The March Jake Spicer life drawing class had us doing tonal exercises. When any tutor says we're doing tonal my ego internally jumps from happiness in "oh yeah I've got this" sentiment and i have to shush it down quickly.
I enjoy drawing tonally mostly because it brings me such sense of peace. I fall into a proper meditative state when I'm building tone layer after layer.
Luckily however, my tutors never fail to impress me with new exercises. Similarly to Natasha Lien's tonal exercise, Jake gave us new challenges.
We did several short poses in the medium of our choice, and this is where I found myself refreshingly out of control. I wanted dark tone, but I didn't "feel like" charcoal that day. I ended up alternating between compressed charcoal and soft graphite, chasing shadows in manic motions across the paper.
When I switched from charcoal to graphite and then back to charcoal, my hand didn't know anymore what I was trying to do.
I'm not sure if the lesson here is to stick with the medium I selected for these short poses, but i surely didn't follow that day because for the long pose i switched back to graphite:
The lesson Jake demonstrated was working in darker tones, and then using our eraser to bring back the lighter ares at the end. I've learned this Tombow mechanical eraser I bought for this exact purpose did not work well with graphite, but my regular Faber Castell eraser worked perfectly.