Part 4: Project 1: Exercise 1 – Drawing fabric using line and tone

Brief

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.

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

Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 - course notes image
Paul Cézanne, Drapery on a Chair, 1890–1900 (pencil and watercolour wash)

Warm-up sketches

Blanket & chair in light and dark charcoal pencil – line and shade:

Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 - warm-up sketch
Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 – warm-up sketch

Blanket & chair in light charcoal pencil – line only:

Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 - warm-up charcoal line sketch
Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 – warm-up charcoal line sketch

Blanket & chair in light and dark charcoal pencil – line and shade:

Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 - warm-up charcoal tonal sketch
Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 – warm-up charcoal tonal sketch

Line & tonal sketches

Blue coat & chair in graphite pencil – line only

Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 - graphite line sketch
Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 – graphite line sketch
Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 - conté tonal sketch 'Blue coat'
Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 – conté tonal sketch ‘Blue coat’

12 quick sketches

Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 - 12 sketches
Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 1 – 12 sketches

From left to right –

Top row: top collar in mechanical 0.5 pencil; lower left folds below collar in mechnical 0.5 pencil and Inktense block wash; top right folds in felt-tip pen; marker pen

Middle row: cuff in water colour wash; cuff in Spectrum Noir pen; cuff in Artbar wax soluble bar and wash; sleeve & cuff in charcoal pencil

Bottom row: lower l/h folds in colour pencil; cuff in soft pastel; lapel in oil pastel & stub; lower r/h folds (with a strip of lining) in polychromos colour pencil and wash

Critique

I am reasonably happy that I did manage to achieve volume in the folds of the fabric in both the blanket and coat sketches. It is interesting to me that the conté sketch of the ‘blue coat’ has a more abstract feel to it and the way in which the folds and shapes are formed is even more heightened in the close-up sketches. Of the 12 close-ups, particularly the sketches done in Inktense block wash and Spectrum Noir pen have a real abstract appearance – in order, an almost Picasso-esque face in the folds of the coat, and a similar kind of undulating curve form of Kandinsky’s dancers in the sleeve cuff.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
17 November 2015