Goodness! Can you believe that 2023 is nearly over? This year seems to have flown past at an alarming rate. As has done this final term of drawing classes. As we round up the year, our final tonal drawing was of a tree done in graphite pencil.
Once again, the brief was to concentrate on the tonal masses, and avoid too much line or outlining. Line was to be used as an enhancement to the tonal areas. To begin, 4 single dots were used to indicate the height and the width of the subject on the page. Then, very lightly, a simple structure line was used to establish the form. Students were encouraged not to fuss too much over this step and erasers positively banned! Every mark deserves to live!
Starting with the 4B Derwent sketching pencils and working across the page the darkest areas of tone were indicated, remembering to think of mass, not detail. For the bulk of the tonal areas I used the 2B pencil. It is important when drawing like this to not get bogged down in trying to draw each individual leaf - that is the way to madness. I used a soft, brush like motion with my pencils to build up the areas of mass. When required, the HB Derwent was used to blend tones together. I didn't use a paper stump but used the HB as my blending tool. If required, I used a kneadable eraser to 'lift' out any areas that were too dense in tone.
I worked on this drawing primarily during the class times so students could observe how it progressed and I could demonstrate the technique and the result. I chose not to have any background in this instance as the tree is focus as a spot image. Additional darks and branches were added as required with a Staedtler Mars 6B pencil. A soft, shadowed grassy base was used to 'ground' the tree.
I am reasonably pleased with the result but doubt it will get framed. Just another one in the folio of unframed works available for sale.
The completed work. About 4 hours or so.
'California Blue Oak' by Linda Weil © 2023
As this year draws to a close, note that bookings for my 2024 classes at the Victorian Artists Society VAS and the Mentone Mordialloc Art Group MMAG open soon. Register early to avoid disappointment. First term will be 'Cute Critters', drawings of all things small, cute and furry.