Techniques in Tone
Exploring Tone and Shading using three different materials.
Materials used in this lesson
HB pencil, willow charcoal, compressed charcoal stick, kneadable eraser, dry brush.
1. Keep the first layer of shading light, as you will build on it with heavier shading later.
2. Whether your hatching is light or dark – be sure to make your strokes consistent!
3. Charcoal covers more ground faster than a pencil.
Be sure to adjust your shading accordingly.
4. The dry brush works well with charcoal. Try not to go too far unless you want a blurry drawing!
Draw a few Tonal Scales of your own, with the different materials you have on hand.
Draw a simple portrait using dark paper and a light chalk or pastel. Instead of blocking in the
shadow, you will be blocking in the highlights.
First draw a Tonal Scale to help you appreciate your material, and to know how hard to push.
Look at the work of three of your classmates and offer them constructive feedback on their work.
Describe two things they did well, and two things that need improvement. Always be helpful, and
take care that what you say does not sound unkind.
Ask others to critique your work and make notes of what they say, so you next time you draw, you
can try to improve in those areas.
Don’t always use the same people to critique your work, mix it up with all the people in your
Try asking friends outside school or family for their feedback.