Basic Drawing Take Home Assignment (values on toned paper)

For this assignment you may select from any of the photos below and create a tonal drawing using your light and dark charcoal as well as your blending tools. For your mid tone areas, you should utilize the tone of the paper. This means that you will NOT cover every single portion of the paper with a medium. In many cases you will be lightly veiling over the paper with either the light or dark charcoal to slightly alter values. In other cases you will leave the paper untouched. I would recommend starting with the most obvious value differences to establish a general tonal design and slowly start working in the more subtle ones (video demo provided below).

As always, I would recommend starting with your vine charcoal sticks. This is the easiest to erase, so I’d use this to draw out your initial shapes. Remember to take your time and measure proportions to ensure that everything will fit on your paper. Use center lines and construction lines where needed. I’d also include the shadow shapes in the linear stage. Once you’re comfortable with the linear drawing you can start adding your values. I would suggest starting with the lighter tones using your white charcoal pencil. Once you begin adding the darks, proceed with caution. Remember it’s much easier to “build up” your darks in layers, but it’s harder to make a value lighter if you go too dark. When you’re ready to push your darkest darks, you can switch to your charcoal pencils. You may also blend as you go with shading stumps and/or paint brushes.


Strathmore Gray or Tan toned drawing pad (11 x 14 inches)

General’s white charcoal pencil (medium or soft)

Vine charcoal sticks

Compressed charcoal sticks

General’s charcoal pencil (dark)

Kneaded eraser

Once you have completed the assignment spray it with fixative and bring it to class on Tuesday, 3/21 for review.

Below are photo references for you to select from for this drawing. If you’d rather create your own still life, you may, just be sure that you are creating enough value contrast. Ideally you want to have fairly equal portions of light, mid tone and dark values.

Good luck!

Video demo below:

Photo References:

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