I enjoyed this exercise and completed it on 07/06/12. The brief said to place two simple objects together and I chose a box and a candle, going on the fact that it would be a little more practise with boxes and ellipses.
I positioned a lamp, as instructed, so that the objects were lit from the side and then made a quick sketch showing the main areas of light and dark. A4 sketch book p.15 (please see figure 1).
This helped to give me an idea on the main areas of tone and also helped me to start looking for variation in tone more closely.
Next the instructions were to draw all the graduations of light starting with the middle tone first. A4 sketch book p.15 (please see figure 2). I found it quite difficult at first to begin with the middle tones, I kept wanting to put in the darkest tones, perhaps because I could see these best. But I found that the more I looked the more I was able to pick out the middle tones and once these were in it was then easier to gauge how much lighter and darker that I needed to go. I was really surprised at just how much variety of tone was present in any one area. The box for instance had light reflecting from the candle, a little bit reflecting from the matt surface it was resting on and some light reflecting onto the side of the box from the light source. The candle appeared to have a subtle reflection of light from the box and more obvious reflection of light on the far side from the light source. I enjoyed trying to spot and then shade subtle variations and any interlocking shadows. I was surprised at how much reflected light also affected the shadow areas.
An enjoyable exercise and one that should help me to become more aware of variations in tone.