Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Study in Lighting

It was something like eight hours work here. The exercise called for drawing a smooth object with shadowing in various lighting conditions, then repeat with a rough or twisted botanical object. It wasn't until I completed the eggs that I realized that it's be a stretch to consider an egg a botanical object. Hen fruit? No matter, no worries, I think I made up for it with that oak twig.

I tried out a transfer with the twig using a bit of Bienfang parchment. Very handy stuff... I used it here as well for covering completed drawings, preventing most smudging. I traced out the drawn twig, scratched in plenty of HB on the back side, and then traced over that with a 4H. Instant twigs!

Just what made this exercise feel so rewarding? Well, for one thing, a few of the objects came through with some realism. My favorites are the overhead egg and the side, low side, and back twigs. Another thing is simply the thought that shading is quite nuanced and requires a patient eye to experience the subtle details.

This is an exercise that I've wanted to get to on my own, that is, prior to deciding to join in this course. I'm so glad I have one study accomplished. Of course, just like any other exercise I've been through and posted out here, each exercise is meant to be repeated.

One last thought... Over the past few weeks, I've been brought through various techniques and probably didn't quite realize that each exercise built upon the one prior. From line, through shapes, perspective, and now shadowing, each component is included with each next exercise. It was a real thrill today when I remembered: Hey, I can go back and lighten up those contour lines in the highlights. Very, very cool, was that feeling!


  1. very very nice John! something so satisfying about the object repeated

  2. Thanks so very much, Val. I really had a wonderful time with this exercise and was left quite contemplative while looking over the results.