How to create a fashion clothing sketch ?
In the world of fashion, before the cut and sew, the new creations are presented in the form of hand-drawn sketches. Ideally, every designer should have a Technical Drawing of each of their design to ensure a great quality. Even the best clothing manufacturer would need you to provide at least sketches of your designs in order to help you manufacture the garments of your brand.
You must first draw a fashion silhouette sketch, the silhouette of a mannequin that will serve as the basis for your drawing. The goal is not to draw a realistic model but rather a blank canvas with characters that will serve as a support to present the dresses, skirts, blouses, accessories and all of your creations. Adding colors and detail like the folds of clothing, seams and buttons, will help bring your ideas to life.
If you want to go further and get more profesionnal, you should definitly check our article on how to make technical drawings in fashion to help your manufacturer.
Before you draw your mannequin
Gather the equipment. Choose a hard pencil (the H-mines are the best) to draw light, easy-to-gum lines. The lines left by these pencils leave no imprints in the paper, which makes it easy to color afterwards. A good quality rubber and thick paper are needed if you want your sketch to look professional.
- If you do not have a pencil of the right type, draw with a number 2. In this case, try not to press the paper so that your lines remain light.
- It is not recommended to draw in pen because you will not be able to erase what you have done.
- You will also need colored felts, ink or paint to illustrate your clothes.
Choose the position of your model
The model for your creation, also called sketch, must be drawn in a pose that highlights the clothes. Your model may be walking, sitting, bending or in another position. As you begin, it may be easier to draw your model in a typical pose, that of a mannequin walking on the podium or standing. This is the easiest to draw, and it will allow you to illustrate your creations in all details.
- As you want your creations to look professional and retain attention, your dummy must have the right proportions and must be well designed.
- Many fashion designers train by modeling mannequins in a large number of poses.
How to draw the fashion model
Being able to draw your mannequin yourself is the best thing, because you can give it exactly the proportions you want. However, if you want to draw your designs directly you can go faster by following these tips:
- Download a template, you’ll find it in a wide range of shapes and sizes. For example you can download the sketch of a child, a man, a little woman, and many others.
- Make a sketch by drawing the contours of a magazine mannequin or another image. Place tracing paper over the dummy and draw contours.
Draw the balance line
This is the first line of your sketch and it represents the center of gravity of the model. Draw it from the top of the skull to the tip of the feet, along the mannequin’s spine. Draw an oval shape to represent the head. This is the basis of your sketch, from which a proportional drawing will be realized. You can imagine that you are drawing the skeleton of your model.
The balance line should be straight and vertical, even if you expect your model to be in a tilted position. For example, if your model should have the hips slightly leaning to the left, draw a straight and vertical line in the middle of the sheet. This line must extend from the top of the skull of the model to the ground where it stands.
Note that to create clothes, a perfectly proportional model is not necessary, since it is the clothes that are put forward, not your ability to draw silhouettes. Do not try to draw a perfect mannequin in every detail or give facial features.
Draw the pelvic area of your model first.
Draw a square of equal sides on the equilibrium line, just below the middle, where the pelvis is located in the human body. Give the square dimensions proportional to the hip width you want for your mannequin. For a thin model, the square will be smaller than for a large model.
Depending on the desired pose for the model, tilt the pelvis square to the left or right. For example, if you want your hips to lean to the left, tilt the square slightly to the left. If the model is in a standing position, simply draw the right square with no right or left tilt angle.
Draw the bust and shoulders
Draw the lines of the torso by extending upwards the ones of the pelvic square on both sides. The bust should extend upward, curved halfway up the hips, and then widen again upward towards the shoulders. As in the human body, the shoulders should be of the same width as the hips, or that the top of the pelvic box.
When you have finished, the bust should look the same as you would observe on a human body. You can refer to photos of magazine mannequins or advertisements. Notice how the tiller is narrower than the lower body and the hips. The length of the torso should be about twice that of the head.
It is common to draw the shoulders and hips in opposite directions. This gives an impression of movement. Draw a straight line at the waist, shorter than that of the hips and shoulders.
Pay special attention to curved lines, such as those in the rib cage. Attach great importance to these angles and lines if you do not want the body of your mannequin to appear dislocated.
Sketch the neck and head
The width of the neck should be a third of that of the shoulders, and its length half that of the head. After that, draw the head, whose dimensions should be proportional to the rest of the body. The bigger your head, the more juvenile and youthful your model will look.
