|For this sketch I used the photo I took of my still life as reference and explored different shading techniques. It’s by far my favorite from this weekend’s sketches!|
We took advantage of the long Thanksgiving weekend to take our camper over to Joshua Tree National Park. Unfortunately it was hot and crowded, so wasn’t that great an experience. But time away in the camper is always appreciated and I had lots of time to sketch and read.
I sketched a few random objects we had with us, including a fork — which was a great challenge! As it sat on the table in front of me I was sure I understood the angles, until I really started looking at it carefully and noticed how wrong my assumptions were.
I also wanted to experiment with drawing from the photos of my still lifes, to compare them to my sketches drawn from life (the three pears and the bowl/apple/knife). With the advantage of a square cropped photo that included center line marks, my sketches are much more accurate than the previous sketches. I think the main thing that helped me was having stationary marks that act like plumb lines.
There were a couple of big takeaways from this weekend’s sketching:
- use more plumb lines to check relationships and keep assumptions at bay
- starting with hard graphite and building to soft graphite really makes a more engaging value scale (compare the measuring cup to the pears)
- combine smoothly shaded tones with sharp hatching for interesting marks
- pay attention to the contrast between the subject and background — for example, when the subject is light, consider making a darker background (compare the pears with a dark background to the white bowl/apple on a white background)