ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 4.9 - DECEMBER 1999
Using Tone To Draw
(continued from page 1)
The Importance of Values
Before we go any further, you need to develop some basic skills in working with values. One of the most fundamental skills that you must develop as an artist is to be able to recognize and put down values with control. The illustration gives you examples of a few basic exercises that you should do. As a working artist, with over forty years of experience, I still feel it necessary, at times, to do variations on these exercises today.
An example of the gray scale.
It is important that you develop the skill in being able to put down a flat and even value. We are interested in seeing the value, not the technique.
"We are interested in seeing the value, not the technique."
Every irregularity or change in tone communicates a change in the form. Do not draw dark lines between values. A line between values will distort the relationship of one value to another and make it difficult to see their relationships. Each degree, or step, of contrast between values should be equal in contrast. Do not underestimate the difficulty or importance of this exercise. It could take hours to do it right.
Practice drawing simple forms from imagination. Redraw some of the forms created in Chapters Two and Three, using tone, but no line. Remember, we are using a specific approach to modeling form. We are not copying the patterns of light and dark that we see on the model. We are analyzing the forms of the model but are not necessarily using the tones that we see on the model. As I have said repeatedly, "Don't copy the model; analyze."
"Don't copy the model; analyze."
Adding to the Basics...
After you have become comfortable using the modeling tone, as we have discussed so far, you can start adding some variables that will give your drawings a more natural look. The first of these variations is to make the tone stronger on one side or the other consistently. Look at the spheres at left to see the difference. The far left is the way we have been doing it; the other is an example of emphasizing one side to give a feeling of a light source other than from directly ahead. A light source from directly in front is sometimes referred to as "flat lighting." In general, you will find that favoring one side or the other will give a stronger feeling of relief. In essence, you are shifting the light source to one side.
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