Sketch practice #50

Daily Art 12-2-17 still life sketch in graphite number 50 - walnut and almonds

For today’s sketch I used my gridded viewfinder to establish the proportions of my little still life of a walnut and two almonds in their shells. Measuring with a skewer hasn’t been going all that well so I wanted to capture the outer perimeter of the elements (the notional space) with something that gave me a clearer sense of width-to-height. It seemed to work much better and I felt a lot more confident about the overall size of the subject as a whole.

Once the size was established, I attempted to draw the envelope lines. But they weren’t accurate and got abandoned pretty quickly in favor of visualizing plumb lines and sighting angles. It took a lot of fussing and most of my 30 minutes, but I finally got things blocked in to a point that I was happy. I could sense my time ticking away so I very quickly got some shadow shapes blocked in and roughly shaded. I like how the cast shadows look, but when I started adding small details to the walnut to describe the little shadows on its surface things got worse.

I’ve been following the lessons on davinciinitiative.org and their videos on YouTube, and one of the core things they teach is to start with big ideas and work to the smaller ideas. In adding the little tiny cracks and shadows on the walnut, I jumped ahead to the smaller ideas in just those areas without developing the overall forms first.

I think I’d like to do more sketches of this still life and see if I can get quicker and blocking in the shapes and have more time for shading. I also want to do some Bargue plates to practice drawing proportion and angles.

And also…draw lighter lines!

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