How to Draw Foldsfrom an artbook by Barbara Bradley, posted by poshuanotes (this one is the BEST!)
Okay so now that the legitimate advice has been shared, I can show you my tricks!
I learned how to draw folds by forcing myself to draw them even when I had NO IDEA what I was doing. Eventually figured out what looked “right” through practice and looking at real life and other people’s art. I now have mental library of what I like to call:
CLOTHING SHORT HAND~
Basically I can apply similar fold patterns to many different outfits. I rarely worry about what the cloth is made of, but instead just focus on how tight or loose it is. I still have a lot to learn!
Hope this helps a bit! Practice lots and have fun!
I heavily used inspiration for how to explain this with the work of Barbara Bradley. I high recommend you check out her book “Drawing people: how to portray the clothed figure” She actually goes into great detail into all aspects of anatomy and portraits in this.
Hello! I'm a big fan of your art and an aspiring artist. I was wondering if you had any videos/tutorials/ect on drawing the human body that you've used or reccomend. I've already looked up several myself, but I thought it'd be a great idea to ask someone I admire! Have a good day :)
Dohhh goodness gracious me… THAT is a hefty question!!! the human body is sort of a really broad term! there’s gesture, proportion, anatomy.. there’s a lot to it! if you really want to know everything i recommend, this is gonna be a long ass post, okay? asdfkadjfhasdf you asked for it! (oh god this is gone be like a mile long master post jesus have mercy on my soul lol)
this post will be like in sub sections to make it easier: Gesture, Proportion, Anatomy, Figure Drawing. in each section i’ll put what books/sites/videos i use about the topic.
so alright, the human body.. ok well i guess i’ll just pull out everything from my shelf here about the subject hold on gimme a sec-
…. yea that’s every book about the human body that i use, yup. books are your #1 savior. they are your art bibles, understand? you’ll get so much more information, accurate information, from a book then what you can usually find online. start with books. READ them. LEARN them. and draw everything IN them as you learn and read them. they are tangible and you can take them with you when your out and about. books books books understand?
Okay. Firstly, if you want to start right, you have to start with Gesture. Gesture is really the foundation of any figure you’ll draw. If your gesture (and proportions) are off, incorrect, etc., no amount of knowledge of anatomy in the entire world will save your drawing. it just won’t. so for gesture, here’s what I recommend
Proko’s video on How to Draw GestureWATCH IT. ADD IT TO YOUR FAVORITES. SUBSCRIBE TOO WHILE YOU’RE AT IT. It is the best video about gesture that I’ve ever watched by far. This video helped me so much when I was teaching myself about gesture. it’s like a SIN to not watch this. in fact, watch EVERY ONE OF HIS VIDEOS. he covers a the human body very thoroughly.
Next, once you have gesture down; Proportions. Proportions will teach you how to structure the body correctly. Now there’s not really any books that focus solely on proportions, but here’s the books that include a very thorough understanding of them which are the books on Figure Drawing. (the following figure drawing books are sort of the all-in-one books, they cover a lot of material)
Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth by Andrew LoomisI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; every book by Andrew Loomis is literally worth it’s weight in GOLD. He was a master illustrator and all his books cover the subject of the human body very effectively, from gesture, proportions, anatomy, composition, figure drawing, color theory: he has books on it all. five stars. 10 outta 10. if you dont have this book or his others why???
