WE NOW come to the making of shaded drawings of objects in which we wish to represent the exact amount of light and shade found in the objects themselves.
In this work no outline will appear for we are to make as truthful a representation of the tones seen in nature as is possible with a lead pencil, and nature shows us no outline. A little observation will prove that we are able to tell one object from another by its light or shade or color. Most areas of light or of shade have clearly defined shapes which explain to us the forms of the objects and all these shapes seem to have boundaries where one tone stops against another. In elementary work and for certain types of explanatory drawings lines may be used to represent these contours or boundaries, the light and shade being omitted or merely suggested, and the eye is satisfied with the result. But the result is a wholly conventional one. Now we must stop thinking of lines but must think of tones instead. We must learn to think of the exact degrees of light and shade found in the objects and to represent them correctly. We must learn to translate the values of color into values of light and dark. For the value of a given color must be represented by a tone of gray which has the same degree of light and dark that the color has. These tones will vary all the way from the white of the paper to the pure black of the softest pencil. We have white tones, and light tones, and middle tones and dark tones and black tones, and though there are in reality many more than these five groups (in fact the tones in nature are innumerable), it is best in drawing to simplify the values, not attempting to break up a tone to express every slight difference in value which may be discovered on close inspection.
For the first problems it is suggested that some object or objects be chosen with little color, confining the choice to such things as are white or gray of black or of dull tints or shades, for with these the relative values can be seen quite easily. The student will be helped in judging a value if he compares it with white. So take a small sheet of white paper a few inches in size and compare it with the various objects to be drawn. Is there any tone in the objects as light as the paper? Select the lightest tone that you can find. You may discover two tones of different color but the same value. Now hold your sheet of white paper in bright light and compare its tone with that of similar paper in some darker place. Now take a piece of black paper and compare that with the objects. Is there any tone as dark as the black paper? Select the darkest tone that you can find in the objects. Now place the dark paper in brilliant light and compare its tone with that of another piece of the same paper in some darker place. Such experiments will prove that even though a surface is white it will not always appear white, and though black, its value will change in effect as it is moved from place to place - the less light a surface receives the darker its values will seem to be.
It should be remembered also, that if we have two objects of exactly the same form under the same lighting conditions, but one light and the other dark, the darker one will have darker values all over as its local color is added to the shade.
So the lightest value on the objects will usually be found in that one having the lightest local color and in that part of it receiving the brightest light (usually that portion nearest the window). There are some exceptions to this-; highly glazed dark objects will sometimes reflect a value so light as to be the lightest in the whole composition, being even more brilliant than the paper on which the objects are being drawn.
When we intend to do shaded work in full values we prepare first of all an outline drawing just as was described in the preceding chapter, though the final accented outline is not needed, - instead the outline should be softened with an eraser until it becomes simply an inconspicuous guide for the work in shading. Next we lightly add the contours or boundaries of the most clearly defined areas of light or shade. Now we determine the lightest light and the darkest dark and make a comparison of the other values. Then sharpen a medium soft pencil to a fairly sharp point (a softer one may be necessary for extremely dark tones) and we are ready to begin. There are several methods of procedure open. Some teachers feel that it is best to first draw the darkest tone, then the next lighter, and so on up through the values, leaving the lights for the last. Others start with the lightest tones, next add the grays, working down to the darkest values. Really everything depends on the individuality of the artist and the type of drawing desired. Assuming that we are to make as correct a representation as we know how, it will probably be easiest to work over the whole drawing, not attempting to bring any one portion to the proper tone at first, but building up all the various tones gradually. In this way unity will be obtained. Set the drawing back frequently, and get away from it once in a while for a few minutes' rest.