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Illustrating Clothes: Shirts by klindicative Illustrating Clothes: Shirts by klindicative
There's a lot of artwork on DA of people wearing clothes, and I've noticed that a lot of artists, even really really good ones, have trouble drawing clothes.

There are lots of tutorials that will teach you about how to draw the folding of fabric on a body, but for me what's more important to a picture's realism is the construction of the garment. Does the t-shirt have shoulder seams? Side seams? Is the collar separate from the body of the shirt?

These are easy things to draw that people forget all the time, even people I know who study fashion. The button-down shirt in particular is one that often gets messed up, and it's shape is so familiar and dependent on tradition that it's quite disconcerting to me to see it drawn incorrectly. Knowing even a little bit about where the seams go on your shirt, how the grain/pattern of the fabric falls, how the collar lays, etc, can ground your picture really effectively.

Well, you know, these are just guidelines....Of course any of this is alterable. I just made a shirt myself that didn't have side seams (although it needed an open back to do it--I'll post pictures soon). But knowing these things and then breaking the rules is always better than just not knowing them at all.

This is the first tutorial I've really made, I think, kind. I know it's a lot of words and not enough drawing.

I'd like to do one about pants next-- in particular, the standard 5-pocket jean.
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Lady-Pixel Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Daisy thank you 
byronicheroine289 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Haha, where's the 5 pocket jean one? Love this, and I'd love to have another wonderful reference.
shillermetimbers Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012
Aah man, where has this been all my years as someone who always draws people? Thanks :J
Chungphantomhive Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012
*neater not bearer. Sorry
Chungphantomhive Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012
Thanks!!!!!!!!!!:). When I submit something that idea these tips Imma reference you just cause everyone should see this!!! Tip though, try to make the words slightly bearer and more spaces out
MIURIN Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much<3
pearsfears Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012  Student
aside from the buttons...... I did everything wrong omg :'D
thank you for this! ; u ;
notMateo Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012   Digital Artist
Wow this works really well! Helped with t-shirts alot. I couldn't draw those to save my life, even though they're so simple! thanks!
Aaceofhearts Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Seriously helpful! Thanks so much!
Birdee-Blake Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This is useful :meow: I realize how sloppy I am with my button ups D: They certainly seem nicer when drawn properly.
Melancholy-Minds Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
This is my very definition of thorough and highly informative! :heart:
Caraphae Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist

So detailed and useful! I cannot WAIT for the jean- no other garment is so common and so hard to portray!

(Side note! Women's shirts button oppositely for men because, long long ago, it was assumed laaadies would have someone else dressing them. The servant, facing the mistress, would then have the buttons on their proper side. That was never true for anyone but rich women, of course-- but they bought the most clothes, so designers built for it! Now it's just a weird holdover.)
mawiiB3 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ye gords, how wonderfully useful!! Thank you so much!! :clap:
Marshmowllo Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Student General Artist
Oh, this is amazing. Thank you so very much for putting this together and sharing it with everyone. :D
GunslingerDragon Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Useful. I've been kind of studying mine whenever I draw, but it's nice to see a big guide with everything in one spot.
darazan Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a really great guide for shirts. There's a lot of little things that you don't even think of, like cuff openings and seams. I didn't even think about the button overlap until I read that! I actually own a couple shirts that have pointy ends in the front, but they're made specifically so they do that. The fitted look that they have is actually from a kind of "corseting" on the back of the shirt.
idontspeakmuch Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
this is realy helpful, but i'd suggest breaking up the word blocks next time. I KNOW, I KNOW--bigger file. it is, however, easier on the viewer's eyes and waaay less tedious-to-read-looking.
3greenfrog Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011
this is so helpful....o.O

i've been drawing shirt tails all wrong, its so obvious once you have pointed it out :) i feel stupid :P
usagiya Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I draw collared shirts a lot, and wrong! Very much wrong! This is very helpful--I don't know a thing about sewing, you see... I shall study it closely! Thank you!

If you're still planning to make the next one about pants, I look forward to seeing it!
Alchina Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so fucking helpful, because all I can do is draw dudes in these types of shirts, albeit very badly.
aaaa thanks for the awesome tut!
KatetheGreat611 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Student
I hope you do a pants one!
vnblythe Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011
CRIES drawing clothes is something i'm still trying to get the hang of, and this is extremely helpful. thank you!
lemonlime90 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Very nice and helpful. Good job! Definitely a keeper.
byronicheroine289 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
This is really great. Having all the info about seams and cuffs and hems in one place is really helpful. I knew some of the stuff, (seams on shirts, overlap on button-downs) but a lot of it is stuff that you *know* about shirts, but just don't think to draw. Thanks a bunch!
muura Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2011  Professional Artist
Ooooh this is awesome, gotta pimp this out!
fantical999 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This was VERY helpfull, thanks a bunch! ;P
WafflesToo Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011
in a single word... THANK YOU!!!

...okay, that's two but still.
onegoodnumber Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011  Student General Artist
this is very helpful, thank you very much for this!
monster-aleks Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
how is thyis NOT a daily deviation?! how can I submit it cuz, srsly, this is a deserving tutorial if ever I saw one!
Cecilia-Of-Sweden Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I will use this as refference/practice sometime! I am looking forward to the next one :)
sanxian Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Wonderful tutorial, I should have seen this sooner! Thanks for sharing you knowledge! <3
Stellaciel Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2011
This is fabulous. Thank you so much for making this! I really enjoyed it and I really hope to see more :)
phrenotobe Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2011
I love you.

so much.

like, forever.
as a self-taught artist who draws these things like they're going out of style, I need this like I need air.
Miyazu Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
thank you!
epicpoodle Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Genius! Thank you so much.
jynxjinx Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Something I have always admired about your art/characters is how well-dressed everyone is! I had no idea that you were studying Fashion, but that's besides the point. Looking at your art made me pay a lot more attention to how I was drawing clothing in general, and I still have a lot to learn. This was very helpful, and I'm looking forward to more of them!
ameru Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011  Student General Artist
neat tutorial here! great for pointing out little details :3
Rin-Uzuki Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was a lot of fun to read! I doubt I understood everything I would have liked to, so I'll definitely be reading over it again!

Does CF stand for "center front"?

The bit about how pointy-tailed shirts would look closed made me laugh out loud. XD

I'm looking forward to the pants tutorial!!
fancy-bird Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2011   Writer
this is very helpful. thank you! c:
ChibiJoji Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011
Awesome guide! Really helpful and informative!
DataBat Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why does this not have a DD
This needs so many DDs
Captain-Of-The-Plate Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
my jizz everywhere. this is actually perfect.
gypsy-night Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011
This is a great tutorial! Thanks! I've gotta think about this while I draw now.
terrietk Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I really really love you for making this ;_;
this is amazing!! :heart: fav-ing now and definitely note the tips you said/use this as ref next time I draw clothes!
other-liz Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, thank you!
NumiTuziNeru Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you so much for this, oh benevolent spirit of fashion illustration.
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Submitted on
June 2, 2011
Image Size
3.0 MB


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