Figure Drawing for Fashion | Elizabeth Weglein | Skillshare

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Figure Drawing for Fashion

teacher avatar Elizabeth Weglein, Artist and designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      History & Insp


    • 3.



    • 4.

      The Nine Heads Method


    • 5.

      Creating Poses


    • 6.

      Outlining & Shading


    • 7.

      Stylizing the Face & Figure


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About This Class

As an artist, the number one response I get to my work is "Wow! I can't even draw a stick figure!" To this I say LIES! While there aren't enough hours in the day for me to address the overwhelming self doubt many people possess about their creative abilities, I can share this beginner course on figure drawing for fashion. The basis for fashion illustration is the stylized and elongated figure, known as a croqui, and in this class we will be exploring the methods and techniques to create these unique illustrations.

In this class you will learn:

  • principles of fashion illustration
  • suggestions for materials
  • the nine heads method
  • how to create poses with the S curve method
  • shading and stylizing your illustration

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Elizabeth Weglein

Artist and designer


Hi! I'm Elizabeth Weglein and I'm an ink illustrator of mermaid & marine life! I live in Philadelphia, PA but I love to travel and create anywhere. I've always been drawn to the ocean and I absolutely love spending time outside. I've been drawing and painting my whole life and evolved to working on ocean inspired artwork for the past 5 years. I have a degree in apparel design from the University of Delaware and my fashion illustration experience heavily influences my mermaid artwork!

You can learn more about me and check out my work on my website and follow me on Instagram to check out what I'm working on! I also sell my artwork on both Society6 and Redbubble and I'm super passionate about print-on-demand.

