The Artist’s Guide to Drawing the Clothed Figure || Michael Massen

There have been guides before that cover the subject of drawing people with their clothes on – something you probably want to do more than you think – but nothing remotely as comprehensive as this.

Michael Massen works in a format that will feel familiar from the generality of figure-drawing books – a variety of poses, body types and points of view – but the emphasis throughout is on the way fabrics hang, fold and crease in natural wear. It seems obvious, but other books that cover the same ground go into nothing like this amount of detail and, if the feel of the attire is important to your subject, then it deserves as much study as the figure itself.

You’d easily be forgiven for thinking that this is a subject you can busk, make up as you go along and, up to a point, you probably can. It’s worth remembering, however, that the greatest portraits are remembered as much for their rendition of fabrics as they are for capturing the sitters themselves.

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