Project – Tone and form

Exercise – Observing shadow and light formations on a surface


I’m not sure I was very successful with this. Because the box was a large surface, I found it very hard to apply shading evenly across the areas where it was needed. Similarly with the shadows from the objects, the pencil lines just looked messy. I also found it very difficult to pick out all the graduations of light due to the confusion of the colours and patterns on the objects. I think the reflected light from the tin on the box worked better than the rest of the image.

Exercise – Tonal studies

Tone 2

Hatching examples using different mediums, varying the gaps between the lines and pressure applied. I also tried a single ball object, but again fell down in the representation of the larger shadow area.

Tone 3

Four objects with hatched shadows. I tried different methods with the different objects and I think the jar and vase worked best when I used a series of small lines rather than larger ones. The shadows didn’t work here though as they were not dark enough or hatched correctly and I think the lines need to be following the direction of the light source.

Tone 4

So I tried again with a single ball. I painted this white and placed it on a piece of card which I had also painted white, so avoiding any distractions from colours or different textures. I think I did much better with this and this might also be a good exercise to complete when it comes to the assignment.

Tone and Form

Another drawing of an egg and a block of wood, trying to get the full tonal range by shading.

Research point – Odilon Redon


His early work was in charcoal and then used lithography to reproduce these works. He later turned to colour using pastels and oils.

In relation to tone and form I have examined some of his charcoal works. I found it hard to assess his work from images from the internet as their quality was not good enough to truly examine the techniques he used. Of the images looked at, the five images below had enough detail to make comment on.

Tree and stars

The shading on the tree appears to only use lines travelling in the direction of growth, varying in intensity and moving to shading in the darkest areas.

Two trees

The trees

These two images of trees include hatching on areas of the trunk following the direction of grown and the shape of the trunk. As discovered in my four objects study when drawing the mug and shadows, when the lines do not follow the shape of the object (or direction of the light for the shadows), then the hatching does not look right.

A Knight

Why should there not exist an invisible world?

It is hard to see the techniques used in these two images, but as with all the others, Odilon uses a full tonal range from bright white to black in his drawings.

Check and log

How difficult did you find it to distinguish between light from the primary source and secondary reflected light?

  • I didn’t find this too difficult; I found it harder to distinguish the graduations of light across the objects and to relate the graduations to each other and represent them in this way. I think having a set of objects the same colour and texture to draw would improve this awareness. I tried this with one object, but didn’t repeat the collection of objects. I also found it difficult to represent larger areas of shading without it looking messy.

How has awareness of light and shade affected your depiction of form?

  • It has forced me to look more closely at the graduations of light across and around objects, which has improved my depiction of form, although I feel there is still a lot of work for me to do in this area.
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