Tonal Drawing

Tonal drawing, sometimes called value drawing, is the juxtaposition of relative values, the notion of seeing masses rather than outlines. The main focus is to stress the quality of light and atmosphere that units all objects in the visual field[1]

(Seurat, Georges. Embroidery: The Artist's Mother. c. 1882-83. Conté crayon on Michallet paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.)

In tonal drawing, there are edges to masses rather than lines between them. This is a painterly way of drawing or seeing masses rather than outlines. In tonal drawing, the eye retreats from the edges of things and sees patches of light and shade instead. It is an emotional, immediate way of seeing, closely related to vision.[1]


1. Rubenstein, Sherry. (2006, Month Day of publication). The Emergence of Tonal Drawing. Drawing Magazine, Vol. 3 (Issue 9), 67-77.

Back to Top ↑

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!