Anatomy of Clothing

  • Price: $699 | Pay with installments.
  • Pre-Reqs: Analytical Figure Drawing or a good command of form, perspective, and anatomy.
  • Materials: Homework can be done in any medium pencil and paper/ or on tablet/photoshop.

    Recommended Texts:

    -Figure Drawing: Design and Invention

    -Vilppu Drawing Manual

    -Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life

Course Description:

In this class, we will deconstruct the materials, from their tensile strength and geometric construction to their surface properties or how they absorb and reflect light. We will work with the armature from the analytical figure drawing class and work on draw through as learned in dynamic sketching class, organizing the clothing into simple easy to use forms using the draw through approach. Other concepts we will cover include the laws of folds, the 7 different types of folds and how they happen, how movement affects the geometry of the drapery, tension points, abstractions and rhythms, rendering and much more. Be prepared to do a lot of construction and rendering.
This class was previously named Drawing the Clothed Figure.

Cloth Rendering Demo Cloth Construction Demo


  • Week 1: Architecture of drapery - pipes, triangles, tension points and eyes.
    -   In this first class we look at how drapery works, how the understructure dictates the surface design of the material. From there, we will break down the simple architectural features and identify them with a naming convention. We will then take sample reference images and break them down into line drawings with a fully realized topo wire frame design indicating the surface changes and surface orientation from the viewers’ perspective.
  • Week 2: Seven Folds 1 - Looking for the wire frame
    -    This week we break down another very important list of architectural devices, the seven folds, why they happen and how, and developing a short hand then a long form design process for both line drawing and rendering.
  • Week 3: Seven Folds 2 - Rendering the wire frame
    -    This week we step back for a moment and go over value schemes and how lighting works, different contrast points and value/key structures. Then we will copy the reference lighting rendering on our wire frame to completion. Once the rendering has been accomplished with a certain level of success, we will invent a different lighting scheme to develop a sensibility to invent form and dictate invented lighting in a general sense.
  • Week 4: Materials 1 - Cotton/Velvet/Silk
    -   Different types of material behave differently both in tensile strength as well as in its reflective properties of light. This week we will look at 3 very basic, commonly used materials and see how they look in their architectural build, as well as how they absorb and reflect light. This is a render intensive week, so make sure to give yourself time to put in the rendering necessary with all the different drawings required.
  • Week 5: Materials 2 - Leather-Lace/Nylons-Gortex/Synthetic-Hardened Materials
    -   Beyond the 3 common modern materials there is a plethora of other materials we work with to costume and clothe the characters we invent and use in our illustrations, designs etc.  We will also learn short hand for rendering textures and patterns on the material. We will learn to control the value perspective of the additional textures we render over the previous tones developed. This week we look at a dozen other material types and render them from reference. This is a render intensive week, so make sure to give yourself time to put in the rendering necessary with all the different drawings required.
  • Week 6: Draping the Female Form
    -    From dresses to tank tops, bodices to lace stockings, tight pants to paramilitary fatigues, we learn about the unique tension points of the female form and how the body influences the cuts of clothing we costume fit our characters with. We will develop a process utilizing the mannequin approach learned from the analytical figure drawing classes. From the mannequin we will then develop a well-designed line drawing pushing the architecture of the drapery over the perspective of the figure.
  • Week 7: Draping the Male Form
    -    From tight pants to baggy skate pants, flannels to t-shirts, suits to jump suits, we learn about the unique tension points of the male form and how the body influences the cuts of clothing we costume fit our characters with.  We will develop a process utilizing the mannequin approach learned from the analytical figure drawing classes.  From the mannequin we will then develop a well designed line drawing pushing the architecture of the drapery over the perspective of the figure.
  • Week 8: Layering/Complex Surfaces
    -    Now that we can identify materials by their tensile strength, their reflective properties, their surface qualities and their textures or prints, we will explore rendering characters from already existing movies from the new Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings films. Here we will learn how to layer different materials over each other and how each previous layer influences the top most materials and their surfaces.
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Ron Lemen

Lectures by Ron Lemen

Feb. 5th, 2017 - Apr. 3rd, 2017 + 2 weeks for content review

Ron Lemen has been a concept designer and art director in the video game industry for 10 years with dozens of clients including Sony, Activision, Ubi Soft, Mattel and more. Now freelancing full-time, his clients have included Blizzard, Lucas Arts, Transworld Media, Activision, Upper Deck, Dragon Lance, White Wolf, Time Warner, Wizards of the Coast, Image Comics, Birdhouse Projects, Ride Snowboards, Disney, and more.

Instructor's gallery:

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