This is another complicated charcoal drawing, one done by an artist completing her first level of study at Studio Incamminati. I have shown it in three stages, ranging from the beginning of the drawing process to the end. The light is from the front right, and the subjects include metal and glass objects, flowers and fabric, among others.
|Stage One of this charcoal drawing art piece.||Stage Two of this charcoal drawing art piece.|
This is one of my favorite types of drawings because it allows the artist to explore a multitude of charcoal drawing lessons and painting lessons. The artist ends up with a completed drawing (assuming he or she can finish before the still life is taken down) and has gained skill in working from the abstract to more finished forms using the range of values available with charcoal to create shadow and light.
You can see the developing charcoal drawing step by step here. In Stage One, the artist focuses on the shapes of the shadow and light. In other words, the drawing is being blocked in without detail, just assessing the whole. Basically, there is little more than drawing shapes and the depiction of light and shadow.
In Stage Two, the charcoal painting begins to take more shape. The range of values has been pushed. For example, the light on the copper pan has been emphasized, and the flowers placed—it is not possible to tell there are flowers in the still life, but instead they are represented by value relationships at this point in the drawing.
Remember that the values do not replicate the values in life but rather the goal is to achieve the values in relationship to one another. It is such a simple concept but one which I personally have to remind myself of in everything I draw or paint. (Maybe that becomes intuitive for some, but not for me!)
|Stage Three of this charcoal drawing art piece.|
In Stage Three, the shapes are more refined, as are the values. Some of the values have gotten darker and some perhaps lighter as the artist continued to work on value relationship and refining the shapes. Now you can see the flowers, and their lighter (higher) value and that the highlight on the copper pot has been softened so that it doesn't dominate the drawing as it did in Stage Two.
Assuming more time, there could be further refinement, but the drawing can also be considered complete at this point as well. The shadows are differentiated. For example, the form shadows on the copper pot are lighter than the cast shadows of the vase on the backdrop. The flowers take their place, the wine has become translucent, and the the drawing works as a whole.
And best of all, through this drawing exercise, the artist has been able to grapple with value, proportion, the structure of objects, the composition as a whole, and the way in which light travels over form–concerns that are applicable to both drawing and painting. Nice job!