Learning how to draw a shirt can be slightly complicated. Like most clothes, shirts are usually filled with small and large creases that can be difficult to sketch. In this lesson, I will show you how to illustrate a cartoon shirt that looks visually appealing and easy to create.
You will also have the opportunity to add simple shadows and highlights inside the object to create more volume. We don't need to sketch complex textures or add gradients to end up with something great. Just a good mix of plain colors and simple lines is more than enough.
Ready? Let's see how we can draw this fun shirt in just a few steps now ...
First, let's draw a template using three rectangles. The main shape should be large and tall. This rectangle must be vertical. Next, draw two smaller rectangles to form the sleeves. These new shapes are narrower and are oblique. Great! Now we have a nice template to work with.
Using several short and long curved lines, we can now draw the silhouette of the object. The collar is made from a "V" shape and the bottom of the shirt is drawn using a long curved line.
This object needs to be irregular and loaded with imperfections. Don't try to sketch symmetrical sleeves. It's not a realistic approach. Instead, just draw the whole object using lines that are slightly different from each other.
Several holes are visible in a shirt. To create more depth and sketch something realistic, you can draw more lines near all holes (the collar, the sleeves and the bottom of the object). Colors will be used later in this tutorial on how to draw a shirt to create more volume on these new additions.
Like I said earlier, a shirt is never perfect or symmetrical. Drawing small creases all over the object is a good idea if you want to end up with an appealing illustration. Of course, don't be tempted to sketch hundreds of creases. Only a few a needed.
You just need to sketch these lines in relevant areas. In this case, lines were drawn in the lower part of the shirt. More small lines were added on the sleeves and near the collar.
For this lesson, I have selected a nice red color for the shirt. Notice how all parts near the holes are now darker. This simple tip is all you need to create more depth to the object. This lesson on how to draw a shirt is not over yet. Indeed, we can still add more fun details to make this drawing visually more interesting.
In this step, you can add new shapes to create subtle shadows on the subject. These new elements can be slightly darker. Most of these shadows are drawn near the creases or on the bottom of the shirt. We are presuming that the light source is located on top of the object. That's why darker areas are mostly located near the bottom of the shirt.
Now that we have drawn multiple shadows inside the picture, you can sketch brighter shapes to represent highlights. Unlike shadows, just a few bright shapes are needed. Sketching tons of creases can make the illustration confusing and hard to read. Simplicity is always the best option.
Nice work! This lesson on how to draw a shirt is finished. You can see the final result below. Remember that simplicity rules. This delicate mix of dark shapes and bright areas is all we need to end up with a lovely illustration. The silhouette is also made from thick lines while the creases were sketched with thinner ones.
Below you can see all steps required to learn how to draw a shirt in eight easy steps. Feel free to use this image to polish your work. You can also draw more versions using various shapes, lines and colors. Drawing various patterns and textures is also a good exercise. Just be creative! ;)
Now that we are done drawing this fun cartoon shirt, you are invited to draw more clothes using these lessons below. If you want to sketch more creases, then simply try the dress or the jacket. The slippers are also a good option if you simply want to try a more complex image. Have fun!