How to Draw Cloths

3 Tips for Better Cloth Drawings

Drawing cloth and clothing could be a tedious process. But it is not harder than any other things you might draw. Here are some tips that will improve your cloth drawing.

Drawing Cloth Tip #1

Visualize the form and flow. With cloth, this is especially important as the flow and wrinkles have to be defined in order for your cloth to be believable. A quick way to better visualize the form is to draw a line on the cloth as if it’s riding on the surface of the cloth. It is like drawing a cross section. This will help you see what the cloth surface is doing.

Drawing Cloth Tip #2

Exaggerate the reflective lighting on the cloth. Since the cloth will most likely have many rounded areas is it tucks in and out, exaggerating the reflective lighting will help to intensify the curvature of the cloth. This will make it more three-dimensional.

Drawing Cloth Tip #3

Have good contrast between light dark and light areas. When the area of the cloth tucks under to another layer, make that edge dark to help push out the upper layer. Visually, anything dark will be perceived as receding and anything lighter will appear to come forward. Therefore, increasing the contrast in the edge of those areas will give your cloth more depth.

Book Recommendation for Drawing Cloths

The Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery by Burne Hogarth is the bible for drawing clothing. This is the best book on the subject. This is the book you need if you are going to draw clothing.

The book is a quick read, but you can actually just look at the pictures. It will give you a basic understanding of how drapery works so that you will be able to draw convincing clothing without reference. I think most artist has this book in their library.

How to Draw Cloth Video Tutorial

Hope you find this helpful. -Wei

Return to How to Draw section.

Comments are closed.