|Long Study of Drapery - 1|
6 January 2012
Graphite Pencil on Paper
46cm x 33cm (18" x 13")
I am two weeks into Section 11 of the Natural Way to Draw and on Friday, I finished the first long study of drapery - you are looking at 4 hours of drawing.
The instructions for the exercise result in a stylised representation. For each fold, you have to decide what is the top, what are the sides and what is the bottom. The top of each fold you leave white, the sides you shade light grey and the bottom you shade dark grey. Where one fold is underneath another, you shade the fabric a very dark grey where it emerges from under the other fold.
The objective of the exercise is to explore and understand the structures of the interacting folds – not to create an accurately rendered drawing. Without this understanding, it would be easy to fool yourself by creating a lovely shaded drawing that looks very attractive and detailed, but is really quite inaccurate.
I’m glad there are two long studies in Section 11. I’ve learnt a lot from this exercise and I am looking forward to starting a 6-hour drawing this week. The main change I will make to my approach is to spend more time drawing the shapes of the folds before starting to shade them. In the 4-hour drawing, I started shading too early because I was losing track of what was the top, side and bottom of the intricate folds at the top of the fabric. Next time I am going to fight the urge to shade and if necessary, write t, s and b on the drawing to help keep track of things. I am also going to take more care over shading the folds as they emerge from under each other.
The fabric I am using is probably too lightweight. Some of the folds it creates are very delicate – the tops are very thin. Before I start the next exercise, I am going to try to obtain a heavier fabric, which should create more rounded folds.
The setup for the exercise provided a challenge for me. It might be a problem for anyone that doesn’t have a studio and doesn’t want to cover their house in holes. The instructions are to tack the fabric to the wall. There are two long studies and in parallel, you might do up to 50 short studies- that is a lot of tack holes. My solution is to use suction cup hooks and fold back clips. This works quite well as long as you stick the suction cups to glass. They only seem to stick for a couple of minutes on wood or plaster, but they stick like glue to glass - this arrangement in the window has been up for over two week.
|My Drapery Setup|