Introduction to the Basic Fashion Figure for Fashion Illustration
So you want to get started in Fashion Illustration? It looks pretty simple, you think you can do it, but you don’t know where to start? I’ve been doing this and learning a lot. So let’s discuss the five top tricks that have helped me out and can help get you ahead of the game.
Tip Number 1 – Create Movement with your Fashion Illustrations
You want to make sure your fashion figure pose isn’t stiff but has movement and flow. If you draw your fashion figure straight up and down it will come off as cold and robotic. Here are some of my very first fashion illustrations.
I’m kind of embarrassed to show you these, but everyone has a starting point. This was mine. As you can see, they look stiff and the one on the right-hand side even looks like she is falling over slightly.
Here are some more recent sketches I’ve done with better movement:
So how do you create movement? On to tip number 2.
Tip 2 Study Fashion Magazines & Model Poses
You want to create movement. Angles, the body sways as you walk so you want to emulate that in your fashion sketches. Study fashion photos and see how the models are posing. Here are a few to give you an idea.
Follow the angles the model’s body makes and incorporate that into your drawings. Draw fashion illustrations of models walking the runway. The hips will go one way, while the shoulders go the other. I still have trouble getting this perfect, see my latest Instagram post for what I’m talking about.
Tip Number 3 – Have the Correct Materials
Having the correct materials can make your work 100 times easier. This one you can get away with not having the correct materials. However, I highly recommend investing in some good alcohol ink markers. The colors blend well when you are using them and create just the right blends you are wanting to create in clothing, hair, skin, etc. You can blend with watercolors and even the iPad pro. But, alcohol markers make it so easy!
Personally, I switch between the iPad pro procreate app and hand-drawn fashion illustrations with Copic markers. I started out with colored pencils and watercolors and started investing in copic markers. It took me six months to invest in them to get a good variety. The difference is huge. Just scroll through my instagram feed and you can see what a difference the materials seems to make.
Copic Markers, or really any alcohol ink markers, are super easy to blend and use. You don’t have to get a degree to use them. You can layer the lighter colors to make a darker shade or add a slightly different tone to create the folds and shades of the outfit. Yes, you can do this with watercolors but I have found that the watercolors were not as easy as a beginner as the copic markers are.
Tip Number 4 – Practicing, Practice, Practice
As with everything, you need to practice, practice, practice to get better. It still takes me several hours to complete a fashion illustration. You can do different practices to help your speed. I just haven’t invested the time in that yet. Since it takes me several hours to complete one, I usually only manage to do about 2 to 3 fashion illustrations a week. I am wanting to be able to do them quicker so I can do more in a week. I am just not there yet.
Still, doing 2 to 3 a week has gotten me a long way from my first to my latest. This is the difference from, my first, 7 months ago to yesterday:
Tip Number 5 – Study Other Peoples’ work
Studying other fashion illustrators’ works and components has been a huge help for me. Check out my post on my favorite fashion illustrators to follow on Instagram. I study different elements or features that they have in their drawings that I love most and try to recreate them in my own figures and fashion illustrations. Occasionally, the artists’ will even posts tips and tricks on what they do to create their illustrations. I always get excited to learn something new to help improve my work!
When I first started drawing fashion illustrations, I had a lot of difficulties drawing the eyes and other facial features. It took practicing and studying what others did to improve. I still have a long way to go. In the beginning, I loved sunglasses or glasses because I just could not draw the eyes to save my life!
Bonus Tip Number 6 – Take an online Fashion Illustration Class
These are my top tips for learning and perfecting fashion illustration. There are so many other tips and tricks you can utilize. I’d love to hear some of your tips that have helped you the most. Comment on this post or get in touch with me via social media! I look forward to interacting and learning with you!