The steps to drawing still life are as follows:
1) Set a tonal ground by going over your paper with charcoal and blending it.
2) Render your objects by loosely drawing the basic shape with a dull pencil.
3) Contour the specific shape of your object by scanning the outline and drawing what you see (Tip: always be looking at your object when contouring).
4) When deciding where to shade, find the lightest and darkest value first, then add all the middle values.
5) If shading an object with a specific curvature, shade in the direction of the curves to add realism.
In class we learned about the various computational devises to use to make your drawing more interesting, such as the two triangular positions, cropping and framing.
I used framing for my still life, because I like it when the objects are close together. Also, it adds a 3D affect to my pear because it is over lapping the roller thing.
Before we rendered our objects, we covered the entire page with a light coat of charcoal to set a tonal ground. After rendering my objects, realized I put a little too much pressure on my initial background toning, so I had to erase a little bit around my objects to have a clear contrast between the background and the actual objects.
As for the shading, I found it most difficult to shade to pear because it was hard to see some of the light reflections on such a dull object. The object I'm most proud of is the roller thing because the pure black values add a lot to the drawing. The bit of advice that helped me the most was: "when you're having trouble with shading, start with the lightest and darkest areas, and go on from there".
Artwork: The student used three complex objects and followed each of the four steps of completing the drawing with a good deal of success. Two things separating this drawing from a A+ is the transition from the object and background in light values (the objects at the top of the drawing looks to be 'glowing'), and the foreshortening of the shell and the brayer were not fully realized. Further erasing of the background just beyond the objects to reflect the light values more evenly would reduce the look of 'glowing' objects. The shell and brayer portions closer to the bottom of the drawing would need to be drawn larger to project the illusion of a depth of field within the drawing.
Blog post: All parts of the descriptions and explanations are provided, although 'computational devises' should be 'compositional devices' and the rule-of-thirds was not included in the description.