By Matt Fussell
Wrinkles in fabric are important to include in any drawing of a clothed figure. Wrinkles in fabric unfortunately can cause grief for some artists. Drawing the wrinkles that you see in fabric is important in defining the form of the object, or figure of the body. So, they can't or shouldn't be avoided. Knowing how to draw wrinkles in fabric is an important skill in drawing and can be developed and practiced.
Like with many other subjects, learning how to draw wrinkles involves learning to know what you are seeing. Remember, drawing is all about seeing after all.
We see wrinkles because of light. Light reflects differently off of the surface of the fabric and produces shadows and highlights. The texture of the fabric itself affects this reflection of light as well. We interpret light by the darks and the lights. The darkness or lightness of a color is defined as value. Therefore, we can deduce that the key to creating the illusion of wrinkles in fabric is capturing the accurate value on the fabric that we are drawing. The contrast that results from this creates the illusion of wrinkles.
Wrinkles are created by having a variety of gradations of value. Some transitions will be created by stark changes while others will be a slow migration from dark to light. The key is finding, seeing, and translating these changes accurately.
The following video demonstrates how to draw wrinkles in fabric...