Mass & Volume

Sometimes you just gotta have some fun.  I truly enjoyed this project, as it allowed for 3 different ways to explore how mass and volume can be brought to life on a two-dimensional surface: contour, negative space, and light-vs-dark.

First off, I did the contour exercise.  I picked 4 objects that were interesting in their shape and dimensions.  My biggest challenge was the vase, by far.  I think one of the stumbling blocks in this exercise is that, when there is no pattern and especially when the object is reflective (this jug had a shiney white finish), it becomes disorienting how the shape is actually volumized.

I had trouble with the center lines, and  I find this interesting.  There is such a tendency or habit to curve  similarly in the middle as on the edge, and it seems counter-intuitive to place a straight line on a curved vase.  However, when seen head-on (when you are not in any way viewing the object from above or below the horizon line), everything that is dead center is foreshortened, including curves.  I snuck a tiny curve in anyway, because I could not help myself, but I think that was a mistake.  This becomes even more apparent at the bottom of the vase, where I simply could not make up my mind which way to curve the base!



The second exercise was the negative space sketches.  I work a lot in watercolor and have made much use of masking fluid to create areas that will remain pure white of the paper, so this “look” was familiar and fun for me.  I did not use masking fluid with these sketches, because the forms were somewhat simple and expansive.  I went free hand, wetting the paper in the negative spaces and then dropping color in.  On a couple, I added salt to get a textured feel.

I picked the obligatory chair with a studio light stand next to it.  To it’s left is a desk lamp with an oversized spotlight bulb hanging out of it and a cup with a wide straw.  In front of them is my electric pencil sharpener. Bottom left is a spray bottle next to a bowl and naval orange.  Bottom right are my glasses in front of my desk clock.


The last exercise was to illustrate form and volume through a contrast in light and dark, as well as through gradients of tonal values.  I chose two organic shapes and two man-made objects.  You can guess the snail, next to it is a 2-sided tape dispenser, on the bottom, my left hand, and finally, one of my wooden, rotating color pencil caddies.  These were done with charchoal.


I hope you all enjoy the outcome!

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