Figure 3-1. Tone chart
b. Tone media comprises any materials used to produce an image containing black,
white, and intermediate shades of grey (fig 3-1). Tone media also includes color media. Tone
media are classified as dry, wash, and opaque media.
(1) Dry media is any media which leaves a granular deposit on the drawing surface.
Dry media includes pencil, chalk, charcoal, or pastel. Dry media is the most popular drawing
media because of its ease of use and correctability. Also, it is easy to achieve gradual tonal
changes by appropriate pressure, smudging, or blending (figs 3-2A and 3-2B). It is used
extensively for portraiture, where the same general principles of drawing apply. Practice will help
you master the subtleties of the craft.
(2) Wash media is any media which is fluid and transparent, e.g., inks and
watercolors. The term "wash" refers to the appearance of the media on the surface the artist is
working, not necessarily to a particular medium.
(a) Wash usually refers to thinned ink or watercolor.
The more fluid the
medium, the more transparent it will be (fig 3-3).
(b) When making a wash, use only the appropriate thinners and grounds.
(3) Opaque media is media which is fluid but NOT transparent. Underlying layers are
not visible. The term "opaque" means "blocking out." One cannot see through it.