In the world of fashion, new designs are presented in the form of hand-drawn sketches, before the fabric is cut and sewn. First of all, you draw a basic sketch, which is the basic shape of the model body (croquis) on which the sketch is based. The point is that you are not drawing realistic body shapes, but a blank canvas to show illustrations of dresses, skirts, blouses, accessories and all your creations. Add color and other details, such as lace, lining, and buttons, to help you illustrate the idea you have in mind.
Part 1 of 3: Starting Your Sketch
Step 1. Prepare your equipment
Choose a hard pencil (H pencil is the best type) that produces sketch lines that are not too dark and easy to erase. Pencil lines also won't create streaks on the paper, so that will help when you add color to your sketch. A good quality eraser and thick drawing paper are essential equipment to make your sketches look professional.
- If you don't have the right pencil, you can sketch with a number 2 pencil. Don't forget to keep the lines light, and don't press the drawing paper with the pencil too hard.
- Drawing with a pen is not recommended because you will not be able to erase the lines you have drawn.
- You'll also need colored markers, ink, or paint to complete your clothing design illustrations.
Step 2. Determine the pose for your sketch
The models in your design are called croquis, and should be drawn in the best poses to show your design. You can draw the model in a walking, sitting, crouching, or other position. As a beginner, you can start with a common pose, which is a runway sketch that depicts a model standing or walking during a fashion show. This pose is the easiest to draw and you can illustrate your design in full view with it.
- Since you want to create a design illustration that looks professional and attractive, it's important to make croquis that are well-drawn and well-proportioned.
- Many fashion illustrators practice drawing hundreds of croquis to perfect their ability to create a variety of poses.
Step 3. Use another method of drawing croquis. It's great if you can draw your own croquis, as you'll be creating a model with the exact proportions you want. However, if you want to design your clothes right away, there are a few quick ways you can choose:
- Download croquis from the internet. You can find them available in various shapes and sizes. For example, you can download croquis in the form of children, boys, small women, and so on.
- Make a croquis by tracing the outline of a model's photo from one magazine ad or from another. Place a piece of tracing paper on top of a photo or drawing of a model you like and outline it smoothly.
Part 2 of 3: Drawing Croquis
Step 1. Draw the center line
This is the first line of your sketch, and it represents your model's center of gravity. Draw a line from the crown of your head to your toes, parallel to the spine of your croquis. Now, draw an oval shape that represents the head. This is the basis of your croquis, and a proportional image can be created starting from this section. You can think of the croquis as the outline of the model in your sketch.
- The center line should be a straight vertical line, even if you want your model to be leaning or tilted. For example, if you want your model to pose with her left hip slightly raised, draw a center line in the center of the paper. You will make this line extend from the top of the model's head to the ground where the model is standing.
- Remember that you are designing clothes, so of course a proportional model is needed because the clothes are showing, not your drawing skills. Don't worry too much when trying to draw a model that looks accurate or when completing a model's face.
Step 2. Start drawing from the hip/pelvis area
Draw a square with the same side length from the midline below the midline, the point where the pelvic area naturally lies on the body. Measure the square to the width of your desired model. A thinner model will have a smaller square width than a larger (plus-sized) model.
Keep the pose you want in your mind, and lift the hip square to the right or left. For example, if you want your model to have her left hip up, draw a square slightly tilted up to the left. If you want your model to stand normally, draw a straight square with no left or right angles
Step 3. Draw the torso/torso and shoulders
Extend the torso line up from the two corners of the hip square. The torso should be extended upwards, decreasing at the waist and expanding again at the shoulders. Like the real human body, the shoulders should be the same width as the hips or the square of the pelvis.
- Once you're done, the torso should look like the normal torso you're used to seeing on the human body. Consider examples of model pictures in various magazines and advertisements. The torso should be about twice the length of the head.
- This is a common way of drawing the shoulders and hips in opposite directions, and the position is called a contrapposto, or counterpose. This pose gives the appearance of movement. Draw the waist with a horizontal line that is shorter than the shoulder and hip lines.
- Pay attention to curved lines (curvature of the edges, etc.) as they are important in creating the model, so it doesn't look like you have misplaced body parts.
Step 4. Draw the neck and head
The length of the neck of the model should be one-third the width of the shoulders and half the length of the head. After drawing the neck, draw the head, which should be in proportion to the body. The bigger the head, the more youthful the model will look.
- You can delete the previously drawn oval shape to create a head shape.
