Project One – Exercise 1: Drawing fabric using line and tone

This worked on this exercise while travelling. I used a blanket from the hotel room thrown over a chair and got started. To get a better understanding of the drawing drapery and folds I looked up some information in a drawing book (Nicolaides, 1969):

– The point where the drapery is held (knee, elbow etc.) is called a hub
– From the hub the folds radiate
– Simple rule: A fold has three surfaces, a top, a right and a left side. The base is where the fold raises from. A undercut is where a side of the fold moves under and therefore is not visible an marking a clear edge
– Simplify tone: top white, sides medium grey, base dark grey (all without gradations) and undercut black (with gradation)
or: one side white, other side dark grey, top and base medium grey ( effect of light from the side)

15 min sketches:

Stefan513593 - project 1 - exercise 1 - line and tone

Stefan513593 – project 1 – exercise 1 – line and tone

5 min sketches

On zoomed in areas (around 10cm square each in graphite sticks, pencils, colored pencils, charcoal, marker pen, ink, brush, oriental brush pen, gouache:

Stefan513593 - project 1 - exercise 1 - studies #1-4

Stefan513593 – project 1 – exercise 1 – studies #1-4

Stefan513593 - project 1 - exercise 1 - studies #5-8

Stefan513593 – project 1 – exercise 1 – studies #5-8

Stefan513593 - project 1 - exercise 1 - studies #9-12

Stefan513593 – project 1 – exercise 1 – studies #9-12

Reference:

  • Nicolaides, K. (1969) ‘The natural way of drawing‘ Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company

Learnings:

  • How easy to create a sense of volume in the folds of fabric?
    With some additional research I found it at the end not too difficult. However, the most challenging part for me was how to simplify merging folds and folds turning inwards. So I consider some sketches as more or less successful.
  • I found slight turns of the drapery (e.g. over the edge of the chair) harder to depict correctly. Understanding the underlying form (in this case the chair) helps very much.
  • The smaller sketches with only a small part of the overall drapery helped to study deeper the direction of the folds, the light and shadows tonal values.. Sometimes it felt like drawing a landscape with the hills and valleys.
  • Making strong tonal gradations helped to develop volume perception.
  • Overall a few different tonal values are needed to convey a better perception of the fold volumes.

Next time:
– Using more media as I was a bit limited on my choices while travelling
– Exploring different fabrics  (soft, hard, thin, thick etc.) and to see how my markings can convey those different textures.

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