Artist's Back to Basics


One of my all time favourite aspects of drawing is use of contrast. All the same principles pretty much apply no matter whether working in graphite or pastel but I’ll be mostly chasing the 2B graphite dragon in this article. There are various quite disparate elements to contrast that easily bear further happy examination so let’s go....

Tonal Contrast

The entire premise of Chiaroscuro is about using contrast in various ways to achieve depth and three-dimensionality. Literally the term means drawing using only light and dark. With 2B graphite on white paper (the artistic planet I most like to live on) it means you have only got the dark tones to work with right from the first pencil mark. As my old master artist teacher used to say over and over “Draw

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