Massen ’84 Writes Comprehensive Drawing Guide for Clothed Figure

Michael Massen '84 (Photo by Bernard Levy)

An artist who plans to effectively draw clothing and drapery must learn to recognize the basic shapes of clothing and how the principles of physics act upon those shapes. In The Artist’s Guide to Drawing the Clothed Figure(Watson-Guptill), Michael Massen ’84 presents his thorough and novel approach to drapery by first describing clothing and drapery as basic shapes, and then illustrating how the mechanics of physics cause these shapes to bend, fold, or wrinkle in predictable ways. Massen shares how to use these concepts to depict all types of clothing in a variety of mediums.

Book by Michael Massen '84

This guide focuses on the mechanical principles behind the formation of folds and breaks down all clothing into three types: sculpted forms, loose drapery, and most especially, tubes. Then various techniques for rendering clothing are covered including how factors such as the stiffness, thickness, or texture of a particular material can affect the appearance of an article of clothing.

This resource contains helpful illustrated techniques and examples from old world and contemporary masters—from Leonardo da Vinci to Will Eisner.

Massen is an artist and graphic designer whose clients have included Scholastic, Harper Collins Publishers, Estée Lauder, Goldman Sachs, NW Ayer, and Workman Publishing. In 1993, he was awarded the National Sculpture Society Young Sculptors’ Award and was recognized by the Art Students League of New York with two scholarships. He has an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a BA from Wesleyan’s College of Letters.

Michael Massen’s web site

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: