One of the primary artistic uses of drapery is to define the form that is underneath it. The other is to modify the look of that form. In reality, we are not drawing drapery, but using drapery to draw the figure. In Chapter One the main point was the way gravity determined the origin of the folds and how the origin defined the form underneath. You cannot use drapery to define the form if you do not understand the form underneath the drapery. Our first step in drawing the drapery is to clearly define the underlying form. In looking at Illustrations No. 3 and 4 notice how the folds act as lines going over and around the underlying figure. In Illustration No. 4, even though only the drapery has been drawn, you get a clear understanding of the underlying form. The first five chapters of my Drawing Manual are almost solely dedicated to using simple forms to create the figure. This is the fundamental approach to understanding the volume that we use the drapery to describe.
By Glenn Vilppu
This article is an excerpt from the Drawing Drapery Manual.