Hi there! In this guide, let’s take a look at some common winter clothing apparel and how to draw them!
When you think of winter, you think of zipping up your coat to shield you from the wind; putting on a knit hat to keep your head warm, or a scarf to protect your face from the frigid air. And finally, cozying up next to a fire under your favorite blanket with a hot cup of tea or hot cocoa is one of the best feelings in the world!
There is a wide range of variety in winter apparel, from stylish and comfy to practical and heavy. I’m going to cover a few common themes and some methods to drawing them. At the end, I’ll recommend some assets that are useful to help in drawing winter apparel.
Knit Textures and Patterns
Sweaters are cozy, soft, and often knit by hand with detailed stitching and textures that catches the eye. Hats, mittens, and scarves can also feature these patterns. This can seem really daunting to draw, but is easy enough to simplify and create an illusion of detail.
Here are a just a few examples of some common patterns found in sweaters and other knit garments.
If you look closely, they resemble chains and rope or even braids. If you already know how to draw these, then you are probably good to go.
And of course you can find brushes that will do the job for you on the CLIP STUDIO ASSET catalog as well, but sometimes you just want something to be all your own, or maybe it’s hard to find something that suits your art style.
So let’s break this down to make it a little easier to draw…
Chain patterns can be a bit difficult at first, but I actually just copied the same single “S” I made and kept pasting it until I was satisfied. This was also done with the final braid pattern in the last image.
For a step-by-step, see below:
1: Draw an “S”-like shape.
2: Copy, flip, and reverse the shape and align to create a loop.
3: Copy and paste the new loop below, lining up the end to create a continuous loop.
You can go even further and keep repeating this to make all sorts of designs, like below!
Here is another one:
1: Draw an “S”-like chain link.
2: Copy and paste the chain below the first, lining up the edges accordingly.
3: Erase the overlapping lines to create an infinite chain.
And then you can keep repeating the pattern until you are done.
Here are just a couple examples I made, and a sample of textures used below.
As you can see, breaking up your lines and creating stitching patterns can really create a professional look without too much effort. I used the dotted line tool/brush to get an almost crochet effect as well.
Finally, there is also a “ribbed” texture that is so commonly found in winter clothing. This can be drawn with one or two vertical lines.
I recommend looking at sweaters in your local clothes shop, online shops, or even your own closet to get a wide reference of many different textures and patterns to be used.
Once you draw enough patterns on your own, you can make your very own brushes to use in your own style! It’s a great way to keep your art unique to you.
Fur and Fluff
You will find that fur is an extremely common theme in winter clothing. Fur is often used to create more warmth to apparel. These days most fur is actually synthetic, but it is still rather effective at blocking the cold and looks fashionable. Besides full fur-coat and boots, some of the most common places where fur is used are hats, accents on sleeves, or collars.
Here are 5 different types of fur:
1. Short hair.
2. Long fur.
3. Medium fur.
4. Small fluff.
5. Large fluff.
Basically, drawing fur is all about how you draw your strokes and creating texture by drawing different kinds of lines. The hair-like ones are quick, straight lines that may taper and vary in strength, while the fluffy type is more like creating small loops or circles.
For some apparel it may be easier to draw a basic shape of the piece and then add the fur over it. This way you can draw the garment and add the fur, so you don’t need to worry about the hat not fitting the character’s head, or the fluff on a mitten not looking three-dimensional.
Try not to have all of the fur going in the same direction. A little randomness (but not TOO much) in the direction of the points can look more natural.
To render fur in color, here is a step-by-step:
1: Draw the shape your fluff will be. It doesn’t have to be perfect because we can adjust it later!
2: With a dot or circular particle brush you like, add small circles of darker color than what your fluff is going to be. You can even do this in grayscale and adjust colors later.
3: Now overlap some of the circles you made with the lighter color again, erasing some of the circles made.
4: Repeat adding circles of light and dark to create a fluffy texture. It’s best to use the eyedropper/color picker tool to grab colors nearby to better blend things.
It might take some time to see where all of the little bumps should go, so keep adding to it until you’re satisfied.
You don’t need to worry too much about light source, because we can add it later.
5: I added a shadow and adjusted the colors.
6: I pulled out little bits of the edges with the liquefy and finger tip tool to make it look fluffier.
For the above picture, I kept the line art of the fluff and colored it. I also added a fluffy texture overlay on the coat and fur.
So now that we have some textures to use, let’s apply them to some hats!
Beanies are often short, so don’t add too much extra bunching on the head. They are decorated with logos or buttons and typically have a ribbed texture.
Hats with ear flaps can keep your ears warm. There are even hats crocheted to look like cute animals!
Hats with pom-poms are super popular and easy to draw!
There are hand-knit hats to plush hats with a long “tail” that features a pom-pom on the end.
