Still life using line(Exercise)

In this exercise I have been asked to set up a still life group:

  1. Select the objects that are connected naturally
  2. They are the same in one way or another- shape, height, pattern, texture, function or story etc.
  3. Or they are deliberately contrasting or clashing.
  4. A medium suitable for drawing line.

The last exercise reminded me of the shells, as I think their texture is best way to practice with sharp line drawing. So I have taken some photos of shells.

img_5491 img_5494 img_5496 img_5499

First attempt: I have drawn this picture by a black fine line pen in my sketchbook.


After this attempt I am not confidence with the way/objects/medium I have chosen but still have a strong feeling that shells are the best objects for me to practice. Then I got some problems:

  1. I am supposed to draw a regular pattern. (I have done quickly scribbles for the pattern but they look disorderly and irregular.)
  2. They are neat and clear. (I have to draw quickly so their texture look strong and flowing. If I draw slowly they may come out curved.)
  3. Their texture are uneven but regular.

So at the moment I need to think more before my next attempt. One of the way I am going to research and take a look of other coursemates’ work.

Second attempt: I have found out a pen which I bought about my 20’s and it is a calligraphy pen. Then I used it to do the second attempt in my sketchbook. In this sketch, I need to find out the lines’ direction and effects.


As shells are very hard shapes,  I decided not to use any brush for lines in this exercise.

Third attempt: I still use this calligraphy. I control my wrist and let the lines flow and fly. At the moment, I am thinking about the shadows, I am going to use lines or tones?


At last I am moving on to a A3 170gms white paper. I have used the calligraphy on the right shell ( but when I stopped using it for the night I couldn’t get the pen working well). The fine line 0.5 for the middle shell. Then the fibre-tip 1.0 for the left. Before I scribble the lines on the paper I used a little bit of black watercolour wash as the shell’s base. Also I used circles for shadows. This is the half way work.


The final picture. I have used the fineline 0.5 pen scribble the shells’ texture. Also use the lines’ light and dark, thick and slippy to show the light direction.



This exercise is principally to practice the lines. I am happy with the third attempt as there was not any presure (exercise/sketch) when I was scribbling it. I am also happy with the final picture even there are some lines are not neat and accurate when I was worried and feeling under pressure(final one). Then I got so much from that. Finally I like the flying, scribble or flowing lines.

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