How to Slant Shoulders and Hips without Drawing S Curves

By Lisa Arnold, Marianne Egan

The drama and interplay between the line of the shoulders and the line of the hips really bring fashion illustration to life. You can create a terrific torso by following a simple fashion formula that includes the S curve. Or you can make the basic shape even more simple by just sketching the opposite hip and shoulder angles.

To create a dynamic fashion figure without first drawing the S, follow these steps:

1Draw a balance line to represent your model’s full body, and then add a slanting line for the shoulders and a slanting line for the hips. Place the hip line at the halfway point of your balance line.

The shoulder and hip lines slant in opposite directions, creating a sense of movement just like the S curve does.

2Starting with the top of the torso, draw a trapezoid shape that follows the angle of the slanted shoulder line.

The more you slant the angled line, the more extreme the pose becomes.

3Move to the bottom half of the torso and draw a trapezoid following the slant of the hip line. Add in shapes such as cylinders for the neck and lines for the arms and legs.

Don’t forget the head, hands, and feet!

4To get a jaunty hip, start with the balance line, an angled hip line at the halfway point, and a straight horizontal shoulder line near the top.

You can angle the hip line in either direction.

5Draw the lower half of the torso with a trapezoid that follows the angle of the hip line.

Draw the upper half of the torso with a trapezoid that follows the line of the shoulders, which are not angled.

6Finish with a neck, head, arms, and legs, and you have a front pose with just the rocking hip for attitude!

You can rock a front pose with just hip action by using this technique.

7To rock a pose with attitude all in the shoulders, start by drawing the balance line for your fashion figure. Add a horizontal hip line at the halfway point.

Draw an angled shoulder line near the top of the balance line. You can angle the shoulder line in either direction; just make sure the hip line is straight.

8Draw your trapezoid shapes for the upper and lower torso, following the angles of the shoulder and hip lines.

Sketch in the neck, head, arms, and legs.