As well as my OCA work, I am doing a pastel drawing course at the local college. This evening we were drawing a lemon using different techniques. While the exercise is not an OCA one, I thought I’d share the results here as I feel it is very relevant.
The first week of the course (tonight was the third week) was drawing a sunset over a landscape using blending techniques so we had encountered this one before. Lots of solid colour are drawn on top of each other so they blend together. (Further blending can be achieved with fingers etc. but I did not use that method here.) After this drawing I changed my lemon as I found the knobbly end and grooved nature of this lemon were an unnecessary complication when I had several techniques to investigate in a two hour lesson.
The second technique use feathering. This was used a lot by Degas in his drawings. The different colours are applied as short lines (not to be confused with hatching). Rachel, our tutor, said the lines should go in the same direction, but I felt it would be better if they followed the curvature of the lemon.
This technique is called dry wash and consists of pastel powder being scraped onto the paper using a knife and then rubbing the powder around with your finger. Of the techniques investigated tonight, this is my favourite one. Unfortunately, the initial outline, which Rachel assured us would disappear, is still clearly visible with this.
This is scumbling which uses colours underneath, including the coloured paper, showing through the top colours. I drew the white highlight areas, the dark shadow areas and the green tinged areas first, leaving the paper in the orangier parts, before applying the yellow. An interesting result, though I’m not one hundred per cent convinced by the method.
The final method I tried was using a pointillist style. I’m pleased with the result although I can’t see me using the technique on a large drawing. We were also asked to try a drawing using a hatching technique but a) I ran out of time and b) couldn’t see any point in using a technique suitable for pen and ink, for example, where shading is difficult, unlike pastels which are easy to blend and shade.
On the whole, I was one of the ones who were happy with their evening’s work. Some were very frustrated with their results. I know how they felt having had several ‘bad days’ with life drawing last year.