How and Why You Should Learn Drapery Drawing - With Examples!
Hello everyone, today I would like to share a collection of drapery studies from life that I have worked one. It is important to understand the folds of fabric when drawing and clearly distinguish lights and darks. It's is likely if you are drawing the human figure that many times they will be clothed. So this exercise is quite important.
This is an example of one of the studies. I experimented with the fabric being held up from several points (hubs) and observed how the folds radiated from these hubs.
I begin with a few 30 second sketches of drapery from various layouts to get used to their form.
I then do more detailed longer studies. It is important to remember that every fold has three surfaces - a top, a right side and a left side. The top is the closest surface to you and will be the lightest. The sides move from the top of the fold to the base. The base is the darker part from which the folds rise from.
It is very important to distinguish these three top, sides and base when drawing drapery to make it clear to the observer. It is quite easy to rush the lines and shadows when drawing fabric however, this is the importance of clear observation when drawing. You should as I have done be able to easily make a trail with you pencil over the contours of the fabric. If it is not clear you need to distinguish the surfaces more clearly by adding more or less shadow on those surfaces.
This fabric is held up by two points. Notice these two points act as hubs where all the folds radiate as they fall down.
This is drawn with one central hub.
This final one was held up in three locations and you can see here how that effected the folds in the drapery.
In conclusion, if you're an artist that draws the human figure or a lot of fabric it is important to touch on this subject even just briefly to help improve your final drawings and paintings in the long run. The key things to remember are the hubs (where all the folds radiate from) and making clear the base, sides and top surfaces of every fold to create the illusion of realistic fabric.