Choose at least six objects of different sizes and shapes. Some of these should be three-dimensional forms made from rectangles and cylinders – a paperback book, a cereal box, jar of coffee, tin of beans, etc. – and others should be less regular in their form, for example a net or loose plastic container.
For the first image, work on a surface (A2 or A1) that seems appropriate for the image you want to make. Be imaginative and don’t assume you have to use a bright white sheet of paper. You might want to use a sheet of brown paper or an unfolded newspaper as your support, for example.
Try to make your composition as natural as possible. A supermarket shop with the objects still in the trolley or spilling out from a carrier bag makes for a very different feel than a highly posed scene. Using just one colour (charcoal, conté, oil stick, ink and stick, etc.) and bearing in mind the previous exercises, loosely describe the group of objects. Don’t forget their weight, transparency, shine, etc., and don’t forget the spaces between them and the things they are resting on or against. Remember that writing on labels will curve around cylindrical objects and elements half hidden inside bags will jostle for space.
Fill the sheet with drawing. Imagine you can see through the forms to the spaces inside. Try to evoke some kind of expression in the marks you make and in the relationships you create inside and around the edges of the forms and the picture plane.
OCA student, Sally Pennington, Sketchbook drawing, 2012
Process and Critique
Reference photo – studio table with objects, ink bottle and drawing sticks (forsythia branch that has a hollow centre into which I cut a nib):
My chosen objects are:
Copy of Vitamin D
Copy of Drawing Projects
Copy of A Beginner’s Guide to Drawing
1 x open metal tin
1 x ‘Pencil’ pencil case
1 x open clear jar
1 x (empty) bottle of Tobermory whisky
1 x bottle stopper
1 x set of teeth mould (mine)
Unsuccessful first attempt with the ink on A2 paper. I found it difficult to get the ink to flow with my home made sticks and as you can see my idea of scale was way off the mark. However, I intend to come back to trying ink again with this same composition.
So, I gave the drawing another go using green ink. This time my tool of choice was a nib pen which turned out to still be a bit of a challenge to keep loaded and create clean lines. I then tried out a Rotring isograph pen with the same green ink and several grades of nib (.70, 1.0, and 2.0) – very scratchy on the paper and no easy flow. In frustration I picked up a charcoal stick and set to it to finish the drawing. You can still see green ink peeking through in places:
My second attempt on A2 paper was more successful, this time using a green conté stick for mark making. Scale and perspective a bit better I think although the ‘pencil’ pencil case in the can is wrong – it should be lying up against the edge to accommodate its full length properly in the tin can.
I haven’t really used conté much before and found it a bit tricky to use to get clean lines. My other observation is that the drawing could have been larger in scale on the paper while still leaving sufficient negative space around and between the objects:
Third, and most pleasing effort to me, I chose a graphite pencil to capture the objects and space as loosely as I could manage. I think the scale is better and the sense of depth is there with the light sketching in of the table top leading into the backdrop.
I found working with the graphite much easier to control and I managed some thicker, darker as well as lighter lines. I was quite tempted to do a bit of shading, but decided that wasn’t the real point of the exercise.
I know I am a fairly untidy drawer – no real precision here – but I kind of like the fuzzier, less ‘clean’ approach to placing down marks on the paper:
Groups of objects pdf file
Stuart Brownlee – 512319
19 May 2015