Exercise: Observing light and shadow

I drew a glossy plastic pencil sharpener and matte finish fabric pencil case for this exercise. The objects were lit from the left hand side and placed on a slightly shiny table which created an unusual shadow effect where the cast shadows of the objects were repeated.

It is clear to me that I have a long journey ahead with picking what shades of grey to use for tonal variation. I really struggled to know which shades to use for the pencil sharpener which was grey itself, as there were three distinct colours of shadow on the top of it. I am quite pleased with the hard lines I used to convey the shadows on the side of the sharpener. I am pleased with how careful I was when observing the curved edges of the sharpener too.

I am less pleased with the pencil case. It seems to lack weight towards the brighter end on the left. The case was pink canvas style fabric which reflected little light and there were not really any folds on the long side of it which might have resulted in shadows for me to convey. I ended up exaggerating some of the undulations in the fabric to try to add interest and convey weight but I’m not convinced this really worked.

If I did the drawing again I think I’d be braver with picking up darks where there were shadows to the left of the pencil case because the right hand side at the end seems much more convincing. This again shows me I have much to learn  with regard to picking out contours of shades to use. Should I have used the full range of H and B pencils? I sat for quite some time just looking before starting the drawing, thinking about the tonal values but this wasn’t enough to translate what I was seeing into a convincing drawing. I need to do more still life drawings to practice my observations skills.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s