I started this at our class last Wednesday, and then took a few more days to finish it at home.

The focus was tone, and we used this James Casebere photograph as our reference.

We had an A3 photocopy of the photo and had to scale it up to A1. That was the hardest part. I found the early stages of measuring and comparing very difficult—probably partly due to people watching me. But I got through it and felt better once I’d filled some of the shapes with the darkest tone.

Because the aim was to simplify values, we had to just use three tones to begin with: black, mid-grey, and white. (We identified these by squinting at the photocopy.) Only once we’d done that could we add the intermediate values and blend.

We used willow charcoal for the initial line drawing and mid-tones, compressed charcoal for the black, and chalk for the white. There was a bit of erasing (with a kneadable eraser) and lots of finger smudging to get the intermediate values and blending at the end.

Like I say, I found this very difficult to begin with, but I’m glad I stuck at it. I’m pretty happy with the result—and I’ve learnt a tonne doing it.

Note: James gave me permission to post my drawing of his photograph.

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