Week 2- Tonal Studies Self Evaluation

I would be lying if I said I approached this tonal study with confidence. Whilst I consider my shading techniques to be of a good quality, my eye for tonal differences is less than sharp (possibly stemming from my very mild colour blindness). As such my shading style often features either overly strong contrast (which while useful in some cases is more often annoying in most) or not enough contrast. I saw this task as the first step on a road to changing this. I decided that since we were given two objects to study I would use different materials for each.

For the lighter of the two objects, and white paper cone, I used Copics Ciao watercolour pens. A good practice I have been taught is to sketch quick and small thumbnail of the scene first to block in the extreme tones of the scene, and allow for a tonal range to be established. Whilst this often contributes to my tendency for heavy contrast it is useful for seeing the overall layout of the scene in miniature. After this a quick and basic sketch of the full scene (drawing only the basic shapes) was carried out and the tones were put in going from light to dark. I tried to keep my pen strokes as loose as possible at first, only becoming more precise as the shades darkened. This technique worked well for me, despite the pens beginning to dry up half way through the piece, and I am relatively pleased with the overall result. The composition is distracting however, with the dark mass of Lee taking the eye away from the cone itself, something I will be more mindful of in the future.

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My second study was much more successful I feel, it was a darker object and thus by its nature had quite strong contrasts. I used a basic HB pencil for this study and took a different approach also. Once my thumbnail and basic sketch were in place I shaded the whole object in one mid-tone shade. I then went back over with and eraser and took out the light areas (such as the edges), going back and forth like this until I was happy. After this I went back and forth over the object gradually layering in darker levels shading (not really caring about the angle of the strokes but more the shape of the area) until I was happy with the tones.

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Whilst I may not have looked forward to this task I certainly found it insightful. One ‘technique’ I accidentally picked up was using my terrible eyesight to my advantage. By taking my glasses off, the object blurs and I can more clearly see the gradients and tones. There are also some areas I should definitely improve upon however, especially concerning lighter and subtler tonal variations, which I struggle to both pick up on and apply. The resulting contrast (or lack thereof) can be useful to achieve certain styles or moods, but I should still work to improve it for other works.

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Posted on September 23, 2014, in Self Evaluation, Semester 1 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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