Drawing Fabric Using Line and Tone

I was quite relieved to change subject matter after a prolonged part three that raised mixed emotions that I am still battling.

The first drawing I used pencil, 2B, to attempt to capture the folds of a tablecloth.

Photo 19-09-2017, 14 25 55
15 minute sketch in 2B pencil

It was difficult to just use line, although that was what I did. Not a bad attempt, I got a little lost in some of the folds which I found confusing and hard to follow, I tried to capture  too much in fifteen minutes and would have been better to concentrate on fewer folds perhaps. I need to simplify somethings as I am battling to draw everything I see.

For the second sketch, I used conté stick and I was allowed to shade this time.

Photo 20-09-2017, 09 01 52
15 minute conté sketch

This was more successful but I confess I did try to simplify the folds a little as the first one was a little complex. It was easier to use tone to define the folds than just line.

I then spent about half an hour drawing six different versions using the 8cm square boxes and different materials.

Photo 20-09-2017, 10 27 18
5 minute sketches in assorted media

Working from top left to right, I used 2B pencil, then vine charcoal. Middle row conté stick then soluble graphite. Bottom row graphite stick and brush pen. I quite enjoy drawing fabric, and like the conté stick and charcoal but perhaps the most surprising outcomes were the brush pen. I have been somewhat fearful of drawing with ink and had varied results but was satisfied with this outcome. I had to work on using line more and be careful not to make errors. I also enjoyed the soluble graphite. Using the different media was good for me and I should do this more.

I think I have managed to create volume in the folds of the fabric, although I used the same tablecloth throughout. I have enjoyed drawing textured things in previous exercises and assignment two so I don’t find this too difficult, rather the opposite.


I don’t feel happy with my recent work and decided to take another look at it and was disappointed with it. I feel I can do better but have lost some motivation. I’m genuinely not sure if the format of this course is pushing me enough, I suspect I would learn better in a classroom situation.

I decided to work into the conte drawing some more and so this is the newer version. I find it hard to finish the drawings to my satisfaction in the limited time. Yes, I could spend hours on them but that leads to frustration about how long it takes to get through them and obviously means less time for the assignments. I prefer to give myself longer on the assignments which may mean that the exercises suffer sometimes but that’s the dilemma.

Anyway, here is my updated version

Photo 04-10-2017, 10 11 14
updated version

One of my problems is probably being too literal in interepreting the exercises and rigidly adhering to instructions, I need to work on that.


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