Drawing Clothing

It may seem that drawing clothing on  figures is the opposite of drawing nudes however the two are very much related. The human form still needs to define the overall shape and proportions of the figure upon which the clothes rest. As such, many artists will lightly sketch the essential contour to assist them throughout the drawing process. In many cases, clothing is fairly form fitting so the underlying form is essential. The major difference lies in the surface texture of clothes and includes the added challenge of drawing creases and folds. For instance rippling sweatshirt sleeves or ironed, pleated pant legs. The study of clothed models is known as costume life.

Different fabrics and clothing styles can make it challenging to convey the pose or attitude of the subject. Remember that breasts, elbows, knees, buttocks and other body parts are suggested by creases, wrinkles and tension in the fabric. Wrinkles and folds are illustrated with a combination of curved contour lines and shading. Wrinkles produce different depth and within these depths, shadows. At the crest of the folds, light can hit the surface directly. As such, appropriate shading should follow accordingly. Lighter fabrics such as silk or cotton tend to create many small wrinkles while velvet and wool produce more rigid, separate wrinkles. In general, heavier fabrics have fewer and larger folds.

Other pages of interest

Drawing gestures
Gesture sketches
Drawing clothing
Nude figures with conte crayon