Help me paint a flapping cloak
Toby Fairley, Australia
Answer Sara replies
To paint a cloak caught by the wind, consider several elements. First, what’s the cloak made from? By searching for references and looking at different types of cloth we’ll have a better idea of how it’ll be affected by the wind. For example, a heavy fabric such as wool or felt won’t crinkle as much as, say, a cotton cloak. Fabric can be rigid, which we can translate in our drawing by using broken, stiff lines and a few large curves.
Another key element is the wind: the direction it’s blowing in, and its strength. A strong wind will lift the cloak and stretch the fabric, creating longitudinal folds parallels with its direction. Let’s consider a very strong gust of wind blowing to the right and towards the viewer. This will cause the cloak to whip around the character body and flap over on the right and in front of the figure. So we’ll have to pay attention to the perspective of the folds on the edges of the cape.
The flapping cloak with motion blur applied to its edges and on leaves gives the viewer an idea of how strong the wind is in this scene.
By first defining the background I’m able to identify the light sources that are shining on the cloak.