Gloves and Earmuffs
Mittens also often share the same knit or ribbed textures so common in winter apparel. There are also leather gloves, gloves like sleeves of a sweater, and gloves adorned with fur.
Be aware of the hand’s position inside the mitten! It’s best to draw the hand first and then the glove over it to avoid issues.
Finally, earmuffs are headbands that cover your ears with fur. You could try adding cat ears to the top for some cuteness!
Scarves are a great fashion statement besides keeping your face warm! They come in many styles and there are so many ways to wrap them. Some variations are hand-knitted with the patterns I explained above, while others may have stripes or plaids printed on them. They may also be decorated on the ends with fringe or tassels.
In the case of patterns, it’s important to remember the structure and form of the scarf! For example, if you are holding the scarf unfolded, horizontally and a striped pattern goes across vertically, be sure to adjust that as it’s wrapped around the shoulders with twists and folds.
X: The stripes on the scarf have changed orientation beneath the wrapped section. The stripes are also too rigid and don’t follow the form of the fabric.
✔: The stripes are consistent with the form of the scarf.
Try to think about the scarf in two parts and where each side is sitting. Scarves are usually wrapped around the neck in a spiral before being folded under or over somewhere to keep it in place. If you don’t draw the ends folded out properly, it may not look right…
Check this example using some old art of mine. ↓
This isn’t too bad. But the scarf does look a bit strange, right? It doesn’t appear to be wrapped, it looks like a single tube bunched around the neck, or maybe that the scarf is simply coiled around and might slip off of her shoulders.
X: The scarf is very stiff and there is no fold or wrapping implied.
✔: The scarf is looser and has form. The wrapping is more apparent.
As long as you draw the scarf going under or over another side with a clear line of definition, I think it will look okay. Be careful to remember the form of the scarf, it should sit loosely on the shoulders, and it tapers a bit when being folded.
Of course, this isn’t always the case with scarves, as some people simply drape them over their shoulders without wrapping it around. That is fine too!
Also, if someone with long hair wears a scarf, the hair will often be tucked into the back of the scarf, like so:
Hoods are equally great at keeping your head and face warm while also protecting against wind, rain and snow!
A popular fashion of hoodies has drawstrings to pull the hood as tight or loose as you like! (But pulling it really tight can look a bit silly!)
Almost similar to a scarf, the hood sits loose on the shoulders when not over the head. And depending on the size of the hood, there may be more or less bulk to the fabric.
The “1” arrow shows the inside of the jacket while arrow “2” points to the resting hood.
The side view of the hood when down is a bit like a triangle. It sits loosely bunched at the back, over the shoulders near the neck.
If the hood is over the head, the top of the hood will sometimes come to a small, but loose point as shown by arrow “1”.
There may a bit of slack to the hood in the back as seen by arrow “2”.
Be careful to leave room for the head inside the hood, and make the hood large enough to fit the head. If it’s too small, it will look strange. This is a good rule to follow for hats as well!
Clothing folds often bunch around joints like elbows, armpit, knees, wrist, ankle, etc. In the case of loosely fit sweaters, the folds and bunches will increase.
The creases will look like they drape or pull downwards, almost twisting around the body’s form.
The band for the neck, waist, and sleeves will be smaller than the sweater. This conveys the largeness of the clothing.
Always remember to be aware of the character’s body underneath the clothing, particularly when drawing loose-fit sweaters! Also, the shoulder seam of loose-fit clothes will sit lower on the arm, below the shoulder rather than on it.
I think one of the most important things to truly conveying a winter look is layers in clothing! When you can visibly see the layers your character is wearing, it can make the season and feel of the weather or environment around them much clearer to the viewer.
This character is wearing a T-shirt with a parka and a puffy coat over it!
On that note, quilted, puffy coats are another popular piece to draw! The sections of the coat are separated and filled with fur or down feathers. The stitching creates a gathered, puckered appearance with lots of little folds and creases.
There are also diamond quilt patterns like the one above!
Quick notes on trench coats:
Trench coats come in a huge variety of styles and lengths. This is just a small example of the basics.
For men’s styles, the coat buttons on the right-hand side. This means that from the viewer’s perspective, the left side of the coat is folded over the front. For women’s styles, the right side is folded over the front of the coat.
Here are a couple of my favorite brushes and assets to use for winter apparel!
While the second is simply a rope or braid brush, it works great for creating knit patterns.
This texture pack has lots of great options for adding fluffiness or realistic knits to clothing!
These two sets of brushes make it quick and easy to add fluffy, plush, or furry accents to your art.
Finally, you can’t forget to add a zipper to your winter coat!
Thank you for reading this far!
I hope that you learned something and are inspired to dress up your characters in cozy winter apparel of your very own.
If you have any questions or if there is something that needs to be further explained, please feel free to ask!
And if you are interested in seeing more of my art, you can check the links below or in my profile.
Until next time! ☆