- You can draw a natural looking head with the pose you have chosen. You can make it appear to be lifted up or down, or tilted to the left or right.
Step 5. Draw the legs
The legs should be the longest part of the body, about four times the length of the head. The foot is also divided into two parts, the thigh (from the base of the pelvic square to the top of the knee) and the calf (from the base of the knee to the base of the heel). Please note that fashion illustrators usually exaggerate a model's height by making her legs higher than her torso.
- The top of the thigh is approximately the same width as the head. The width of each leg then tapers from the thigh to the knee. When you reach your knees, your feet are only a third of your thighs wide.
- To draw the calf, draw it conical to the heel. Each heel measures a quarter of the width of the head.
Step 6. Finish the legs and arms
Feet are usually quite small. Draw the legs like elongated triangles, which are about the same length as the head. The construction of the arms is more or less the same as the legs, tapering to the wrists. Draw the arms proportions longer than the actual torso to give it a more fashionable look. Finally, add the hands and feet.
Part 3 of 3: Drawing Clothes and Accessories
Step 1. Illustrate your original design
Think about the look you want to create, and draw it down to the last detail. If you are designing a dress for example, add patterns, ruffles, lettering, ribbons and so on to create a beautiful design. Focus on your unique design elements, and include accessories that match and emphasize the style you want. If you're looking for a new idea but don't know where to start, look up fashion trends online or in magazines for inspiration.
Step 2. Draw a sketch of the outfit with thick lines
Since the purpose of drawing fashion sketches is to show off your design ideas, use firmer lines in drawing clothes. Draw a sketch of the outfit so that it looks like it hangs on the croquis naturally. There should be creases around the elbows and at the waist, as well as near the shoulders, heels and wrists. Imagine how clothes are put on someone and sketch them on your model drawings.
- Remember that different fabrics and structures will fall differently on the body. If the fabric is thin and slippery, the appearance on the body will be like floating. If the fabric used is thick like denim or wool, it will look heavier and less revealing (think denim jacket).
- Try to make an illustration of the texture of the fabric that you draw, whether it is smooth, rough, stiff or smooth. Add details like sequins and buttons, to make the image look more realistic.
Step 3. Learn to draw folds, wrinkles, and pleats
Use different types of lines to describe different fabric textures. Knowing how to draw folds, creases, and pleats will help you illustrate the structure of the garment.
- Folds can be drawn with light, wavy lines.
- A circular pattern is used to show wrinkles.
- Draw straight outlines to create a pleat shape.
Step 4. Draw the fabric motif
If your design uses patterned fabric, it's important to draw what it looks like on the model. Start by drawing the outline of a patterned fabric, such as a skirt or blouse. Divide the fabric area into several squares, then fill one by one with fabric motifs.
- Notice how the creases, pleats and wrinkles change the appearance of the motif on the fabric. Motifs can be bent or cut at certain points to make them look accurate.
- Take the time to draw the details of the motif and make sure each detail looks the same across the tiles.
Step 5. Finish the image with shadows, inks and colors
Use black ink or paint to maintain the lines you want to keep. You can delete body outlines and lines that you no longer need to see. Finally, color the clothes using the color you want in your design.
- You can color your clothes with marker, ink or paint. Mix colors and different shades to complete your design.
- Really imagine how your designs move under the spotlights at a fashion show as you work on shadows and textures. Deeper creases in the fabric will produce darker shadows in the color you are using. When the fabric is exposed to light, the color should appear lighter.
- Add other parts like hair, sunglasses, and makeup to bring your fashion sketches to life.
Step 6. You can create a flat sketch image
In addition to making fashion illustrations, you can create a flat sketch. This is an illustration of your clothing design showing the outline of the garment, as it is laid out on a flat surface. This image helps people see the design in a flat position, other than when worn on the model's body.
- Make a flat image with scale. Try to make illustrations that look as accurate as possible.
- You can depict the back view on a flat image, especially the back which has unique design details.
- Don't worry, you don't need to go into too much detail on your face, unless you already have a specific makeup idea that goes well with the outfit.
- Some people like to draw very skinny models. However, draw your model realistically, as this will help you in choosing fabrics and sewing clothes.
- Adding a textured look to clothing design images is a tricky thing and requires practice.
- It's often easier to not draw the face at all and just draw a few strands of hair. You just need to focus on the clothes.
- Paste the material you're using next to your design image, so people who see it know what fabric you're using.