Cloth is everywhere and learning how to draw it realistically can really improve your work. Drawing from life now can make the work more believable later whether it is from your imagination or not.
So, grab a sheet or some other cloth that is handy and arrange it in a well lighted place. Have a variety of pencils, a blending tool, and a kneaded eraser ready and let’s start.
Any great drawing needs to start with an accurate sketch. If the sketch isn’t correct your drawing just isn’t going to turn out looking right. I gently sketched out the main shape of the cloth with a mechanical pencil. Remember to press lightly and use a sharp pencil that can be easily erased. That way you can adjust your drawing multiple times to get it right before going on to the shading.
During this next stage I used a HB pencil and lightly shaded all the dark areas. Make sure not to go too dark at first so that your drawing can still be adjusted as needed. Remember that cloth will have rounded edges and that you will need to shade it like you would a ball. Keep in mind the core shadows, cast shadows, and reflected light.
Next, I used a 6B wood-less graphite pencil to get some of the darkest values on the cloth. As you can see the dark pencil tends to lay on top of the paper and leaves a rough or grainy texture.
I blended the rough texture with a paper blending tool to give the cloth a softer texture. Then, I went back over the darker areas with a HB pencil to blend and darken.
The last stage is always the hardest, so, don’t give up! Remember that your eraser can be as important as your pencils. Use a kneaded eraser to remove any smudges and lighten highlights. Use your 6B pencil to go over the darker areas again and add some cast shadows. Darkening the negative shape behind your object can make it pop into the foreground.
Have fun drawing cloth! I’d love to see how your drawing turn out.
“Contemplating Earl Gray”
K. C. Christmas is an up-and-coming artist whose art I greatly admire. I love the simplified lines and solid blocks of color that give her work the quality of a vintage illustration. The combination of food, nature, and people in K. C.’s recent work has a surrealistic feel to it. It makes you look twice, and that is what sets great art apart from good art.
When asked to say a little about herself, K. C. Christmas says, “As for me, I am a tea-loving artist that can’t resist a good book. Currently, I’m earning a history degree but I make time for my art. My work has been featured in various exhibits around the world and is owned in different homes across the United States. My work is consistently focused on portraiture and the interaction between people and nature. These current illustrations I’m making right now are inspired by the sweet things in life – food, flowers and fashion. I love making work about people because it’s so relatable. You or I could easily be that illustration of a girl drinking tea or being grasped by ivy. Most of my illustrations are made with ink – whether that is micron pen or Faber-Castell brush pens. In the near future, I will be returning to some acrylic and oil paintings on a series of medical issues. I’m excited to see where that leads!”
If you want to see more of K. C. Christmas’ work you can follow her on Instagram. You can also purchase these beautiful illustrations on her Etsy shop.
“Side Effects of a Cherry Cordial”
“Shoes Aren’t Required for Tea Parties”
“The Grasp of this Earth”
“A Dab of Whip”
“Turning Over a New Leaf”
Sometimes looking back gives you a vision for the future. I was reminded of this wile looking through an old sketchbook from college recently. It was interesting to see how much my art has changed and surprising to see that the fine lines and gentle shading had been replaced by a hurried boldness. In many ways, this change in my art is a reflection of the changes in my personality and life. Wile noting these changes over the past five years, I began thinking about what I would like my art to look like five years in the future. (Will that really be 2022? That’s insane.) Primarily, I would like to grow in originality and style have my art recognizable as uniquely Aspen Creek Art.
In what way has your art changed over the past few years and what is your vision for your artistic future?
Here are a few more of my old sketches from college. Enjoy!
This is my son. He is ball of energy that can wear me out at times, but his smile, it can brighten my day like nothing else.
I painted this portrait for a friend using the same method used in this watercolor tutorial and for my other watercolor portraits.