A Drawing A Day 1183

Progress Shot 16

Couldn’t hold back any longer and the hips, the legs and the background got an overhaul. The knees will afford a great little tonal play, although, might have to watch them so they don’t steal the show. Let’s see if I can control myself. ;–))
The hips look reasonably good, but they are sticking out a bit (in terms of tone), not being completely part of the unity of the rest of the body. More work done on her belly, hair and background – which again questions the tone of the rest of the body.
And quite shocking how I completely overlooked the fold her (in her view) left thigh creates as she leans on the stool. This should have been picked up in the construction phase. Better late then never, hey?

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1182

Progress Shot 15

The next step here was to adjust the tone again. I set the new dark point with the front of her hair and both sides of the neck. See how fast the tone on her arm fades in comparison? Love it. Minor tonal adjustments on her chest. After that I worked on her torso, mainly in the area between her breasts and pelvis. There is a whole new figure’s worth of tone to capture there. The nuances of how her flesh hangs and sometimes folds and reflects light and curves. Trying to capture the difference between the softer and firmer parts. Cautiously approaching the cast shadow on her hips behind her (in her point of view) right arm. This could be a potential disaster if not done carefully. Essentially, I have two options here to spatially describe the mass. Either I’ll treat this area as dark, as a result of a cast shadow, or, I use this area to describe the mass by showing how much light is reflected from the space around her. Tricky. I suspect it’ll have to do a complex mix of both. Apart from that, I have also brought the base tone down her legs. I will need to do some serious tone work here next.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing a Day 1181

Progress Shot 14

Let’s take the changes in this progress shot from the top. Adjusted her hair in shape and in tone. Then added more tone to the background which immediately removed a whole lot of tonal contrast from within the body, thus reducing the modelling of it. Resisting adjusting it at this stage, instead, I worked on the smaller tonal details in her face and chest. Working out the details of the light hitting her. It’s fascinating to see how much the whole of the background has changed in appearance by filling in the tone at bottom left of the image. Like shifting sands. Also added the stool legs.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1180

Progress Shot 13

Ok, so in this progress shot, as you can see, the gloves came off. A serious tonal adjustment throughout the whole drawing. And….no surprise there…the strong tone on her arm is no longer that strong. In fact it may need strengthening to make it work again. A constant dance of adjustments. Pure magic.   ;–))

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm


A Drawing A Day 1179

Progress Shot 12

With the strong value on her arm I have made a whole lot of small adjustments to keep it all unified. These were as much about tone as about construction details. You need to kind of flick between yesterday’s and today’s progress shot to see it all happen.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1178

Progress Shot 11

And there it is. A strong value to set some scale in the image. On the edge of her (from her point of view) right arm. Too dark, don’t you think? Well, let’s see how will it behave in relation to the other developing parts of the image.
I am also developing a skin tone, by which I mean, I am not going to use white chalk for highlights. The tone of the paper will be the lightest light for the highlights. That means that everything else will be covered by graphite to some degree.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1177

Progress Shot 10

By adding more tone to her surroundings, the internal values pale and loose weight. And everything slides again. Remember that strip of dark tone I added between her hips and arm in the progress shot nr. 5? Now it looks very light. In fact now it describes the light behind her. I feel I will need another strong tone somewhere for a bit of calibration.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1175

Progress Shot 08

I have added some facial features and began to work with the values in a little more refined manner. This means, where before it was enough to indicate a larger area of tone with a flat value, now, this area is broken up into smaller areas that differ in tone. In other words, I am adding more detail.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1174

Progress Shot 07

So now that I work with both, the internal (within the body’s borders) and external (her surroundings) values. I need to work them in unison not to get lost. If I don’t touch the external values, a little added tone on the inside of the body will look quite strong.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1173

Progress Shot 06

Barely touched the inside of the body, yet what a big difference in what the internal tonal work looks like after adding just a bit of background. I suppose this is one of the reasons why it is difficult to work with tone. There’s nothing to hang on to as everything changes all the time. This is because the value of anything in the image is defined only by it’s relationship with all the other parts.
The strip between her hips and arm I added yesterday does not seem so dark anymore.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm


A Drawing A Day 1172

Progress Shot 05

It is quite easy to cross over from building a tone, to the graphite looking like dirt on the paper. To do a bit of eye calibration I put in (what appears to be) a quite strong tone between her body and her arm. Also, tomorrow I will start building her surroundings which will provide just as much tone definition as her own body.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1171

Progress Shot 04

Hoping I’ve done enough establishing work to delve into the world of tone. This is all graphite, so, now I need to remember again how graphite behaves. It’s very much different to chalk. The paper I am using is very good for such exercise as it can take a lot of punishment. For some results I have to work the graphite right into the fibres of the paper. It doesn’t just sit on the surface of it, so there is a slow build up of tone,
Below I am doing just a more or less flat tone, monitoring the tonal relationships in the shifting landscape of her body.

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1168

Progress Shot 01

There’s just one thing I’d like to add after my comments from yesterday. Yes, I was quite happy with the result….and guess how long that satisfaction lasted? Mere hours. Today I can see so much more that needs doing on that drawing. Why?
This is something everyone needs to get used to if you intend to draw seriously. You will always be satisfied only for a very short time. See, the process of drawing makes you grow. And one of the benefits and / or side effects of that growth invariably is the ability to see more than before. This in turn brings about the desire to do better, which then delivers the growth. It is a never ending cycle that allows us to be happy only for a very limited time with the true reward being that of growing. So do not despair if your great drawing from yesterday is no longer that brilliant. You did not deceive yourself, you are not experiencing lack of self criticism…..quite the opposite. You are experiencing your very own evolution of sensitivities. ;–))
But, here’s a new start. The construction is slightly off in quite a few places, the line work does not convey the three dimensionality I was expecting. Hmmm…

Graphite on Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 55 x 38cm

A Drawing A Day 1167

Progress Shot 17

Yes, it turned out the highlights were too much. They were simulating a harsh spotlight. But the body is rendered as if lit by something a bit softer. So I did cut back on those two main highlights – her forehead and shoulder. With this change I also realised I need at least a hint of a reflected light on her (from her point of view) right cheek and forehead.
More value refining, as well as more work on her back and hips. Loads of small tweaks. This could go on for quite a while, but, I think I’ll leave it there. Quite happy.

Silverpoint and Red Chalk on prepared Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1166

Progress Shot 16

After the values fine tuning I realised, now, that her head and shoulder are quite nicely modelled, her back and hips got (by comparison) quite flat. So this state is about reworking her back and continuing the exploration of values. Also, increased the intensity of the highlights, especially on her forehead and shoulder. Is it too much? I’ll see tomorrow.

Silverpoint and Red Chalk on prepared Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm

A Drawing A Day 1165

Progress Shot 15

This next state is more of the same. Refining the values, guiding the gaze…not much of a radical difference and yet all the difference in the world. Also I have added a few highlights done with white chalk. Those are the only places I used it.

Silverpoint and Red Chalk on prepared Canson Mi–Teintes paper, 38 x 55cm