What is TONE and FORM?
We see extremes of light and dark in
our visual world. All around us are an almost infinite range of shades and tones
As artists we use the understanding of tone to help us to emphasize contrast (the difference) between light areas and dark areas, to describe the illusion of three-dimensional shapes (FORM), and to give interest and mood to our image making.
To help you see these contrasts, moods
and the illusions, try this exercise:
- Set up a still life with some oranges, apples, a box or cube and a bottle or tin can.
- Using a desk lamp, shine a light from one side of the arrangement, so that the objects are partly in shade.
Notice how the area in shade darkens
gradually on the rounded surfaces. This gives the illusion of FORM to the piece
making it appear solid.
Fill the boxes in this order: 9,1,5,7,3,6,2,8,4
exercise with different drawing media – charcoal pencils, oil pastels, crayons
You do not need to use the box format as you get more control over the media, but it is a useful way of testing the RANGE of TONES which your pencils can give.