Line and tone in realism
As we draw, we will always start with an outline. Outlines serve as the construction of an object or objects but they will all serve to be placement for tones as well, such as shadows and highlights. Line is so important for structure and placement of shapes but when it comes to realistic drawing or painting (which so many artists aspire to), tone becomes the important factor. Lines are simply guide lines for tone.
- Life as we see it, is really made up of changing tones and colours, not line. If we could turn our vision into total black and white, we would still see images clearly. Therefore when we are drawing, keeping in consideration that we are, in this example, striving for realism, we will minimalize line as we render (shade) in tones, between the lines and making the lines become the edge of tones.
Hold your hand up in front of you with a dark background behind it. Ask yourself at the edge of any part of your hand whether you see a line or a simple change of tone. If you are finding it hard to differentiate between tones, squint your eyes or put another way, look through you eyelashes. This should maximise the differences between the shades or tones.
Have fun with your new recognition of tone because to represent life accurately, you have represent tone.