Posted in Sketchbook

Improving tonal range

On the line of action site I found an article about mastering your pencil, which provides advice on increasing the tonal range that you can achieve with a single pencil. The idea is basically to fill in an increasing number of boxes on a daily basis to get an increase in tone across the page. 

As I’ve had feedback that improving my tonal range would be valuable I decided to try it: 

The exercise does seem to be valuable, though I have a way to go as there is another page of increasing shades to try. As might be expected it is getting progressively more difficult. Its likely I should be trying a similar exercise with other mark making approaches – such as conte and charcoal.

Posted in Assignment 3, Assignments, Coursework, Part 3

Assignment 3


Brief review

The brief for this assignment calls for the following main criteria for the drawing:

  • Outdoor scene in A1 or A2;
  • Shows depth – aerial or linear perspective;
  • Natural objects;
  • Straight lined objects.

The scene selection and approach are closely aligned. The instructions provide the following approach:

  • Preliminary drawings to experiment with the composition.
  • Make sketches to practise the perspective of the scene right.
  • Broad sketches in charcoal or diluted ink and brush and trial other media.
  • With an A2 or A1 keeping your preliminary sketches around you for reference.

Continue reading “Assignment 3”

Posted in Coursework, Notes, Part 3

Project 5: Townscapes

Exercise 1 Sketchbook of townscape drawings

Barbican Corner

I chose this building because of the interesting curve in combination with the glass and concrete look. Quite typical for this area near the Barbican. The light was coming from behind in the early morning, with the building opposite throwing a shadow on it.The horizon was below the image bottom, which I felt emphasised looking up and size. For a taller building I’d need a touch of vertical foreshortening. Continue reading “Project 5: Townscapes”

Posted in Coursework, Part 3

Project 1: Trees

On consideration of my feedback from my tutor I’m trying a new format for this blog. I’m going to be starting to write each project up in a single post. I will add to the post as I do the drawings for the project, which I’m hoping will make the intention of the drawing process clearer.

Ex 1: Approaching a single tree

Making a start

I started by experiments in my sketchbook. Continue reading “Project 1: Trees”

Posted in Coursework, Part 4, Sketchbook

Life Drawing

I managed to get to my first life drawing class in a while.The first exercise, the featured image, was Blind contour drawing. There are some recognisable elements at least. An interesting feature here was that occasional ‘repositioning’ was considered acceptable. I did so about 4 times in the 12m session. Continue reading “Life Drawing”

Posted in Art and Artists, Coursework, Part 1, Research & Reflection

Odilon Redon’s tonal drawings

A quick Google Search ( on Odilon and his Noirs (the name he uses for his tonal drawings) quickly brings a wealth of information. This can be further elaborated by wikipedia:  Continue reading “Odilon Redon’s tonal drawings”

Posted in Notes, Research & Reflection, Sketchbook

Drawing with rhythm

I came an interesting section about drawing with rhythm in Andrew Loomis’ book “Figure Drawing for all its worth.” (PDF available here.) He describes drawing with rhythm as following through the major lines of forms in various graceful curves as part of the setup. The drawing on page 136 is of particular interest in this respect. As an experiment in this approach I tried a drawing of a dancer. Although I am unhappy with many of the details of the image, the basic idea of building up the form with interesting curves was very useful. Now I just need to learn a whole bunch about anatomy.

Posted in Foundation Drawing, Foundation Drawing - ASSIGNMENT 4, Foundation Drawing - ASSIGNMENTS, Foundation Drawing - Part 4

Project 4.3: Evaluation and Reflection

Observation and Construction

In all cases, I’m not totally happy with the images but they are a definite improvement over where I was. In the hands images, for example, I’m not that happy with the fist. I was going for a darker image in the tonal range (which worked), but I’m not as happy with the observation and accuracy of this one. In the touching feet, the background needs a level of work. I might also have put more effort into the rendering of the material of the jeans. For the crossed feet the toe on the right foot (on the left hand side of the image) is a little too bulbous. Similarly the arch of the foot is somewhat off. Continue reading “Project 4.3: Evaluation and Reflection”