This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Why superheroes wear tights

If you've ever wondered why superheroes wear tights, all you have to do is try do draw people, which is fairly easy, and try to draw the folds of clothing, which is very difficult.

I started drawing from the time I was old enough to hold a crayon, but I didn't start observing, and drawing clothing, and more specifically, the folds of cloth, until I was a teenager. I never really got very good at it, and many artists really can't do it at all.

Even if you can draw folds of cloth, it is very time-consuming. If you were paying me per panel to draw some superheroes, I would draw their shape and then just very quickly indicate form-fitting clothing by drawing lines along their necks, wrists, ankles, that sort of thing. In fact, what you are doing is drawing an unclothed body, which is why a lot of superheroes appeared to be wearing their underwear on the outside of their tights.

If you like to draw, take some time out to just look at folds of cloth. I used to draw my rumpled-up sheets on the bed. I would take a towel, drape it over a chair, and study it with care. I would look to see how clothing wrinkled and folded around the human form. It's very time-consuming, and if many people who draw never pay attention to it, it's not surprising.

If you Google Michelangelo's Pieta, you will see an incredible study in folds done in marble. But most of his figures are nude. Because, well, that's a whole lot easier and faster.

So there it is. It has nothing to do with any type of perversion, or fascination with nylon. Superheroes wear tights because it's easier to draw them that way.