Action, Composition and Tone

The next step in drawing drapery is the application of the folds in showing the action of the figure. It is very easy to lose sight of the role that the drapery plays in the drawing as we get involved with the rendering of the folds themselves. In all of the arts it is the sum of the parts, the total, that is the important thing. Knowing the nature of the folds allows us the freedom to pick, choose and modify what we see to communicate our interpretation, rather than allowing the subject to become a tyrant that forces us to slave after copying it. When the model is gone all you have is the drawing.

Drapery Action 1

In this first demonstration look at the diagrams below. The large arrows show the thrust of the rib cage and pelvis while the small arrows indicate how the lines lead your eye through the form. The lines of the drapery in the drawing focus on the gesture, not the folds that we see in the photo. The combination of action and underlying form are the primary focus of the drawing.

Drapery Action 2

Below, I have shown a basic construction of the figure and its use in the drawing.

Drapery Action 3

In the following demonstration drawings I will be following this same basic procedure: gesture, construction and development.

By Glenn Vilppu

This article is an excerpt from the Drawing Drapery Manual.