Brown Paper Bag Fashion Sketching (VIDEOS BELOW)
Brown Paper bags are toned paper- why not make use of them as such? In Fashion Sketch Group a few weeks ago I sliced up this paper bag into one long panoramic length of paper (with the handles on both ends) and sketched the model poses across it.
I used blacks and whites for my Paper Bag fashion sketching because I knew that the paper bag itself would hold a steady mid- tone while I carved into it with darkness, depth,(black), fullness and light (white).
I also used some graphite which feels pretty black here, but everything is relative: next to the pure black of my charcoal, it looks so much greyer in comparison.
Use your paper bag sketching as an opportunity to feel so informal and allow that to free you up to try new things in a relaxed, open and curious way:
One way to explore is to Allow the paper to be the skin tone.
Then , try charcoal as the skin tone. Then try the white as the skin tone ! Feel the effects of each and see what different ideas come up for you!
Don’t go just by what you see here, of course! Know there are endless tools you can use:
Basically, ANYTHING opaque that is lighter than the bag tone (white, or pastels especially) is going to really POP forward and stand out. So explore lighter tones of pastels and chalks, and oil pastels, creamy opaque colored pencils like Prismacolor, white charcoal, China marker, gel pen, paint pens, will all be great to explore.
For darks and black in your paper bag fashion sketches try water soluble graphite ( a pencil that turns into a wash when you take a wet brush to it) and “all surface “ and watercolor pencils, ball pens, brush markers, and gouache and watercolors! I’ll add links to these great resources in upcoming posts- subscribe to stay in the loop!
Try white to show seams and features, then try black.
As you scan across these sketches –which are all on one long, wide single paper- bag drawing page , you can see the different ideas and effects that came up along the way.
But I loved this series of sketches so much, I hung it up for a few months in my home! (But since I’m creating new sketches every week, I finally replaced them with something else. Having art on the walls gives me a focal point for reflection and enjoyment. Each drawing, to me reflects an expression of gratitude and celebration of life and human spirit.
Below, I show a process of sketching on toned paper that mimics brown paper bag fashion sketching using Tayasui Sketches just so you can visually feel into this process if you’ve never done it yourself before. There is no substitute for experience though: allow yourself to feel this out for yourself so you can add it to your toolbox of visceral, embodied drawing practices!
Whenever I engage in digital drawing like brown paper bag fashion sketching or any other form of sketching, I AM ENGAGED IN MEMORY: MY DIGITAL DRAWING is ALWAYS rooted in my experiences on paper, with physical pens, inks, paints, papers. I don’t think I would experience even half of the pleasure that i do in digital fashion illustration and fashion drawing if I wasn’t “fantasizing” the whole time that I was actually hearing the scrape of pencil on paper or feeling the grit of the paper itself. That’s why Fashion Sketch Group and Model Drawing Magic are so important to me- actually all of my courses are centered around providing this dense physical playground for creating art through ALL of your senses engaging with the elemnt of nature!
Brown Paper Bags are nature- and i I promise you that working on a mid-toned or e(ven on black) paper will be a drawing experience that enhances your expression and hones your eye in fashion sketching. IT will also RELAX you to get off bright-white paper!
I also used toned paper for this powerful drawing/ figure drawing/ fashion sketching tutorial that goes into slight, shadow, form, dynamics, etc…. it’s not a brown paper bag, but the same rules still apply- watch it and apply what you’ve learned to your brown paper bag fashion sketching!