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hi, guys. I'm Elizabeth and I'm back for my fourth class on skill share. I'm an artist and designer. I graduated from the University of Delaware in May of 2018 with a degree in apparel design , and since then I have been also working as an artist. So for this class, I wanted to share my knowledge of fashion illustration specifically with figure drawing as an artist. The number one response I get when I tell people I'm an artist is that, wow, I can't even draw a stick figure, which is a total lie everyone can do. It just takes some practice. So I wanted to share so my knowledge of fashion illustration. So in this class you'll be learning the basic principles of fashion illustration. I'll share with you. So my suggestions for different materials to use. I'll show you the Nine Heads method, how to draw figures, how to create poses and some advice about outlining and shading, as well as how to style as your figures. If you're interested in seeing more of my fashion illustrations, you could hedge my website, which is Elizabeth Weg line at dot squarespace dot com and head to the fashion section of my portfolio, where you'll find lots of my illustrations and my projects that I completed in school, for example, I have right here. This is my board from my senior collection's. So this has a bunch of my illustrations so you can have my website to see more and let's get started drawing. 2. History & Insp: So first, let's talk about some basic principles for fashion illustration. So most fashion illustration is based around this very stylized, elongated figure, which is known as a crow key. And those styles, very by artists and by designer, usually just is a very elongated figure slim with stylized features. It's not usually about realism, though it does depend on the artist. Fashion illustration kind of has two different sides. It has the side where it's used by designers who are exploring design ideas and then illustrating fennel garments as well as by professional illustrators that might be illustrating for a magazine or a brand or on Instagram. There's tons of places you can find inspiration for different fashion illustration. So how, like suggests we'll be doing a quick Google search on book for ideas, or I'll be sharing with you some history and inspiration right now. So I want to show you some fashion sketches by famous designers to kind of show you that side of fashion illustration. So these air more focused on the garments, obviously, and they still very what very widely in styles. Um, you see that one's color and then Christian Dior, this one's much more simple pencil sketch. Be so kind of. Get the shape of the gown and obviously see there's some detail Donatella Versace cheese, The collaboration for Princess dresses with Disney and hair IDs since obviously a lot more detailed. Really like this Monique Lhuillier a again pencil sketch but really shows the garment in a lot of detail. You can see it's kind of a simple hairstyle on this kind of straight through the face, which is what a lot of people like to do for the face so they don't have to kind of add all that detail. You can see the really elongated figure again. Karl Lagerfeld obviously needs no introduction. This is that more simple style me just a brush pen. Just some bold outlines give you kind of the idea of the garment. This one's a little more detail, a lot of notes, our money. He's gonna have a lot more detail. Ellie Saab, who I love and I've actually gotten to work for in Paris. He's a really pretty that really tall, elongated figure. Well, Tyne Gabbana. It's obviously a lot of detail. Looks like me. This texture was play out of digitally gives you all the detail of each garment she brought . She again, a little more loose style kind just outlined. Some general idea. Jeremy Scott. So you're going to see how the level of detail varies from designers. Designer. This kind of makes it fun and just have to find your own unique style and how you want to do things so fun fact about me. I'm absolutely obsessed with coffee table books, so I wanted to share a couple of the ones that I have really to fashion illustration. So the vote covers book is obviously really cool to be able to flip through and look at all of the covers of Vogue. What's really cool is that Vote actually had fashion illustration on the cover until about the late 19 thirties, when they started switching more photographs. So it's really cool to flip through and look at the historical styles of fashion illustration and of how they reflect the times how they change. They obviously get a lot more colorful. They're super fun to look at. They're really expiring, especially like looking at the twenties twenties had a very unique style of fashion illustration. You could really see the reflection of Art Deco styles, which I always love to look at, so they're very cool, and I love all these that very cool. So definitely look for magazine covers if you're looking for inspiration and kind of just different styles. So and then I have this fashion drawing in Vogue book, which again he looks a different historical styles and illustrators. This one has a lot more detail in terms of, um, writing and explanations, but it does have some great photographs, the different styles, different materials. You can see how they're different. Materials are used for different illustrations. I particularly like this pages, some illustrations from the twenties. As you can see, these air super detailed and is obviously someone who's doing fashion illustration as a profession, as opposed to a designer who's just using it to kind of sketch out there. Ideas explore designs and things, but I'm always interested in both of the different sides of it, So I'm always looking for both, and then you see a lot later. This is a design from the seventies, obviously super colorful pattern reflecting the times, um, some more black and whites, and then these are from the late seventies, early eighties, so you just see how it reflects the style of the time. I also have this big book of fashion illustration, so this is a lot more modern stuff, as opposed to historical. It on explores lots of different illustrators, different styles, lots of different materials. Um, bookmark. This page is, for example, there's this one, which it has that really loose, gestural quality. Sometimes designers like to work more with this, have something really loose just to kind of get the general concept of their design. It's definitely weaken. Go. This one was done with watercolor. And then there's also this one, which was done with coral painter or so it's digitally painted. This is oil and acrylic. Um, just last different styles. Here's a few more. This illustrator does these really detailed ones that are really tall in a long gait, elongated and exaggerated. Um, this is obviously a little more realistic again. This was done with collage looks like