In the past two years I have designed four dress collections (Time flies!). Each time I’ve shared a collection here we have received tons of requests for a how-to post about fashion sketching. I am self-taught (and still learning!), but I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about my process. I hope that some of you feel inspired to pull out your pens and pencils and notebooks today. Fashion sketching isn’t nearly as intimidating as I once thought it would be.
1. Create a good croquis. A croquis is the basic drawing of a model pose that you can trace over and over again while sketching your fashion ideas. You can find croquis to use online or in books, or you can create your own. I created my first croquis years ago by tracing a pose on a vintage pattern. Typically, croquis are exaggerated tall model forms. But what if you want to design for someone else, say a child or a plus sized woman? Make your own! Here’s how I do it…1. Print a photo that has a good pose and body form that you want to design for. I chose a couple photo with my husband because sometimes I enjoy designing “his and her” looks. 2. Using window light, trace the basic body shape on a new piece of paper. 3. Use your new croquis, by tracing over it with a fresh sheet of paper, to sketch your own new designs over and over again. Fun, right?!2. Don’t stress, just practice. Instead of stressing over getting the perfect sketches, just start where you are and practice. Before I shared any of my sketches (even with my friends) I was sketching for a whole year in secret notebooks. Each time a notebook was full I would rip out my favorite designs and start a new one, throwing the rest out. Nothing can replace quality practice time. It’s the only way to grow and develop. You’ll gain confidence as you go!
3. Focus on developing a style of your own. There are a lot of things that determine the unique style of your illustrations. Do you want to use watercolors, markers or colored pencils? How will you illustrate the faces on your models? How much styling will you include? All of these little details will work together to create a look that is distinctly yours! Focus on creating sketches that express your unique aesthetic with each element.Resources I recommend: When I first started learning to sketch, my pal Mallory let me borrow Figure Drawing for Fashion Design. It was super helpful for learning the basics. I also highly recommend The Fashion Sketchpad (pictured above). It is a notebook with 420 figure templates to sketch on. I have been using it for a few years and absolutely love it for quick sketching and traveling!
Thanks so much for reading. If you love to sketch fashion ideas, feel free to leave your own tips and resources in the comments! xo. Elsie