Homework Assignment 1: Tonal Drawing Self-Portrait Assignment with hand

Homework Assignment 1: Tonal Drawing Self-Portrait Assignment with hand    

Assignment Summary:
Using a mirror and observational drawing skills students will depict themselves in a self-portrait tonal drawing which will also incorporate at least one hand. Incorporate a background and have the entire drawing present a progression of space (Progression form foreground to middle ground to background)

Size: 18 x 24 inches on white cartridge paper

Materials: Tonal Drawing on white cartridge paper (18 x 24 inches) using a choice of black charcoal pencils, and/or black & white conte sticks, or black & white oil pastels

Subject Matter Details/Requirements:
Portrait parameters are defined as depicting yourself from the collarbone to entire head.
The face should take up a minimum of 50% of the drawing page and the hand should take up a minimum 20% of the drawing page. At least 75% of the face should be unobstructed (in clear view). Potential obstructions of the face could include costume accessory, hand, etc.

The frame of the mirror could be included if it is in your field of vision when composing the requirements with in this assignment. Remember you still must have the face take up a minimum of 50% of the drawing page.

In order to keep the lighting consistent when developing the tonal aspects of the drawing it is strongly suggested that some sort of artificial lighting close in proximity to the face is used to create effective range of dark and light tones (effective highlights and shadows)

This assignment requires a process of observational drawing. Be prepared for a layering, editing and revising during the drawing process.

Objectives and Evaluation Criteria for Assignment (Repeat of Formal Ideas presented during class):

1) Process from Beginning to Completion of Drawing   -    Progression of Layers from Rough and Tentative Drawing  Material Applications to Strategic use and Layering of: Detail, Contrast and Rendering Control): 
Tonal drawing involves layering process that starts tentatively (drawn lightly and rough with soft edges) With this type of drawing in early stages initially map out subject matter into basic shapes of light and shadow (planes & other basic shapes) No detail should be in the beginning stages of drawing and start in the center work directly out and around from initial shape. Use initial shape as building block and reference for comparing proportion and choosing composition. 

Tentatively (and lightly) map out entire composition before committing to: detail, exact locations of shapes, levels of high contrast, thick layering of drawing mediums, and sharp edges. Anticipate editing with a combination of additive and subtractive processes in the drawing. As in previous tonal work anticipate at times a messy process of restating and editing to occur during the layering process. Remember for a rendered drawing the ultimate goal is to absorb all lines into shaded areas.

2) Range of Tones, Edges and Mark Making: 
Anticipate strategically using a full range of grayscales (dark to light tones) and range of edges (hard/sharp to soft/out of focus edges) during the entire drawing process. During the early stages of the drawing use only soft (tentative/out of focus) edges and light to middle grayscale tones to tentatively map out entire drawing. As well utilize a full range of mark making from smudged to raw marks, short to long marks, curved to angular marks, and various pressures of gentle touch to pressing heavily on the drawing surface. When investigating mark making, tones and edges keep in mind that your eraser can be a drawing tool as much as any other drawing medium. 

3) Accurate Proportion, Scale and Potential Perspective Concepts: 
Utilizing measurements, horizontal/vertical alignments and potentially even some 1pt & 2pt perspective concepts for background. When working from observation generally use the theories of perspective (vanishing points & horizon line) at later stages of drawing as a tool for checking accuracy of proportions, scale, etc. In any  assignments whether working from observation or imagination generally you should not lock into horizon line and vanishing points until proportions are resolved in background. 

4) Composition: Locate an interesting viewpoint with a reasonable level of difficulty that will have a unique and complex interaction of shapes through out picture (including border of drawing) and choose a composition that is conducive for presenting the subject matter requirements (listed above) for assignment.  Is the view of the face going to strait on and symmetrical or will the face be depicted in a 3 quarter view which is asymmetrical.  Either way how do you formally organize your shapes to create an interesting but unified composition?

5) Strategic Levels of Contrast: 
Increasing or decreasing contrast in strategically chosen areas will assist in depicting the illusion of 3 dimensional forms and the illusion of the portrait, had or foot and space. Often a subtle progression of decreased contrast (along with hard to soft edges) from foreground to background will need consideration in the final stages of the layering process to convey a convincing illusion of 3 dimensional forms and space.

6) Forms/Volumes & Space: 
Clear depiction in the illusion of 3 dimensional masses in space that progresses in a clear manner from foreground to background. Over lapping of forms and strategic use of detail, contrast, range of edges, grayscales, angles and composition will all be crucial in achieving a strong illusion of 3 dimensional mass and depth of space.

7) Strategic Use of Detail: 
Anticipate that progressively there will be less detail as the viewer moves back into the space of the picture plane. Various levels of detail will also be required on some forms or planes located in the foreground (such as the face/head and or hand) and at times in the middle ground depending on the spatial location of the subject matter. This is the final stage of the layering process. Make time to allow for some careful finishing touches and to strategically refine or layer over select rougher areas in the work. In some ways this has connections to the ranges of marking in the drawing and layering process.

Some Examples of Assignments from Previous Classes:

Note: Often a single example of work may not demonstrate all the required objectives for a particular assignment. Instead students should collectively consider: the required objectives for each assignment, the multiple examples presented on this website and during in class presentations. As well ideas discovered through a student's independent research in combination with various examples and ideas presented by instructor will ultimately be the best approach for synthesizing ideas and reaching the requirements (and unique outcome) for any particular course project.

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