Drawing 1, Part 1: Exercise 6

Creating Shadows Using Lines and Marks

In this exercise, we were asked to create a small group of objects in an arrangement, then represent them using lines and marks to describe shadow.

I chose three objects: a wooden lighthouse, a curvy bathing lady and a ceramic seashell tea light holder. I arranged them on a table with an LED ring light beside them, to my left.

I used a black Conte stick on a piece of A2 paper.

Seaside still life in Conte stick

I drew a faint outline of the lighthouse first, to set the scale of the whole drawing. I chose to fill the A2 page. I then worked from the top with the Conte stick, adding directional lines and cross hatching to describe areas of shadow. I worked my way down the length of the lighthouse, following the direction i felt suited the area I was representing. I started with a medium pressure, then layered areas of shadow by adding darker lines with more pressure, and cross hatching in some sections.

Once I had finished the lighthouse, I drew the outline of the curvy bathing lady to the right. I then added directional lines and some crosshatching. I left highlighted areas untouched. The lady was challenging to sketch, as it is such an irregular form.

Finally, I drew the faint outline of the seashell. I found this easier than the lady, as the form had quite a regular, curvy direction to it. I added lines and crosshatching in various degrees of pressure. I also added some detail with the sharp edge of the stick. Again, I left highlights white and untouched.

I found this exercise very satisfying. This is the first time I have really tried a sketch using cross hatching. The Conte stick is well suited to such work. The work on the lighthouse was challenging to keep the effect looking smooth and regular, as it was a larger area than the other two objects. The lady was the most difficult to depict accurately.

I feel this has been an enjoyable exercise, with a degree of success, compared to my expectations. I will certainly be keen to further explore these techniques in the future, to refine my practice.

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