Part 4 Project 1 ex 1 Drawing fabric using line and tone

Throw a piece of clothing or a length of plain fabric (so you don’t get distracted by pattern) across a chair to make folded and soft layers of fabric and then, using an appropriate medium for each, make two 15-minute sketches, one using line only and the other concentrating on tone.

Loosely divide a large sheet of paper into 8–12 cm squares and draw five-minute sketches of different parts of the fabric. Look at the shapes caused by the folds and use lines to follow the curves, rises and falls as though the tip of the pencil is walking along the ‘landscape’ of the cloth. Identify and emphasise the areas of light and shade that define and emphasise form. Use both line and tone, testing different approaches and media as you work. Work on a larger scale on single sheets if you wish.

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The above are sketches of a white table cloth on a black leather sofa.  The first one is line drawing with mechanic HB graphite pencil.  The second is 6B graphite sticks.  The following 8 fragments are HB graphite mechanic pencil.  The first half were quite tentative.   My strokes are getting more confident when I progressed to the second half.

After doing the fragments, I thought my initial drawing may not meet the requirements.  So I try again with a puffer coat on a another black leather sofa.


The first one is HB graphite mechanic pencil and a B8 graphite pencil.  The second one is charcoal.  The charcoal drawing is a bit too small for the medium.

All are done in my A3 cartridge sketchpad.   After doing all again, I still not sure I have met the stated requirement.

How easy did you find it to create volume in the folds of fabric? Make some notes about this exercise in your learning log.

I find it is easy to create volume in small fragments but more difficult in doing the whole piece.  It may be just too much worry over the overall form.


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