digitally, and then this kind of reflects the more historical styles. So it's pretty cool. So you could definitely find a lot of ideas like this on Pinterest if you're looking for inspiration. So I highly recommend going there. We're looking for coffee table books are also fun. And then I also love this. Won the Masters of fashion illustration By David Downton. So this book talks about his inspirations. He goes through a lot of historical illustrators that have influenced his work. So again, there's a lot of, um, covers like this illustrator a lot. You there. Some Harper's Bazaar covers shout out to really in my favorite scores. So there's just a lot more different illustrations and styles and then his illustrations back here. Very cool. You could kind of see how you can play with being really loose and cottages, outlines, gestural, and then you could also serve to add more detail. You're all done with, obviously, war, color and ink. She's cool to see the different styles, so there's definitely a lot out there that you can find inspiration for when you're just starting out so highly recommend taking some time and just seeing what's out there on getting inspired. Once you were in the basics. Yeah, 3. Materials: Okay, So before we get into the basics of fashion illustration, I wanted to share some of my favorite materials that also linked in a downloadable guide so you guys can check them out. So the first thing that you guys gonna want for fashion illustration is a selection of fine liners. So my favorite is the Micron pens. These come in various nip size is this is the smallest one that 05 on and then also comes in different chisel tips and brush as well. Um, so this is great for small details, like maybe eyes or lips. You'll get just a consistent, really thin line, which is great. So then the pen tell Steele Oh, sketch pen was also suggested for my fashion first fashion illustration. Class. So this has a flexible nib on. So this is great for very line widths, Um, which is great for the kind of gestural qualities of fashion illustration. This one's kind of old, so it's not great, but I do recommend it. For beginners, it's super easy to use. The alternative for the technical pen is also to use a brush pen so the coup pick multi liners are great This is a medium brush pen. See, it has a brush nuke and again you can get kind of those varied line qualities. This might be great for more bold outline and then another alternative for brush pens. I have this touch liner which has a smaller brush, but it will give the same kind of very quantity qualities. So today we will be illustrating with marker, mostly if you're new to illustration markers. I highly recommend the coping markers. Even though they are expensive, I recommend just getting a few to try. They are the best, so I recommend the Coolpix sketch markers on they are double ended. So at one end you have this chisel tip which you can trade for filling in areas you could get different line wits on, and then the other end is the brush in it, which is my favorite. Um, you can get very line with with just this new and I really like it. So if you all do not want the brush nip, you can also get the traditional coping markers, which again have the chisel tip at one end so you can get those same flying qualities and then the other end just has a stiff financial so also great for outlining on, and you can kind of get very line wits. But I prefer the brush. The great thing about the co picks is you can actually get this Varies Inc to refill them when they run low. So you just match the color codes and you can refill them if you're looking for a little bit less expensive option. I recommend the Prisma color markers. They're so expensive, but they're great. Um, they're also alcohol markers. So there's this version, which has the brush nib at one end the scene lines, and that it actually has the fine if on the other, just another combo that is available. Prisma Color also has a version that has the chisel again at one end. They have, ah, bigger chisel, as you can see, and then they have this find new once again. So this is what I recommend. I'll link those in the description. It's totally fine to use whatever you have today. You can always use a different color marker if you don't have any skin tones. But I will also recommend skin tone marker is because those can be difficult to find the best ones. So I will recommend, um, which ones I like. So let's type and illustration. 4. The Nine Heads Method: Okay, So to start with our sketching, we're going to just draw the basic what's called a crow key, which is just the basic fashion figure. So to do this, we're going to be using the nine heads figure, which is just a method to kind of get this little bit elongated figure. And it's just an easy way to learn how to kind of do the proportions and everything is just a nice rule to start out with. So what you're gonna want to do is divide your paper into nine sections and each of these is gonna help you with where body parts are placed. Um, and if you want, you can simply pause a video here and print out the template that I've included in the project section of the class to make it easier. Or you can draw your own, Um, in case you want to follow along as we dio, or you can watch and go back later. So when you're doing this night, heads figure you want to start with the head. So basically, the concept is that you could draw nine heads here, and that's how tall your figure is. So for each one. The 1st 1 is the head. And then you're gonna want to place the shoulders about halfway between the, um, 12 lines. Here you have the bus line at about the two mark. Waste and elbows hits up three. The crotch hits right around four. And then the rest is legs. You wanted to hit your knees around six, and then your last block here is the foot. I just wanted to keep it pretty basic. Um, present what? The feet. It's kind of just like looking like they're in high heels, Just kind of a simple block. You can do the hands as simple as you want. I kind of made them weird Barbie, Klaus, but that's just how I do it. So you the easiest thing to do is start with the head and you just want to kind of do a nice oval shape, something simple. Keep the sketch nice and loose, and then can have this nice, elongated neck gonna bring that down about halfway through on us. Look the shoulders down. And then once I do that, I usually start at the waist and kind of work back up and again. This system is kind Just a way to give you an introduction to fashion. Drawing you by no means have to stick to these proportions. It's just a great way when you're starting out. So then I usually go and back and do the arms lasts. So I kind of continue with the figure, bring out the hip and you can do the figure kind of as simplified or as detailed as you want. Gonna keep it pretty simple here, a little bit of sheep. So leg me on. This figure is probably gonna look weird for