Assignment five: Option 1 Mark Making and Tone

I had decided that I would use one of my sketches for the final drawing.

I chose one of the line and wash studies where I has included another light source that cast shadows and modified the composition further.

Drawing 3

Drawing 3

I made a fairly accurate drawing of the composition to use as a template for the final drawing.  I’d decided that the shadows were going to be an integral part of the drawing as they were great shapes.  I thought if I made an accurate drawing I would be able to be a bit freer doing the final drawing not having to worry about things going skewwhiff.


First I stretched A2 mixed media paper then I transferred the initial study using carbon paper.  Using PVA glue and the side of a credit card, I marked in the main lines of the drawing.  Once dry I painted the surface with clear gesso.  This is opposite to the experiments I made earlier where I painted the surface first with gesso and then added the PVA.  The reason for this is that I forgot to use the gesso first!


Whilst the PVA and the gesso was drying I carried out two studies of the bags.  I’d decided that the bags would be a ‘pop’ of colour in what would be a grey, dark drawing.  I did the studies using intense pencils on stretched watercolour paper, so I could investigate the folds and shading of the plastic and fabric.

2     3

I started the final drawing using soft pastel in soft grey colour to mark in the shadows on the ceiling and the door.  The grey was too dark after I blended with my finger, but when I brushed off the powder, the residue left behind was the correct colour, plus it didn’t move or rub off and was quiet forgiving whilst working the rest of the drawing.

I worked the highly coloured areas first, the bags, the camera case and the pictures, using inktense pencils and water.  I laid down the inktense colour quite thick and flooded it with water to release the colour.  I blotted with a paper towel which lifted the colour leaving some of the thick pigment behind.  The gesso picked up the strong colour which gives a nice texture and finish.


Using willow charcoal, I marked the outlines of the shadows and then layered in the charcoal darkening the areas of deepest shadows, blending with my fingers.  The charcoal didn’t stick to the PVA, but because of the gesso over the top of the PVA, the charcoal did leave a slight residue.  On the whole the charcoal was very volatile and because the gesso doesn’t absorb the charcoal, I had to be careful not to touch or move the medium if I created and effect liked, or got the depth of colour I wanted.

Using a pencil eraser, I picked out the highlights on the doors, following the lines of the PVA then blended more charcoal to create deeper shadows on the door.  Blowing the charcoal off the paper had the effect of lightening the tone.

For the paler shadows on the door, I picked up charcoal powder with a soft brush and worked it into the gesso making sure there was no ‘line’ between the shadows.

I kept loosing sharp lines and to constantly had to go over them and then try not to touch them when established.  I used the PVA to create shadow lines on the radiator.  I rubbed charcoal into the lines and then erased the highlights, picking out the dark shadows with charcoal.


I like the pop of colour in this drawing, I look at it and sometimes think that it’s got a bit of a 3D effect, especially the black bag.  I think that I shouldn’t have coloured the radiator pipes as I think they detract from the drawing.  Overall I like the drawing.  I got a very sore finger as the gesso is quite rough, but I had fun doing it.  I think I’ve captured ‘My room’ which is thought I had in my head all the time I was drawing.

I fixed the drawing with Frisk pastel fixative which seems to have worked without changing the colours or tones of the drawing.



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