Spiral Folds

No matter how complicated the fold appears, it can be traced to a few basic principles. These few principles should be catalogued and kept as far apart in the mind as possible. One should be able to draw at all times, any one of these seven distinctive characters without notes or a model. Think of the part they play so that when confronted by the costumed model, you are less liable to get lost in depicting these ever changing folds.

The arrangements of curved and diagonal lines fit the rounded forms of the body as the material wraps around the figure. In the same manner folds widen as they leave their points of support. It is safe to say: as they radiate away from the point of support they seldom parallel. To a great extent, these radiating folds should have a decorative arrangement. (There is the art of knowing what to leave out.)

As a sleeve enters the shoulders, the design calls for both curved and straight lines. Where the elbow is bent, the material radiates outward and up to encircle the wedge that occurs on the outer side of the forearm just above the elbow. The number of folds depends upon the texture or weight of the fabric as well as the number of times the garment has been worn. Folds should not look as if they paralleled nor repeat themselves in direction or volume. Your drawing should show an understanding sense of design and pattern.

Fabric Fold Pencil Sketches

After Leonardo

Elbow Fabric Folds

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