Drawing rocks in still or calm water gives you the opportunity to practice composing a picture that tells a story with values and shapes and a minimum of detail. These two drawings are good examples of how to say more with less.
The charcoal drawing on the right was started and finished with one pencil, a 4B charcoal pencil, on a piece of folio paper. This paper has a distinct texture, which helped me achieve the feeling of rippling water I wanted to portray. I wanted to capture the time of day when there is a little movement to the water and the bright sun creates a sparkle on top of it. If there had been no movement to the water, there would have been sharper-edged reflections of the rocks in the water. By softening the edges of the rocks' reflections, I created the feeling of gentle movement. Stomped charcoal was used to model the inden tations and shading on the rocks.
Below is a pencil drawing of the Catskill Creek, near where I live. Except for the few individual rocks in the foreground, the rocks were handled very simply: I drew various shapes with tone added and showed the rocks projecting as two masses. In this way, I was able to eliminate detail and still have interesting shapes. The rocks' reflections in the background water are flattened to show perspective. More reflections of the rocks are included in the foreground. Reflections of the trees were added in the water to complete the drawing.
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