the first few times you do it. It's just kind of understand the concept practicing. We're gonna draw this probably a lot of times before you kind of get the hang of it, but eventually you'll be able to do it without any of the lines, and you'll be ableto you know your stick to similar portions to this. If that's what you like or kind of make up your own, I tend to extend the legs even a little bit longer than what's on here. But it also depends on what it is that I'm sketching, and there's a few more details that I usually add to my sketches that I'm leaving out for the moment just to kind of show you guys the basics down to the elbow right here. Think you can simply do hands like this if you want. Some designers even don't really draw the hands at all, the kind of just trail off the line. That's definitely one of the kind of complicated parts that people don't like to draw, like you could just do something like that and kind of have it end. So we're talking a little bit more about styling everything in the next few videos. But this is kind of your basic figure, so go ahead and keep practicing a little bit and we'll move on to poses. 5. Creating Poses: So once you mastered the nine heads figure you want to move on to drawing more poses for your figures. Because as great as this figure is, it's simple. Might be great for initial sketches. But once you get really into fashion illustration, you want your figures tohave very cool, dynamic poses like you'd see from a model of the end of a runway or in a magazine. So one method that you can use to draw post figures is the S curve technique. So this technique is about kind of drawing an extended letter s to kind of mimic the way your body moves when you're in a fashion pose. So what you're gonna want to do is cottages. He's taken elongated, and a letter asked something like this. And this kind of represents the spine of your figure. So once you've laid down that you want Teoh do these shoulders and hip lines. So with this method rocking a draw, each of the lines to do the nine heads figure, but well, we are going to dio is put the hips in and the shoulders so the hips and the shoulders are always going to angle towards each other like this on bodies, you know, will be kind of scrunched on this side and then elongated on this side. And with this method, I always start then with the neck and the shoulders and you want to kind of fill in the torso before you get into the head and the legs so you can imagine this figure with kind of the arm out to the side, maybe hand on the hip, this arm down. So it's kind of gonna be like a hip cocked out on this side. It's like I said, You want to pull in the waste here and it's gonna have this much more scrunch to look on this side, and then this side, you're gonna have that more extended look. And then once you kind of mapped in the basics of the body here I go back and add the head . He's gonna have it facing forward right here and then the leg. So you can imagine if you're standing kind of with this pose, you're gonna have this light where your hip is cooked out is going to kind of come straight down. And once you have that blocked in, I'm gonna kind of draw this leg as kind of coming out to the side here. So think of it as nice side view of your legs. Kneecap there, uh, pulling out and I'm gonna draw this foot profile. And then again, I'm so going to do the arm last Think of hand was right on the hip here I like to do is kind of pull the forearm l First it's me, Judge. We're in a police. Yes, the arm. And then you could always do the other hand on the hip as well. I was gonna have this one down to the side. So you have your first kind of basic pose. Let's do one more here a little bit different. Not gonna make this one so extreme doing that shoulder and hip line first. And then your waistline is pretty much always gonna stay parallel to We're perpendicular to your spine again. I want to start with the neck kind of a similar pose here, but we won't make it quite so extreme. Change the leg positioning a little bit. This one. I'm gonna pull this leg kind of over more towards the center. What kind of pointed over on doing this, they down. And then for this figure, I'm gonna head to the side So they do. For a profile of the head is pre Muchas at the jawline on just you basic sheet. As I said, we'll get two faces and style izing a little bit leader in the class and then for this one under, put both hands on her hips. I said, Put the hands, hopefully sketch those in first. So there we go. So, like I said, this is a great way to start working with poses. Some great exercises to Dio Teoh get a handle on poses is to look in fashion magazines. Try copying some different poses from them. You can also Google crow keys and you'll get tons of different poses of sketches that people have done before on and you kind of have developed. You're a couple poses that will probably your favorite, though, that you'll use frequently, um, and again just keep practicing and we'll move on to outlining and cheating 6. Outlining & Shading: Okay, So once you've scheduled your fashion figures, the next step in the fashion illustration process is outlining and shading. So make sure to save all of your practice drawings because it's great to practice outlining and shading, even if you're not happy with the way the figure actually looks. So as I mentioned the materials video, you're gonna want a fine liner pen that has a tip that you can vary the width of your line as you're outlining, and you can kind of think about it If you've ever done some hand lettering. It's all about kind of changing the pressure of your pen or your brush to achieve different line wits. And you want the same thing with your figures. You want to keep the lines loose. You don't want to focus on exact details. I mean, you're not drawing individual fingers, adding fingernails. It's really about kind of the loose general look, So I'm gonna start with just the basic nine heads figure that we did. This is kind of the fun part is kind of outlining can try different things, see what you like, and if you're already thinking about shading, you can kind of do heavier lines on the side that you know you're gonna make the kind of darker part of the body that will be in shadow, not just kind of very with the line along. The figure can also use all your different figures to try out different pens and see what you like. Just keeping it in a nice and loose. So there's your 1st 1 and then I recommend trying it on a few of your basic figures and then again moving onto your posters. Think outlining is my favorite part of any drawing kind of making that commitment. You're really working on it, and now you can turn back. - Okay , so then the next step will be to erase all of your pencil lines so that you can come in and start shooting with markers or whatever your chosen material might be. Okay. So, as I said, the next step after you've outlined is to