Observing Shadow Using Blocks of Tone

I’ve been reading Experimental Drawing by Robert Kaupelis and decided to start off with an apple and an egg (page 67).


For my first attempt I was fairly satisfied with this although I can see now that it is not well finished. I started using a chunky piece of charcoal but eventually swapped it for a finer one. Funny how when you take a photo you can see what you couldn’t see on the page, I must try taking photos and viewing them this way whilst working, it was helpful. The egg was, of course, difficult to render and again, lighting is a bit of an issue.

My next attempt also involved two eggs, not surprisingly they are proving difficult to master. I figured though this is good practice so I kept at it. I’ve been using coloured sugar paper as I think it’s not a bad medium to work with, for some reason A1 paper seems hard to acquire.

photo-17-10-2016-09-54-46I was having problems with my eggs so ventured onto YouTube and watched somebody else draw one, I did learn something so would recommend watching others practice art this way. One tip I learnt was that the shadow should be the darkest point, not the egg, which makes sense. I decided another attempt was going to be the one to crack this.

Photo 17-10-2016, 09 55 11.jpg

My some miracle I bought some A1 paper, turns out this did not work well with charcoal, there is not enough tooth in it so blending and erasing was a bit of a nightmare.  Came back to it later in the day but of course the light had changed and so did the shadows. There is still room for improvement, the lines are too hard and need to be softer, that’s partly down to materials but also user error but I think progress was made.


7 thoughts on “Observing Shadow Using Blocks of Tone

  1. algilmourblog says:

    Hi Louise, love the blog. On your last drawing of the eggs the one on the left is a pretty good rendition in charcoal. I found even on paper with a tooth, rubbing out charcoal is nearly impossible except for the deliberate rub out technique to provide texture (Kaupelis pg 31). Good luck and I’ll look forward to seeing more
    All the best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Louise says:

      Thank you so much. I plan to try the deliberate rub out technique soon, I do like charcoal. Thanks for your comment, it’s so nice to get feedback as I’m just toddling along, haven’t yet sent any work for assignment.


  2. Anna Pike says:

    Hi Louise I know you have commented on the lines and tones not being quite right here and that may be so but I just have to add that I think the texture of the egg on the left is just beautiful! I can really feel it . I keep wanting to look at it.

    Liked by 1 person

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