How to draw folds: Pants

Knowing where to place the folds and understanding how to draw them right is essential for a well-made fashion illustration. In this step by step tutorial, you will see the logic behind drawing folds and creases on different types of pants. Combine with the other tutorials from “How to draw folds: …” series and you will have impressive results! So find a good pose template for designing pants and follow me!

Time, Tools and Difficulty:

Time to complete the tutorial: 5min
Tools you’ll need: drawing paper, a pencil, an eraser, colored pencils
Difficulty level: 5/10

How to draw folds: Pants in 5 steps:

Step 1: Shorts folds

How to draw folds and creases on clothes - pants - for fashion design sketches and illustrations

Make a basic outline of your design. These shorts are not tight-fitting – this means that there will be fabric hanging down. Also, notice the direction of leg of the shorts – it is slanted because of the pose.
Draw a single fold at the straight leg side – keep it small and not very visible. Draw more creases over the bent leg and make sure they affect the outline of the shorts as well. Most of the folds will be pointing up, but you should draw one or two pointing down as well.
Finish by adding pockets, belt and other details to your design.

Step 2: Classic pants folds

How to draw folds and creases on clothes - pants

Draw the outline of the pants and make sure that the bent leg affects the bottom hemline. This way your fashion sketch looks much more realistic.
Add the same creases as in the Shorts, but this time there will be more folds pointing down. They always form because the knee pulls the fabric.
Notice the deformation of the outline around the knee – the fabric from the back of the knee has nothing to pull it and it wrinkles.
Add details to the pants to make them not only realistic but beautiful.

Step 3: Tight-fitting pants folds

How to draw folds and creases on pants

Drawing folds on skinny pants is a lot of fun. First, make sure you leave just a little bit of space between the leg and the outline of the pants. Otherwise, this would be tights.
All the folds you made for the classic pants apply here too, but they are more and they look shorter. Notice that the folds start from about the centerline of the bent leg – where the inner seam stands.
The Tight-fitting pants oftentimes form creases that look sharper, compared to types of bottom wear.
Add some bleaches and pockets to turn the design into sexy skinny jeans.

4. Harem pants folds

How to draw folds and creases

Harem pants are interesting combo between a skirt and tight fitting pants. After you make the outline of your designs make sure that the folds are longer and softer, compared to all the previous models. You can make all of the lines a little curvier too.
Notice that the knee pulls fabric from the straight leg, as in skirts.

5. Wide pants folds

How to draw folds and creases on clothes

You might think that wide pants don’t form fold and this couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Take a look at the outline of the wide pants first.
Straight leg: the pants are closer to the leg at the front and they leave much more space at the back.
Bent leg: The bottom hemline is slanted because the knee is pulling the fabric. The area around the back of the knee is slightly curved, not straight!
Draw the folds as before, but notice that the bent leg hemline forms an “S”. This is the bid fold, formed from the knee pulling up.
All the folds above the knee are pointing down; all the folds below the knee goes up.

Drawing folds in clothing step by step tutorial for fashion design sketches and illustrations

Hopefully, this folds tutorial will help you create amazing pants designs and fashion sketches! Play with angles and lengths, have fun and enjoy!


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  4. Hello, I love your website-it’s great! I was wondering if you could make a tutorial on how to draw poofy skirts, like in ball gowns? Thanks.

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