Page 31 and 33: Sketchbook 1
I wanted to improve my handling of the drawing pencils so did some practice in my sketchbook. I first tried to establish a value scale in graphite building up the tone gradually layer on layer so as to avoid embossing the paper. This gave a better tone than had achieved in the previous drawing. I used the full range of pencils available whereas previously my habit had been to always use very soft pencils. This allowed me to create a wide range of mid tones and darks. There was quite a tooth to the paper which meant that several layers of graphite had to be applied before a smooth tone appeared. This means that the dark tones do not show even jumps in value as they get very dark very quickly and are thereafter quite similar. The lighter and mid tones show a grainy texture as building them up more would have resulted in them getting too dark. This might work better on a smoother paper.
I then went on to do a further sketch. In 'Experimental Drawing' , Robert Kaupelis recommends practising rendering form by starting with spheres then moving on to eggs and repeating drawing them over and over again with lights in different positions and different media. The only sphere I could find was a tennis ball and I thought the texture might make it difficult for me to pick out the reflected light so instead I chose four pomegranates from the garden. I like them because they are almost spherical but have some suggestions of angles between certain planes. They also have a fairly reflective surface. I managed better this time to identify the reflected light on the pomegranates and the tonal alterations were smoother. The reflective table they were sitting on made rendering the cast shadows quite complicated owing to the overlapping of reflections and shadows. Overall I'm quite satisfied with this attempt although it looks a bit overworked especially the background shading. This took a bit too long for a quick practice sketch I need to do some faster sketches in different media- perhaps it would be good idea to set a timer and to 5,10 and 15 minute sketches to loosen me up and stop me being too precious with the sketch book.