Another way of working with drapery, which gives a more static effect and is more or less the opposite to the previous approach, in that instead of movement we create a sense of form that has a weight and stillness to it. Artists would use this way of working to create an illusion of mass that would reflect the underlying form. Look at the example below and also refer to the works of Massacio, Cezanne, and some of the works of Picasso.

Drape a large sheet over a simple form (a chair) so it reflects the form of the object. Now proceed to draw this using exactly the same process as with the previous drapery drawing.

Charcoal Drawing Drapery


Trompe L'Oeil means to deceive the eye, to create a realistic illusion. There are many ways to create this effect, but one of the easiest is by choosing an object that is relatively flat, and can be hung on or lie on a flat surface. In the examples, I have chosen a tennis bat and a gardening glove.

Choose your subject carefully for this. A favourite coat dress or object that you know well, something that when hanging or lying flat would present us with some folds. When you have chosen your object hang it against a flat surface. This eliminates the problem of excessive depth.

Drapery Drawing

You need to light the subject from the side to cast a shadow on the wall behind the subject. Do this by using any light like an angle poise lamp, and directing the light from the lamp on to your object from the side. This type of light source is very important, as the way the light illuminates the subject and the shadows that are cast will create the Trompe L'Oeil illusion when drawn.

You now need to start your drawing with the compressed charcoal, making first a linear drawing as with the two previous drawings, by fixing your composition on the paper as accurately as possible and to scale and proportion. The next part of the drawing is different to the last two drawings in that it is pure and very accurate observation, looking at tone and texture in detail. Pay particular attention to minor detail such as creases, buttons, or lining. See example on page 134. Don't forget the cast shadows.

Cast Shadow DrawingDrapery Techniques


Having drawn out the composition of the gardening glove it is now the time to focus on the complexities of the textures that glove contains. In the following examples I have broken it down to a series of close observations of the way the glove has been manufactured or constructed.

Drawing Drapery Lessons

1/ At the opening end of the glove we are first confronted with a hem type stitch, which makes the border of the glove. This is constructed by making a small channel using two parallel lines that follow the contoured edge of the glove. In this channel we now place the pattern of the stitch, and this consists of a series of diagonal lines that go one way. In the spaces that are created by the lines we now place another series of marks that go in the opposite direction to imply the completion of this texture.

2/ We can now begin to observe the texture of the next section of the glove, and this takes the shape of another band that is obviously a lot wider than the first band, so here we have to take into account the relative textural proportions of the glove. This band again follows the contours and the form of the glove, and the texture is constructed by using a series of diagonal lines.

3/ In this example we observe that there is now a smaller band that again is following the contours of the glove. This band is about the same proportion as the first band but the texture is very different. We see that the mark to create this texture is a series of dots that change in the angle of placement, as the nature of the form of the glove changes its angles.

4/ In this example we can see that we now are creating a series of rows of textures that give the impression of a herringbone texture. This is created by putting two rows of the same proportions together, still following the contours and the form of the glove. Then we place in the top band a series of diagonal lines that oppose our first series of diagonal lines, and in the next band we place another series of diagonal lines that also oppose the lines above. This creates the herringbone texture and pattern that is an essential textural feature for this object. Underneath this is a small band of dots that we did in fig 3, and then you will repeat the herringbone texture again.

5/ This section of the glove is finished off by a different type of stitch. Again we observe that it is a band that is about twice as thick as the smaller band. It is constructed by placing together a series of over-lapping horseshoe shapes, and in the centre of these shapes we have placed a number of lateral marks to give the impression of the stitch.

6/ In this section of the glove we see a repeat of what we have just drawn in terms of the texture. However, the whole direction and the structure of the texture and the form of the glove have changed. The only added textural stitches are the four lines. These consist of little arced type marks that join to form the line that follows the contours and the form of the glove. The main herringbone texture of the glove should be repeated in the fingers of the glove to complete this textural part of the observation.

7/ We now move from the cotton part of the glove to the protective leather part and we examine how we have made our observations for this material. In the drawing of the composition you should have drawn out the areas of and defined the leather parts of the glove, and the drawing of this material will be very different to the drawing of the cotton parts of the glove. When applying our techniques to the cotton parts of the glove the drawing was created in a very constructed way, whereas here for the leather the drawing is more organic in its approach and how we interpret the texture. The texture of the leather is created by scrawling the compressed charcoal medium over the surface of the paper, applying varying pressures as you go so as to give a variety of weight to the mark. There is however, a small-added piece of texture to this section, which has a constructed formula to it. This is shown by a row of stitches, which creates a line that follows the form of the glove.

Finally, to finish this drawing one needs to put shadows over the top of the texture that are created by the direction of the light source that we originally placed over the subject. Remember also to put on the shadows that are cast on the background that your subject lies on, as this is vitally important in creating the Trompe L'Oeil effect.

The tennis bat is another example of the

Trompe L'Oeil and as we can see here it has be constructed in the same way as the gardening glove.

Firstly draw out the composition of the bat as we have done with the other subjects that we have tackled. Once you have the composition firmly fixed on your paper you can now begin to contemplate the textural qualities of the subject.

1/ The stringing of the bat is constructed by a series of marks that implies the woven tension in this section of the drawing. The direction of the marks gives us the tight woven impression.

2/ The construction of the head of the bat is made from wood that has been formed by compressing the material together to make

Drawing Drapery Lessons

this unusual structure, and this is implied by the tightly compressed marks that are in the form of lines that follow the shape and form of the head of the bat.

3/4/ The handle of the bat has been painted and therefore its surface is flat but nevertheless it has a shiny quality to it which is implied by the tonal aspect of the drawing. There are also graphic elements on the surface of the handle, which must be copied as accurately as possible. At the base of the handle, we have the leather grip. This material has been wound around this part of the bat to form a pattern. Draw this pattern before you put in the textured marks. The marks that imply the grip of the bat are made by rows of dots that follow the winding pattern of the leather material.

Now you have in place all the textural references you can now put the tone observations over the top putting in the important shadow effects to create the three dimensional illusion that is Trompe L'Oeil.

Drapery Form Shadows

Willow charcoal —projects

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Easy Step-By-Step Lessons How Would You Like To Teach Yourself Some Of The Powerful Basic Techniques Of Pencil Drawing With Our Step-by-Step Tutorial. Learn the ABC of Pencil Drawing From the Experts.

Get My Free Ebook


  • artemio
    How to draw hands with charcoal?
    8 years ago

Post a comment