Drapery Critique Please
I did the male one with graphite pencil (just a number 2 dixon pencil) and the female one with a conte 1710 b and a wolf carbon 6b charcoal pencil. Would be great if I got some critique on the design of the drapery I invented in some areas, values and shading, etc. My goals with these drawings were not to be as accurate to the references but to make it as believable as possible as if someone where actually sitting inside the paper.
Great work, first of all. I agree with Liandro that overall, the drapery is convincing and it works! But I do have a suggestion. To me, it feels a tad overdone. You added more folds than the reference has, which isn't bad necessarily, but I feel like it is a little distracting and you would benefit from simplifying a bit. Rather than adding too many folds, try simplifying. Have a hierarchy. The most important, big folds and wrinkles should be present, but the smaller ones should be there as support and maybe some pazzaz! Hope that makes sense. Keep up the good work!
Hey, @persona937! Nice job on this drapery work. It’s great that you didn’t aim at just copying the reference and allowed yourself space to make creative choices in your drawings. The design of the drapes looks coherent and believable overall, I'd say. In terms of how drapery should work realistically (tension points, gravity, materials), there’s nothing to my knowledge that I’d say needs to be fixed or changed. Good! If anything design-related, maybe you could look for some more variety in size and spacing on areas where shapes are getting a bit too similar - for example, the area between the woman’s arm and torso: there are four “columns” of folds with pretty much the same width and shape, and those widths could be slightly different from one another in order for a stronger variety in the design of the folds (even in the reference, there is indeed slight shape and size variations). Stephen Silver usually suggests using size contrasts as “small-medium-large” for stronger variation in design, so that could be a guideline as to designing shapes that are adjacent or close to each other such as these. About the shading, overall I’d say it looks nice. There is some variety to the shadow edges, which nicely conveys the form qualities of each fold. Although I think the edge of cast shadows should be a bit sharper in general, especially the woman’s cast shadow on the ground (which also seems a bit off-perspective). Regarding values: the logic of the value ranges in both drawings looks fine. The woman has a broad global contrast (a lot of lights, a lot of darks); maybe I’d make the light values on the blouse slightly darker, and the shadows on the skirt a tiny bit lighter, so each area would have their own specific value range and wouldn’t “compete”. The man is more high key (brighter overall, no dark tones), but that’s not an issue since all the values used look coherent within that context - except maybe for the area below his right leg (the one more to the left of the page), where maybe the cast shadow has gotten a bit too light and could be made just as dark as the cast shadows under his left armpit and above his left shoulder. One thing that might be outside the scope of this critique (since your request was about drapery and lighting), but I feel that I should mention, is that the figures’s proportions are not very realistic right now: torsos and arms are looking a bit too long. Perhaps something to take note of for another moment when you want to focus on the realism of the figure. Since you mentioned your goal was to make as if the people were actually sitting inside the paper: I don’t think this super extreme level of realism was achieved just yet - although the level of realism you were able to achieve seems nice to me. It’s just that, if you wanted to go for even more realism, like hyper-realism or even something like a “trompe-l’oeil” technique, what I’d say is that you’d need to gear your studies towards a higher understanding of perspective, since a flawless perspective would be crucial for conveying a feeling of “it looks like someone’s actually sitting there”. Besides that, a very careful manipulation of values and edges should also be essential: in hyper-realism, forms and contours are often conveyed mainly through value contrasts, whereas using contour lines (as in many areas in your drawings) is something that often “flattens” the forms a bit, thus breaks that idea of extreme realism and conveys a bit of stylization. There’s no right or wrong, it’s just a matter of making your use of the visual elements match the goals you have for your drawings. Here's a few recommendations of study resources you might be interested in: . The Shading Course – Fundamentals of Realism, Light & Shadow by Dorian Iten, here at Proko . Essentials of Realism with Jonathan Hardesty at Schoolism - https://schoolism.com/courses/illustration/essentials-of-realism-jonathan-hardesty . CtrlPaint “Perspective Sketching 1 - The Basics” - https://ctrlpaint.myshopify.com/collections/foundation-skills/products/perspective-sketching-1-the-basics I think that’s all I’ve got for now. Hope this helps! If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything else, feel free to speak it up. Happy studies and best regards!