Working on Middle Tones

Today in art class I worked more on tone. I’ll show you the progression of a drawing in charcoal on rag paper.

The first step is to determine the average tone of the setup, which in this case was a middle tone, about a 4 on a 1-to-10 scale, where 10 is the darkest. The setup was a dark wine bottle, a green pear, and a white onion set on a middle-tone cloth.

Once the average tone was determined, I made it the background color. Second step was to make a rough sketch of the setup.

Now that I had the average middle tone down, I did the average dark tone for the picture because in this case the dark tones comprised the next-highest percentage of the overall setup.

Then I did the same with the average light tones by selectively erasing.

And then came the tough part: working through all those subtle changes in tone from the lightest to the darkest. I’m going to need a lot more practice.

My art teacher suggested I pick something a little easier to work with next time, like items that aren’t glass and that have smooth surfaces. There was just too much surface detail distracting me. Anyway, here’s the final product of today with the setup in view:

The wine bottle’s a little fat, and there aren’t enough middle tones, but I think I’m making progress.

More art from me after next class.

Categories: Art, Brain Workouts

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. nice job! but it seems like an awful lot of work to me! guess it’s not down my alley.

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