"Pebble" Ritual
© Marvin Bartel, 2000
  • From the box, select a pebble without looking at your selection
  • Keep it out of sight as in your pocket until we are ready to draw it
  • Use a blinder card on the pencil so that you are not able to see the pencil point as you draw.
  • Set it on the next desk and create a pencil contour outline line while looking at the stone and not looking at your paper
  • Use a very light continuous line - not a sketchy on-off line.
  • When finished with the blind contour outline, look at both the paper and the stone and add a corrected line if needed so that the outline comes around the stone and the end of the line meets the beginning of the line.
  • Examine the stone and find all the tones created by the light hitting it
  • Find the lightest area of the stone where the light hits it most
  • Using a pencil, draw lightly on your picture of the stone. Map out a light outline of the lightest area. This area should cover less than half of the stone’s surface
  • Using a ballpoint, fill in only the darkest tone areas (no ballpoint outline)
  • Fill in only the medium tone area (no ballpoint outline)
  • Fill in only the medium light areas
  • Fill in only the medium dark areas
  • Look for the cast shadow below the stone and tone it dark with ballpoint
  • Do not draw in the lightest tone
  • Erase the pencil shape
Review questions
  • What visual element was used, but has been erased in the final product?
  • What two visual elements are most significant in the final product?
  • Which other rituals have used the same elements?
  • What part of the brain is this ritual developing?
  • Why were you not allowed to see the stone when we first selected it?
  • What is the relationship between edges, lines, and reality?
  • Do most objects actually have lines at their edges?

  • Why do drawings represent things with lines when in reality their are only tonal changes, texture changes, and color changes at the edges of objects?

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Goshen College students may print a copy for their own use. Others must have permission to copy or publish. Layout and text © 2000 E-mail Marvin Bartel , instructor