Three Monochromatic Studies

by Todd
(Cincinnati, OH)

Here are three studies as indicated by the title. My inspiration came from a video demonstration at www.starwars.com. I used an HB pencil to sketch in shapes and prismacolor art stix (black, white, and blue) to complete the studies. The paper is Artist's VISION premium textured cardstock. The size of the display is approximately 19cm x 21cm. The sphere is 5cm x 5cm, the mannequin head is 8cm x 11cm, and the egg is 7cm x 7cm.


I'm learning to shade my drawings so when I stumbled across the video and saw a demonstration I got all excited because the it looked accessible. So I decided to see if I could recreate what was drawn in the video for a sincere beginning. The shere represents that effort. I shaded the egg next, using a paper mache egg I bought just for this purpose. I can carry it with me without being concerned with it breaking or spoiling! Last, I took my chances with one of those grey articulated mannequins (I can't think of her name) under the overhead light in my room.

Some of my challenges (other than youth and inexperience) were:

1. Drawing small with art stix which have square ends.
2. Being stingy with my expensive supplies and refusing to file my art stix to a fine point.
3. I was a little surprised at how unyielding the tooth of the paper is. Since I intended to do quick studies to explore the possibilities of shading with a limited set of tones, I decided not to worry too much about layering. So the lines of the paper definitely show through.
4. I'm learning the technical aspects of light on form
and concepts of form shadow, cast shadow, highlight, halftone and the like are like five people I just met and haven't quite learned their names yet.
5. With the sphere, I've since learned from an old Andrew Loomis book (Successful Drawing) what the guy in the video probably already knows about how and why the the shadows fall a certain way.
6. I see why so many artists extoll the virtue of drawing from nature, and learning to draw what you see. It was difficult for me to decide what was reflected light, and what was form shadow. There are some subtleties I hope to get used to in future studies.
7. Also, balancing the contrasts in tones was difficult, especially on Jane (for the sake sanity wondering if I spelled mannequin correctly-or any other word).

I'm most pleased about actually sitting down and making the attempt. The more I look at the drawings, the more obvious mistakes I see, especially in Jane. But I like the process. Until I saw the video, I really didn't get the point about using colored paper which represents the half tone (halftone (?)). Next time I plan pay more attention to symmetry (Jane's neck and jaw line. Also, I plan to work with colored pencils instead of art stix.

I was going to be cute and call this "Battlefield of the Mind", the title of a book by Joyce Meyers. I found, to my delight, my copy of this book while searching for my colored pencils, and thought about honoring her. I'm also happy I found a good set of Prismacolor colored pencils given to me, which I forgot I had (I don't have a silver spoon in my mouth, my room is cluttered).

I hope I've said enough. I've hope I haven't said too much. Comments, and critiques are welcome.

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Three Monochromatic Studies
by: claudia

Wonderful attempt Todd....you have a talent...keep true to your pencil :-)

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