Fabrics -> Folds

Drawing folds…

We see one of its best examples on marble sculptures. If you check sculptures of human figures, how can I name it, hellenistic maybe, you will see drapery around shoulders, hips etc. which have been carved is a very good example. ‘Even before painting cave walls, early humans fashioned shapes from stone‘ by Wikipedia.

Features of the chosen drapery will affect the drawing. It is more like a fashion design topic so you gotta decide whether it is a soft or a hard fabric which you chose to draw. For example I decided to draw satin in this post, which has shiny feature; so that means the drawing will have kind of shadow contrast. Deep folds get less light -means more shadow, darker tones; more flat parts get more light -means more light on the surface, lighter tones. Other fact is that soft fabrics falls loosely; vice versa for jeans. 

I prepared a fold drawing e.g. step by step in this post; but before that I want to show you one of my older drawings:

16 august tulle drawing
2016 August

That is a drawing of the part of the legs between ankle and knees; and the fabric is tulle in motion – I guess the model was jumping at the moment. In tulle drawing you draw bends and transparency; you draw slightly what is under the transparent fabric -like legs under with a softer pencil.

ballerina tulle
2017 February

This is a fresh drawing with white charcoal pencil from ’17 Feb. In here I want to show you the position of tulle according to legs’ motion; like right back part of skirt goes strait and front part bends some because the source of the motion is that forward stretched leg.
Other point is that tulle is a transparent fabric and when one overlaps the other, transparency becomes less. In drawing it is more seen at the edges of the skirt.

Now we can start our drawing, which is a part of fabric on a flat surface.


When it was time to edit the photos of the drawing I suprisingly saw that the first step looks like a cat and the second step is like an elephant standing behind the cat 😀

Well, anyway; The first steps are drawing the main directions of the folds with turnings; up and downs. I tried to show you where they go up with navy arrows; and gave some motion according to curves.

I used a 2B pencil for drawing the construction; I could have chosen HB I was drawing this on a regular white paper. You can chose whatever you want, it is up to you but I think those lines shouldn’t be so hard.


Some parts go all the way up -like navy arrows show- and some are like bridges -like red arrows show.

Right click and open on a new tab to enlarge

The first step of the 4 framed image above is the last part of the construction.

On the second step I used white coal pencil and draw over those outlines and/or between the lines. With that step the construction is clear to see.

Those ‘up’s of the fabric causes shadows around or under them, or on the downward parts; the third one is the step for those shadows.

For tones of shadows I used 8B and 4B pencils.

drawing process sp

-You did this, Meatball?


Going on those steps; filling empty flat sides between those ‘up’s -or I call them bridges; with F sketching pencil and finishing.

I used charcoal and pencils together and blend them to have tones of greys.

Smooth with napkin

On the last step I used napkin to blend charcoal and pencil; that is a soft fabric.

And final version with daylight is right below:

8 fold drawing
F, 2B, 4B, 8B and white charcoal pencils


Hope it helped you and you enjoyed your drawing.

Happy sketching, see you in the next post!

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s