Project – Detailed Observation

Exercise – Getting Tone and Depth in Detail


The drawing possibly hasn’t got the degree of hatching envisaged by the exercise or the intensity of the darkest tones correct. Apart from some near the edge markings there was not a lot of extreme contrasts

Most of the darker areas of the shell are fine hatching and not shading and whilst not an extreme dark they are dark enough bearing in mind that the shadows are the darkest areas.

However the wider/broader hatching on the left hand side of the shell does not work, it looks like fur. Likewise hatching the mouth of the shell doesn’t work. I could have done better with shading.

Experimenting with crosshatching for the shadows did not give the desired effect. The natural marks on the edges of the shell clashed with the shadow.

I do have a concern that use of cross-hatching or hatching rarely gives a realistic or natural effect. There is no hatching in nature. With the facility of different thicknesses and grades of lead a more representational effect can be readily produced.

Hoping that I might create a better drawing with a more linear object I also drew a second object – a 6” piece o driftwood.


I didn’t get the effect I wanted with the hatching and probably would have done better by using shading. I thought the natural striations and grain in the wood would be easier ro portray with hatching but the drawing has little depth.

Perhaps I would have done better with simple still life shapes. I found the textbooks lacking in good guidance on hatching, i.e. how to define shape and texture with hatching but a websearch turned up some good examples particularly Morandi.

The use of the putty rubber for highlights was limited in the drawing.


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