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Graham Scandrett: Drawing from Observation, 7 & 14 Oct 2011

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or Graham's other years:1999 - 2001 - 2003 - 2004 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016

BRIEF
Bring pencils (B and softer) and cartridge paper

Guidance will be given on
Composition
Construction
Tonal Analysis
Week 1 (7 October 2011).
Tonal drawings from small groups of fruit or veg (provided)

Week 2 (14 October).
Still life group with plain (not patterned) draped background (of your own choice or provided).
Week 1 (7 October 2011).
Tonal drawings from small groups of fruit or veg.

Graham pointed out that few of us draw as much as we should,
so these two sessions will be devoted entirely to pencil work.
The first thing is not to hold the pencil like a writing implement between thumb and two fingers, pointing down at the paper. Lay it on the table and pick it up between thumb and four fingers so that you are working with the side of the lead.
When you've composed your objects, with interesting overlaps and shadows, decide between a portrait or landscape format for the drawing.
There are no lines, only transitions between different shades. So don't draw lines!
Exception? Mark short lines to place the extremities of the main objects on the paper.
Put all erasers away out of reach!

Then start shading (with the side of the pencil, of course). 5B is a good compromise: not too hard, which might dent the paper, not so soft as to make very black marks too soon.
Spend lots of time looking at the subject, noting differences and similarities of tone.
Remember the nearly-closed-eyes trick to get rid of colour differences.


Note the big tonal differences between identical surfaces at different angles to the light.
There is often no tonal difference between the bottom of an object and its adjacent shadow.
Play down colour differences unless there are clear tonal ones.
 
Week 2 (14 October)
Still life group with plain (not patterned) draped background.
Graham started with a quick resumé of last week's talk, for those who hadn't made it.
When you arrange your still, life make sure your eyes are in exactly the same place as they will be when you are drawing.
When you choose between landscape and portrait you'll probably decide that the top of the drapery is not important.
The process is the same but more care is needed when the subject is more complicated: short lines at extremities and then straight into shading.
Darkest tones first. The direction of shading is not very important unless, perhaps, when you are trying to define a curved surface.
People just don't remember what they are told! Graham circulated all evening, and had to remind us again and again of the same points as he did last week. Maybe you should read them again.

As for me, there were no biscuits left so I just went mad with the camera.
I hope the result will remind those present what an enjoyable couple of weeks Graham gave us.
At least, more of us were using the sides of our pencils!
Sam Dauncey

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Back to History page
or Graham's other years:1999 - 2001 - 2003 - 2004 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016

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