In the second project of the "Illusion of Form" unit, my task was to go further than the object's shape and volume, and looking at their density, their surface textures and the way receive and cast light.
Using inventive mark-making, I was going to describe natural forms like fruit and vegetable in a big composition.
Before I committed to one setup, I've spent a few days casually sketching fruits and vegetable in my sketchbook. I explored the peppers unusual shape that starts as a 4-5 sided rectangle and finishes as varied-sided pyramid with several round tips.
A similar drawing came about after observing smaller, padrón peppers that I put in a heap in front of me and realized that while they are all different in size and curvature, they are following a uniform rule in how they grew.
A bunch of onions were even more interesting to observe since their form changes from a hairy top that is rooted into a solid head which layers out in distinguished tubes that make its tail. In that drawing i have slowly started to be more descriptive in the surface quality and more direct with their shadows as I'd progress into softer graphite.
With this wider group of natural shapes drawings I appreciated using several graphite pencils. I've spent this Summer doing Portrait Clubs over Zoom, and I would draw people's portraits using a combination of 6B and 2B pencils, as I had only 10mins for each and wanted to cover the tonal values quickly. In this unit I have consciously used more, up to 5 different varieties of graphite, and it shows in the drawings.
In the sketchbook I've explored a nectarine, for example, and loved how its outer membrane can be described as smooth but still retain its pattern of sun-blushed skin. For the final image, I've collected 8 different fruits so I could explore further their surface qualities.
I've used different mark-making, doing soft strokes, hard pokes and blending with cotton wool. This allowed me to differentiate fuzzy peaches from smooth apples, and long banana surface planes from tiny blueberry spheres. Wiping off just a little bit of light off a strawberry, and jotting down a few of its seeds made it stand out with its shadow doing half of the work.
All in all, the second project was definitely more exciting to me and I look forward to the next challenge.