the simple solution is to think of clothing as another layer of skin over the body. So the first step is to have a good understanding (okay, simple-ish) of the character’s basic anatomy that you wish to convey.
in the case of our superhero the Judge, his physique is granite-like but not ‘cut’. in other words, he’s muscular but unless he’s exerting himself in some manner, it’s more relaxed muscle.
once i’ve roughed out the figure that i want to draw, i begin to add the fabric around that. often that means taking in to account the kind of material the outfit is made from, as well as any design elements on the suit. while most superhero outfits don’t tend to wrinkle, it can add a note of realism to an outfit. and as a simple rule, you’d expect to see wrinkles around the parts of the body that are compressed together. of course, where wrinkles are compressing there’s usually a corresponding stretching taking place opposite that compression, and how much wrinkling occurs depends on the kind of material.
once i’ve established the outline of the material and where it’s folded, i can begin the rendering process. rendering depends largely on what the material and colour of the fabric is, as well as the environment the character finds themselves in. leather material takes a lot of deep shadows and specular highlights, while fabric will have a lot of subtle feathering. when rendering though, it’s important to follow the curves of the underlying muscle structure, so even where contrasting fabrics meet there’s a consistency on display.
Even in this sketch, you can see that the outfit sits on top of the body rather than being vacuum sealed to it.
Light feathering moulded to the shape of the underlying muscle, as well as creases, help show he’s wearing clothing rather
than body paint.