How can I paint a hood without it looking formless? Nebs Messoud, US
Nothing is as good a tool as solid reference. If you can’t get a hood of a similar material, a welllit photo will give you pretty much all you need. Before drawing the cloak, sketch out the head beneath. Lightly draw in the placement of the cranium, ears and the rest. Study your reference to get a feel for how gravity pulls on the folds. Draw silhouettes with a sensitivity for the weight of the cloth. Once the outline feels right, begin painting in the larger folds. Don’t get caught up in small crinkles and detail yet. By initially focusing on large shapes, it’s easier to make sure the bumps and turns are descriptive. Look into all the points where cloth is being stretched, contracted and bent. Find where each fold begins and ends, which parts cling to the body and which folds are hanging free.
Think of folds as tubes, becoming larger as they move away from the source, which can be a bend, seam and so on. Note how material builds up wherever it rests on the body, such as the bottom of the hood and over the character’s arms.