|Julie Seated with Hands Clasped
by Steven Assael, 2007, drawing, 22 x 15.5.
We all know that drawing the nude figure is a, if not the,
classical way of depicting the human body. But breaking the mold and adding
clothing to your figure drawing
art can lead to quite a few benefits.
You are able to add intrigue to a line drawing or drama to a
contour drawing and contribute to the overall message of the piece. It really
just gives you a bigger visual vocabulary to work with.
For example, Steven Assael often creates works with figures
in constricting or tight-fitting clothing, as a way to parallel or visual
represent the psychological complexities and internal conflicts within
Other times clothing can exaggerate the gesture and movement
of a body. A swirling cape can give more force and power to a figure in a
street scene, for example. You get a sense of atmosphere that might otherwise
be missing without the garment.
Clothing can also link a drawing to a culture or a time and
place. If you are interested in drawings from the past, or for the future,
clothing can enable you to achieve your ends.
But always remember that the gesture and facial features or
body position of a figure drawing are really what will make it successful and
articulate, not the clothing that it wears.