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BASIC DRY POINT EXERCISE    2  The Bowl of Fruit

The exercise here took  approximately 2 hours to reach the point shown.  

You could take much longer and produce a more ‘finished’ picture, but this example shows you a range of basic techniques in a short time.

You can use any brand of artists coloured pencil for this exercise.

In the demonstration Caran D’Ache Pablo was used, but a different brand will produce slightly different colours and result.  Students on workshop sessions have used  Faber Castell Polychromos or Derwent Coloursoft dry point colour pencils for this but you could equally well use Staedtler Karat, Derwent  or Caran D’Ache Supracolor watercolour pencils.  

 If you do use Watercolour pencils, they should be used dry for this exercise.         12 basic colours are needed,

We start with the ORANGE  and use a Cream or Pale Yellow . This gives the warm under-colour.

Using small circular strokes, scribble lightly and work your way around the inside of the circle you have drawn for the orange.

I have left the highlight, but you can lift this later with the eraser if you wish.

Add a middle Yellow on top, and then a light Orange on the darkest areas.

Introduce a middle Green to the area around the base and the stalk and then burnish all over with the light yellow.

You ‘burnish’ by applying a light polishing layer over the top of previous colur layers. This merges and beds down the colour.  Use a lighter shade of the colours for burnishing or even Ivory or White

Repeat the whole process again with the same colours, this time with more pressure, and then introduce a darker Orange into the appropriate areas.

All the layers should be laid down with circular strokes and the burnishing should carefully follow the line of the fruit skin.

Your hand naturally draws a curve with the wrist at the centre, remember this and ensure that, as you work up to a rounded edge, work from inside the curve.

To complete the apple we need to use a totally different pencil stroke.

In this case we follow the direction of the apple skin at all times and shade with a series of curved lines.

Starting with pale yellow/cream as the undercoat, we work around the shape

Using first the cream and then the light Red. (You will see a blueish red has been used).

We build up layers progressively adding some light Orange to the Yellow and some Green into the Red to darken the shadow areas.  The whole fruit is burnished with the cream and then the previous colours are re-applied which will result in much stronger colour all round.

A darker Red is then introduced to the red areas and Sepia or Bistre is used for the stalk area and the darkest shadows.

Make sure you clean up the highlights with the eraser, and then apply a final burnish with a mid yellow.

The banana is pretty straightforward and just needs an initial layer of the cream to start everything off, followed by a mid yellow to intensify the colour.

The yellow of the banana is very close to that of the apple in the photo so we need at adjust the colours a little in our image. Green is added and the darker

areas are taken back with a warm brown - brown ochre was used in this case with sepia to intensify the really dark areas.

The spots and blemishes are up to your artistic nature.  

Keep all your shading strokes going lengthwise on the Banana.

You should be able to burnish with the mid yellow over the edges of the three fruits to remove any trace of white paper at the edges.

The final burnish will be cream.

I have sketched in the cloth background using a light blue and a cool grey but have not spent any great time on it.

The essential is to define the plate edge and the shadows under it, and then either go for a dark background to highlight the fruit (as in the photo)

or a lighter background which takes more of a back seat. The choice is yours.

YOU HAVE LEARNED that layers build colour, The early layers define the main colour and later layers shift the colour without radically changing it  ALSO that the type of pencil stroke makes a lot of difference to the final result

Fruit Bowl Exercise is Copyright  Peter Weatherill © 2005 - 2009.  

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