How to Draw Fashion Illustrations by Heather

Hey guys! I’m Heather Anderson. I blog about fashion, hair, beauty, and art over at Latter Day Style. Elaine was nice enough to let me guest post and teach you guys more about fashion illustration.

Like you guys, I love Clothed Much. I’ve been following the blog for a while and love Elaine’s polished, yet relaxed style. When putting this post together, I knew I wanted to feature some of Elaine’s outfits. I was planning on just choosing three, but I couldn’t decide.. There were too many good ones and I ended up with ten looks! Read on to learn more about fashion illustration.

My Desk

Tools

  • Pencil, sharpener, eraser
  • Color medium (colored pencils, markers, gouache, paint, etc.)
  • Black pen
  • Paper (computer paper, tracing, or vellum paper)

Extras

  • Oval stencil, circle stencil, French curved ruler, or standard ruler
  • White out pen and gel pens
  • Utility knife
  • Drafter’s brush
  • Clothing catalog, pictures to draw from, reference books
  • Prismacolor markers, colored pencils, Micron pens for outlines

Drawing the Fashion Figure

Add the basic landmarks, head, shoulders, waist, hips, knees, elbows…
Connect the dots.
Draw the basic figure.
Transfer the image.

Most fashion illustrations are based on the standard 9 heads proportion, even though most people are only 7 heads. What this means is the total height of the figure can be divided into 9 equal parts. Even if you don’t plan on drawing your fashion figures based on the standard fashion template, it is still important to first understand the human body, how it moves, and how it is shaped so you can create realistic and artistic sketches.

Gather pictures and catalogs. It’s also a great idea to take a figure drawing class, and practice, practice, practice. Only after you have mastered the basic fashion figure can you move on to making it your own.

Stylization

 Source: twopeasinabucket.com

After mastering the fashion figure, each illustrator finds their own style. It is important to have your unique look:  maybe big eyes is your trademark or a tiny waist or spindly long legs. The point here is to try new things until you find what works for you. My illustrations have gone through a few changes over the years, and sometimes I even tweak my look to match my audience. I have come to like my figures, which are shorter than most illustrations, to have bigger heads, hips, and long legs.

There are lots of wonderful fashion illustrators. Be inspired by them, but stay true to your art and always keep it original. Above are some samples from a few of my favorite illustrators. Notice what changes each made on their fashion figures.

Sketching Your Design

After deciding how your fashion figures will look, it is important to make a master copy of this figure. I outline it in black permanent marker, and if I am doing quick sketches or a collection, I place the master copy underneath my new blank piece of paper. I then draw my clothes with the light outline of the body as a guide. Designers often use light boxes or vellum paper (a thick tracing paper) to do this, but I find plain computer paper works just fine.

There are a few techniques that will help your illustrations look more realistic.

  • You want to keep your lines smooth, fluid, and relaxed.
  • When drawing gathers, keep your lines loose (think cursive Ms and Ws).
  • Wrinkles can be illustrated by a couple of wide loops.
  • Pleats are more structured and exact.

Rendering Fabrics

In fashion illustration, it is important to know how to draw fabric. Illustrations are about getting an idea across, and fabric choice is a huge part of that. So, collect fabric samples and get familiar with different materials and prints.

Sequins

Start with a few rows of circles.
Layer your darker colors.

Drawing sequins can take a while, but if done right, it can add interest to any design. There are lots of techniques for drawing embellishments. I like to start with a light base color coloring in almost the whole piece while leaving some white areas for shine. Then, I go in layer by layer with a darker shade drawing simple circles. At the end, I dot in my darkest circles and add the shine using colored pencils, gel pens, or white-out pen adding random dots and half circles.

Add shine.

Prints

The easiest way to draw prints is to break the whole print down into sections; most prints are easily divided into rows, grids or clusters. Floral prints can easily be divided into vertical rows. Sketch lines following the movement of the garment. Afterwards, you can break up your print. Instead of drawing a flower with a stem, look for shapes. A flower can be sectioned off in the top as a circle and the bottom, a heart.

Jeans

Draw out your jeans.
Lay down your color.
Add a few white lines for the twill weave.
Draw stitching.

It’s crucial to know how to draw jeans, and because there is such a variety of colors, washes, and finishes, it’s important to know how to draw a variety of looks. Usually, for lighter jeans, I use grays mixed with light blues. For worn, muddy jeans, I mix brown and indigo blue. For this dark wash, I stick with a simple blue, added some white colored pencil diagonal lines to represent the twill weave, and finished up with white stitching.

Hair

Start by laying down the lightest color.
Add in your shading.
Add shine, and you’re done!