Henry Yan’s Figure Drawing (Techniques and Tips) by Henry Yan Now this book is hard to find online for cheap. I bought this at one of the school buildings of my art school for $25, but online it’s crazy expensive!!! But if you happen to find a copy for cheap, GET IT. Henry Yan, if you don’t know, is quite literally a master at figure drawing. Google him. It’s like magic what he does, and this book is like a tome of wizardy in figure drawing. The pics I took don’t even scratch the surface nor do it justice. If you’re lucky enough to happen upon one of these, GRAB IT. SHOVE PEOPLE OUT OF THE WAY FOR IT. KNOCK CHILDREN OVER IF YOU HAVE TO.
now the following two books focus more on certain parts of the body, and are not really about figure drawing as a whole, but these are very important;
Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis…PEWPEWPEWWW ANOTHER ANDREW LOOMIS BOOK PEWPEWPEWWW. This is a comprehensive book on the most difficult parts of the human body; THE HEAD AND HANDS. It goes without saying that these two (especially hands) are a NIGHTMARE for an artist to grapple. This book will ease the pain, not all of it, but a lot of it. I frequent this book quite often still. Another must-have of the Loomis series.
Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists by Mark SimonI feel the title is self explanatory lol. This books uses models, from young to old, making countless facial expressions. It also has a section with how the mouth moves when speaking, a big ol’ section of people wearing hats at different angles, as well as a bit of a couple nose kissing to macking hardcore! Its a good ref for expressing emotions effectively. You dont want your characters to look flat you want them to look lively! This is a good ref for that.
Drawing People: How to Portray the Clothed Figure by Barbara BradleyThis book goes over figure drawing, but it’s main focus is on drawing the figure clothed, and you know what that means??? That’s right! You’re worst of worst nightmares! FOLDS. This books is probably the best on folds, tbh. It covers them all and how and when to expect and apply them to different types of cloth material, how they function relative to gravity, wind, etc. Unless you draw a story about nudists, you’re gonna have to draw clothes my friend. This book will help in that way immensely.
Now those are all my books on Figure drawing, but now to tackle the BEAST of them all!: Anatomy. Artists dont have to learn every muscle and bone, but even still, there’s a lot to know, and it can be daunting, but when learning anatomy please pace yourself. Online usually doesn’t give you enough detail, so for this I definitely recommend these books:
Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot GoldfingerThis one is actually a textbook! And is probably the priciest of the lot (to own, which I do. You can rent it if you prefer.) But this book is a fully detailed, comprehensive guide to human anatomy for artists. It’s like the Winslow and Sheppard books combined into one, thick mother-effer… It’s actually my favorite of them all lol. It’s just so thorough and detailed. It’s the best of the lot, IMHO.
So you got gesture, anatomy, and figure drawing and the like, but to actually figure draw you need live models! Figure drawing is taking your knowledge of gesture and proportion and putting them into effect. Figure drawing is what you NEED to do as practice for improving your human figures. Figure drawing is key. You won’t get far if you don’t do figure drawing, and to do figure drawing, you need live models. Live models are the best, but if you dont have a figure drawing class or have live model session meet ups in your area, books and websites are the next best thing;
How to Draw Manga: Character Guide - Girl’s Body…now I know what some of you might be thinking. Usually when a book is titled ‘How to draw Manga,’ it’s usually of really generic, incorrectly proportionedmanga stereotypical characters, like so.(I used to have that book btw, so i am not BSing you) well. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE BOOKS. its all and only photos of a real female model in like a MILLION different poses and angles as well as clothes. and even tho it’s completely in japanese, the diagrams are really straight forward and simple to understand… I FUCKING LOVE THIS BOOK. (these japanese ref books tho are pricey, but are so worth it if you can afford them). I bought this and all my other japanese ref books in person at the Kinokuniya store in San Francisco, but animebooks.com has them as well, and has a ton more! Take a look, it’s literally a gold mine.
Study of Pose: 1,000 Poses by Coco RochaNow this book is a BEAST. It’s heavy, bulky, but full of beautiful, elegant, and very dynamic poses, 1,000 to be exact (with sweet dynamic lighting and shadows to boot!)
Those are all the books i use for figure drawing, and i prefer to use these books more often than websites (easier on my eyes… bright screens @_@) but here’s a list of good figure drawing websites I like to use every now and then:
Artists.pixelovely.comThis website is great because it times you. Timing yourself will not only increase your speed, it will also force you to simplify a pose in a minimal amount of strokes, improving your efficiency, accuracy, and your gesture drawing. You can either choose to draw human figure, animals, faces and expressions, or hands and feet! This is a great tool for hands. Try it please you must.
