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Teaching Module 3 – Tone and form

19 Mar, 2020

tone 1 - Ennis Art School

Anybody who has ever been in my class knows that my favourite word is TONE, OR SHOULD I SAY LACK OF TONE.  What is tone?   In art, the term “tone” describes the quality of colour. It has to do with whether a colour is perceived as warm or cold, bright or dull, light or dark.  Basically there are 3 tones, dark, medium and light, and without these tones there would be no life in the drawing, it would be flat. 

The rule of thumb is that the dark tones push the drawing away and the light tones bring it closer, but we also need the mid tones, so that they blend together, without the mid tones the drawing would look like a flag.  We are going to do the following drawing of an apple and a pear sitting on a table.  All we will be using is a black and white chalk, but I also introduced a peach for the background wall.  We can tone with our fingers or a smudger.

1 apple - Ennis Art School

Step 1

First of all we are going to look at the shape of the apple its basically has an over top.

2 2 - Ennis Art School

Step 2

In the middle of this oval, where the stem is positioned I will draw an oval for the dark section where the stem comes out off.

3 2 - Ennis Art School

Step 3

Now we will do the sides, so draw two lines, at a slant.

4 2 - Ennis Art School

Step 4

Join up these lines at the bottom in a type of wave.

5 1 - Ennis Art School

Step 5

Now I will start my toning, Where the stem is coming out, in the top oval, this is the deepest area of my apple, so I am going to fill it in black, as I want this to go away from the rest of the apple.

Step 6

I want the sides of the apple to role into this dark oval so I will start making marks in a curve, curving into this dark oval. You will see your white is picking up the black turning your stroke grey.

10 - Ennis Art School

Step 7

The end of my apple, which is also going away will need to be filled in black.

13 - Ennis Art School

Step 8

Now my mid tones come into play, as I cannot just leave the black at the end as the apple is not flowing downwards.  So I now take my white and tone the black with the grey, using a down ward stroke,

15 - Ennis Art School

Step 9

I continue all the way along the apple until all the black is toned in.  I can tone in either using my finger or a blender.

16 1 - Ennis Art School

Step 10

When all of this is done, I will put a table under the apple, to ground it.  This table is filled in black and the chalk has to be applied right to left, or it will not give the illusion that it is a flat surfact.  I have also put in the stalk, you have to use tone here again, each side of the stalk is black and the middle is white.

17 - Ennis Art School

Step 11

Now I am putting in my wall at the back,  this has to be applied vertically, or else the wall will not rise up behind the apple.

20 2 - Ennis Art School

Step 12

I am now going to draw in the pear, which is basically one large circle with a smaller circle on top, looks like a snow man.  Put a  Curve down each of the sides of the circles to connect one to the other and put a stem coming out of the top.

21 2 - Ennis Art School

Step 13

Apply black to one side of the pear, running your stroke down in a curve down towards the end.  It is very important that you apply your stroke in the direction that you want the drawing to appear.

22 1 - Ennis Art School

Step 14

Now I will put white on the opposite side, so I have white on one side, black on the other with nothing in between.

23 2 - Ennis Art School

Step 15

Now I am going to tone the white and the black together, I will do this toning with my finger.

25 2 - Ennis Art School

Step 16

The white and black are now together but they are not toning enough for me as it is now very grey in the middle.

24 1 - Ennis Art School

Step 17

I am going to put some which into the middle of the pear, as this will then give me the bulge forward that is in the pear.  White will bring the drawing closer.  Please experiment here with your tones, to get the pear to become more pear like, remembering that the black is push the drawing away and that the white will bring the pear skin closer.

26 2 - Ennis Art School

Step 18

Finally finish off your background wall, I have introduced a light source here, (this is where the light comes in a window, etc) so the left of my drawing will be darker then the right.  I have also darkened the left of the apple and the pear, which will make the light source stronger in the drawing.  Finally I have finished my table putting the shadow into the table once again to the right of the apple and the pear and I have dropped down the front of the table, to give another effect,  if I want the front of the table to drop down, I have to bring my stroke down wards.

tone 1 1 - Ennis Art School

Step 19

Finally I have included all the directions in this drawing so you will know what direction to apply your chalk and where are your tones.

This tonal drawing would be called a Still Life, and it is also a very important section in Art.  I am going to include some life drawings created by some of the pupils at Ennis Art School.  This is a beginners drawing and is usually something that I cover on the first day of children’s art camps.  Well I will include one as I cannot find any more examples.