Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Drawing Furniture

Tonight's sketch is a low back, bar height chair.  I tried to capture the major steps in the process that I've been using.  This has changed dramatically in recent weeks and will surely continue to evolve.

Cherry with tiger maple back splat, and green upholstery because that's the only non-wood-tone color I have at the moment.

I start by ghosting in my perspective lines and the general outlines of the chair.  A 2 point perspective seems to work well for furniture.  Focusing more on getting the initial layout for the perspective right makes a big difference in the over feel of the final drawing.

Next I switch a softer pencil and start to darken the lines that I want to work with.

Next I will refine the outlines with a pen, in this case with sepia ink.

Outlines complete, note that I only lay in lines that delineate sharp transitions.  The seat cushion is only outlined with no lines for the soft edges.

Now I choose my color pallet. For each color I like to have at least three tones, highlight, mid-tone and shadow.  With the alcohol based markers it is possible to blend the three to get most tones in between as needed. 

Starting with the lightest marker in the set I block in that color and then start working on defining the mid tones.

Then the shadowed areas.  Within a given region there will be variations in tone and by creating as much contrast as possible, you can reinforce the shape of the piece.

With the frame filled in I tackle the back splat and seat.  Leaving some white space on the edges of the seat give the feeling a somewhat glossy surface.  The glossier it is, the more contrast there would be between the highlights and mid-tones on the seat surface.

Next I add in a shadow to help ground the chair. 

My final step is to go over the shadow edges with black ink and the highlight edges with white gel ink.  The white gel ink does a great job of making the seat pop as well. I also added some grain lines with the sepia ink pen.  This is particularly effective on larger expanses of wood. A little more contrast for the shadow and its done.

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