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Drapery Drawing (Folded Fabric Studies in Charcoal & Pencil)

Drapery drawing refers to the art of drawing and illustrating clothing, fabric, and other textiles in a realistic and detailed manner. It's a technique that is often used in fashion illustration, costume design, and other areas where the representation of fabrics and textiles is important.

Drapery drawing typically involves observing and studying the way that fabric drapes, hangs, and moves, and then using this knowledge to create detailed and accurate illustrations.

Below are a few of my favorite drapery drawings, some of which were completed from a live model who incorporated fabric into her poses.

"Art nouveau fashion drawing" Graphite pencil on art paper

Art nouveau fashion drawing: Graphite pencil on art paper
Artist
Matthew James Taylor
Medium
Graphite pencil on art paper
Style
Art nouveau
Date
26 Jan 2015

I drew this dancing pose from my mind. I wanted her to be wearing a dress with long flowing pieces of fabric that mimicked her long flowy hair, art nouveau style.

"Girl on draped stool" Drapery and figure study

Girl on draped stool: Drapery and figure study
Artist
Matthew James Taylor
Medium
Charcoal, white charcoal on brown paper
Style
Drapery study
Date
17 Nov 2007
Time
30 minutes

In this pose the model covered her stool with a large sheet and it created some beautiful folds. You can't see the stool underneath but you can tell how high it is because the fabric changes direction when it reaches the floor.

"Girl in wrap" Charcoal drawing of a figure with drapery

Girl in wrap: Charcoal drawing of a figure with drapery
Artist
Matthew James Taylor
Medium
Charcoal, white charcoal on grey paper
Style
Drapery study
Date
26 Oct 2005
Time
1 hour

In this life drawing the model is wraped tightly in a sheet so the folds are stretched across her body.

"Girl sitting with drapery" Charcoal study

Girl sitting with drapery
Artist
Matthew James Taylor
Medium
Charcoal, white charcoal on grey paper
Style
Drapery study
Date
23 Mar 2004
Time
30 minutes

The lighting from the side in this pose creates some beautiful shadows in the folded fabric. It was so fun to add the white charcoal highlights, it really made the drawing pop.

"Drapery girl" Fabric covered model

Drapery girl
Artist
Matthew James Taylor
Medium
Charcoal, white charcoal on maroon paper
Style
Drapery study
Date
17 Nov 2003
Time
Approximately 1 hour

In this pose the model was almost entirely covered in a sheet and there were so many beautiful folds and creases in the fabric.

I also spent a lot of time working on the chair.

"Girl with a flowy skirt" Character concept

Girl with a flowy skirt
Artist
Matthew James Taylor
Medium
Graphite pencil, ink, on art paper
Style
Character study
Date
29 Oct 2003

This was a quick character study for a short graphic story I was working on.

Here is the final result:

Girl with a flowy skirt from my 'Soul Search' graphic story
Girl with a flowy skirt from my 'Soul Search' graphic story
Matthew James Taylor

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