The Four Fashion Views in Fashion Drawing

Fashion illustrators use four views when drawing a model. Imagine yourself trying on an outfit and looking in the mirror. What views do you try to get to determine whether a look is for you? Here are the four views you see as you turn slowly from front to back:

  • Front view

  • Three-quarter view

  • Side view

  • Back view

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Facing forward: The front view

Artists — and that’s you! — often consider the front view the easiest to draw. Imagine looking straight on at a person or at yourself in the mirror — that’s a front view. The front view allows you to see a complete view of both sides of the body, keeping the imaginary center front line exactly down the middle.

The front view is great for fashion illustration because seeing all the details is easy; clothes hang well and look fun! Add the angled shoulders and hips that convey attitude in fashion drawing, and you have a great start on fashion illustrations.

Teasing the viewer with the three-quarter view

Think about the stars on the red carpet posing for pictures. As they pose, they tend to turn their bodies slightly for a slimming effect and bring one foot forward. This pose is referred to as the three-quarter view. The three-quarter view allows you to see the front of the body, but one side is shown more than the other.

In the figure, you can see a sexy yet demure three-quarter view that shows more of the figure’s left arm than her right. Compare this to the front view, in which you can see both arms equally well.

With the three-quarter view, the head can face any direction; play with various directions for different looks and feelings. Drawing the three-quarter view is a bit advanced, but that makes it all the more fun to explore, so don’t let it scare you!

Turning to the side view

You may not see or use the side view as much as the other views, but it’s great for showing the side details of a dress or the way a coat nips in at the back waist. The side view is also a high fashion and creative way to show a wedding dress or evening gown.

Capturing the side view can be tricky, but with a little practice, your side views will have just as much attitude as your rockin’ front views.

Spinning around to see the back view

The back view is really only needed to show — yep, you guessed it — the back of a garment. Think about all the types of clothing where straining to see your back end is important. Jeans, jeans, and more jeans, without a doubt! And strapless dresses or other types of revealing clothing often have you trying for a good view of the back as well.

Fashion artists often use back views in fashion illustration as companions to the front views of a design. Many times, a design includes both the front and back views to give a detailed look at the garment.

The best part about drawing the back view is that it’s almost exactly the same as drawing the front view. With a few minor changes, drawing a figure from the back view comes as naturally as drawing one from the front.

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