Leonardo Da Vinci Drapery Study for a Seated Figure 1478
An artist’s challenge to render form
with highlight and shadow
1. Begin with a lightly sketched outline
Carefully observe the outside edges as well as the major fold shapes.
Use a hard pencil like a 2H to create light lines.
Check out these common fold types to help you record drapery shapes
2. Lightly shade SHAPES that are in shadow
Look for “valleys” in the fabric to add your shadows, try to record the entire shape of the shadow.
The tops of your folds will almost always stay white, because the light is hitting them!
Use a medium pencil like a HB or 2B to create subtle shadows.
3. Darken the most intense shadows
Keep some areas of the lighter shading visible, so you will now have highlights, mid-tones, and
Use a dark pencil like a 6B to create dark shadows.
4. If using toned paper, add white for highlights
Only record the brightest highlights to allow some of the blank paper to show through
and give you more variety of tone!
Use a white colored pencil or white conté.