How to Draw Ripped Jeans

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Drawing ripped jeans requires a basic understanding of the way cloth folds and gravity affects material.
Drawing ripped jeans requires a basic understanding of the way cloth folds and gravity affects material. (Image: Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Reproducing the folds of cloth and clothing in drawn art can be a tricky endeavor: The material is inanimate, but changes form based on gravity and what portion is being held up by another entity. Jeans, the clothing for work and casual wear, present the opportunity to reproduce the same features with the added wrinkle that they come from the rips caused by wear and tear. Frayed rips can be created skillfully with an eye for gravity, folds and the individual threads that expose themselves when denim comes apart at the seams.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Eraser

Draw the outline of the pants — two legs meeting at a unified crotch and hip — in the position you see fit, whether that is fitted onto a body, or draped alone in the environment. If the pants are on a body or on a piece of furniture, draw the other entity first and draw the pants around it -- only give pants shape where the object has shape, and draw the rest as a piece of cloth hanging by the force of gravity.

Draw a circle anywhere on the pants that you would like a rip to appear, for example, a semicircle if the tear is on the edge of the pants, the flat side being along the edge. Draw the structural details -- pockets, fly, belt loops and stitching -- onto the pants, erasing and altering the outline where a detail like a side loop exists on the edge.

Under the upper and lower portions of each circle, draw jagged lines for torn fabric edges hanging by gravity. If the rip is on a portion of the jeans where they are stretched tight, such as around a character's buttocks, draw the lower jagged line very close to the circle bottom. If the rip is on a looser portion of the pants, draw the jagged line farther downward. Connect the lines to the circle sides. Erase only the upper edge of the initial circle -- you want the lower edge of the rip to look like it is folding downward slightly. Draw a few stray threads on the rip, either horizontal across the rip or hanging broken from the sides.

Erase the lines you don't want to appear in the final drawing, such as the portions of a character's legs that were needed to properly draw the proportions, but wouldn't show under a pair of jeans.

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References

  • "Drawing: The Only Drawing Book You'll Ever Need To Be The Artist You've Always Wanted To Be;" Kathryn Temple; 2005
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