leeks, courgettes, garlic and onions but later I decided that substituting some of the onions for red peppers would make a better picture. I also started to play around with how I would do the detailed drawing of various components.

veg-prep2In my next sketch I experimented with colour using watercolour pencil and this confirmed the red peppers were a good addition. Studying this sketch I realised two things (a) the composition was a bit unwieldy around the leeks leaves (b) I was going to have to find a better way to differentiate the leek leaves and the courgettes.

veg-prep3Next I did some small sketches to look at how to improve the composition and settled on the idea of lining the leeks up so that the leaves fanned out. I also drew the individual vegetables in order to help me decide which mediums and colours would suit the different characteristics. This was an enormous help and enabled me to complete my final picture without any disasters which made a pleasant change!


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