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How to Draw Fashion Sweaters and Sweatshirts

Sweaters are great layering pieces that keep your model warm and fashionable all at once. Some sweaters open from the front, and others go on over the head. Sweaters are always made of some type of stretchy material, so you can draw them either pretty tight without a lot of seam lines or really loose and baggy but still without a lot of seam lines.

Common elements of sweaters include a ribbed neckline (similar to the T-shirt), ribbed cuffs, and a ribbed hemline. Although you may joke about the printed sweaters of the ’80s, adding in lines for texture gives visual cues that your model is wearing a sweater.

1

Draw a simple sweater.

Lightly sketch a torso from the front view. To create the neckline, draw a small curve going from one side of the neck to the other. Use a darker pencil to draw the shirt over the figure’s body. Curve the neckline around the sides of her neck to show how the shirt disappears over her shoulders.

Draw straight lines that come down from her underarms and end a little below belly button level. Connect the side seams at the bottom with a slightly curved line for the hem.

Starting at the neckline, trace over your model’s shoulders and go down to the end of the arm. Draw the part of the sleeve on the underside of the arm, starting at the top of the shirt’s sides. End the line slightly farther down the arm than the line for the upper sleeve. Connect the upper and lower sleeve lines with a line that goes across the arm and wraps behind it at the ends.

Add a cuff to the end of each sleeve by drawing two curved lines. Add ribbing to each cuff by connecting the curves with short straight lines. Add a ribbed neckline by drawing a curve parallel to the neckline and connecting the curved lines with short, straight lines.

Add a ribbed hemline by drawing a curved line parallel to the shirt’s bottom and connecting the lines with short, straight lines.

Throughout the sweater (except for the ribbed areas), finish with dots and short lines to indicate some texture from the yarn.

2

Try neckline variations for your fashion sweaters.

Scoop neck: This neckline is a bit wider and deeper than the neckline you draw for a basic shirt (the crew neck). Your curved line should drop onto the chest a bit and start and end more toward the outside of the shoulders.

V-neck: The V-neck is one of the easiest necklines to draw. Start outside of the neck and draw two diagonal lines that meet about a third of the way down on the chest. If you feel daring, go for a deeper V.

Turtleneck: Turtlenecks make long fashion necks look even longer. Draw a line from the neckline halfway up each side of the neck and just outside of the neck. Connect these two lines with a slightly curved line across the neck.

Cowl neck: This loose, drapey collar takes some practice. Wrap lines around the neck, starting from the shoulder of each side. The trick is to keep the lines different lengths and make sure they don’t connect in the center.

Crew neck: This is the same neckline you use when drawing a basic shirt.

One shoulder only: Used on lighter sweaters, the one-shoulder neckline starts at the midpoint of one shoulder, scoops across the upper chest, and ends at the outer edge of the opposite shoulder. Sometimes designers add a spaghetti strap to the wider side of the neckline to help hold the sweater in place.

3

Incorporate some cute sweater trimmings into your drawing.

The cut of a sweater may not change, but the cute trimmings for a youthful appeal do. Many of these details — big buttons, flared sleeves, scalloped necklines and cuffs, and cap sleeves — originally appeared on children’s sweaters, but before long, designers were stealing the ideas for juniors’ and women’s sweaters as well.

4

Create a cool cardigan.

Today’s cardigan comeback has expunged the earnest librarian look. You can embellish cardigans with playful-looking buttons, a cluster of sequins, and more. Drawing the cardigan is just like drawing a button-down shirt, but you can skip the pointed collar and the cuffs on the sleeves.

Both men and women as well as kids may don a cardigan. Men’s versions usually have a V neck, whereas women’s cardigans tend to have a V neck or rounded neckline.

Try these variations in your cardigan: sequins, spiffy-looking buttons, short sleeves, and extra length.

5

Draw the always-popular hoodie.

Draw a boy down to his waistline and start the hoodie with a shallow V neck. Add the inside of the hood by drawing a curved line that starts at one side of the neckline and goes over the head to the other side. Make sure to keep this line loose, away from the face.

Draw the top of the hood by adding a line above the line you already drew. Start from the sides of the head, flare out slightly, and taper to a point at the center top. Don’t make the top of the hood too pointed.

Draw the sleeves to the hand. Include cuffs and armhole seams that go from the top of the shoulder to the underarm. Don’t forget to draw in deep folds at the elbows. Finish with a front pocket that has topstitching at the top and bottom.

You can vary the hoodie by adding a logo, a front zipper, or strings attached to the hood.

 
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