Exercise 18: A drawing with textures

drawing with texture

drawing with texture

As I said in the texture samples exercise, it’s been difficult to find interestingly textured objects around the house – yet more so when trying to put together a composition of several of them.  I knew I wanted to use a wicker basket and loose weave scarf, but I needed a vertical component to complete the arrangement.  As I was wistfully wishing I might chance upon a crusty baguette, casually lurking in the kitchen, my eye alighted on a vestigial sprig of mistletoe.  Perfect.

It was a dark day, and the only place with good natural light was the bedroom, so I set up the objects on the windowsill.  Due to the restricted space available, my choices of composition were limited, although I already had a fairly good idea of what I wanted to do.  I tried a couple of different permutations in thumbnails, and did a quick sketch in felt tip pen, to gauge whether I might opt for colour or monochrome.  I decided on the latter, and chose charcoal as my medium, as I hoped it might help me to not get too bogged down in tiny details.

texture drawing sketches

texture drawing sketches

Given that I find the whole business of depicting texture to be one of the hardest aspects of this course so far, I’m guardedly pleased with this.  Which isn’t to say I think it’s much good… just better than I thought it might be!  I was happy with the composition, and liked the mistletoe disappearing off the upper edge.  Initially, I wasn’t going to include the curtain, on the right hand side, but felt it might add to the context, whilst introducing another texture (velvet).  I deliberately kept the background simple, as the main subject was rather complex.

For the scarf, I used slightly irregular hatching, and struggled to indicate the fluctuations in light and shade.  I used a little bit of pale grey and white compressed charcoal here and there to increase the sense of depth.

For the basket, again I used some compressed charcoal, but focused largely on varying widths and pressure of line work.  I also employed the putty rubber to pick out a few areas where the light was coming through the basket weave.  Knowing that it was likely I might want to do this, I had started the drawing with some flat smudged mid-tones, with the intention of adding dark tones and details, and picking out highlights, as I went along.  I think using more curved lines for the basket helped to give it a bit of volume.

Having tackled the scarf and basket, it was a relief to get around to drawing the mistletoe.  I think the relative openness of its structure provided a good contrast to the close textures of the other objects.

One thing I do like about this is the progression from light to dark as the eye moves across the page.  In an attempt to mirror this, I kept the drawing to the left-hand side a little looser.  I did ponder whether or not to include details outside the window, but as I said above, I wanted the emphasis to stay on the main subject, and felt the composition benefitted from having substantial areas of negative space.

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