A digital painting of four skirts, with an emphasis on the light and shadow of the folds. Two are long pleated skirts, one an a-line skirt, and one a mini skirt
Digital Painting

Cloth Fold Studies: Skirts

It’s been 9 days since I last opened Photoshop to practice digital art. In the days of yore (i.e. before this January) that wouldn’t have felt very long at all, but with my *fingers cross* increased drawing habit, I longed to get back into digital after over a week of traditional mediums. Listening to my instincts about what I should focus on each day as been a big part of keeping up this practice, so here we go: more digital painting practice!

These were studied from Pexels CCO photos. Here are the sources for the long grey skirt, the purple mini skirt, the blue a-line skirt, and the orange pleated skirt. I modified the colors from what was in the photos and simplified where I could (including removing patterns, because that would have taken too long to render).

A digital painting of a long pleated skirt
Digital painting of two skirts, one a purple mini skirt and one a loose blue A line blue skirt
Digital painting of an orange long pleated skirt

I’m thinking I will do a few more cloth fold studies, from photo reference and/or setting up draped cloth still lifes. I have a book on drapery I want to read/work through, but I kind of want to get a intuitive feel for just looking deeply at fabric folds before analyzing it rationally.

I like the method of: try the thing, study about the thing, try the thing again and see if it feels different/easier. Rinse and repeat. It’s the scarier way, I suppose, but it also helps me get used to that “OMG I have no idea what I’m doing” panic that sometimes surges up when creating stuff out of the ether. It’s OK to not know! Because then you get to go into the study/research phase with, like, experience of trying the thing. It makes the studying more grounded in experienced reality: whether it be painting cloth folds or drawing faces or learning belly dance moves or learning a new programming language.

I painted these while also watching/listening to Jenny Nicholson‘s older ramble videos on Patreon. It was amusing company that had me laughing out loud more than once – her sense of humor is off-beat and dry, but also whimsical and delighting in the strange. Right up my alley, would recommend!

In other news my neck and shoulders are still bothering me (and thus I’m getting more headaches and migraines), and if it weren’t for wanting to stay socially isolated, I’d probably be considering doing PT again. Except when I did PT like 5 years ago, I didn’t stick with the stretches, so just thinking about PT makes me feel super guilty. I keep thinking if I just drink more water and stretch more, things will get better. MEH.

Otherwise tonight was responsible household chores and such. And planning for summer house improvement projects. I have definitely felt the need to say no to stuff I “should” be doing (like putting in a grocery order, whoops) and saying instead “No, I can’t do that tonight, I need to make art and post to my blog.” Which does mean I’m in a bit of a time crunch between dinner and when I sit down to make art, but it’s been satisfying. Or at least it’s been a good distraction while the pandemic is still affecting everything. Either way, art is getting made.

‘Til next time. <3

Listening to: Ambient computer hum
Current mood: thoughtful

I'm an illustrator and web developer honing my skills and learning all I can about drawing, painting, and storytelling through visual art.