Page 27 and 29: Sketchbook 1
Exercise: Tonal Studies
I completed this exercise on 18th October
The purpose here was to create an illusion of three dimensions on the flat paper using a hatching technique. The instructions for the value scale construction were not really clear but since it asked for four distinct grades of tone using four different drawing implements I constructed 4x4 square value scales in biro, dip pen, graphite and fineliner.
I then chose four crops from the garden- lemon, apple, onion and a small squash and attempted to draw them using hatching and cross hatching with a fine drawing pen to describe the tonal variations. This was very difficult. I forgot about observing the reflected light on the edges of the fruit and veg (apart from the apple and onion). I kept going building up more and more layers of cross hatching in the shadows. I then built up hatching in the background to try to make the highlights on the subjects stand out better. It didn't really help. I almost hatched the study into oblivion. There's a distinct lack of subtlety in the tonal graduations here. I plan to do multiple sketches using pen/dip pen and biro to experiment with this and hopefully get more confident and competent.
Following this I referred back to the mark making exercises at the beginning of the course and realised it would have been helpful to to that before starting this exercise. I also referred back to the Van Gogh pen and ink drawings in my sketchbook. I then searched for hatching in work by other artists work. I found some illustrations by Zak Smith, a contemporary artist who's style has a lot in common with graphic novels and comics. He uses fine hatching extensively to build tone and form. I then found more formal examples of the use of pen and ink hatching and also hatching in etching in works by Michelangelo and in a detail from "Melancholia" by Albrecht Durer. I put these examples in my sketchbook for reference.