Sunday, 17 August 2014

Summer Drawing Project – Lesson 15

Meandering curves to make your pages roll.

Take your rhythmical lines a stage further and make them create a curvaceous surface on your pages.

Look at curved surfaces to study that are linear. I found some shells, a fabric shopping bag and some fabric that I could ‘scrumple’ up.


Perhaps you have plump stripy cushion or a striped tea towel or a piece of striped fabric you can make undulate to create a rolling surface.

Perhaps you can see rolling hills with lines of crops or trees.

Perhaps you have a shell that has a linear pattern.

Perhaps you have a stripy fruit or leaf.

Make yourself 2 ‘L’ shapes from strips of white card or paper. These two ‘L’ shapes can be moved to over lap more or opened out to make different sized rectangles or square ‘windows’.


Make your ‘L’ shapes resemble the same proportion as your sketchbook page and place them over your surface if it is a large one to select an interesting (but not too complex) composition. I used this to select an area of my fabric but no need for the shells as they had their own shape. If you’re looking out of a window at stripes outside, you could tape your ‘L’ shapes to the glass to give you a selected view of your stripes. 

Try different areas until you find one that shows a simple composition: the one below left is a simple one and the one on the right is quite complex. Start with a simple one!

P1080759   P1080761

Use any way of drawing your lines – it could be a crayon used on it’s side, a wide paint brush, a strip of card, a fine pen, depending on the sort of stripe you are drawing. You could also use the sgrafitto method of ‘scratching back to a different layer or scratching into the paper surface as in last weeks lesson.


The drawings above and below have been made by drawing the wavy lines to echo the observed undulating fabric stripes with the point of the seam ripper into the wet surface of the paper. Just copy the stripes and this creates the undulating fabric surface for you.


A second stage of this drawing you can see in the image below adds slight shading to suggest the darker dips in the undulating fabric surface. This was done by adding a ‘dash’ of extra ink while the surface was still wet so that it would blend gently into the first stage.


The drawings below have been made from a very simple striped fabric composition – just one curved fold. Both drawings were made with a strip of card, dipped into the ink – the left hand one into a watery ink and the right one straight into the ink pot. Notice that the dip between the fold has been dabbed with ink to suggest the shaded ‘valley’. The left hand shading has been done with a light touch with the sponge and the right one with the card dipped into the watery ink. This shading helps to suggest the depth of the undulating fabric folds.

It’s a good idea to draw the same composition more than once, maybe using different media or even the same media as you learn a lot about the surface by looking more deeply and trying it again and again.You’ll get a lot better!


If you’d like more of a challenge, arrange some stripy fabric to make a more complex composition of stripes. The stripes below have been carefully drawn with a fine pen to record a more exact copy of the different directions that suggest the more complex arrangement of crumples. The ink in this pen is not permanent and it’s possible to smudge it with a damp brush or sponge or even your finger. This is how the darker areas were created to suggest the valleys. If you can find a drawing pen like this, you’ll enjoy using it this way. (The speckled marks are from the drawing on the reverse side of this page. Although this looks quite good in this drawing, you might like to consider drawing only on one side of a page if you’d prefer.)


The same undulating fabric has been drawn using a cotton ear bud or cocktail stick for finer lines dipped into bleach into a pre-coloured page. This will need to have been a colouring media which will react to bleach such as writing ink and brusho. (HINT – Work in a well-ventilated space; don’t use a paint brush as the bristle will be effected by the bleach and – do a test first).

Be patient, as the bleach doesn’t give a white line immediately. It’s a skill to get the right amount of bleach onto your cotton bud – by keep dipping into the bleach and not expecting it to ‘stretch’ as you do with inks and paints.


Now for some shell surfaces – both drawn with a  wide paint brush that is very old and bristly. The brush has been dipped into the ink pot in the left hand drawing and into the watery ink in the right hand one.

distortion4 distortion5

Remember, in all your drawing – just draw the stripes.

Next week’s lesson finishes this section of linear rhythms. It will be published on Monday 25th August.

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