start shading. So go ahead and either grab your markers or whatever material you might be using for this part. Um, as I said, markers are my favorite suspect. I'm gonna be using. So basically, when you're shooting a fashion figure, all you need to do is think about where the shadow is. You can use one shade or two. Um, you probably won't use more than two to create the kind of light and dark effect, but you go ahead and try whatever you want. Um, so what you want to dio is, But they said, without lining, I kind of made the outline darker and heavier in the spots where I was planning on adding the shadow. It's what you want to do is take your marker, and what I dio is just create some simple shadows this way. So again, you want to think of the body as a three D form, just kind of adding little bit of shadow. It's still that really kind of loose, gestural stroke scene with your outline, not about exact detail. So I tend to make this side of the body the one that's in shadow. But you can certainly change it up. Do, however you want play around with it, and this is also an opportunity to play around with however much detail you feel like you want to add. I'm keeping it simple for now, and I'm gonna show a little bit more about how I detail and stylized my figures. You know a bit, but you can do things like, you know, at Collarbones and again. I mean, when you're illustrating with clothing, obviously clothings and be covering a good amount of figure, So you're not necessarily worried about shooting every inch? Um, but for this exercise, about all of it, little bits for the knee calf. I'm going to do one with two tones, so I'm gonna start with the darker pretty much the same related before she this side. It's also help exercise. Um, it was pretty much for any figure illustration. Um, I use it a lot even when I'm not doing fashion figures, but just to kind of remember and think about shadows on the body once I've done that, go in with my later she'd This is kind of a different all of the colored skin tone. You do always want to make sure you want. You're using two colors. You wanna leave some highlights? Yeah. Put in some collarbones here. You got that kind of up to you go with detailed Mora's loose as you feel comfortable marchers kind of running so exactly a people But so there you have kind of the basics of shading. So again you want to keep practicing with that and just thinking about where the light hits , you know, kind of creating those highlights on those shadows and do the same thing with your poses, and then we will move on to the face on mawr stylization tips. 7. Stylizing the Face & Figure: Okay, So the next step in the fashion illustration process is to think about style izing both the body and the face in kind of whatever you want to dio experience different styles, find what works for you. So kind of the best part about fashion illustration is that you could be as detailed or not with the face or the body as you want. Um, this feels a lot of people because faces are often the most intimidating part of a figure to draw. So, of course, if you want, you can do a fully detailed face. It's totally up to you. But there's a lot of ways you can style eyes. So the simplest way that people kind of just represent the face can just be kind of a strike through like this. Um, just kind of gives that gestural kind of simple quality. Um, so if you really don't want to have any interest in working with the face, you can simply do that totally fun. Personally, what I do for the face is I do kind of, ah, swoop like this. So for me, this just kind of gives the kind of slight outline the nose and this swipe of kind of Ah, nice long eyelash. So that tends to be my style. Um, And then I often accompany that with either do some kind of sweeping here again. The hair is totally up to you. You can do it as detailed or not as you want. Just a quick outline. See? So maybe this is my hair uber kind of Ah, wavey. Look, she face, and then I shouldn't move us down a little bit on. There you go. I always add a few extra eyelashes. Something like that. You just this with the eraser, you know? OK, it's much so there, You know, you always have that option. Some people instead of doing and I mean, you can always do something like this. You could do both eyes. I experimented with this sort of starting a fashion illustration. You know as much he told with you as you want, you can always add the president. I again, that's one way to do it. Um, the other thing, instead of doing an eye, is some people like to do the lips so you can always I'm going to do about it to a strike through kind of these bigger lips and again that kind of works accompanied by, like, kind of a more sweeping hair look like it would be covering their fees Anyway, it's totally up to you. Also Come. Just do and imagine the gestural quality of the rest of your drawing packages. Do these late outlines just to kind of give the hint of the mouth also depends on what materials you're using. Come what you decide to Dio. It's kind of but our view of what I dio But then you could also dio other I like that become cool. So yeah, just draw a ton of faces and just keep experimenting with different styles. So, of course, besides the face, there are ways that you can stylized your figures figures as well by adding as much detail or as little as you like. Now some of these, you might add, before you did the outline or colored it like I already have. But I will give you some examples of what I like to dio. I was like shooting the other figures I often like to add collarbone here and my ad have a little detail with the neck. Um her figure where you have the arm down like this, you might add a little elbow crease like that. I'm gonna add my face. Feature this one, can there have you kind of an idea? Again, Hair would be something that you probably would have added before you got to this point because of the coloring. Um, but then you can dio, uh, me cab. No, no, like detail here. Um, I like to with the years where the feet are facing forward like this I Austin ad little ankle bones just to kind of show that and then one helpful detail. But I dio So your figures foot is like this because kind of designed for them to you wearing heels. And if you have them wearing open toed hell, what I do is just add kind of the big toe like that just to kind of give indication that, you know, maybe they're wearing kind of strappy heels just to give an example. Only they're tied over here. This kind of gives you that extra hint and a little bit of details. You can tell um, what you're showing off. Add some details here. Yeah, and then you can always. If you want to get more detailed, you could always the fingers in could be a way. Definitely. Just experiment with kind of the level of detail that you're comfortable with. Um, and try bunch of different styles before you land on kind of what you're going to stick Teoh on. Yeah, let's keep practicing.