Posemaniacs.comthese are 3D generated models that you can rotate, and display all the muscles (mind that becuz theyre 3d generated, some of the way the muscles are isnt accurate because its a skin on the model) still a useful tool for figure drawing.
Scott Eaton’s Bodies in MotionIf you look through the older entries, this website has sets of a single figures doing various actions/poses in stop-motion type photos.
Eggazyoutatsu.net/atarichanDrawerThis one is a recent discovery for me, but it’s super cool! It generates a stick figure in a random pose and at a random angle, and you have to draw over it! Super effective for practicing foreshortening.
So that’s almost it, there’s just one, final website I recommend
https://www.pinterest.com/characterdesigh/This. This site. this has everything. Everything! I mean it! It has it ALL…. ALL OF IT. from Anatomy to poses to drawing grandmas to toddlers to hats to clothes to color theory to environment design to architecture to character classes like knights or steampunk or warriors…. LITERALLY. It has a board for almost every. single. thing. you can DReaM of. Do yourself a favor and bookmark it if you don’t have it bookmarked already. You’re welcome
Websites are fine and dandy, but you know what else is cool?? PHONE APPS!!!
SKELLY An app made by Proko, this app utilizes a posable skeleman you can pose to do whatever!
ARTPOSE Instead of a posable skeleton, its a posable person! There’s one with a male posable person and a separate app for a female posable person.
MD3D L’Ecorché This is my favorite one. I use this one the most. It’s not a posable model, BUT it’s a model in a stationary position that comes in various forms: a simplified geometric figure, a color-coded muscle figure, a skeleton, and the original. It doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, it’s soooo helpful. my #1 go-to for anything
Now my last ref, my trump card. For all those super hard poses and for all your foreshortening troubles…
It’s a 3d software tool that let’s you pose models however you like down to the pinkie finger. It comes with hair, clothes, props, lighting features, a male, female, and child model, and you can change theyre body type from buff and muscular to skinny or chubby, and you can even change their proportions! Give em a teeny head or small feet or man-boobs or a wide upper body or a narrow lower body adfafdahkfaf It has so many features to it and guess what?? IT’S FREE. Completely free.
So there you go! That everything I use personally. There’s a ton of other books or websites or apps or softwares im sure are helpful too! But these are just my points of reference. Now just a few final words
There are some artists I hear who think they shouldnt use reference…. that’s complete garbage. Throw that mentality into the trash, throw it into the toilet and FLUSH IT. FLUSH IT TWICE. EVERY ARTIST USES REFERENCE. Google it. Gil Elvgreen to Klimt to Monet to Picasso to J.C. Leyendecker to Norman Rockwell. THEY USED REFERENCE. The difference is not to depend on it for every drawing you do.
Improvement. Dont let it take over your life. Dont become obsessed with improving. Pace yourself, learn when you want to and when you feel good about it. For awhile it was my waking obsession, and it only made me depressed and angry and sad and made me hate drawing. My obsession to be better at art literally sucked the joy out of art for me. It took a while for that to go away. So from someone with experience, have FUN. and draw what you want when you want. If drawing isnt making you happy or its not fun, theres something wrong.
Lastly, you said you’re an aspiring artist. Aspiring is a word that doesnt settle well with me. When you say you aspire to be something that means you dream of a goal, but dont do anything to achieve it, simply dream of it. My friend. Do you draw? If yes, than you’re not an aspiring artist, you are an artist. An artist isnt a term just for professionals who have mastered their craft after years blahblahblah. If you do that thing, you are that thing. Dear anon. You’re an artist, you are. Doesnt matter what skill youre at. If you draw, you’re an artist.
well thats it! thats all of it. thanks for the ask! hope this helped