Pr4-Ex1: Using Hatching to Create Tone

still-lifeex3For the preliminary stage of this exercise I experimented with fine liner, felt tip, dipping ink and colour pencils.

The first thing I want to remember about this exercise is how good a sketch book looks when filled with smaller studies rather than double page disasters that this current sketch book is full of.

Back to the exercise. I worked quickly and their fore I’m happy with the results. I went for a sort of scribbly cross hatching approach which I hope gives the drawings a bit of character. I have decide over that last few days by far my favourite drawing tool is a pastel, charcoal or graphite stick. Something that demands broad confident strokes. I am finding the thought of supper in depth detail striving for a photo realistic result is making me grown. Maybe I’m just lazy, but I do prefer the results when I use these chunky almost painterly mediums and they take a fraction of the time.

With the group of yellow, orange and red Toms I experimented with cross hatching in the whole group of them as a large shape first. This is something I have been reading about in the tone section of ‘Experimental Drawing’ by Robert Kaupelis. I think I does work to unify them. Although it’s a shame the flat orange hatching can be seen below the curbed marks on the yellow toms betraying the illusion of form. I can see if working in a softer medium such as paint or pastel you could work over the top leaving some of the first block colour that would pull the drawing together. Interesting stuff.

From this page I like the dipping ink onions the best. They where the most fun to produce, with the wrong end of  a paint brush, and the rich colour provides a pleasing result. I like the fact you can see all the marks. It is defiantly a drawing not a photo no mistake. Most of the artist I favour have a style where you can see the brush marks. Where I want to go with my personal style (voice ) is defiantly becoming clearer to me though this course.


Back to the onions I think out of all the studies they most accurately depict form. I am trying to be very conscious of tone as I work. This study has the most pleasing result.

Most of the veg looks a bit like it’s floating. I must be careful with the still life composition to make he items look like they feel the effects of gravity.


Thinking about possible compositions




Drawing in out line


Set Up

The next day I made some quick thumb nail studies to see how to fit the subject on the page. Then drew up the shapes on A2. I decided to use a big page as the lines made by the wrong end of paint brush are quite thick so to get the crosshatching in this made sense.

I started work on the colour elements by starting with the beets in the front. It’s hard to get out of the habit of working one element a time when drawing. After that I opened up all the ink lids and did work on the picture as a hole. I can defiantly see an advantage to working in this way. There tonal balance  of the drawing can be seen and there is more of a coherency between the objects as the strokes on all are made with the same intensity of stroke which can varied from one sitting to the next depending on energy levels and general mood.

As you can see I used quite a lose style with bold  strokes the ink and brush creates. The A2 cartridge paper is thinner than the stuff in my A4 sketcher. For this reason unfortunately the paper has buckled and puckered under the wet medium. I did use water to lighten the colours. Luckily though I managed to avoid going through.

I’m strangely pleased with the finished piece. Mid way through I thought it was a shambles but by keep working at it it sort of came right. I see how adding the back ground elements really helps. Maybe I should have added more colour to the table surface. I think all the white gives a fell of light filtering through the weave in the basket which it was. I find this pleasing.


Fruit n vegg in colour – exercise one – finished drawing


About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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