Now that you understand greyscale let us look at another interesting aspect of drawing figure and ground. The background of any drawing is referred to as the ground and the object placed on the ground is normally referred to as the figure. What I want to show you in this illustration is how size and the use of figure and ground can change the appearance of an object.
In the first diagram the blocks are exactly the same shade although the one on the black surface looks lighter than the block on the white surface.in the second diagram the smaller block on the white background looks darker even though they are the same color.
What does this mean when you are drawing, pay special attention to the various shades of grey going from white to black and their relation to each other. You may not have to produce very dark areas if they are next to very white areas.it sounds a bit confusing but remember when you are drawing with a 6b pencil and you make a mark you cannot easily undo it.
This is referred to in drawing terms as juxtaposition, so we have learnt about figure and ground and greyscale in the use of all three.
Let us look at the Van Gogh drawing of a field
The ground is very clearly the sky and the field. The figure is the house and cart with the tree.
Look very carefully at the dark areas in the drawing and you will notice that the blacks are almost the same shade although where they are positioned on the paper makes them look darker in certain areas.