DRAPERY: A STUDY IN HIGHLIGHTS & SHADOWS
First, arrange a good-sized rectangle of fabric on a large piece of corrugated cardboard. When you arrive at a shape you like, with "bumps and hollows," ridges and valleys, fix it in place with stick pins.
|Don't be too easy on yourself! Make it a challenge.|
Place the arrangement on a table with a strong light source striking it, mostly from one direction.
Choose white or cream drawing paper, toned pastels paper, or one of your other favorite papers for this drawing.
|Notice how the shadow on the "table" grounds the drapery.|
Very lightly, sketch the outer contours of the main shape first, as well as lines to suggest the inner forms.
I and my students used Berol Prismacolor colored pencils, but chalk or oil pastels will do, too.
Leave bare paper where you want
strong highlights. You can always
add white later if your paper is toned.
The best finished drawings will have more than a single color!
An orange fabric might have burnt sienna in its crevices.
Mix blues, violets, grays, and/or other hues into the shaded
areas and have fun "molding" and rounding the folds,
working in their directions.
|A grounding shadow keeps the object from "floating."|
Berol makes a waxy blender pencil that is very useful with their colored pencils.
TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF
OR AN ADVANCED STUDENT
Use striped cloth! This is an
excellent drawing project
for gifted students.
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