Easy Illustration, tips and products to get you started
Page Last Updated 20 November 2019
Our original logo/artwork contributed and inspired our fashion collages above. Which were made using products that have appeared across our fashion marketplace pages. We used a free app ‘Canva’ to make it a little easier.
Our Step by Step Guide For Fashion Design Illustration
Making Your First Fashion Figure Template
Using ten head guide, for the elongated look. First draw lines equally on the paper numbered
1 to 10, and a vertical line down the centre, you can number each line to help you. Then draw an oval head shape in the centre resting (chin) on the first line, as below.
Next, draw the neck, here we are angling to the left. Then draw a dotted line for the centre front crossing line 2 and stop on line 3. Draw a line at a right angle (shoulders) across the neck above line 1 and in the middle towards line 2.
Next, carry the dotted line (centre front CF) through to line 4. Line 3 is the waistline. So for a slim silhouette draw outer lines down from the shoulder line tapering in gradually to line 3. Draw slightly curved lines continuing from the waistline on line 3 down to almost line 4. This is the base of the trunk area. Draw two curved lines from the outer lines meeting at the centre front line.
Next, add arms and legs. Left arm resting the elbow on line 2 and continuing the inner arm to line 3. Resting wrist on line 3. Right arm resting the elbow on line 3 with wrist folding just below line 3. Hand reaching line 4. Then draw right leg with knee resting on line 7. Arch out slightly on the outer leg drawing the calf down to line 9 where the ankle is and a straight-on foot shape touching line 10. Draw the left leg, which is slightly trickier, start with the outer line reaching almost to line 7 (knee). Angle the leg continuing line inwards ankle reaching line 9. Draw from the inner thigh down towards line 7 and then curving out slightly (shin) and down and curving in (ankle) just before line 9. Here you can draw a slightly rounded heel as the foot is at a different angle. When adding clothes you’ll have the option to add a heeled shoe here or have the foot resting on toes and heel elevated.
Now the fun part design some clothes
Now the fun, design some clothes to fit your drawing if you don’t have any ideas look through magazines, this is a rough sketch with a little detail the main idea was to get the figure in proportion … we added eyes on the centre line half way down the oval head shape and used simple wavy strokes for hair here it’s falling to the side emphasising the pose.
You can also copy the figure here and then draw the clothes over your figure, start with a figure-hugging style that way you’re more likely to be happy with the end result. Example draw thin spaghetti straps on the shoulders, a tight bodice, add a pattern or some stitching detail maybe a beaded bra top with a lacey midriff, a hip-hugging pair of jeans would be a good place to start.
Think about what you would see – high waisted or hang low, maybe a button, belt, some belt loops and a fly front. Or leggings with no detail, just some shading. keep at it until you’re happy with how it’s shaping up. Then make another one. Keep your early drawings as they’ll be a reminder of how much you’ve improved over time. If you’ve got an eye for design and colour then you can be adventurous imagine what colour’s would mix well, invest in good pencils from the art shop if you can you’ll find a great choice of colour’s including skin tones and metallic, great for detail. You’ll soon be adding cool hair and makeup but keep working on the figure first.
Fashion Illustration Inspiration and Technique Book
Love this gorgeous fashion illustration book it’s full of colour and inspiration and gives some great guidelines and useful techniques. First published in 2011 this is still the go-to book for fashion illustration and tips. Author NYC fashion designer Anna Kiper Fashion Illustration – ANNA KIPER £16.99 Offer £12.32 also available on Kindle.
Tips For Practicing Your Fashion Sketching / drawing
Pick up a fashion magazine, such as Vogue with lots of photographs, choose a simple photograph to copy. Study the stance of the model and try to copy on paper looking at the guideline of the figure in nine parts. If you start with a simple stance/pose, looking at you.
Once you’ve got the basic outline you can then draw the clothes, look at the way they hang, float, drape... use colour if it helps you but you can also just use pencil or pen. Once you get your drawings in proportion it’ll be easier to get the clothes right. Don’t worry about the features yet or the hair. Keep working on the sizing. You can work on A4 or A3 paper the same rule applies just draw the body bigger! If you struggle with the figure but have burning designs in your head and want to move on, then use your first drawing as a template. You can proudly show off your own work later knowing you did the whole drawing. Either make a stencil or easier to photocopy it a few times so you can move on and design or copy the pictures you found in the magazine. But don’t give up on the figure eventually you’ll want to do it on your own. You could photocopy a few pages in the magazine then draw around the shape. So choose a scantily clad model or you won’t see where the actual body parts should be.
Fashion Illustration Product Ideas to get you started
Here are some ideas to get you started with fashion illustration. Check what you already have, as you can explore with different media and get varying results, no need to buy everything.
You can use make-up, particularly fun for faces or attempts at sheers and voile fabrics. Use eye shadows and blush powders, you could dabble with others but watch it doesn’t smudge.
Use a little hairspray to set your work, don’t overspray though have a practice on a scrap piece to see how it works.
You can use gel pens, they’re usually in bold colours, and dynamic, felt-tipped pens. (If they run out and you can get the end cap off-sometimes near impossible – drizzle vinegar inside for added life). Sharpie pens, make sure using thicker paper or they will just bleed through. Paints, watercolour, oil pastels, micron pens, charcoal, basic colouring pencils then move to more specific ones available online and in many shops selling art supplies.
