Drawing One Part Two research on stipples and dots as a form of drawing

I am foxed by the use of dots and stipples to produce shading especially when that involves using a biro which has a very thin point and hence involves a lot of time in the production of an area of shade with small dots—-and feels virtually impossible.

I googled shading using stipples and dots :

“Stippling has traditionally been favoured over hatching in biological and medical illustration, since it is less likely than hatching to interfere visually with the structures being illustrated (the lines used in hatching can be mistaken for actual contours), and also since it allows the artist to vary the density of shading more subtly to depict curved or irregular surfaces.” ref:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stippling

I have not yet aquired a reference book for drawing but do have Ian Simpson’s “Drawing Seeing and observation” 1992 and found works by the following artists who have used stippling:

Harold Gilman:

Harold Gilman, ‘Study for 'Leeds Market'’ c.1913

Harold Gilman (1876‑1919)
Title Study for ‘Leeds Market’ Date c.1913  MediumInk and graphite on paper ref:http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/gilman-study-for-leeds-market-t00143
Here Gilman, who was one of the Camden town group, uses line as the predominant vehicle of his picture making but stippling as areaas denoting shadow. There is no great depth of tonal contrast, perhaps due to the use of the fine stippling as shade. The picture also shows a compositional feature of central figures but the eye is taken by the roof’s perspective into the distance.
Georges Seurat
Although Seurat’s drawings appear to be made of small dots and stipples, these are achieved by virtue of the paper and crayon used
“Rather than grasping drawing as line, the artist prefers to blacken more or less entire areas of the page. Between the whiteness of the blank paper and absolute black, familiar extremes to draughtsmen for many centuries, he manages to obtain nuances of half-shades thanks to the textured weave of the support”.(Conté crayon and the legendary Michallet paper) ref: http://www.thearttribune.com/Georges-Seurat-The-Drawings.html
5. Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
La Grille, 1882-1884   Conté crayon – 24.8 x 32.4 cm  New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum  ref:  http://www.thearttribune.com/Georges-Seurat-The-Drawings.html
Van Gogh

Vincent VAn Gogh Ink drawing over black chalk   ref: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pd/v/vincent_van_gogh,_la_crau.aspx

Here Van Gogh uses dots and stippling in the middle distant fields and straight and curved lines in the foreground. This seems to give a greater sense of movement in the foreground and activity but not of any variety in the mid ground. The stippling does not vary in size of “dots ” nor their distance apart as they reced further from the eye.


I have been trying to achieve a depth of tone with stippling and dots but perhaps it cannot lend itself to the intensity of shade found in Seurat’ pictures–perhaps it represents more of a graduation between none shade and shade with little propensity for a graduation through shade itself.