Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Our first tonal-ground study

From: Foundations of Drawing

Video: Our first tonal-ground study

So for our first simple tonal ground study, just look around the house and I've chosen a pomegranate as I can see darks and lights within the subject. So now I've got the line When you rest on the total ground it can often come off onto your hand.

Our first tonal-ground study

So for our first simple tonal ground study, just look around the house and try and find a simple object that's just got a range of tones within it. Some parts really dark, an old part really light, and just so we've got something already within the object to really help us in our drawing. So, let's get started with our tonal ground study. I've chosen a pomegranate as I can see darks and lights within the subject. Also, interesting textures and shapes. Then I just move it around within my viewfinder, until I find the angle of position that is going to give me the best drawing.

So now I've got the line drawing out onto the perspects just with one simple line on there and I've also got the tonal ground next to it. So just lay them out so they're directly next to each other So the tops of each of the frames line up.

And then you just need to transfer the line drawing from the perspects onto your total ground. When you rest on the total ground it can often come off onto your hand. So if you just get a couple of pieces of computer paper, put that under your hand, you can just help you to keep your hand clean, keep your paper clean, as you work. Remember, just try and concentrate on the shapes.

That you've made with your line drawing. So you can use a piece of paper just to make sure you get that line where the white paper was, and this can really help just to give us a simple background to the piece.

Okay, that's looking great. If you want to double check your drawing, you can always take your picture plane, lay it on top and just check to see how close you are have actually been with your drawing. So once you are happy with that, put the peach plane to the side and we are just going to draw the object directly from life. So what's so great about using the tonal ground? Is the first thing that I am going to do is actually the eraser to bring out the real lights in the picture. And this can really help you get out of that fear of really the white paper and where you start with your drawing by just concentrating on the whites, so for this particular drawing, these areas in here and the whiter the paper.

What it will help us to do is look at the abstract elements within the actual object So this is just with the putty eraser. Then you just swap to the plastic eraser, just to see the difference between the two. And it really helps you to notice, just when you're concentrating on the lights, how you get all these little spots of light all around the whole of the image that we're looking at. You can really rub it back on the bottom half of this. So I'm just looking at the shapes that are there. Looking at this car shadow shape that comes around the bottom here.

And as I start to pull out these. White shapes around the object, the positive shape of the object starts to come more into focus. So, in terms of traditional drawing with a pencil, I haven't really done much yet. We just applied the tonal ground; and then, using the eraser, we brought out all the lights.

And now with a softer pencil, so this is just a 7B, I can really look to see where are the darkest parts in this particular drawing. So if I squint my eyes, what this helps to do is just give me a simplified view of what I'm looking at. It takes away the details and let me just concentrate on the blocks of tone. So if there's any areas in here that are more of the mid tone I can just leave those at the tonal ground, and then start to put in this darker tone here.

On the bottom of the pomegranate. So, I'm just applying the tones quite flatly. And this is good when you're first starting because you don't concentrate as much on mark-making There's more, just to understand how tones can work within your drawing. So now, I'm just swapping to a 2B.

Or a 3B is fine, just to get a fine line of dark. So, you can start to see how simply, with this technique, you can really build an effective picture, just by working with the eraser, a couple of pencils and looking at that idea of having a wide tonal range in the subjects that you're looking at.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Drawing
Foundations of Drawing

33 video lessons · 9895 viewers

Will Kemp
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Drawing.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.