How to Become a Pro at Fashion Drawing and Illustration

by Helena  - September 14, 2016

The most important thing you need to realize is that the foundation for good fashion drawing is discipline.You have to be prepared to work hard and put a lot of practice in your work before you see the results. The ability to draw human figure is also very important as clothes mostly take their shape from the figure underneath.

1. Develop Good Discipline

A good discipline will consist of developing a sensitivity for details through observation. Careful observation is the key for understanding and appreciating fashion.

There is many ways to practice observation that are also fun and inspiring:

  • visiting malls and shops ( to observe color stories, current trends, marketing strategies, shapes and fabrics that are trendy for the current season)
  • visit museums and art galleries to observe different styles of art, use of color, perspectives
  • watch movies and theater shows to observe costumes and character development 
  • people watching (sit on a bench or outside in a coffee shop in a busy area and observe people-style, differences, anatomy, moves...)

Hand/eye coordination, quality of line and shading technique improve with practice so it is important to draw as often as possible. Practice will also make you more confident. It will help develop a lighter, more controlled touch as drawing becomes more instinctive.

2. Learn to Draw Human Figure Well

Drawing a fashion figure with ease and sense comes only with a lot of practice. Realistic and attractive fashion figures will be a firm foundation for your fashion design sketches.You don't have to be an expert for drawing human anatomy but you should learn to draw human figure in simplified and slightly idealized way appropriate for fashion.

It is also important to work on your confidence when drawing lines and you can use simple exercises like these to work on that:

Sit comfortably with straight back and the weight of the elbow on the table. Place two dots randomly on a sheet of paper about 8 cm apart. Put your pencil on one dot and quickly draw a line to the other dot without removing the pencil from the paper. Repeat this action until making lines feels smooth and confident.

3. Learn Systems That Speed up the Learning Process

For example, a good fashion croquis is a base for all great fashion drawings. Learning how to draw these with correct proportions will help you save time later. You can make a couple of templates and trace over them and design new things more efficiently. Also, learning some tricks or different techniques on drawing fashion croquis will make this process faster and easier (like oval and triangle technique, tracing method, 9-head method).

4. Express New Ideas Clearly

Fashion drawing communicates all about the design and is the next best thing to seeing a sample of the designed garment.

 For a drawing to be effective it needs to be accurate and realistic in every aspect. The best thing to learn this is to:

  •  observe
  • analyze basic garments and
  • practice drawing the silhouette,fit, drape ad fabric.

You will have to learn to draw fashion flats and you can practice by using online templates. Drawing the silhouette and fit accurately is not enough to represent the design completely realistic. You will also need to learn effectively represent the drape and fabric type.

5. Relax and Enjoy

As your drawing skills improve, you will be able to see results that will bring lot of satisfaction. Soon you will realize how drawing can be relaxing and fulfilling activity. Everything we do in life is better and easier if we do it with love and joy, so don't forget to have fun while drawing.  Let your imagination work and experiment with everything so you always have a creative spark working in your benefit.

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