2017-05-27: folded pillow on mattress

photo 3

Pencil, 2B and 6B in A5 sketchbook. Not really happy with shading. Began with cross-hatching, shifted to blending with finger. Could do with greater contrast, gradients between light and dark. I began blocking out the background in black (last desperate act) but realised that actually casting a shadow onto the pillow beneath would serve this purpose better.

In any case, it was interesting to note how there lay in front of me an indiscernable mess of folds: only I knew that a folded pillow lay on top of another, because I had performed that act of positioning them. Perhaps a single pillow would have sufficed for what was intended to be a short drawing exercise before bedtime.

I had a look at Albrecht Dürer’s ‘six pillows’ in pen and brown ink, shown below (1493; The Metropolitan Museum of Art). There is fluidity (and movement – one can almost feel the act of folding taking place) and curvature lent by cross-hatching with very little blocking out. Reproducing this pillow series (or reproducing the style, or both) would be very helpful in my understanding and developing the cross-hatching technique.

Albrecht Dürer, six pillows (verso), pen and brown ink, 1493. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Albrecht Dürer, ‘six pillows’, pen and brown ink, 1493. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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