Fashion Drawing: How to Sketch a Basic Figure - dummies

Fashion Drawing: How to Sketch a Basic Figure

By Lisa Arnold, Marianne Egan

When drawing fashion illustrations, you first create a rough sketch of the body, also referred to as a croquis. Then you draw the clothes that go on top.

Grab your pencil, a black pen, some tracing paper, sketch paper, and a fashion magazine if you have one handy. Here’s how to begin drawing a front view croquis:

1Lay tracing paper over a full-body picture of a model from a magazine.

Trace around the perimeter of her body using a pencil.

2Draw lines to show the angles of the shoulders and hips.

Trace a center line down the front of her body and draw an oval for the head.

3Break your figure down into basic shapes, using trapezoids for the torso and cylinders for the arms and legs. Include circles for the elbows and knees.

Breaking the body down into basic shapes simplifies the drawing process.

4Remove the tracing paper from your model. On a piece of sketch paper, redraw your fashion model freehand, but lengthen the torso, arms, and legs

The new figure is taller and narrower and has a smaller head in comparison to the rest of her body. Fashion figures almost always have long, slim torsos and long, slender limbs, which make the clothes look better.

5Use a black pen to draw over the areas of the body that you want to show. Erase the pencil lines.

After you’ve drawn a few croquis, you can move on to adding the clothes on top. After all, your goal is to illustrate the fashions!

6To create a dress neckline, begin with two V shapes on the neck.

Make sure the ends of the V shape curve to show that they’re going around the neck. You want the clothing to look dimensional and wrap around the body.

7Add a sleeve.

To form the top of the sleeve, trace over the shoulder of the bent arm and go down to the midpoint of the upper arm. For the hem of the sleeve, draw a long line that starts at the end of the sleeve and angles in toward the body; curve the line to wrap around behind the arm.

Draw a line from the sleeve’s hem to the line of the croquis’ torso to form the bottom of the sleeve. The sleeve is loose and needs to fall with gravity.

8Draw the other sleeve.

For the top of the sleeve, draw a line curving over the shoulder and down the arm, ending slightly above the elbow. Draw a hem across the arm, ending at the torso.

Add in a line for the armhole seam of each sleeve by connecting the line at the shoulder to the bottom of the sleeve.

9Follow the sides of your model’s torso and hips and draw lines for both side seams of the fitted dress.

End the side seams below the crotch and draw a slightly curved line for the hem. Curved hemlines keep the clothing from looking flat.

10Add in details such as topstitching, ribbing, and curved lines on the sides of the waist.

Topstitching, which you represent with dashed lines, is stitching visible from the outside of the garment. Draw topstitching on the sleeve hems, on the hem of the dress, and on the seams of the curved shapes at the sides of the waist. Draw short, parallel lines to add ribbing to the neckline.

11Draw slightly curved lines above the knee for the thigh-high socks and two slightly curved lines below the knee for the tops of the knee-high boots. Trace along the calf lines and around the feet to draw the boots.

Don’t forget to add a wedge heel to the boots.

12Finish the drawing with a fun face, hair, and arms.

Don’t worry if your fashion figure doesn’t turn out exactly how you want her to look. Perfecting your drawing skills takes time and practice.