A personal journey exploring art making to find out who I am as an artist. See post.
I ruled up a few squares (10x10cm) and using a 2B pencil drew an egg pre-dawn, morning, noon, afternoon and dusk. I chose an egg because it had a clean, simple surface and shape, but with some level of complexity as it had no hard edges, and I had a few left in my fridge too!
Unfortunately it was a very overcast day, all…day…long. Any changes in the light were really subtle, so I gave up after the 4.00pm drawing.
The only one that was different was the 6.30am drawing. But that was partially due to me drawing in very low light conditions where I could barely see the paper, and had only woken up five minutes before I started, so was still a bit bleary-eyed.
The toughest part was locating the darkest area on the egg, every time I would look at it, it seemed to shift. If I darkened too great an area, the egg would have looked flat. It may well have been the diffused sunlight I was dealing with.
I tried to omit linework work too, but they crept in a few times. Despite the ordinary results, it’s probably worth attempting again on a brighter, sunnier day.
This exercise consisted of five separate drawings, starting simple and rising to more complex in regard to tonal values. I used a 3B pencil.
I kept the subjects simple in shape and as plain as I could. I didn’t want to get bogged down in capturing patterns or surface graphics. I drew these under natural light, again on an overcast day, so I don’t know if that effected what I saw.
I tried really hard to keep the images clean but I kept overworking them. Initially I wasn’t happy with my pebble but upon reviewing it, it has that smooth slightly dappled texture that I liked.
The flashdrive and silk ribbon I feel weren’t as successful. The angle I was drawing the flashdrive at wasn’t reflecting anything so it looked quite flat. In this instance, I probably should have changed view or used creative licence and added it, as it doesn’t come off as being made out of plastic at all. I also overworked the slithers of white highlights too.
The ribbon isn’t as bad (I forgot to take a photo at the time), it does have the silky feel of the material and the twists seem believable. However, I don’t think it has the lightness of the ribbon due to me going a bit hardcore with the shading.
The shot glass was a better result. I managed to retain the weighted feel of the thick glass. There were a lot more refractive shapes in the real object, but the softness of my 3B pencil kept filling in the finer detailed areas so I left it.
The sock… does it “look” like a black sock? I picked a dark coloured sock because I thought it would be more challenging to seek out the shadows.
It was tricky not to draw in lines. It does look like I have drawn quite a few in, but some are the shadows sitting beneath the matchsticks or the grain of wood that runs along the length of them. I do feel I captured the lightness of the matchsticks.
This was a fun exercise as they were quick to execute, so many compositions to be made and they have a nice, clean shape. It would be nice to return to this again.
I had to prep this exercise well in advance as I knew if I would waste time trying to think of a layout to “colour in”. So I developed the character and scene during my lunch breaks at work, including all the seasonal nuances. Later I transferred them to cartridge paper ready for the day.
By the time I got to it I only had time to finish one, summer. However, I enjoyed doing it so much that I decided to fit in the rest at other times during the week. Luckily it was the Christmas break so had opportunity to get them done.
Everyone starts out learning how to draw with the trusty graphite pencil, but many of us move on, sometimes never to return. Why is that? Is it because it’s so simple that it exposes our flaws to easily or that it requires far more discipline than we care to commit to. I know there are lovers of pencil out there, and I would love to hear your thoughts on what this medium gives you that others can’t. Or if its just endless frustration of smudge marks all over your paper that somehow transfer up your elbows.
Thanks for your time,
The Creative Plan – Day 2 Graphite Pencil
Wow!!! I am blown away by what you’ve achieved in a day. There’s real depth to your study that I believe will be helpful for other artists. I haven’t played around with graphite much at all, I began drawing by drawing repetitive patterns and this has always been a quick sketch followed by ink. I’ve never been a person who can “draw things”, but your study is prompting me to look at my pattern work in different ways… and for that, I’m grateful. I can’t wait to see your next post, awesome work 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Thanks for the comments. To be honest drawing with that much detail is not my thing – I grew up learning to draw via comic books, but as you mentioned by exploring “drawing things” if its not what you do, can lead to inspiration for the things you like to do. I strongly feel that its all reciprocal – even if you are a watercolourist or someone who only draws with felt tip pens, by spending some decent time playing around with other mediums it might prompt new thoughts and inspiration. Its the same if you only like drawing people, try landscape for a few months and so on. If you stick to the same thing all time there’s only so far your development will go. Thanks again.
Nice Meegan. Like the egg drawings. I think you got the pebble just right – it definitely looks like a solidness and heaviness to it as well as accurate texture. Similar with the glass. Cool challenge with the matchsticks. The four seasons illustrations are gorgeous. Each of the four drawings have their own little details and ideas which give a distinct and unique feel but they are consistent in style and all have that same ambience and warmth to them.
Re: actually using a graphite pencil I think there’s something plain and simple about pencil on paper – yet (like any medium) there’s a lot of unique subtleties and dynamics. I like the way that – with every line drawn you’re wearing down the actual graphite tip and therefore the contact against the paper changes (however subtle) so, you need to be sensitive to this but then also how this is all part of the final look and feel of an illustration.