Invest in skin tone pencils they’ll really make a difference once you’re happy with your drawing skills. You can use gold and silver pens for additional decoration.
Then for blending rather than dirty fingers, try a rubber/eraser or small makeup sponges. Even cut a small cleaning sponge into little pieces, whilst having a go.
Fashion Collages and Scrapbooks
If you’re reading this page-chances are you’re already artistic and don’t need help in that department, so get your thoughts together or look for inspiration on what you want to draw. Have a scrap book or folder to store your initial ideas and as you improve you can look back and see the difference, practice makes perfect especially with drawing. Although certain people may have more flair, it’s ideas that will set you apart. Have some good quality paper too and somewhere to store/show off your work.
You could even make fashion collages with scissors, glue and magazine pages (more glossy and brighter colours).
Start a scrapbook with all your ideas, you can include scraps of fabric, drawings, photographs, magazine snippets your initial sketches and the end result. Which you could copy into a portfolio if you’re very proud of your work.
Choosing The Right Portfolio Case
Need help with your search then bear in mind the following;
Approximate Portfolio Size Guide
There’s lots to think about including the sizes following are for an approximate guide;
A1 89cm x 66.5cm x 5cm
A2 64cm x 50cm x 5cm
A3 46cm x 41cm x 4cm
A4 37.5cm x 32cm x 4cm
Things to consider when choosing a portfolio case.
Then consider if you will need a carrying handle, strap, zipper, internal straps to keep artwork organized and flat, fabric, leather, leather look, PVC.
Some come with inner sleeves some you have to purchase such as Portfolio Folder Clear Display Sleeves for Ring Binder Portfolios check which size you need and note they usually come in packs of ten. Also, check you can actually add more to the portfolio you choose. Often there is a limit but maybe that will be enough.
Looking for a portfolio case for all your gorgeous drawings. It’s quite baffling to wonder which is best suited we had a look before purchasing a portfolio on amazon. The choices were so varied, here are a few things to think about first to cut your search time down a little. We knew we wanted a more luxurious look but not too expensive it needn’t be leather but a leather look Soft Presentation/Presentation Ring Binder Case style more of a model lookbook (with no handles a clutch style) so we searched there.
For fashion illustration, you’d probably want an A4 portfolio soft presentation, where you can put your finished drawings in sleeves to protect them. Without the handles – then you can open and show off your work on a table with ease rather than have to open a portfolio with handles. If you’re in school, college or uni you may need a different style think about transporting. You may find handles, a carrying strap and water resistance are a necessity. Check for zip closure also think about the cost if you just need something sturdy and practical try Artist Art and Drawing Art Storage Cases see below.
Fashion Illustration and Art Storage Portfolio Cases
Additional things to check such as reviews, when they may not relate to your needs.
We also check the reviews if you are still not sure then check what the reviewer needed it for did it work for GCSE Student, Art Classes, Just for Storage and keeping paper crease free. Don’t believe all the reviews but if you read a bad one check why don’t let it put you off if looks like it will meet your needs, maybe it just wasn’t the right choice for their needs.
We searched Amazon under all departments as that often highlights more. We purchased A3 and A4 (it is quite possible you will need a larger size for college) in a matching soft style. You can sometimes purchase the same case cheaper from a different seller. But you might pay more for shipping. So check that out too, it often is wise to buy from the same place/seller. As the shipping might be cheaper and at least you know they’ll arrive together. Some are stored by Amazon so they ship for free anyway if over a certain amount currently £20.00 or free if you are a Prime subscriber.
Search Amazon for the right Artist Portfolio for you.
Useful Tools for Fashion Illustration
Good quality, inexpensive line maker drawing pens. Perfect for outlining, detail and even for using when drawing a template, you should be able to see the penned outline with a sheet of paper placed on top unless the paper is really thick. Worthwhile adding to your Artist DIY box. This pack of six Derwent Graphik Line Maker Drawing Pens. Available via Amazon £8.71
Fashion Illustration A4 Sketch Pad
Derwent A4 Portrait Sketch Pad 30 sheets of 165gsm paper. Spiral bound top also available in A5 and A3 good quality great for colouring pencils, and inexpensive via Amazon check for current prices or similar products. Currently, £5.70 don’t forget if your order is over £20 normally UK shipping is free unless stated otherwise.
Artist Media Set
Here’s a great buy ‘Royal & Langnickel All Media Easel Artist Set (104 Pieces) not only is it full of products the box doubles up as an easel great for any budding artist, and we paid about £15 -£20 for a desktop easel so this offer RRP £81.70 current Amazon price £56.29 It includes Paints 12 Acrylics, 12 Watercolours and 12 Oil colours, 9 Paint Brushes, 12 Watercolour Pencils, 12 Soft Pastels, 12 Oil Pastels, 12 Sheets Mixed Media Paper, 2 Artist Canvas Boards, 1 Wooden Palette, and a plastic palette for mixing colours, 3 Palette Knives, plus the Easel/Box.
Have a closer look if you are looking to use paints then it’s really good value. If not and you are happy working on a flat surface then it’s a bit of an extravagance, but also a great gift idea. The reviews are extremely good. We haven’t got this package here but thought it was worth a shout out you can see more via Amazon.