You can erase the oval shape that was used to represent the head at the beginning. Draw the head so that it is in agreement with the pose you have chosen. You can tilt it slightly down, up, to the right or left.
Make your legs
The legs should be the longest part of the body, about four heads long. The legs are divided into two parts: the thighs, from the bottom of the pelvic box to the knees, and the calves, from the bottom of the knees to the beginning of the ankles. Be aware that fashion designers usually exaggerate the size of the model by making it legs longer than the bust.
The top of each thigh should be about the same width as the head. As you descend towards the knee, refine the width of each thigh. When you reach the knee, the width of the leg should be one third of that of its widest part. To draw the calves, refine them until reaching the ankles. The width of the ankles should be a quarter of that of the head.
Finish with your feet and arms
The feet should be fairly thin. Draw them like elongated triangles of the same length as the head. Make the arms the same as the legs, thinner as you move closer to the wrists. Make them longer in relation to the torso than they would be in a real person, it will give a more stylized effect. Add hands and fingers last.
How to draw clothes ?
Bring life to your original creation
Think about the style you want to invent, and represent it in the smallest details. If you create a dress, for example, add patterns, folds, text, ribbons, and anything you’ll imagine to create a unique pattern. Focus on the specific aspects of your creation, and add the appropriate accessories so that you clearly see the style you want to give to the set. If you do not know where to start or need inspiration, take a look at fashion brands on the internet or in magazines.
Draw the clothes with boldness
Since the purpose of the fashion sketch is to showcase your creative ideas, be bold and assertive when you draw the clothes. Make sure your clothes really look like they’re on your sketch, in a natural, realistic way. You should draw the pleats at the elbows and waist, as well as near the shoulders, ankles and wrists. Try to imitate on your mannequin the way the clothes fall naturally on a real person.
Keep in mind that depending on the fabric and structure of the garment, its appearance on a person differs. A thin and silky fabric follows closely the body, it is swept away by the wind and almost swells. A thick fabric like jeans or wool will keep lines straighter and less likely to conform to body shapes (such as denim jackets).
Try to show the texture of the fabrics represented, whether smooth, rough, stiff or soft. Detail your design with sequins, buttons or any other element to make it more realistic.
Learn how to draw folds and creases.
Use different strokes to create different types of folds on the fabric. Knowing how to draw folds, creases and folds will help you to represent the structure of the clothes.
- The folds can be drawn by floating and wavy lines.
- Use circular patterns to represent wrinkles.
- Draw the clean folds of the fabric with a ruler.
Add designs or images.
If the fabric of your creation is embellished with patterns or images, your sketch must give a clear idea of how this would make it on a mannequin. Start by drawing the contours of the patterned suit, be it a skirt, a blouse or any other garment. Divide it into a grid composed of several parts. Fill each part of the fabric with the appropriate pattern.
- Folds, wrinkles and folds can change the appearance of a pattern. You will need to draw the folded or cut patterns into disjointed fragments when necessary.
- Take your time to thoroughly detail your pattern and make sure that its appearance does not vary on the whole fabric.
Finish your drawing with gradients, ink and colors
Use thick black ink or paint on the final lines. Now you can erase the lines of the body that are no longer needed and all the slips of your pencil. Finally, color the clothes carefully using the hues you want for your creations.
- You can color your sketch with felts, ink or paint. Mix colors and use different tones.
- When you detail the textures and give color to your creations, imagine moving them towards you on the podium, in the spotlight. The more pronounced folds of the fabric should be rendered by darker shades. Colors become lighter when the fabric is exposed to light.
- You can add items such as hair, sunglasses or makeup to give life to your fashion design.
Think of representing your creations flat
In addition to your sketch of fashion, you should give an illustration of the clothes flat, that is to draw their outlines as if they were spread out on a flat surface. People like to know the appearance of a garment as well stretched on a flat surface as when worn by a model.
- The flat version must be drawn to scale. Make sure your sketches are as accurate as possible.
- Also draw the back of the clothes flat, especially if the back of some of your creations includes specific details.
Furher advices on how to make a fashion sketch
- Unnecessary to detail the face, unless you have in mind a particular makeup to go with the rest of the outfit.
- Some people like to draw their very lean models. Do it realistically. This will help you when you choose the fabrics and start sewing your creations.
- In general, the simplest is to leave the face completely white, sketch some hair traits, and focus on the outfit.
- Representing the texture of the fabrics is difficult, you will need to practice.
- Keep the material you use next to your drawing to remind you that it is the one you are using.