Author Topic: descriptive excercise  (Read 2785 times)

Offline eakucera00

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
    • Be a Writer - Be a Better Writer
descriptive excercise
« on: December 09, 2006, 12:57:50 AM »
I know many of you may find this insane, but hear me out.  I have completed this exercise in a couple ways.  Once in art class we were asked to illustrate and shade an egg on a single sheet of white paper with only one direct source of light.  drawing and showing all the shadows and texture of the egg shell etc.  If any of you have an artistic sense of illustration then you have probably already performed this exercise before.  But now do the same thing but with words.  Try to be as descriptive as possible.  Much harder than it sounds for a such a simple object.  I would be curious to see some submissions of this exercise and see how they differ.
<a href="http://www.beawriter.us"><img src="http://beawriteraffiliates.com/images/beawriter_banner_468x60.gif"></a>

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • View Profile
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: descriptive excercise
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2006, 08:37:56 AM »
At first glance there seemed to be just a single sheet of white paper laying atop the red table cloth.  Walking closer I realized there were slight differences in the shades of white.

An oval, sitting in the center of the white sheet of paper, has a different texture, almost smooth, but slightly different, thicker looking somehow.  The white of the oval contains a hint of blue, but only a hint.

The oval cast a pale shadow due to the clouded light from the kitchen window.  The shadow is true to the shape creating it; a clean, sharp line beginning and ending at the base of the oval.   

********

You're right.  It's much harder to paint this picture with words than it would be with paints.
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

PaulW

  • Guest
Re: descriptive excercise
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2006, 10:55:58 AM »
I thought it was a stone at first, lying on the grass, rounded and pale brown mottled with darker specks. It was so light when I lifted it, cupped in my hand. It was still warm. I looked around but couldnít see anything that could have kept the heat in it. Even the sun was overcast by thick black clouds.

I stroked it with my fingertips, feeling a slight rasp as I admired the perfection of itís curve, a soft scent of heather and animal coming from it as I held it closer do my face to inspect itís grainy surface in more details. That was when I felt it move, jerking my eyes back, a small tap sounding from it.

I knelt on the grass, watching in fascination as a crack appeared, a small fragment of shell sliding down the curve and onto my palm. Then another tap sounded, and another. I caught glimpses of something moving wetly inside it. And then the head emerged, smoke coming from itís small fanged mouth, fragments of shell impaled on itís black horns. It was a duckling, but not like any Iíd ever seen before, a breath of hell coming from it as I dropped it and ran like a fury down the hillside.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • View Profile
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: descriptive excercise
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2006, 07:23:37 PM »
It was a duckling, but not like any Iíd ever seen before, a breath of hell coming from it as I dropped it and ran like a fury down the hillside.

The duck from hell make his appearance.

Seriously Paul, I like your description and found it much better than mine.  But you did cheat a bit - no sheet of white paper for the egg to sit upon. 

But now that I have gone back and reread the instructions, I'm not sure if the egg was suppost to be sitting on the paper or if the illustration was to be drawn on one sheet of paper.  Questions, question . . . wish I had some extra answers.
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

PaulW

  • Guest
Re: descriptive excercise
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2006, 08:07:04 PM »
I wondered if someone would ask about the single sheet of paper - that comes into it when he gets to the nearest toilet. ;D

Sorry , wasn't that what was meant? Oops. ;D

Of course I cheated outrageously - I'm a duck!
« Last Edit: December 09, 2006, 08:25:09 PM by PaulW »

Offline eakucera00

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
    • Be a Writer - Be a Better Writer
Re: descriptive excercise
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2006, 02:29:01 PM »
LOL,  you both are great.  I like how you both took off with that one.  I think it's a good one.  It really helps on perfecting your descriptive skills and i think it even help with the synonyms.  Helps change things up.  I hope to see more people give this a try.
<a href="http://www.beawriter.us"><img src="http://beawriteraffiliates.com/images/beawriter_banner_468x60.gif"></a>

N.Mott

  • Guest
Re: descriptive excercise
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2006, 06:48:38 PM »
Its hard shell pale and dimpled, but still so delicate it could be crushed with a single blow. A drop from any height would render it little more than a shattered pieces of shell. Egg shell thin.
It lies here now on paper, white as a shroud, and spot-lit as though on a stage. Giving it's all, it performs for the class. They render it in chalk and pencil, pastel and paint, shaded and highlighted.
Placed in full view but still it hides from them; it's secret safe inside that brittle shell. A dead secret, unfertilized, barren. A filled womb that can yeld nothing but white and yolk. A painter would have use for it. A cook would serve it up with truffle and caviar and gold leaf and make it fit for a king.
But instead here it lies, a solitary egg on a plain sheet of paper.
Immortalised by an artist's hand.
Slowly cooking under the spot-light.


And before you level a charge that this is cheating, you set the task to describe the egg in the medium of words, and with words you can describe the inside and the out, the what will be's, and the whys, and the where-fors. It is a trick exercise: if you approach it thinking that this is just an egg on a piece of paper under a spot light - whether you are an artist or a writer - you will fail the test.



Sorry if any of that sounded preachy. I was in a philosophical mood tonight.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2006, 07:42:17 PM by NaomiM »

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • View Profile
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: descriptive excercise
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2006, 09:42:06 PM »
It is a trick exercise: if you approach it thinking that this is just an egg on a piece of paper under a spot light - whether you are an artist or a writer - you will fail the test.

I'm not so sure Naomi.  Maybe the only real failure is not to try at all.
If so, we are winners.  :D
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

N.Mott

  • Guest
Re: descriptive excercise
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2006, 10:33:11 AM »
Quote
I'm not so sure Naomi.  Maybe the only real failure is not to try at all.
If so, we are winners. 


Very true, country4gal :)