How to Draw a Sari

By Lane Cummings
This is an example of a young woman wearing a feminine sari.

A sari is a traditional type of Indian dress worn by men and women alike. Although a sari may appear to be a culmination of different pieces of cloth put together, it actually consists of a single piece of cloth nine yards long, draped in various ways. The color, texture, pattern, and material of a specific sari depends on the caste, job and age of the person who will wear it. If you're interested in sketching this aspect of India's very specific culture and fashion, you can do so with just basic skill in drawing.

Place your picture of a sari in a spot close to your drawing area so you can refer to it. Draw a small, perfectly round circle with a vertical line coming out the bottom. The vertical line should be four times the height of the circle.

Draw the right and left sides of an oval on either side of the vertical line. This will be the figure on which to draw your sari around.

Draw a curved line extending downwards from the top of the circle, down along the left side of the oval. This will be the back part of the sari that wraps around the head.

Draw a curved, loose "C" shape down through the middle of the circle. The right side of this C-shape will represent the face sticking out of the top of the sari.

Draw a skinny V-shape extending down from where the "chin" area of the figure would be. This will represent folds in the fabric. Start drawing the corners and lines of the fabric around the oval, using your photo as a guide.

Draw two smaller ovals to represent the hands of the figure, and draw the curved lines of the fabric draping along the arms. Erase all the lines of the circle, vertical line and oval, and your sari will now look even more realistic.

Shade in the lines and corners using your photo as a guide to give the sari contour and slight depth in its drapes and folds.

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."