Saturday, 11 April 2015

Day 6, Tulip in Graphite

Not much time today so it's a short post tonight.  Today graphite was the medium of choice. Working again in the small square Sillman & Birn sketchbook, I chose a pale tulip from a bunch of flowers in the house....and added a slightly odd looking bulb too.
Tulip in graphite for day 6 of the challenge. A tonal drawing  on 7 x 7cm Stillman & Birn sketchbook paper, 270 gsm, smooth. Using Faber Castell 9000 series grades 2H - 4B. Sorry for the dark images, the light had gone by the time I got around to photographing this one.
  The paper gives quite a soft finish which I like, but for really sharp drawings I find the Schollershammer 4G is good. Bristol board is an alternative but personally I don't like it's rather cold appearance.
Laying the foundations with a 2H and H pencils
 After sketching the outline very lightly I usually start any tonal drawing by establishing the basic form using continuous tone technique with a fairly hard pencil, being careful not to apply too much pressurem, the weight and motion should come from the arm to get an even tone. I cover pretty much all all but the brightest highlights. The harder grade pencil creates a smooth foundation to build the darker tones on top. Here I worked from light to dark, using progressively softer pencil grades. For this tulip I used 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B and 4B. I sometimes go over grainy looking soft grades with a harder pencil at the end. This smooths it out.

I added this rather odd looking bulb which had some shrivelled old growth and a split skin, which was about to fall off!
I was going to add a few different parts, such as petals and reproductive parts but ran out of time for today. I don't much like the bulb so thought it would look better with more parts added.
It was a good to work with graphite again, it's one of my favourite mediums. Hopefully more in graphite will follow as the challenge progresses.


  1. Gorgeous Dianne - seriously appreciating the sharpened pencil length too - that in itself is an achievement! WOW! How do you get your pencil ends that long?!!!

  2. Wonderful...loved yesterday's too with all that esoteric info re Orchids and pollinators! All your bulbs are quite glorious.