Tag Archives: tone

A Rose By Any Other Name

Lauren K (S4, OLSP) sat her Expressive Pre-Lim exam for her Standard Grade recently. After a day of hard work and some fine observations she ended up with the piece above. The piece is a very simple rose, though her use of vivid reds and contrasting tones have helped make the image look very dramatic. A great piece of oil pastel work.

Bowled Over

Iona F (S4, OLSP) shows off her pencil skills in a quick colour/tone study. Although there are small issues with the shape of the bowl, this goes completely unnoticed as the layers added onto the apple and the vivid colours of the kiwi fruit dominate the piece. Iona uses her pencil control to her advantage, she is able to work lightly and carefully, building up layers of colours to create a fine textured surface. A beautiful drawing… Nice work Iona.

If you are interested in achieving the same result:

Draw lightly (start the guide lines with colouring pencils (a light orange or blue works well), don’t mix normal grey pencils with colour).

Always use three pencils (harmonising colours e.g. red, orange, yellow) at once, chop and change, mixing the colours together to build up the surface.

Coverage is important, try to hide visible paper for a better result.

In Top Form

This week’s work is from Paula A H (S3 from OLSP). Paula has very fine observation and proportion skills, so refined that she does not need guide or help lines. In her spare time she likes to try a lot of different ideas out. Looking at fashion, dress design, toning and sketching things that she likes. Below, you’ll see a nice example of some of her fashion ideas. Quick sketching with scribbling tones helps define the shape of the garments without spending hours drawing them out.

Paula also likes to draw and sketch recognisable characters, though rather than keeping them flat and simple, she introduces tone and shadows to give them form and substance. As an Art teacher you usually end up seeing a lot of copied cartoon characters, though I haven’t seen many with this type of attention to detail and focus on shading and light.

Whatever you draw, you should enjoy doing it. It you don’t, then there is very little point in continuing. Art should be something that you feel driven to do, to get anywhere in the field, you need this passion. If you don’t have it, you’ll find it extremely difficult to receive recognition or create opportunities. Paula obviously has this drive and her passion, alongside her continuing progress, is definitely seeing her well on her way through the creative route.

Let It Beetle



This week’s “Artwork of the Week’ comes from Iona M (S1 from St Benedicts). Iona had been working on a quick sketch of a Stag Beetle, studying layout and shape drawing. She imagined the photo of the insect as simplified shapes, rectangles and sausages, so that she could layout the size, angles and segments. After checking these guidelines, she then darkened and defined her lines to make the insect stand out. After that, she had a few minutes before the end of class to tone the insect using shading and smudging.

Iona shows great confidence and skill for S1 and if she had more time to add to her work, I’m sure her drawing would have been even more fabulous. That aside, what she has achieved in around 15 mins appealed to me. A nice clean style, with confident lines and a good use of tonal contrasts.

Eye For An Eye



Jerome from S2 has been busy at home producing this marvellous drawing of an eye. He is studying portraiture in class at the minute, so it is nice to see that he has taken those class pointers and used them at home to create an interesting image. This is actually better than some S4 eye studies that I’ve seen, so Jerome should be proud of the qualities he has been able to achieve in his drawings. Just look at the light reflections on the eyeball. Looks wet doesn’t it? Brilliantly observed.

She’s Been Framed


Emma from S1 (yes, that same Emma… I know…) has produced this amazing city collage with tonal frame. The image is made from layers of paper, sugar paper and tracing paper, the frame is sugar paper with pen detail and colouring pencil. A wonderful piece of work that not only deserves the title of ‘Artwork of the Week’, it is also featured on the S1 display board outside my room. Well done Emma, keep pushing forward.