This picture – a melon, three pears and an apple (in case you can’t tell!!) – is in coloured pencils on a paper with a bit of grain. My preliminary sketches, which I did on different types of paper, showed me that the pencils get more grip and layer more easily on a paper with some texture. However, I did find these pencils (which are new) quite scratchy and they didn’t layer and blend as well as the ancient watercolour pencils I’ve been using previously. The dark areas of shadow were particularly difficult.
The composition is OK (just!) but I am disappointed that I gave the picture such a boring background. I could have planned this in more detail earlier. The final picture would have been much more interesting with perhaps rounded edges to the table and a hint of patterned wallpaper behind, or a cloth backdrop.
I think I’ve done a reasonable job of capturing the tone, although the light isn’t as well represented as it might be. The objects have a slight outline in black but following my tutor’s feedback on earlier work, I can see the outline is not necessary as the fruits have a well defined form without.
In these preliminary sketches I explored ways to draw the fruits using papers of different textures and different mediums – comparing coloured pencils with inks. I felt I could illustrate the patterns and changing tones of the fruits better using pencils which give more control over detail.
I also explored some different arrangements of the items, attempting to fill the paper and try different supports.