The Importance of Texture in Drawing

For today’s post I want to talk about texture and why it’s important in drawing and why I find it very important for my drawing of Mr Rogers.

I’m even trying something brand new here by creating a short video for this post, a may do the same in the future.

I wrote about the importance of texture in drawing with a previous post a few weeks ago for another drawing, but the same wisdom apples here.

Many artists know all about the basic fundamentals: line, value and edges, but many forget about texture. I first became aware of the importance of texture through the works by Andrew Wyeth. He was a master of texture in drawing. One drawing in particular that comes to mind is titled Beckie King and is in pencil.

Beckie King by Andrew Wyeth 1946: Pencil Drawing 28.5 x 34 inches.

This drawing is done in pencil, probably graphite, yet you can tell where one type of fabric ends and the other begins. The difference from skin to fabric is rather easy to understand for many artists but the ability to depict silk in a different way than cotton is on a whole new level.

In my current drawing of Mr Rogers you can see the differences of texture when looking at his skin versus his color versus his sweater. It’s super important to use texture to infuse some life into your drawings.

Adding texture to drawing is easy to do with some surfaces but not so easy with others. A great example is the difference between hair and fabric. For hair we use many lines and bring them together into a semblance of form. This is normally achieved by using the point of the pencil. But for fabric, or something smooth, we use the side of the pencil and lay down an area of value as smooth as we can. These are two very different textures.

The problem with a lot of portraits I see is that there is no difference between the texture of the skin and any fabric. The artist will treat each one as if it were the same surface and the person comes out looking more like a mannequin. Skin has a texture, it’s harder to see than hair or a fuzzy hand puppet, but it’s there.

Getting to know the subtle differences in texture and how to use your tools to display those textures can take your drawing and painting to the next level. Look closer!

Mr Rogers Drawing

Previous Mr Rogers Drawing Posts

Warm-up

The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.

warm-up

One Minute Gestures

Back to the one minute gestures from the The Natural Way to Draw book. Not my best set of gestures but, lots of fun none the less.

Daily Composition and Sketch

Due to putting too much stuff on my plate I’ve had to make the hard decision of cutting out my daily composition and sketch. I’ll keep focusing on the Fandom Fitness drawings and my work with Nicolaides though.

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

Awesome relaxing art day and I got to practice the importance of texture in drawing again.

What needs work? What did you learn?

I’m figuring out my art time and cutting things out so my day is less stressful and full of creativity.

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

Cutting out something I’ve committed to is very hard but I have much more important commitments at the moment.

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Texture in Drawing”

  1. Man, Mr. Rogers looks amazing! I love Daniel, you are creating the true essence of the puppet. And yes, as you are focusing on in the video, his clothing. But that puppet.

    Reply
    • Wow! Thank you! I didn’t realize that I rocked Daniel that well. I was focusing on trying to get his form and texture just right. Fur is difficult to do in graphite. There a balance between drawing every hair and focusing on the big shapes.

      Reply

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