Exercise: Using hatching to create tone

melon-pairs-appleThis 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.

melon-pairs-apple-cropReflecting on this, an option might have been to include just a part of the melon, particularly as it is so much larger than the other objects. Something like this perhaps…

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.

Preliminary sketches

Pencil -smooth paper - difficult to build up layers of tone

Pencil -smooth paper – difficult to build up layers of tone

Pencil - paper with a fine grain. More successful.

Pencil – paper with a fine grain. More successful.

Ink - difficult to capture detail

Ink – difficult to capture detail

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.

fruits-comp-prep2 fruits-comp-prep1

I also explored some different arrangements of the items, attempting to fill the paper and try different supports.

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