Hair can be tricky; the more practice, the better. Don’t feel like you need to draw every strand of hair; keep it simple. Start with the lightest color of hair first covering the whole area except where the hair shines. It’s helpful to draw from a picture or, as Bina Abling does, draw a little sun on one corner of the paper and shade your illustration according to that light source. So, if you draw a sun on the right, your shading should be on the left of your figure. Slowly add darker layers of color. Finish up with colored pencils by adding in extra color and a few strands of hair.

Skin

Skin tone is pretty straight-forward. I like to start at the top and work my way in sections. I do a first coat of color, then go back and add my shading. I shade on the opposite side of my light source and where any piece of clothing ends (necklines, sleeves, hems, etc.) After the skin is done, I like to add a little color to the lips and cheeks.

Flats

The other side of fashion illustration is the technical side. Called technicals or “flats,” these illustrations show how each garment would look flattened when off a figure. Flats are supposed to be to scale, exact, and detailed. These serve as an instruction manual for pattern makers and seamstresses. If you want to design, but can’t seem to be able to draw, this is an option. There are computer programs that can help you create designs. But, I would recommend at least learning how to draw basic flats so you can always be able to sketch ideas and designs.

Skin tone is pretty straight-forward. I like to start at the top and work my way in sections. I do a first coat of color, then go back and add my shading. I shade on the opposite side of my light source and where any piece of clothing ends (necklines, sleeves, hems, etc.) After the skin is done, I like to add a little color to the lips and cheeks.

Flats

The other side of fashion illustration is the technical side. Called technicals or “flats,” these illustrations show how each garment would look flattened when off a figure. Flats are supposed to be to scale, exact, and detailed. These serve as an instruction manual for pattern makers and seamstresses. If you want to design, but can’t seem to be able to draw, this is an option. There are computer programs that can help you create designs. But, I would recommend at least learning how to draw basic flats so you can always be able to sketch ideas and designs.

My Finished Sketches

 

 

I hope you guys enjoyed learning a little more about fashion illustrations. There is so much I couldn’t include and so much more to learn. If you want more, check out my sketches, get a copy of the grid, and see videos on how I drew these sketches of Elaine.
Additional resources:

Pleated Pencil Skirt Tutorial by Sarah

Hi, I’m Sarah from The Winthrop Chronicles and so happy to be here with you today. I am a former NBC reporter turned stay-at-home mom and avid blogger. I love spending time with my three little ones and documenting it on my blog. I also love to craft and am getting a bit more brave with the sewing machine.

I remembered seeing some cool skirts on this blog, so I made one following this tutorial. The good thing about this pattern is there is a lot of material, so you don’t have to worry about being perfect, but it can also be hard to work with so much fabric. This was definitely my practice skirt. There are a lot of things that weren’t perfect with it, one of them being that the waist is too big so it sits lower on my waist than I prefer. But, once I did the waistband, invisible zipper, and invisible hemline, I felt pretty confident I could try to make my own pattern and try another skirt.

For the second skirt, I added pockets, a slit in the back, and some pleats — all a new experience for me. I took what I learned from the first skirt to help me with some basic measurements.

So here is what I did differently for the second skirt…

What you’ll need:

  • yard and a half of fabric (You might be able to do it with less, but I needed some extra in case I messed up since it was only my second time making a skirt…and I did mess up so I was glad to have the extra fabric.)
  • matching thread
  • pins
  • scissors
  • zipper

Measure the front panel of your skirt with the top of the skirt a few inches bigger for the pleats than the bottom. I measured mine 24″ long on top and 20″ wide for the bottom of the skirt. Depending on how many pleats you want, be sure to account for the extra fabric. When the pleats are done, the top should measure half of your waist measurement plus an inch for seam allowance.

Create the pleats by gathering fabric and pining it. It doesn’t matter how far apart they are, just as long as it’s symmetrical. Make sure that the waist with the pleats is half your waist measurement.

Fold over the edges to make the pocket line as seen below.

For the pockets, I used measurements from a different dress I had.

Pin the pockets together as seen below and sew them. Then iron over a small edge. This will attach to the skirt.

Attach the pockets by pinning the ironed fold of the pocket to the folded pocket line of the front panel of the skirt. In the picture below, you are seeing the back of the panel upside down.

For the back, get ready to do some math… You will need to cut 2 panels as seen below. They should be the same length as the front panel.

When measuring the width of the top of the panels (skinny part), here is the math:

your waist size divided by 2
2″ for the slits/pleats you will cut at the top
1″ seam allowance on the side seams
1″ seam allowance for the zipper     +  
what the top panels should equal together

You will have to divide that in half to get the measurement for one panel.

