My first set-up for this drawing consisted of a glass shaving jar and ceramic liquid soap dispenser. After completing a couple of initial sketches in Conte and pencil, I realised this still-life was not working for me. The glass jar was not giving a sufficient range of tones and the whole thing was just not inspiring so I decided to abandon this drawing and think about other objects to draw.
I thought of using a vase and lidded decorative pot but again did not feel this reflected me. I was then watching a BBC programme called Artists in their Own Words and noticed a painting of some everyday kitchen items including the edge of a microwave oven. This got me thinking of drawing a still-life of things which reflect my contemporary lifestyle. Music has always been another passion of mine so I decided to draw items connected with this interest. I choose my iPod dock and Sonos speaker as I liked the fact that the drawing as well as giving me a range of tones necessary for this exercise also, shown together, indicate how quickly technology is moving. Only a few years ago my iPod was the latest thing, now music streaming via wireless speakers have taken over.
I initially made a line drawing in light pencil to get the perspective and proportions correct.
I then decided on the medium to use to indicate the tones. Whilst the exercise indicated the use of Conte crayon for the drawing I did not feel this was the right medium for these objects. I therefore choose to use a range of soft pencils from 2B to 6B. This gave me the required finish and a cleaner finish. The light source was from the right hand side (I choose this side to give a different feel and break from the convention of a left-hand light source seen in many still life pictures). I first blocked in the darkest tones and noted the areas of lightest tones. I then filled in the mid-tones and looked at the shadows – whole, interlocking and reflected).
The drawing is quite successful and I especially like the reflection the iPod makes on the Sonos speaker. The shapes work well together although they are a bit too much in the centre of the page and I will need to think more about composition in later drawings. I also need to think more about the background in drawings as I have left this plain in this drawing.