Pastel Tutorial: #1

#1 Achromatic Drawing: Black and white drawing of colored objects.


You will need: Vine Charcoal, charcoal pencil, pencil shaped easer (for detail), regular eraser (for big stuff), tape (to hold your paper down) and workable fixative (Krylon or eco-friendly non-toxic Spectra Fix)


For warm up record the values of a simple black white and gray still life.


For practice make several still life drawings in black and white of colored objects. This will help you see the relative values of colors. In this case spectral yellow translates to a light gray on the value scale.  Our concern here is to place the lemons in space by recording their (and the surrounding) luminosity, or qualities of light, including; direct, reflected, refracted, and absence.  In other words: Highlight, half light, form shadow and cast shadow.


Make a measured line drawing describing the edges of forms and light.


Work the highlights and darks first, then adjust mid tones.  You’ll be adjusting all values continuously throughout the drawing. Charcoal makes it easy to smudge in tones. Use fingers or tissue or chamois to work in dust and/or pick up dust. Erasers will come in handy for later detail. In the beginning keep it loose.


The process is all about seeing light relationships. How does one value compare to the next? How does the highlight on the lemons compare to the white of the table cloth, and so on.

Show at least 5 different values: Black, dark gray, mid gray, light gray and white (paper).


The first step is complete when you feel values are accurately placed.

Next, render a green or red object in black and white. After that , try a violet or dark blue object.

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