The bottom of the 2 panels together should be the same as the front of the skirt, which in my case is 20″. As you can see in the picture, there are a few inches of extra fabric to allow for the slit at the bottom.

Cut a slit at the top of each panel. Make sure they are equally distant from the center. I cut mine 2 1/2″ long and 1″ across at the top in a triangle shape. Then sew the slit by folding over the panel on to itself, the right side of the fabric in.

This is what it looks like when the pleats on the back are done.

For the slit at the bottom, fold over the fabric on to itself and pin. You may need to do some hand stitching here. I looked at another skirt I had and did my best to recreate the slit.

To do the waistband, invisible zipper, invisible hem, and attach the front and back panels together, follow the original tutorial I used for my first skirt. And, you’re done! Now you have a new skirt!!

How to Groom Your Eyebrows by Stephanie

Hi, I’m Stephanie, a hairstylist and makeup artist working out of Utah. I primarily work doing hair and makeup for brides, photographers, and in the salon, but I also spend a lot of time blogging about all things hair and makeup. If you need inspiration (or a stylist) or are just looking for hair and makeup tips, tutorials, and trends, come check out my blog!

If you know anyone in your life who does makeup, one thing they will always attest to is the importance of good brows. It’s easy to overlook your brows and only focus on your eyes, but your brows will only take away from your eyes if they aren’t groomed and shaped properly. I, myself, have problem brows. I used to fight and fight with my brows trying to make them have more of an arch until one day, I realized my brows look terrible with a fake, forced arch. It seems pretty obvious, but a lot of women tend to think that the more arched and the higher their brows are, the better they will look. The truth is your brows will look their absolute best when they follow their natural shape. The key isn’t forcing your brows into a new and unnatural shape:  it’s maintaining and grooming the shape you have, even if that shape has no arch.

To help you on your journey to great brows, I’ve put together this step-by-step for maintaining and grooming them. Remember that everyone’s natural brow shape is different, so yours might look a little different than mine.

Here is what you will need:

  1. Eyeshadow
    I prefer to use eyeshadow rather than an eyebrow pencil when I fill in my brows, but you can use either one. When picking a brow color, a good rule of thumb is to stay within two shades of your natural color and around two shades darker than your hair color. If you’re wanting your brows lighter than they are, talk to your stylist about lightening them a few shades (good for platinum blondes with black brows).
  2. Eyebrow brush
    I use this to brush my brows in shape so I can see where I need to tweeze and to avoid tweezing where I shouldn’t.
  3. Tweezers
    When it comes to tweezers, you get what you pay for. If you fork out the extra $10 on a nice pair of tweezers, you’ll save yourself a lot of time trying to tweeze those tiny hairs.
  4. Short angle brush
    You can get these brushes anywhere, really. Just look for something similar to the one above.
  5. Eyebrow gel
    Most makeup brands make an eyebrow gel. They come in different colors or in clear. My favorite is the MAC Brow Set, but if you want something cheaper there are a few different brands available at Target.
  6. Razor
    This small, straight razor is a great tool to have in your makeup kit. They sell them at Sally’s for less than $5.
  7. Scissors
    Preferably eyebrow scissors so you don’t end up cutting off half your eyebrow.

This is what my brows look like before I do anything to them:

See? Problem brows.

Use your brow brush to gently brush your brows slightly upwards and out following the natural shape of your brow. Don’t force them too much – just guide them and let them lie where they naturally do.

Once your brows are brushed, tweeze any hair that isn’t in the natural brow shape. Avoid pulling and stretching your brows while you tweeze so you don’t end up over tweezing. Another good rule of thumb is to avoid getting too close to the mirror. The closer you are, the more imperfections you’ll see, and before you know it, you’ve over tweezed!

If your brows are already sparse from over tweezing and they don’t ever seem to grow back in, you may want to consider using this.

Tip:  Tweeze your brows right after you get out of the shower. The steam will soften the hair follicle, making tweezing a lot less painful.

Use the razor to remove peach fuzz above your brows. (I also use the razor in between my brows since waxing makes me break out). A lot of people neglect the hair above their brows. Removing extra peach fuzz can add a lot more definition to your brows – just be careful not to cut down into your actual brow.

Use your brow brush to gently brush your brows directly upwards. Carefully trim anything that sticks up too high. You don’t need to comb them too tightly. If you comb them up and nothing sticks out, they probably don’t need to be trimmed.

Using a short angle brush (or your brow pencil), fill in your brow, applying in short, light strokes. The key to making it look natural is to apply the color in the direction the hair grows, almost like you are just drawing in new hair.

Use your brow gel to set your brows in place. Brush your brows slightly upwards and out like you did with the brow brush.

Ta-da!