Your top ten tools for today..! Apples. In tone, and in colour.
Drawing by Joanna D
Recently my weekly students arrived to a small arrangement each, of just a couple of apples. Not just any apples of course, but really dark, red, shiny ones. The brief was to pay attention to all the tones, by firstly drawing the apples in pencil and then do it again in colour pencil. So one of the important factors was the Time Limit.. If you would like to try it, here are your ten tools for tackling it. Oh yes - and re- member, Size Matters, so cut your paper down to about A4 (about 21 cm x 30cm) to restrict yourself. If its too large it will take longer.
1. Be fussy at the shop and choose apples which are densely coloured and as dark as possible.
2. Place two or three on the table so they are touching each
other, making sure they aren’t sitting in a row, but that at
least one of them is behind the others. The point of the ex-
ercise is to address the very darkest tones where each apple ‘meets’ the next.
3. Using an HB or F pencil, start drawing from one of the stalks and work outwards, using the ‘cobweb’ technique. Do not leap to the outside edges, but draw your way there by including as many ‘contained shapes’ of reflections, changes in colour or shadows as you reach them.
4. Instead of using a line to draw a ‘framework’, you are going to shade as you go along. Everyone found this challenging at first, because our natural inclination veers towards line. Instead, once you have drawn the stalk (which you may do as a couple of careful lines), start shading outwards from there, leaving highlights unshaded when you reach them etc.
5. Do stick to the cobweb RATHER than enthusiastically completing one apple in its entirety and then drawing the next one. It doesn’t matter if you only get part of two apples drawn, the exercise needs the tones to do all the work.