For instance as the fold moves in and out of the light, the colours change from warm to cool and often light to darker. Use of complementary colours (ie red/green, blue/orange, purple/yellow) will help you describe these undulations in a realistic and three dimensional way. Take a look at the attached image and you will see how I have used variations of orange/blue and purple/yellow to establish the folds. See how they glow with colour? Even though this little dress ‘reads’ cream – in fact there are so many jewel-like colours within this painting of fabric folds – they all describe the colour cream but there is very little that is just a simple cream hue.
So you see, painting folds – as with everything – is really about observation and even enhancing what you see if it emphasizes the atmosphere you wish to create.
In this instance I wanted to give the impression of late afternoon sunlight filtering through this fabric as the little girl danced amongst the daffodils picking her favourite ones for her mother.