They thought I was a fussy bugger at the Fruit’n’veg shop, but I had to make sure every grapefruit and aubergine looked right before purchasing them – because they were the main subject matter for this week’s drawing session, concentrating on Tone.
We began with an appetizer of mushrooms sprinkled onto grey sugar-paper.
Mushrooms by Kevin
Scanning has taken away a lot of the subtlety of this drawing, but as far as I was concerned it was a perfect tonal response to the subject. Apart from a few light guidelines, all the work is tonal rather than linear, and the soft forms of the mushrooms are given substance by the tones around them. Working in monochrome, there are always ways of compensating for lack of colours, and here Kevin has done it with his many (at least six or seven) different gradations of tone.
Mushrooms by Julie
Julie’s mushrooms make for a more striking picture, with strong shadow contrasts offset by delicate touches of detail on the mushrooms. The little dabs of pinky brown bring warmth and softness. I like your tendency to hold back and resist overdoing things like that.
Mushrooms by Marta
Being on top of your technique means you can work fast and achieve a lot in just a couple of minutes. This is very well observed: the shadows are subtle and the mushrooms splendidly organic… edible. in fact.
Lemon by Julie
For main course, Julie chose a whole lemon, chilled and served in its own shadow. I think this is fantastic. Everything about this picture works for me… colour, tone, form, texture, balance, composition.
Now a series of lovely vegetable studies by Marta. You seem to find this so easy, but each of these is a frameable picture, especially the last two in my opinion.
I felt the choice of the brown paper was a mistake: the garlic is actually a very cold white, and loses its character a bit here.
Better paper choice. Both the garlic and the mushrooms were basically white, but the mushrooms had touches of warmth in them, which Marta has brought out with just a hint of pink. But I think you added pink to the garlic too, whereas my instinct would have been to point up the contrast between garlic white and mushroom white by making it a colder white.
Mushrooms on black paper by Julie
Mushrooms placed on a sheet of black, then drawn on a sheet of black. Pastels seem to be a very good medium for you.
Some really fine drawings from such modest subject matter.
So… are life models in danger of being put out of work by mushrooms? Hmmm… they are cheaper of course, and they cook up deliciously afterwards.