It surprises many to learn that drawing drapery can often prove more difficult than drawing the figure. As important as drawing the figure and/or the subject of the picture is, the study of folds is another sub-discipline which requires the student to consider specific concepts which are unique within the larger framework of the language of drawing. As with the depiction of most things, the natural tendency is for the student to copy the pattern of folds as it is seen, as opposed to how it is understood.
The AAC teaches the drawing of drapery with an eye on ensuring it convincingly describes the underlying form and that the design of the folds reads appropriately in relationship to the action, movement and if applicable, the compositional grace of the picture for which the study is intended. The patterns of form in different types of fabrics are studied architectonically as types, with distinct characteristics particular to each type of fold.
It is very important that the subject of drawing drapery is taught interpretively as the student needs to be aware of the cause of folds, developing in their governing artistic intuition the ability to select which folds best support their artistic mandate and how to order this information to be pictorially useful as opposed to simply being matter of fact.