It's been a bit slow getting back into creating full works (besides just sketchbook work)...
But here is the first piece from an experimental online course at Mill Street Loft. Basically I'm a guinea pig.
This piece focuses on Ellipses. As just about every artist can tell you, circles are darn hard. Add perspective and it gets worse.
I set up a mildly crazy still life, containing about 20 cylindrical objects (not including the reflections) of various sizes. I realized later that the majority were white object that led to some tonal difficulties. I also probably made it harder than it needed to be... but I suppose it's better to struggle with something and learn a lot in the process, even if the end result doesn't reflect that.
I chose a good perspective and got to work. I started by putting some light tone down on the paper and then began drawing. It took some trial and error to work it all out (especially the whole circle thing..) but I eventually got a solid rendering.
Then I began to pick out the darkest areas and lay them down to start bringing in some form and depth.
I continued that across the page and then started using my kneaded eraser to pull out some highlights.
This is the completed piece. Well, probably completed. There's always more I could add or take away! I wasn't entirely satisfied with the light composition. The mirrors ended up reflecting the light fairly evenly across the still life, so there was not a strong directed light for good contrast & movement across the piece. I sort of want to seal the charcoal and go over with some white gauche to achieve crisp white highlights and sharp line quality for the objects in the foreground.
Overall, I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out. Charcoal is definitely not my favorite medium but it offered some good practice.