DC Sketchers @ The National Gallery – The Perception of Light and Shadow

By Kent Gay on February 9, 2011

NOTE: The Spring 1 session of DC Sketchers begins this Saturday, 2/12. See link for itinerary/schedule. Register at https://www.chaw.org/ or by calling 202.547.6839.





DC Sketchers met at the National Gallery of Art for the fourth and final session of their Winter Workshop. We began with a warm-up in the beautiful Rotunda. Mercury was circled with Valentine’s Day themed flowers and plants.  The Rotunda looked like an FTD ad.

The class revisited Exercise 3 from Ruskin’s The Elements of Drawing: creating an tonal gradation from light to dark with cross-hatching or a continuous tone.


We then went to the cafeteria and claimed one of the tables and set up a still life of Styrofoam cups – illuminated by the directional light of the window with the cascading fountain. We observed the tonal gradations in the smoothly curved forms of the cups – including cast and attached shadows.


studentcup studentcups

Teaching artist, Kent Gay, also tried his hand at the day’s exercise – below.


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