In this project, you’ll use charcoals in Photoshop to paint a three-dimensional object that has volume and weight. To work through this project, you’ll need a Wacom tablet and Photoshop 6 or Photoshop CC. The example in Figure 1, Autumn Orange, a Study in Grays, was drawn from observation, using my Wacom Intuos Pro tablet and charcoal brushes with erodible tips in Photoshop CC.
Figure 1 Completed charcoal drawing Autumn Orange, a Study in Grays.
Setting Up the Still Life
Choose an object that has a rounded form, such as a ball, and set it on a light-colored surface. I chose an orange for my subject because I liked its interesting texture. I arranged the orange on a light-colored table next to my computer, using a light-colored paper background for a subtle, intriguing composition.
Position a small lamp to cast an interesting shadow on the subject and table surface. I positioned my light source to shine from upper right above the orange, as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 A simple still life with an orange.