Drawing One Part One Still Life and Check and log

Notes from page 34:

eye is drawn to figures, unexpected features, contrasts in colour or form (sharp against rounded ). Strong verticals arrest the eye and stop it straying from frame, repetition of colours or forms hold a composition together. Colour can be restricted to attract the eye or hold the composition together. An unpredictable shape can be energetic and interesting.


Still Life of Man Made Objects

Plastic bottles

The first objects I picked for this were too complicated and the small thumbnail sketches did not lend themselves to the use of charcoal.  Switching to fine liner and then biro and a set of plastic bottles, I did three small sketches.




The darker fine liner produced a greater dark-light atmosphere. I added background shading (initially omitted) as it helped bring the picture forward. I had problems using hatching to follow the rounded outline and irregular shapes of some of the bottles. I think the sketch in which the top of the bottle is disappearing off the top of the picture frame  shaded with irregular “scribbles” rather than entirely with “straight hatches”  is the best of the three versions but I am unsure as to why.

Still Life Composition of natural objects

I did a drawing in wax crayon and coloured pencil before I started looking at any composition, and I think I like this best. I certainly like the subtlety of the colours, but don’t feel adverse to the composition.


Of the smaller skecthes in different media and from different angles, I liked the pen and ink composition and use of hatching in a wide fashion.


An attempt to enlarge  the pen and ink version was not, I feel, as successful. The hatching lines were too far apart and grated on my vision and the bunch of bananas destroy any balance by their position and angle.


Plant Pot and Fruit

After trying several positions of the still life (see thumbnails) I liked the slightly off centre appearance of the first.



1) Image one still life

I particularly liked this first larger pencil sketch without shading (unfortunately “splodged” with ink from the following page)


2) Image two still life

I thought it would look good in ink and did it again-this is not as effective-partly because of the recurrent dipping of the pen and so loss of the flow of the lines. The plant changed position as I was drawing and as I was attempting not to let lines cross the plant was less accurately drawn. It did however remind me of a Japanese (? Chinese ) ink drawing and I think I should investigate this further.


Image 3 Still Life

Drawn in charcoal pencil: to bring out the shadows. Unfortunately charcoal pencil did not lend itself to cross hatching. Although this gives more form and drama by virtue of the light and shade-I still prefer the first simple pencil sketch.


Pg 36 Check and Log

I think both man-made and natural objects have challenges in suggesting three dimensions. Spheres such as apples are less difficult to give a three dimensional aspect to than bananas. Bottles with dents and fluid inside are difficult compared to vases. I prefer to draw natural objects but am unsure if that is because the three dimensional aspect is easier to depict.

Solidity is created by the shading, the hatching, the overlapping of other objects and by the shadows cast by the objects on the surface and on each other.

I don’t like changing the arrangement, I am happy to discover what will emerge from the one aspect and I lose interest a little when drawing objects over and over again. I think the spontaneity of the one view is lost by overdoing the arrangement. On the whole, it is the first arrangement that I prefer-perhaps I am thinking as I put the objects down and rethinking is too much.

Positioning in relation to the objects depended not only on the restrictions by the surroundings but also by how I felt the objects appeared from various positions. The angle of the light, the shadows and the way in which the objects interacted were important in my position in relation to the objects.

Observing Negative space and perspective

Drawing objects with a continuous line: