Detail and tone(Exercise)

This exercise’s target:

1. Build up dark, medium and light tones.

2. Use pencils with hatching and cross-hatching techniques.

3. Select a single object: a shell or a piece of driftwood.

4. Combine soft and medium grade pencils and alter the direction the strokes.

5. Use smooth A3 paper and a putty rubber.

I have attempted a shell in an exercise for experimenting with texture in assignment 1. As my tutor suggestions “going over pass exercise” in my feedback for assignment 1.

This is a very rough drawing. There are no clearly defined dark, medium and light tones. For the shell, on the right hand top side I need to add some more pattern as it is a fanshaped object.


I live in Sheffield which is in the middle of country and I don’t have any chances to go to the seaside at the moment.  I don’t want to skip past  this  exercise because the exercises are step by step to improve the drawing skills. So I have been to a park that is near me. There I have picked up some woods from the forest.

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If I practice the surface I would like to choose the third one but for this exercise I want to attempt the last one which is a challenge for the three dimensions and its gesture.

First step, I practice this piece of wood in my sketchbook. Find out the areas for dark, medium and light tones.


This photo had been taken on a cloudy day, but later the sun came out. So I decide to take some more different photo angles. Now I can see the shadows are very clearly.

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Then I am moving on the A3 170gsm paper.

I started from teminato by 4B pencil then darker halftone to shadow(6B), then the light halftone(2B-HB) and highlight(2H) to edge.

This is half way to finishing the final picture.


I stepped back from it. I need to refine the detail of the area where with the barks on it. I also need to shade the shadows’s area.


I am happy with the final outcome but I think I have to leave the negative space where I didn’t give any tone to the left top corner. This is because as the light comes from this way and the light from here is going down the right hand corner where it is darker.

I think I have give sufficient contrasts to all the areas to let them stand out in the three dimensional space. I think that the branch at the top that comes out at an angle is not correct with the original picture. But I will leave it and remind myself to observe in further drawing.


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