Detail and Tone

Detail and Tone

To start this exercise I decided to work in my sketchbook on a smaller scale before moved on to bigger. Although my media of soft pencil is decided for this exercise I thought I would use a range of mediums to get an idea of different textures and what would work well together. Here are the pages from my sketchbook:

I found pictures from google of spring flowers as the like the muted pastel colours that are associated with the spring season. I tried three different medias, the first was coloured pencil. I feel this worked well, However looking back I feel i need to define the petals more so that there is definite definition between them. The next media I chose was oil pastels. I loved using my oil pastels, I have not used them since I was a child as I have always been a little nervous and had never gotten the results I wanted, but I persevered and pushed through the awkward first few layers and I’m really happy with the results. I think the smooth texture of the oil pastel works well for the tulip flower as their petals are compact and velvety in appearance. I feel the biro pen let this page down as its too dull and I found this media limiting in showing textures and also the softness of the petals. If I was to do this flower again I would maybe try a mixture of pencil and oil pastels to tie the whole page together.

I picked stones from our front garden and sketch these quickly in an afternoon. The pencil sketch is mush better that the ink pen. I think the pen was too harsh to portray the smoothness of the pebble. Possibly if I tried these stones again and swapped the mediums perhaps I’d get better results – I may come back and do this.

I then tried drawing a chilli pepper in chalk pastels – this did not go as well as I had hoped. I feel like I did not have as much control over this medium as I would have liked. I struggled to add the finer detail. I know I have a lot more work to go with chalk pastel. Luckily by this point I had already decided I was going to draw chilli peppers for this exercise. (If I had not made this choice when I used the chalk pastels, I would have not thought about drawing them at all).

I then spent a bit of time deciding the composition in my sketchbook. I decided on chilli peppers as I like their unpredictable shapes, which can create lots of interesting reflections of light and tone.

Once I’d decided on the composition I then thought about the negative space surrounding my subject. Instead of the traditional kitchen you would normally find them in I decided to use a wooden chest in my bedroom with the radiator as a backdrop. I wanted the radiator as it is a reflection of the hot chilli peppers that as in front of it. What I particularly loved was with the light from my window the radiator almost looks blue and cold which makes the colour of the chilli peppers seem more vibrant in comparison.

11in x 14in Strathmore paper – Prismacolor pencils

The bed is quite high and would have given me a different perspective which would not have given me the backdrop of the radiator that I wanted, so I sat on the floor next to the bed in order to get the perspective I wanted. I would normally use a blending fluid when using coloured pencils, however the exercised was to demonstrate tone and detail through the texture of shading using techniques such as cross-hatching. I also felt it would make the drawing look more like a painting. Despite this being more grainy and rougher than what I am used to, I am pleased with the overall result and extremely happy with the contrast in background creates for the vibrant reds and greens.