I have had several attempts at this using different objects, and on different scales and using different media.
I think I am improving, and I find it more interesting than the previous exercise. I still need to work on the gradation from lighter tones to middle and darker.
I used pencil and graphite as well as fine pens and brush pens and charcoal, but as usual prefer the results using the charcoal.
This was difficult because of hatching and the objects were no inspiration to me to persist in my efforts to be accurate with the shapes. My attempts are very poor. I was sitting outside in bright sunlight. The sun was quite high so the shadows fell behind the objects.
I still need to work on my observation of shadow and tones of shadow, and then the depiction. I am more attracted to the flatter work in still life than I am in the clearly 3D and maybe this affects my drawings?
I tied this exercise several times on paper “with tooth”, as I understand the term. I used watercolour paper and found it difficult to acheive a smooth effect. Perhaps this is the point?
As I tried I was reminded of Mary Davidson’s discussion of the method used by Seurat, in her book Contempory Drawing. She says it is a difficult method and requires great patience. She copied his drawing of his mother. My still life is so much simpler a composition, but still I found it very difficult. Confusing to my eye to concentrate on the negative spaces, and I din’t acheive this at all, I don’t think. I have also outlined some of the shadows, which is “wrong”.
I am happier with the drawing I did on smoother paper. By this time I had become more confident with the shapes, and so it flowed easier.
I started using charcoal, as I find it easier than pencil, more forgiving. I used the rubber to delineate the objects. The paper was probably too smooth, but I managed. Using a shaded-in background as a starting point meant I placed less reliance on outlining. The result is a muted representation.
I tried the exercise with pencil and was frustrated by my need to outline, and not very happy with the shading and tonal values. I find it difficult to be precise and patient with cross-hatching. Tonal shading with the side of pencils of different hardness is easier for me.
I had another go using different objects placed more naturally, and using pencil. This was a rough attempt. I was quite pleased with the plastic bag of onions which is more gestural than the other objects.
Overall, the exercise highlights my lack of expertise with a pencil and my greater confidence with a looser approach. it leads me to question if it is necessary to develop more skill in the detailed approach if this is not what appeals, or if it is avoidance of hard work to continue with what is more comfortable.