Direct-to-Ink Exercises: Part Two: Tone Shapes
April 21, 2015
Direct to Ink Exercise: Tone Shapes
- Every scene can be thought of as three values: Light, Middle and Dark.
- In this exercise, we will create the silhouette shapes you see, with masses of accumulated pen marks.
- Think of it as simply scribbling in the dark shapes. working from left to right in a continuous ‘blob’.
- This exercise will develop your ability to see the composition as a big shape.
- You’ll find this skill invaluable as a painter. But even if you stay with drawing, you’ll benefit from a better sense of mass and volume.
- This time, do not outline. Instead, build values shapes from the inside out with passages of pen hatching.
- Merge the shape of cast shadows into connected mid-tone shapes. High key passages can be left as negative space.
- Foliage and trees, or dark rooftops can be seen as solid dark shapes.
- Try to imply internal structure by varying your mark making.
- It’s ok to ‘color outside the lines’. Just approximate what you see – try to interpret reality into simple shapes.
- Dark masses (windows, contact shadows) can be done with the brush pen.
- These tonal drawings should have more solidity and sense of three dimensions than the previous line drawings. Compare your linear sketches vs. your tonal ones at a distance. Stand back a few feet. See how the big tone shapes hold up?
- This is why paintings work on the wall, and drawings work in a book. You read a drawing, you view a painting.
- When you’ve tried a few of these ‘shape only’ exercises – add back in the Single Line Drawing.
- Use the line for detail, the tone shape for masses.