Form for Form

Now, begin to work on form. You can add tone, or try to define the form with line, or you can leave it a contour line drawing.

1. If you choose to add form, adjust your lighting if necessary.

2. Make a tonal chart for the values in your arrangement.

3. Squint to see the extremes of value in your arrangement and subdue the detail and mid-tones.

4. Pick out the lightest spots and the darkest.

5. Add some tone to the middle shades, from the lighter ones to the darker ones.

6. Try to see tones as having shapes on your subjects.

7. Look at shadows next to things and under things and on other things.

8. You can work toward a very tonal drawing or you can merely suggest volume, perhaps just with shadows.

9. Add detail and texture after you see the shapes and the form.

10. Use those naturalist's eyes of yours for a clear seeing of detail.

11. Rendering texture requires a mark that is appropriate for describing the texture. Experiment on a separate piece of paper.

12. Detail and texture may also require a lot of planning and measuring if there is a pattern on china, a fabric print, or fine detail on seashells.

13. Get up and look at your work from a distance. Look with fresh eyes. Don't hesitate to go back and fix something. Try the reverse end of a pair of binoculars. Consider the view from a mirror.

14. Work patiently—it is your drawing.

15. As you work, see the lines, tones, textures, and detail begin to work together. The finish point, as always, is your choice.

The Art of Drawing

See if your work is getting to be all one tone with little contrast. You can change your tonal range by lightening the lights or darkening the darks or darkening the main lines in the contour line, or erasing out part of the texture or tone to merely suggest it.

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