Sketchbook, graphite, 18”x24” drawing paper


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Set up a still life of at least three objects with a lamp or other small light source you can aim and control. Set the lamp so that the light is aimed at the still life, creating dramatic chiaroscuro. Move the elements around, taking time to view each setup through your viewfinder, sketching thumbnails of the compositions that work. As usual, develop your thumbnails up to a few roughs, and then to one final piece.

In the final piece, begin by blocking in the shadow areas of your composition. Remember to measure the shadows in terms of shape and size relative to each other and to the unshadowed areas. From there, develop your piece further, working in the darkest parts of the shadows, the edges where the shadows fade into light, and the reflected light areas of the shadows. Also remember to consider how an area in deep shadow can define an edge of brilliant highlight without any contour line.

Adobe Illustrator to Draw the Mona Lisa Discussion