Tag Archives: tonal

A Beautiful Study

This work from home isn’t from one of my pupils, but I saw it and thought it was so good that I had to feature it. The portrait, by Holly McP (S5), appears to be a quick sketch of a young woman or girl, though upon closer inspection you can see how thoughtful Holly has been in selecting where she was going to place each of her lines and how her tonal scribbles would add form to the subject’s body and hair. The secret to Holly’s drawing is that it looks as if she has created it very quickly, it also looks as if every carefree line that she has placed is in a nearly perfect position. I’m sure this is not the case, I believe that Holly had spent a good length of time on this image and that it was very carefully considered, but if she did just sketch it out in a few minutes she’s an utter genius. If she didn’t, she’s still an utter genius for making us think that she did…

She’s Got A Sting In Her Tail

After producing a powerful and detailed 3D relief piece around child slavery and third world labour for her last unit, you would think Cara T (S2, OLSP) would rest on her laurels. Fortunately for us she’s still working away and is producing a gruesome pattern based on the Timorous Beasties range. Below, Cara simplifies and traces her tonal drawing to make the main motif for her co-ordinate (working space that then produces a pattern).


“There’s No Way That’s A Drawing”

This week’s artwork comes from Nadia B (S5) from Notredame High. This is her first sheet from her expressive unit. The pencil work is absolutely stunning, the photo does not do it justice. My favourite drawing has to be the egg in the egg cup. The tonal rendering is perfect. Nadia’s skill is evident in the way she can layer enough pencil marks on top on each other to merge them into looking like a solid firm object. Her skin looks like flesh, her surfaces look smooth and hard and her cloth looks soft and malleable. A truly stunning collection of drawings to end the week with.  Thanks Nadia.

Like Staring Into A Mirror


Katherine from S3 has just finished her tonal study for her first sheet of her portrait unit (Intermediate 2). The study was completed in HB pencil and is entirely hand drawn. Her style is very light, focused, with each line carefully considered and she has spent around 6 – 8 periods to achieve it to this standard. Although it reminds me a little of a Victorian doll’s face or Japanese Noh masks, it’s this style that makes it really stand out for me. It’s not exactly photographic, and by not being so, it offers to tell us more than any photo of Katherine ever could. A marvellous piece of expressive portraiture.