Shirt Drawings featured image 9-10, 11-12


One week per drawing. In this instance, the teacher required three drawings total, so three weeks.


Pencil, charcoal pencil, colored pencils, and other media as required (students are given the choice of media)


Drawing, Charcoal, Mixed Media

Lesson Objectives

The student will:

• Practice observational drawing and rendering, including shading light and dark values to create the object’s form.
• Think creatively about how to take the drawing a step further by adding imagined elements to the artwork

Introductory Activity

This teacher likes to alternate subject matter from year to year and requires her students to start with simple compositions and photorealistic drawings as start-the-year warm-ups. The students become more innovative as they complete separate studies of the same subject. Students pinned their shirts on a display panel and took photo references of the item with a well-placed light source. While photos were allowed, the thrust was on observing from life.
Students could work 9” x 12” or larger, larger was encouraged if time allowed. The more time involved in the medium/technique (such as ink stippling) the teacher would recommend smaller sizes. 

Lesson Process

After prepping the clothing on the panels, students began their observed, realistic version. Then the students were required to create two more shirts using their choice of media but they were required to add some innovation and creativity to their drawings.


drapery, form, light source, cast shadow


You might look at trompe l’oeil artist David Brega, specifically his work Colors
The Book, Drawing Realistic Clothing And People

Author & Website/Blog

Kristy Patterson, Flying Shoes Studio Blog

Supporting Images