How to Draw Clothing: Pipe Folds

This demo is a drawing demo on how to draw clothing, starting out with a comprehensive explanation of the different fold types. These fold pipes include: pipe fold, moving fold, half lock fold, dead fold, diaper fold, zig zag fold, and spiral fold. The drawing demo shows Procreate and colored pencil techniques on how to draw pipe 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.

Video Walkthrough

  • You can think about the pipe fold as an A line dress on a queen.
  • A pipe fold is compressed at the top.
  • Pipe folds can appear very regal and formal, since they are more straight.
  • A diaper fold is when there are 2 points of tension in the fold.
  • Thicker fabrics tend to have fewer folds, thinner fabrics have more
  • Even tight clothing has folds.
  • A dead fold isn’t active, it rests upon the floor and has no structure.
  • When looking at folds, look for
  • A zig zag fold is when a fold is wrapped around a cylindrical shape.
  • A spiral fold is also wrapped around a cylindrical shape, like an arm.
  • A zig zag fold is usually more tense, whereas a spiral fold flows more.
  • Half lock folds are usually found near a join, like an elbow or knee.
  • Drapery isn’t all structured nor is it all flowy, it’s both!
  • It’s important to practice drawing clothing, it’s often not addressed.
  • Drapery does not need to be drawn photo realistically to be convincing.
  • Being able to identify the fold types is very helpful when drawing them.
  • Start your drawing with the largest folds first, it’s really easy to get lost in all the folds otherwise.
  • Prof Lieu’s approach to drawing clothing is 100% observation.
  • Ask yourself what you want to emphasize in the clothing.
  • Consider how hard or soft the edges are in your drawing.
  • Vary the physical pressure with your colored pencil to show tension.

Films mentioned

Reference Photos

Artists mentioned

Books mentioned

Art Supplies

Materials Provided by

Drawing Clothing

As a free educational source, Art Prof uses Amazon affiliate links (found in this page) to help pay the bills. This means, Art Prof earns from qualifying purchases.