In the fashion world, before being cut and sewn, new creations are presented in the form of hand-drawn sketches. First you need to draw a 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 details like clothing folds, seams and buttons will help bring your ideas to life.
Part 1 of 3: start the sketch
Step 1. Gather the materials
Choose a hard lead pencil (H leads are best) which allows you to draw light, rough lines that are easy to erase. The lines left by these pencils do not leave fingerprints in the paper, which allows easy coloring afterwards. A good quality eraser and heavy paper are needed if you want your sketch to look professional.
- If you do not have a pencil of the right type, draw with number 2. In this case, try not to press on the paper, so that your lines remain light.
- It is not recommended to draw with a pen, because you will not be able to erase what you have done.
- You will also need colored markers, ink or paint to illustrate your clothes.
Step 2. Choose the pose of your model
The model for your creation, also known as a sketch, should be drawn in a pose that highlights the clothes. You can draw it while sitting, bending, walking or in any other position. As you are just starting out, you may find it easier to draw your model in a typical pose, that of a model walking the catwalk or standing. This is the easiest thing to draw, and it will allow you to illustrate your creations in all their detail.
- Since you want your designs to look professional and to command attention, your mannequin should have the right proportions and should be well drawn.
- Many fashion designers practice drawing models in a variety of poses.
Step 3. Consider other ways to draw a 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 creations directly you can go faster by following these tips.
- Download a model drawing, you will find it in a variety 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 outlines of a magazine mannequin or other image. Place tracing paper on top of the mannequin and draw around it.
Part 2 of 3: Make the drawing
Step 1. Draw the line of balance
This is the first line of your sketch and represents the center of gravity of the model. Draw it from the top of the head to the tips 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 made. 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 an inclined position. For example, if your model should have her hips tilted slightly to the left, still draw a straight, vertical line down the middle of the sheet. This line should extend from the top of the model's head to the floor where he is standing.
- Note that to create clothes, a perfectly proportional model is not necessary, since it is the clothes that are emphasized, not your ability to draw figures. Do not try at all costs to draw a perfect model in great detail or to give features to the face.
Step 2. Start by drawing the pelvic area
Draw a square of equal sides on the balance line, just below the middle, where the pelvis is in the human body. Size the square in proportion to the hip width you want for your mannequin. For a slim model, the square will be smaller than for a plus size model.
Depending on the desired pose for the model, tilt the square of the pelvis left or right. For example, if you want her hips to tilt to the left, tilt the bob slightly to the left. If the model is in a standing position, just draw the square right, without any tilt angle to the right or left
Step 3. Draw the bust and shoulders
Draw the lines of the torso by extending upwards those of the pelvic square on both sides. The bust should extend upwards, curved halfway at the hips, then widening again, moving up towards the shoulders. As in the human body, the shoulders should be the same width as the hips or the top of the pelvic box.
- When you are finished, the bust should look the same as you would see on a human body. You can refer to the photos of models from magazines or advertisements. Notice how the waist 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. It gives an impression of movement. Draw a straight line at the waist, shorter than the hips and shoulders.
- Pay particular attention to curved lines, such as those in the rib cage. Attach a lot of importance to these angles and lines if you don't want your model's body to appear dislocated.
Step 4. Sketch the neck and head
Neck width should be one-third that of the shoulders and its length half that of the head. After that, draw the head, the dimensions of which should be proportional to the rest of the body. The bigger the head, the more youthful and youthful your model will look.
- You can erase the oval shape that was originally used to represent the head.
- Draw the head so that it matches your chosen pose. You can tilt it slightly down, up, right, or left.
Step 5. Make the legs
The legs should be the longest part of the body, about four heads in length. The legs are divided into two parts: the thighs, from the bottom of the pelvic box to the knees and 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 her legs longer than the bust.
- The top of each thigh should be about the same width as the head. As you move down to the knee, narrow the width of each thigh. When you get to the knee, the width of the leg should be one-third that of its widest part.
