African Tribal Costume

by Johan De Wet
(Pretoria, South Africa)

African Tribal Costume From Ndebele

African Tribal Costume From Ndebele

This sketch is created in pen and ink and pencil. I always use a fairly soft lead 3B to 6B as they give a nice soft tonal effect.


The inks and pen give super black lines which I like with some areas being solid black.

The girl is wearing a traditional Zulu costume (Ndebele Tribe). Most Zulu's and Xhosa's use the body as an art form and various pendants and hoops indicate various stages of a woman's life. A headband denotes she is married. Pendants ward off evil spirits.

The most difficult part of this pose was getting the perspective right. Usually when we draw human figures it is at eye level and here, in this drawing, the perspective is slightly exaggerated.

Drawing the human form is not easy and it takes highly focused awareness and a liberal use of an eraser to get it right. Sometimes I use one of those wooden manikins to get the perspective right.

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