Did you find it easy to approach the figure as a whole or were you distracted by details of the sitters dress?
The way I chose the poses and the type of cloth that I draped my model in made it easy for me to approach the figure as a whole. The folds and shadows helped me to accentuate the models shape in both poses.
How did you create volume in the folds of fabric?
I would have to say hatching and curved hatching, as well as use of light and shade, I did my best to depict the certain types of folds as researched from George Bridgman and described in the ‘Fabric with Line and Form‘ exercise.
Does the finished drawing give a sense of the figure beneath the fabric?
Yes, every limb and every curve including the gap between the rib cage and the convex shape of the pelvis.
How would you tackle a drawing like this again?
I would have to say, slower and in a lot more detail, iI liked the outcome of the three drawings but I feel spending a lot more time on them can improve quality of outcome. I would also love to have a go on larger sheets of paper in charcoal.
I spent a couple of days trying to find a white sheet for this exercise, which believe it or not is actually quite difficult in Thailand because all the bed clothes are usually a patterned quilt and sheet set. I thought about a towel but I didn’t think a towel would be crisp enough so I decided to go with the two orange pieces of cloth that I bought last year and had used in several exercises. Being the cloth that they use to make the monks robes out of and using the girlfriend as a model, this was always going to be controversial.
In the last research point an Anatomy Drawing I mentioned a free e-book I downloaded ‘Human Anatomy Drawing for Artists’, in it I came across ‘The Arm of Saint Peter’ by Leonardo da Vinci, where Leonardo ‘uses folds like curving cross-contour lines to describe the cylindrical forms of the arm’ – Dan Gheno, a study that was influential in the next three drawings.
For the first drawing the model was laid on the floor, feet towards me with her head and hands on a bolster pillow, this helped me to draw a partial outline., curving from the elbow down to the waste ‘A figure drawing must first be outlined or suggested before it can be properly drawn’ – George Bridgman. After suggesting the figure, I drew in the outline of the cloth and began hatching with cross-contour lines to describe the box shapes of the chest, waste and hips.
The second drawing was a tonal study which I( drew from the first drawing not from life, in white pastel on black paper. I was going to draw over the top of this in orange pastel and decided I would do the next drawing in orange on coloured pastel paper…again.
The third and final drawing was in orange and brown pastel with the model in a sitting up position, which was not the best of drawings but it does show off the models figure under the robe cloth and like the other two drawings,
‘Fabric with line and form’, don’t know how I missed that bit. I read it several times as well as in the brief but when it came to the exercise I did two 15 minute sketches using hatching. I can see why we were asked to do it in ‘line only’, so that we would notice the patterns, repetitive folds and the types of folds appear in the cloth.
In his book A Complete Guide to Drawing from life George Bridgman proposed that there are laws of folds, Diaper, Zig Zag, Pipe or Cord, Half Lock, Drop, Spiral and inert, several of which were quite noticeable in the 2 pieces of Monk’s robe cloth that I screwed up and placed on a stool on top of each other.
In the first drawing the types of folds that are most obvious are zig zag, half lock and spiral, with the Zig Zag’s repeating across the surface of the cloth.
In the second drawing which I drew from the other side and at a distance in charcoal these folds were not that obvious and I found myself drawing the inert folds, and I think, half lock.
I kind of cheated for the next part of the exercise, the brief told us to make 5 minute drawings in 5 cm boxes mine were closer to ten centimetres. All of which were 5 minutes apart from the orange pastel on coloured paper which took just over 10, because I got carried away. Again you can see most of the folds that Bridgman described in his book including ‘Pipe’ in drawings 3 and 5 which are almost the same section of cloth.