Project: Working on Different Coloured Grounds – Exercise: Tonal Study on White Ground

11/02/15

Tonal Study on White Ground – Pencil Studies 1, 2 & 3

Using a tonal drawing medium such as a soft pencil, pastel or charcoal, do some simple studies of your chosen objects in your sketchbook.  Make several studies from different angles and then decide which viewpoint and angle you will use for your tonal painting.

Tonal Study on white ground - pencil 1

Tonal Study on white ground – pencil 1

 

Using my A4 sketchbook, I drew out an A5 frame in landscape orientation for my first study.  Lamp was angled with light coming from the left, with a secondary light source from the window in front of me slightly from the right. Notes next to drawing.

 

 

 

 

Tonal Study on white ground - pencil 2

Tonal Study on white ground – pencil 2

 

 

Again in A4 sketchbook with an A5 frame, this time in portrait orientation. Light sources as before.
Observation notes next to drawing.

 

 

 

 

13/02/15

Tonal Study on white ground - pencil 3

Tonal Study on white ground – pencil 3

 

A5 study in A4 sketchbook again.  The light was different to previous occasion:  lamp angled from left as before, window light very dull, overhead spots similar to daylight but pointing straight down. Observation notes next to drawing.

 

 

 

As a result of these preliminary studies I intended to select the most successful to create an A3 charcoal, tonal drawing.  Discounting the landscape study, I could not decide between the two portrait studies, so scaled up and converted both to A3 and charcoal.

19/02/15

Tonal Study on White Ground – Charcoal Studies 1 & 2

Tonal Study on white ground - charcoal 1

Tonal Study on white ground – charcoal 1

 

Using an A3 sketchbook, charcoal and a hard, plastic rubber.

Working from the sketch to place the objects and then from life to describe the tone.  I tried to work quickly and kept squinting to see the tonal changes.

 

 

 

 

 

Tonal Study on white ground - charcoal 2

Tonal Study on white ground – charcoal 2

 

Using an A3 sketchbook, charcoal and a hard, plastic rubber.

Working from the sketch to place the objects and then from life to describe the tone.  I tried to work quickly and kept squinting to see the tonal changes. This study proved, working in a larger scale, to be less interesting in composition than the first study. This has less complex shadows and therefore less tonal variance than the first.

 

 

 

From the first charcoal study it became clear to me that this was the version I wanted to take forward as a painting, however, it was still valuable to make the second, in order to have more practice at looking and reproducing tonal shapes and changes.

Tonal Study on White Ground – Acrylic on Canvas Board A3

Tonal Study on white ground - Acrylic on Canvas Board

Tonal Study on white ground – Acrylic on Canvas Board

I used Paynes Grey and Titanium White acrylic and pre-mixed graded tones from dark to light on my palette.  Brushes used were flats 3/4″ and 1/4″, working mainly with the larger, until near the end.  Main shapes were blocked in with a mid tone, darkest darks and graded tones next, leaving the lightest lights until the very end.  It was interesting to note that all the tones were relevant to those immediately adjacent.  For example, the wall behind the curve beneath the lip of the vase was a similar tone when viewed in isolation.  However, to make the vase appear three-dimensional, it was necessary to have a lighter tone to its right than that to its left.  There are many counter changes of  tone that have to be made to bring objects forward and conversely send them back.  The lightest lights, ie pure white were very sparingly used and only for the lightest highlights.  This was great fun and a valuable lesson.  Note: The sugar bowl to the left has grown in size so I need to ensure all aspects are considered in future.

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