learn how to create shading for textiles




Shading Textile Textures

Let's look at doing shading on textiles - fabrics and other woven surfaces. A fabric texture is interesting to try and draw because you run into a similar issue as you did when drawing the lemon - namely having to draw each fiber of the cloth, similar to having to draw every valley you saw in the skin of the lemon. Well, since you didn't have to draw every valley, you shouldn't have to draw every fiber in the cloth either. Another issue that presents itself when drawing clothing or another large piece of fabric: you'll have to draw the wrinkles in the fabric (if it is wrinkled). What you can do in that situation is after drawing a contour shape of the entire fabric object, you draw contour shapes of the shadows that are created by the wrinkles within the main contour shape object.

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Let's draw this red draped piece of fabric (no, it's not a superhero cape!). We don't see the whole object, we're only looking at a portion of the fabric, so that means we can't really draw a main contour shape. So let's dive right in and start to draw the shapes that you see the shadows and wrinkles creating (click the image to see my contour drawing). You can mark the wrinkles with a simple line, and the shadows you can enclose with a contour shape. Once you have your contour drawing done, work from darkest shadow to the midtone and begin to shade in the deep valleys you see. Don't blacken the valleys completely, because there's variation in the darkness of the deep shadows, they're not all one tone. Just keep adding and darkening shadows until you've rendered the whole image. You may not have been able to get the gradients as smooth as you would have liked - now is the time to break out your blending stump and blend and smudge the shadows and highlights to your liking.

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