How to Draw and Understand Folds and Clothing

How to Draw folds and clothes by Kelly Brine
Storyboard Artist Kelly Brine has created a really in-depth guide to understanding and drawing folds and clothing. According to the introduction,

"I'm a storyboard artist. When I couldn't find a good book on drawing folds, I decided to analyze folds myself, and I'm sharing what I've learned. Well drawn folds in clothing can help make a drawing look dynamic and alive. But usually folds just seem lumpy and unconvincing--especially when drawing from your imagination.

The reason clothing is usually badly drawn is that you can't draw folds unless you understand them.

In this document I’ll explain why folds look and behave the way they do.
The information in this document will help you get started learning how to create convincing-looking folds from your imagination, so you’re not limited to drawing only what you see in front of you. "
Kelly's guide is unlike anything else I've seen on the subject of folds. After 20 pages of demonstrating how folds are formed, Kelly includes a chapter on how to draw folds in people's hands and skin. The last six pages deal with the way clothing is tailored to deal with the range of human motion. VERY interesting stuff!

Detail from How to Draw folds and clothes by Kelly Brine

The tone of the writing is very conversational and the drawings are lively and clear.

Since we're on the topic of how to draw clothing and folds, here are a couple links from Mark Kennedy's Seven Camels blog to some fantastically helpful scans from the Famous Artists Course chapter on how to draw folds and clothing:

how to draw clothes and folds

UPDATE #1: Walt Stanchfield PDF on "A Simple Approach to Drapery"

UPDATE#2 Famous Artists CARTOONING Course Lesson on How To Draw Clothing and Folds
How to Draw Folds Clothing Clothes Famous Artists Cartoon Course
18 pages of high-resolution scans from the long-lost Famous Artists Cartoon Course courtesy of CartoonCrazys


Tanya said...

Awesome...I've been looking for something in-depth about clothing folds for a while. I'll definitely have to check that out; thanks for posting this. :)

Bob Flynn said...

Wow, this is intense...even scientific in its documentation. I'll have to give it a closer look. Though, I think you can get away with a lot in the "cartoony" language of folds in clothing. Its been simplified to drawing a simple crease here and there. I think all of this would be handy for drapery, like bedsheets and curtains. Not to mention baggy clothes on a character.

Sherm said...

Hi're very welcome! If you want to send Kelly Brine a thank you comment, you can drop him a note at

Hey Bob...your comment just reminded me of another "scientific" tutorial on folds by Mark Chong. Look at the bottom of the post from the update, the video and a link to Mark's Ten-Minute Drawing Techniques video blog. PS -- Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

Hi Sherm. In order to download the document all you have to do is to install a 'pdf' printer. Adobe Professional offers this and there are also a ton of free ones (like Primo PDF, etc).

Then when you 'print' you just select the pdf printer and presto!

Anonymous said...

I can't access this pdf on scrib site. It denys access.

Sherm said...

It's not downloadable, but you CAN print it. That's what I did ^_^

laemon said...

it's a real shame kelly decided to make his pdf private - i feel i've already learned so much just from those two small images. thank you so much for posting them!

Sherm said...

Hi laemon...I just sent a message to Kelly...hopefully he'll make it available again...