Last week in the Complete Drawing Certificate Course I learned how to create a value map and put it to use in my drawing of the Silver Kettle.

This week I was introduced to the five basic categories of folds found in drapery art, and had the opportunity to create a realistic drawing of a column fold.

When reading the details about my progress below please don’t forget to click on the thumbnails by each section to see the cool drawing I created in more detail. My drawings were submitted to Cindy, my course instructor at, and her feedback (in italics) is also included below.

Unit Two: Shading and Form: Week four

The primary goal of  this module teaches the mechanics of how different folds work, how they are affected by whatever is supporting the drapery, and how gravity pulls certain types of folds into particular shapes.

The next part of the module pulled together what we learned from previous modules on how to identify the intensity of the various tonal areas created by the overlapping drapery and how these tones are affected by a light source and creates shadows.


Exercise: Shaded drawing of a column fold

Drawing drapery

Click to enlarge

This weeks exercise was broken down into a series of easy to follow steps, which began with transferring the image in the module to my good quality drawing paper.

I then created the value map at the top of my page and lightly sketched out the tonal areas on my outline drawing of a column fold. The using a combination of HB 2B and 4B pencils I then gradually built up the different tonal areas of the folds in the drapery.

Using a cotton bud and a small paper tissue I then gently teased and blended the different areas of tones together to create the shadows, midtones and highlights.

The final part of my drawing was to use my putty eraser to lift out the extreme highlights, and my 4B pencil to reinforce the darkest tones. Take a look at my image opposite to see my finished drawing.

Feedback from Cindy

Dear Ian,


Drawing drapery feedback

Click to enlarge

I am most impressed at your beautiful drapery fold here. I can see that you are developing a good understanding of form and that you are very capable of creating soft edges, hard edges and gradations.

I can see that you are becoming aware of where the full light is, the cast shadows, the reflected light sources and half tone areas. This is all fantastic news as you move forwards into future projects.

The only area that I feel needs to be more carefully considered and refined now is with your shading technique. Please see my comments below as you match the letters of the alphabet on your drawing. On your value scale there is a bit too much of a jump from the level 5 to the 6 tone. You could have darkened all of these levels; 2,3,4 and 5 a bit more.

A: In these areas you have blended smoothly and this gives a lovely texture to the drapery. Well done!

B: In these areas there is a change of texture perhaps due to not blending these areas. Maybe the graphite was added afterwards and when you went to blend it removed the graphite from the paper. It his is happening to you, it means that you have loaded the paper too soon with the underneath layers. Make sure that you blend with a clean cotton bud (q-tip) or paper stump each time. You can clean your paper stump by rubbing it across sandpaper.

C: I can see many directional lines in your shading here in the level 6 tones. Once again you have probably had trouble achieving a really dark tone here and that has caused you to need to use the tip of the pencil. This is okay but we have to be so careful not to achieve any lines at all. If you do that, the more layers we put on , the more obvious lines will become. Perhaps you could consider skipping the 2B layer now that you are becoming more proficient with your ability to judge various tonal values. We can confidently apply just the HB in a very thin but most importantly even coat of graphite then move straight into the 4B in any areas that we wish to be really dark. Be very careful to maintain even pressure and another way to avoid markings such as these is to work in circular motions if needed in very dark areas.

D: These areas are beautiful, nice detail here.

E: This shape is different to the original. If we really wish to achieve the same likeness to a fold in our reference materials even the smallest areas count.

Great work Ian, no need to redo anything, just try to blend the areas at B and any other areas that show the graphite not blended yet, see what a difference it makes. Use a clean stump for each area; just roll the stump around to a clean edge when moving into a new area to blend. Well done overall!

Cheers, Cindy


Great feedback from Cindy there, and she was absolutely correct in her assumption that I had overloaded the paper with graphite too early, and I will be following her advice to skip the 2B in those really dark areas .

Coming up

Next week I shall be learning about how to create a realistic drawing of an urn. It looks very complicated and I can’t wait to get started! Please follow my Drawing Journey to see how I get on as I continue to learn to draw online 🙂

Next Steps

Please join me!

You too can learn the fundamental drawing techniques that Professional Artists use. Download the course notes here> The Complete Drawing Certificate Course 

 Please note my  e-commerce: Disclosure