Here are some sketches in a limited range of pastels or conte crayons, intended as exercises in tone and texture.
Half a millennium ago, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti were creating exquisite detailed drawings from layered fine strokes of red and black chalk. In da Vinci’s interpretation of a thicket of trees, each crumb of pigment is a leaf, is light or shade. Michelangelo’s horses writhe as Phaethon falls from the skies.
Many of these drawings are held by our monarch in the Royal Collection, the da Vinci doodles snapped up by Charles II. The Michelangelo drawings are on display in the Royal Academy and those by da Vinci are currently distributed in galleries across the UK. Their art marked a step change in Western thought: observation as a systematic process, which also underpins the development of science.