Project – Still Life

Exercise – Still life group using line

A still life showing understanding of forms and connection between them, referring to patterns, textures and shapes.

I delayed a long time before starting this drawing as I could only think of piles of fruit or vegetables as a subject, neither of which gave me any inspiration! However, I then thought to draw the onions hanging up to dry in the shed on our allotment and I was away.

Line drawing

Line drawing

I think I’ve got most of the proportions right in this image and have made sure I paid attention to the vanishing points in drawing the corner of the shed. Some of the areas work quite well in drawing pen, such as the roots of the onions, but other areas don’t work so well. Without the detail on the wooden planks the image looked a bit bare, however, when I started to add some detail, it then started to become cluttered, and so I didn’t complete this process.

Again I enjoyed using fine black drawing pens, but it is hard to get some effects without being able to change the colour / intensity of the ink. The fork which has hard defined edges works well in this medium, but you don’t get a good sense of form or texture on the onions.

Exercise – Still life group in tone

Using coloured pencils or pastels, concentrate on the tones in the image and build up layer and layer of depth. Think very deliberately about using a variety of effects in this drawing, and work quite fast to keep the drawing spontaneous and full of energy.

I chose to use pastels to do this drawing, a medium I hadn’t used before.

The exercise said to start by drawing the darkest tones and work towards the lightest. I did this in this drawing, but I did do a very rough outline sketch first in light grey pastel to make sure the proportions were roughly right.

Setup of my drawing

Setup of my drawing

Tone drawing

Tone drawing

I found pastels nice to work with, but did have some issues with them. Because of the textured surface of the paper I was drawing on, I found that it was difficult to define edges in the drawing and so I have ended up with ‘halo’s’ around some of the edges, where the shadows / background doesn’t meet the object. I also found it hard to layer the colours and to be able to draw light areas of colour. As a result of this, the ginger merges into the scored chopping board it sits on.

Overall I am quite pleased with my first attempt at drawing with pastels, but not sure it works well as a demonstration of drawing with tone.

Check and Log

What aspects of each drawing have been successful, and what did you have problems with?

  • In the line drawing, the perspective and shapes worked well, but not texture or tone. In the tone drawing, the objects worked quite well, but not the background or the depiction of the shadows.

Did you manage to get a sense of depth in your drawings? What elements of the drawings and still life groups helped to create that sense?

  • Limited depth in the line drawing, all from the perspective of the corner of the shed. Better depth was achieved in the tone drawing as shadows and form were drawn, but it is still a bit flat.

What difficulties were created by being restricted to line or tone?

  • Being restricted to line as requested in the exercise means not depicting the shadows, which limits the depth which can be achieved. And not representing the colour of the objects. These could both be added in line, but the inclusion of washes would be needed to get a more complete image.
  • Being restricted to tone means you can’t define the edges of the objects early on in the image. Otherwise I am not sure there are any other difficulties with this method.
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2 Responses to Project – Still Life

  1. bonesymac says:

    great line drawing love the way the background is included, you’ve inspired me to continue. been stuck on this bit for ages. now I’ll take a wider view on the subject to include more of the setting

    • ramblingman8 says:

      Thanks Bryan. I stalled for a long time before starting it. I think you have to be inspired to draw, but it can be hard to turn on the inspiration when needed to work through the course. Either that or I’m just lazy at heart!

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