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How to Draw Wrinkled Paper

Updated March 23, 2017

Drawing something as common as a wrinkled sheet of paper can help artists recreate subjects authentically and learn about drawing lines and curves. Basic skills such as capturing the image of what's in front of you, drawing proportionate lines and shapes, and creating differences in light and shadows can be beneficial for drawing both simple and advanced images. Use the techniques you learn in drawing wrinkled paper to draw objects, landscapes and even portraits.

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  1. Crumple up a piece of blank paper. Uncrumple the paper, which will be full of wrinkles. With the crumpled paper in front of you, use it as your guide as you draw what you see. This works better if the crumpled paper is blank, so that you can see the wrinkles in it more clearly.

  2. Outline a replica of the edge of the paper to give yourself a border to work within. This can be useful in showing you where the image you're drawing ends and your canvas begins. If the crumbled paper has holes at the edges, draw those as well.

  3. Draw the lines and creases that you see. Focus on drawing one area of the paper at a time. You may find it more effective to look at the crumbled paper and then recreate the lines in your mind as you draw them. Use light shading to draw shadows in the parts of the paper that are darker. This will recreate the natural shadow of the folds.

  4. Give the paper dimension by detailing the areas that sit higher or lower than other areas. Go back over the paper to create a more defined border. Lightly shade over the entire picture to give the paper a sense of texture.

  5. Tip

    To add more texture to the drawing, charcoal can be used instead of pencil.

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Things You'll Need

  • Crumpled paper
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Eraser

About the Author

Michelle Gordon has been writing professionally since 2004. Gordon has written advertising copy for clients such as Nestle, Safeway, BB&T and Hanes. She holds a Master of Science in advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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