I just flipped through the Dancing skeletons assignment and you guys have really done some nice things! This one isn't gonna be as much fun as that, maybe, but it's not bad considering I only got one brain cell left...
We're doing a drawing of some stuff (see below) to see how well we do with different textures, and at the same time, maybe learn a bit about composition and layout. You can use whatever tools and medium you're most comfortable with, and yes, it can certainly be black and white.
Kinda Bumpyish Things (Due November 17)
We will draw ALL of the following:
1. A piece of wood with the bark still on it (The bark is the important part).
2. A stone, pebble or rock (whatEVER...), preferably one that isn't polished to a glassy sheen (Think RUFF, RUFF, RUFF...)
NOTE: You can have more than one of the two items above if you want, but ONLY these two items. From Number 3 on, ONLY one is permitted...
3. The threaded section of a metal bolt, like a screw, but the kind that takes a nut and holds your skeleton together (...?...they don't? Oh...sorry...) And...yes, you can draw the WHOLE bolt if you want...
4. A leaf, from a tree or any other kind of plant. I'd consider a fern frond or something like that a "leaf" for the sake of argument.
5. A piece of cloth that has a really obvious weave to it, like burlap, the stuff they make sacks out of. It can be any size or shape you want.
6. A beetle--the buggy kind, like a lady bug or June Bug, with hard outer wings...not the musical kind.
AND, when we draw these things, we're going to arrange them on the page is if they were a real still life--which sounds like it would be rather difficult to do because their so different in size and such from each other, BUT you don't have to make them in the proper size in relation to each other. The leaf can be as big as a house if you want it to be (not recommended) and the bolt thread can be growing right out of the pebble, if that's what works for you. You're basically doing a fantasy still life. As long as the item is there, it can be any size you want it to in relation to the other items. OoooOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo...surreal....
You CAN'T add any additional things, even a bit of string, for example, or a box to hold something or lean something against. (But, since the burlap cloth can be any shape or size you want, there's nothing in the rules that say you can't have s bunch of loose threads hanging off it--just in case you wanted to tie something to 'em...see how this works?)
There is no background (except for white paper and any shadows that are cast by your items).
Why we're doin' this...
All of the items above have very different textures. and no matter what level your skills are at, you should be able to show the difference between them fairly easily. You just have to think a bit, and study some samples from the net or your backyard for a few minutes, and you'll pull it off--probably a lot better than you thought you could. Be very careful about how the shadows and light affect your items. This is primarily how you'll be showing the texture to your viewers. And this skill is what makes you one step ahead of the guy who just paints and draws everything as if they were all made from smooth plaster.
Actually, your biggest problem isn't the textures on all that stuff. That's just my way off keeping you busy for awhile so I can get some coffee. And even the beetle ain't that hard to draw--I mean--what are the odds yours will end up lookin' like a refrigerator or something dumb like that anyway? The BIG problem is what you're going to do with all those items.
What you end up doing is called your composition. Your layout. It's the most important part of any art you will ever do. It's what makes you an artist, not a short-order cook.
Whenever you start a drawing, you have to think for a few minutes about where everything should go. You do it without thinking when you draw a person. I mean, how many times have you accidentally drawn somebody's head where their left foot should be, and slapped yourself in the forehead later for makin' such a dumb mistake? What you have to do is determine where each item would work best in your picture, and in this case, what size it is. Is what you end up with kind of pleasing, or exciting? Does anything look out of place? Would your viewer think it was attractive? Does it look remotely believable?
This sounds like a simple thing to cope with, and it generally is when you're dealing with something simple (like a paperclip...), but gets REALLY complicated when you do something with a few more elements in it, like maybe the Sistine Chapel Ceiling. And the more contradictory the elements, the more difficult the final composition becomes. That's why we're practicing here with little things--so you can be ready when the Pope calls about his ceiling...I'm thinkin' an off-white with lavender trim...