- To draw the calves, narrow them until you reach the ankles. The width of the ankles should be a quarter of that of the head.
Step 6. Finish with the feet and arms
The feet should be quite thin. Draw them as elongated triangles the same length as the head. Make your arms the same as your legs, thinner the closer you get to the wrists. Make them longer in relation to the torso than they would be in a real person, this will give a more stylized effect. Add hands and fingers last.
Part 3 of 3: drawing the clothes and accessories
Step 1. Bring your original creation to life
Think about the style you want to invent and represent it in great detail. If you are creating a dress, for example, add patterns, pleats, text, ribbons and whatever else you can imagine to create a unique model. Concentrate on the specific aspects of your creation and add the appropriate accessories so that it is clear what style you want to give to the ensemble. If you don't know where to start or need some inspiration, take a look at fashion brands on the internet or in magazines.
Step 2. Draw the clothes boldly
Since the purpose of fashion sketching is to showcase your creative ideas, be bold and confident when drawing the clothes. Make the clothes really look like they are worn by your sketch, in a natural and realistic way. You need to draw the folds at the elbows and waist, as well as near the shoulders, ankles and wrists. Try to imitate on your mannequin the way clothes fall naturally on a real person.
- Keep in mind that depending on the fabric and structure of the garment, it will look different on a person. A fine, silky fabric closely follows the body, it is blown away by the wind and almost swells. A thick fabric such as jeans or wool will keep lines straighter and less likely to conform to the body (like denim jackets).
- Try to bring out the texture of the fabrics shown, whether smooth, rough, stiff or soft. Detail your design with glitter, buttons or any other element to make it more realistic.
Step 3. Learn how to draw the folds, creases and creases
Use different strokes to create different types of folds in the fabric. Knowing how to draw folds, creases and folds will help you to represent the structure of clothes.
- Folds can be drawn by floating and wavy lines.
- Use circular patterns to represent wrinkles.
- Outline the neat folds of the fabric using a ruler.
Step 4. Add designs or images
If the fabric of your creation is embellished with patterns or images, your sketch must give a precise idea of the result on a mannequin. Start by sketching the outlines of the patterned dress, whether it is a skirt, blouse or any other item of clothing. Divide it into a grid made up of several parts. Fill each part of the fabric with the appropriate pattern.
- Folds, creases, and creases can change the appearance of a design. You will need to draw the patterns folded over or cut into disjointed fragments when necessary.
- Take your time to detail your design and make sure that its appearance does not vary throughout the fabric.
Step 5. Finish your design with gradients, ink and colors
Use heavy black ink or paint on the final lines. Now you can erase body lines that are no longer needed and all the slippage of your pencil. Finally, carefully color the clothes using the shades you want for your designs.
- You can color your sketch using markers, ink or paint. Mix the colors and use different tones.
- As you detail textures and color your designs, imagine them moving towards you on the catwalk, 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 elements like hair, sunglasses or makeup to bring your fashion design to life.
Step 6. Consider representing your designs flat
In addition to your fashion sketch, you should give an illustration of the clothes flat, that is, draw their outlines as if they were spread out on a flat surface. People like to know what a garment looks like when it is lying on a flat surface as well as when it is worn by a model.
- The flat version should be drawn to scale. Make your sketches as accurate as possible.
- Also draw the back of the clothes flat, especially if the back of some of your designs includes specific details.
- There is no need to over-detail the face, unless you have a specific makeup in mind to go with the rest of the outfit.
- Some people like to draw their very skinny models. Make it realistic. This will come in handy when choosing fabrics and starting to sew your designs.
- Usually the easiest way is to leave your face completely white, sketch a few hair lines, and focus on the outfit.
- Keep your materials next to your drawing to know what you are using.
- It is difficult to represent the texture of the fabrics. You will need practice to fully master this technique.