Have you ever sketched a stone?

Last post, I talked about the Heide art museum and Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture. One piece, sculpted from stone had instant appeal to me. While examining it from all sides, and peering into the carved out holes, I decided I would like to draw it once I was back home. Why draw a stone? I hear you ask, and the answer for me is simple. I love drawing texture. I would have liked to sketch in the museum, but that was not possible, so, the next best thing was to take a photograph, knowing I could work from it later. Little did I realise at the time, that I was going to be stuck indoors as Covid came to visit, and thus my promise to draw the Hepworth came to pass.

I moved the photo from my phone to my desktop, and the image filled the screen quite nicely.

I did not want to sketch so much of the gallery interior, and restricted the view to focus on the work, and to capture the light and the intensity of tone in the cast shadow. The sculpture was in a perspex case, and the light reflecting within and without was interesting too. So, I lined up 2H, HB, B, 2B and 6B graphite pencils, and sharpened them. Plus, one Faber Castell coloured pencil, colour Cinnamon. I chose this as it seemed to be the predominate tone emanating from the stone.

I knocked up the basic dimensions quickly, on an A3 sketchpad balanced on my lap and my desk, until … my cat Ninja began knocking my pencils on the floor. Okay, I know when I’m beaten, so I popped the pad aside until the next day. With said cat asleep in a bedroom, I felt it safe to attack the drawing again. Great timing, as I’d finished the drawing before Ninja woke!

It’s a matter of looking really, when (or if) you attempt something like this, always sketch lightly at first. I try not make the outside line darker than the tone I am sketching, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out that way. One of my mottos is: if you are drawing something round, make your marks follow the direction of the curve, and that will aid the look of the solid. Start with a light touch and pencil, change to a darker pencil, but check you are not making it too dark. Squint at the sketch; compare it with the image you are working from; it will show you the tonal range better that way. As all artists will tell you, it is easier to add, than remove – and ideally try and keep an eraser out of it! I am pleased I drew Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture.

Maybe there are stones you may like to draw? They may not be talkative, but they really are fun to draw!

6 thoughts on “Have you ever sketched a stone?

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