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Tip Sheets for studying Drapery

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Drapery is a valuable area of observational art to study, given everyone tends to where clothes. That’s in fact not the only reason, but it’s a good one.

Also in the context of Dynamic Drawings emphasis on gesture drawing, notably drapery forms often follow patterns that are very user-friendly for a gestural line!

Below I’ve shared a cash of reference material I’ve collected on the subject, like anatomy I recommend copying these to memorize what they have to teach us as part of your deliberate focused practice studies.

When drawing something for work, i’ll often simply put on a jacket, or whatever thing is needed, and use a mirror to quickly look at how something will fold in a given pose.

And sketching your surroundings, that’s a good little detail you can work on in small portable notebooks. Look around and draw the folds in people’s clothing.

Keep in mind most of all drapery forms fall into one of three types, which match the three forces engineers have to think about when planning built structures. Tension, compression, and suspension.

Tension happens any time material in stretches between two points, like this. You see it on tighter clothes, when someone reaches up and the cloth stretches.

Suspension happens when there is slack in tension, so that the material is allowed to hang. It’s common on looser fitting clothes, skirts and dresses, cloth draped over forms is often in suspension in many places.

Compression occurs when the materials is loaded under its own or other masses weight,  the bottom of a pant leg bunching or the crux of an elbow or knee folding are good examples.

Several of these tip sheets came from Lesson Nine: Cloths and Folds, “Famous Artists Cartoon Course“. And one of the examples here, is “Some Notes on Drapery” by FUNKYMONKEY1945 on deviantart. And a few of these are from creativespotlite.com’s Free Drawing and Sketching Lesson post here. Also looking around I found a nice set of visual tutorials starting here, by ZejanNoSaru.

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