How to Draw Clothing: Moving Folds

Watch a drawing demo on how to draw clothing, starting with a brief discussion to explain the different fold types.

There are several different fold types: pipe fold, moving fold, half lock fold, dead fold, diaper fold, zig zag fold, and spiral fold.

Drawing Clothing, Lupita Nyong'o, Moving Fold

The drawing demo shows drawing techniques using Procreate and colored pencils on how to draw moving folds while also talking about the challenges of drawing clothing and providing advice for how to start.

Discussion and drawing demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster.

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Video Walkthrough

  • Reviewing all the fold types: pipe fold, diaper fold, spiral fold, dead fold, zig zag fold, half lock fold.
  • Focus on the largest shapes and any curves in the folds.
  • Moving folds have very little tension compared to other folds.
  • Observing clothing that involves multiple fold types.
  • Don’t get stuck on all the tiniest folds in the moving folds.
  • Think of the moving folds as the opposite of a dead fold.
  • Start with very simple, structural lines when drawing the moving folds.
  • Caran d’Ache crayons work well layered over colored pencil, but not the other way around.
  • Drawing on black paper is helpful to see highlights more concretely.
  • Prof Lieu’s technique for blocking in patches of color with colored pencil.
  • Line is fundamental to the way Jordan draws.

Prof Lieu’s Tips

Clara cartoon

Fabric drives everyone up the wall, I was the only person at art school who really liked painting fabric. Drawing clothing really is a skill that takes time, patience, and experience.

Drawing Clothing, banner
Gesture Drawing of Animals

I really do think people have to take the responsibility to be active learners, you can’t be a passive artist. So even if say someone doesn’t think their skill is up to speed yet, the fact that they are aware that it’s a weakness of theirs, and that they should work on it, is very important.

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