Fashion Drawing: Techniques for Sketching Garments

Danny Roberts, Igor + André co-founder - Artist & Dreamer

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6 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. Big Pen Silhouette Drill

      0:51
    • 2. Turning Silhouettes into Figures

      1:07
    • 3. Drawing the Grid Suit

      1:55
    • 4. Sketching the Garment

      1:34
    • 5. Carbon Copy

      1:43
    • 6. Final Draft

      3:16

Project Description

Sketch a garment from your favorite collection this season

Selecting garment & poses

  1. Introduction

    Welcome to my first skill share class. You don’t know how happy I am that you are taking my class. I’m a firm believer that anyone, whether they are talented or not, can learn to draw.  It just takes consistent practice and a love to draw. :) The more you draw, the better you get, so don’t get discouraged or judge yourself or your pieces, just keep making them. Your skills will evolve over time, so keep at it. Always finish a piece you started, whether you like how it turns out or not.  Some of my favorite pieces I didn’t like till the last paint stroke. So start a lot and finish everything. 

  2. Selecting a Garment

    To start the class off we are going to look through this seasons collections. I want you to either pin to Pinterest or save to your computer your favorite garments. Grab whatever inspires or stands out most to you. Pick ones you love because that will show through in your final drawing. You can find the latest collections at the following sites:

    http://www.vogue.com/fashion-week/

    http://www.elle.com/runway/

    http://www.style.com/fashionshows/

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  3. Find Posing Resources for Figure Drawing

    For this step we will want to gather some image references for posing. Just like the previous step, find poses that inspire you or you think would work well for the garments you selected. Since these poses will be the base of fashion illustration, it's best to find references that have the least amount of clothes on as possible. Nude or swimsuit references will help you draw the anatomy accurately.

    You can find good posing resources at:

    http://fashioncopious.typepad.com/

    http://www.thefashionspot.com/

    http://www.fashiongonerogue.com/

  4. Big Pen Silhouette Drill - Watch Video

    This drill will help get us warmed up for the next stage of our project. Using the biggest pen you own, start sketching and blocking in the silhouettes of the poses you selected. I use Tulip Fashion Graffiti Big Phat Fabric Marker. The point of this exercise is to get you to quickly and easily capture the gesture.  Watch the video and see examples below.

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    Sketches by Mei Ling Chen

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    Sketches by Heather Lawless

Sketching poses and drawing the grid suit

  1. Select Silhouette Sketches

    Go through your sketches from the Big Pen Silhouette Drill. Select 5 of your favorite/most interesting poses that you think will work best with your favorite garments.

  2. Turn the Silhouettes into Figures - Video

    In this step, we are going to create 5 figure drawing sketches by refining our silhouette sketches. One at a time, take each of your silhouette sketches, place either trace paper or any translucent paper, like animation bond, on top of it, and begin loosely drawing the figure. This draft can be as raw or as polished as you want. You just need to start getting the basic anatomy into the right place.  As you can see below, I tend to keep my figure sketches more on the loose and raw side, mainly because we will be refining the drawing with each draft and because I want to keep my final sketch fresh. If you have trouble with figure drawing and want to improve your skills outside of this class, there is a site called http://www.quickposes.com/pages/timed that has timed pose sketch drills. I used to draw 20-40 quick sketch poses per day when I was first starting out. It will really help you. :)

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  3. The Grid Suit - Video

    Watch the Video where I explain what a grid suit is and how to use it. Then draw a grid suit on your 5 figures. See below for grid reference.

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Sketching garments using the grid suit

  1. Picking Your Favorite Garment

    Go through all the garments you selected in the first step. Select your favorite garment out of them all. Now, look though your 5 sketches. Pick a pose that you feel works best with the garment. 

  2. Sketch Garment onto Pose - Video

    Using your reference, begin to sketch the garment on top of your grid suit drawing. Just like with the figure drawing draft, I tend to loosely block in the shapes. Since we will be redrawing this picture, I tend to leave off the intricate details, and save adding the fine details for the last draft. Make sure to watch the video before starting.

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  3. Hair

    Based on the pose and the garment figure,  sketch the hair style for your model. I usually scribble in my hair idea, and then search around till I find a hair reference that works. If you feel like your pose reference hair works for the garment, feel free to use that hair. :)

Finalizing the sketch

  1. Transfer Artwork to Final Paper - Video

    Now that we have our garment sketch on the figure, it’s time to transfer our drawing to a new piece of paper. You can do that by using carbon copy paper, a light box, or just scribbling all over the back side of your drawing. I personally just scribble on the backside of my drawing, but they all do the trick. As you are transferring your drawing onto the new paper, try to refine your drawing. Don’t just trace the image, but take your time and try to get all your lines right where you want them, because those lines will be your guides for final sketch.  For your finally draft paper, pick paper that will be compatible with whatever medium you intend on using. Make sure to watch the video before starting.

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  2. Begin your final draft - Video

    When you start on your final draft, feel free to use whatever medium you feel the most comfortable with.  I will always start parts of the drawing I know look the way I want to look. I leave the parts I’m not sure of for later.  Make sure to watch the video before starting.

  3. Lighting (optional)

    This step is up to you, if you care to do it or not. Before I begin on my final draft, I will scribble in shadows and lighting on my rough draft drawing.  Your pose reference could serve as  a good lighting reference. Whatever you chose as the direction of the lighting source reference, make sure you stick with it throughout the whole picture.

  4. Finishing touches

    When the piece is pretty much finished, I usually look over my drawing, and re-outline and make part of the picture pop more. When you’re done, post your drawing. I would encourage you to draw garments on all 5 of your figures. You will improve with every drawing you do, so make a lot and try a lot. I can’t wait to see everything you draw. If you post it on instagram or twitter tag it with #DannyRobertsClass so i can see. :) 

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Student Projects

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Mei Ling Chen
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Natasha Haggard
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Heather Lawless
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Sonia Tibblin
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William Wheaton
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Stefania Tejada
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