Putting a wrinkle in things

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Who knew- mannequins make the perfect subject for the study of clothing. They never get hungry, cold, creeped out by that “guy” endlessly looking at them oddly or have another appointment.

I figured that while I was at the act of training myself in a few things I’d never managed to pick up at art school or learn on my own I’d try and study folds and wrinkles more in fabrics.

While I have read up on and practiced some of the basic folds that help hint at the basic sense of fabric

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These generic type folds work fine for certain kinds of illustration work, but are not ideal for others.

articulation for characters, like those Hogarth demonstrates so well in his books, and have also tried to sketch people out in public, up until now I haven’t actively stopped to study the different way fabrics fold enough to break out of the generic “five folds to mimic” type mentality.

Let’s be honest though- to make real folds in fabric that feel like fabric you just have to bend real fabric and then work from that.

Even the best attempts and making it up look either too folded, like wet fabric, as if somebody needs to use an iron, or timid. So I’m not shooting to make real fabric folds right out of my head, but again, keep building that library for when good enough (a relative term for sure) is in order.

Pants study - canvas with hard, angular, and heavy creases.
Pants study – canvas with hard, angular, and heavy creases.

I’m thinking though that drawing, while my medium of choice for exploration, might be the least suited to actually studying fabric folds given how much the shapes change and how much volume they have. To understand and get my head around them better painting/ink wash or sculpting in an application like 3DCoat or MODO is probably in order.