Drawing 1, Part 4: Exercise 6

Emphasising Form with Cloth

The task was to sketch a figure wearing a baggy jumper, shawl or soft dressing gown. I made two drawings for this task.

For the first, my model was wearing a baggy dressing gown. I worked in oil pastel.

Oil pastel drawing of a woman draped in a dressing gown.

I worked on the darker tones first, gradually adding the lighter shades and highlights. Unfortunately, I forgot to draw the chair, so the woman looks like she is suspended in thin air!! I was not really happy with the style of this drawing, although it does represent the fabric quite well. There is variation in tone and I stayed with a looser style, and used black lines to demarcate the perimeters and folds.

I then made a second drawing, this time draping my model in a piece of pink satin-like fabric.

I drew in pencil first: a rough outline, following the lines of the fabric, and drawing a rough figure.

I then worked in watercolour, adding tones. I worked wet on wet, which means that I painted the areas with water first, and then added the paint. This worked out to be very loose, and rather random, but I stayed with it. I wanted the tones to look fluid and relaxed.

Once the paint had dried, I added the lines using charcoal pencil, and used white chalk for the highlights. I kept the drawing loose, and the facial features are implied. I emphasised the shadows using the charcoal pencil, and again emphasised the outlines, energetically. I feel this gives a certain feeling of the drawing being more alive and vibrant.

I prefer the second drawing. It is more in my own style, and feels loose and free. The folds, tones and lines of the fabric are evident, and I think they follow the contours of the body, although they were rather disguised by the volume of the fabric.

The previous two exercises have certainly helped my understanding of drapery, and have been enjoyable.


  1. I think these are both great. Both figures look relaxed in their flowy clothing. I prefer the first one, I think because of the colors and that the bathrobe reminds me of my own, which is a heavier fabric and drapes more stiffly I feel you’ve portrayed two styles well here.

    Liked by 2 people

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