The Fashion Sketch

Making Fashion Fun and Profitable!

Artists have their own reasons for doing a fashion sketch. Perhaps you’re an endlessly fashionable person enrolled in design school; one who always knows what to wear and how to wear it.

You aspire to be the next Vera Wang or Michael Kors, and would love to be a contestant on "Project Runway" or, at the very least, to launch your own fashion line, boutique or clothing company.

For you the fashion sketch is perhaps the most important work of art you will ever produce. This detailed, beautifully illustrated portrait of a clothing item is the medium through which you will express your dreams, visions and ideas. You will be able to bring to life on your sketchpad that perfect gown or that smart suit that you have always imagined designing—and perhaps wearing. And once you become a professional fashion designer, this same sketch will serve as your chief work tool; the basic foundation and starting point for all of your courtier creations.

Perhaps you are more like roughly 90 percent of the human population in that you have the dress sense of an ostrich. You fall asleep during fashion shows and think that haute couture is a rare tropical flu—and, for that matter, that Karl Lagerfeld is the dude who invented the transistor radio. Why on earth would you ever want to produce a fashion sketch?

Fashion is big business; and if you are an aspiring artist who would like to go professional, then a career in the clothing industry is a great place to start.

Even if you don’t end up as a top designer, you might be hired to produce illustrations for a fashion house, or for a department store or fabric company. Or an individual might hire you to come up with their fantasy wedding dress, or that winning suit that they will wear to an awards presentation. When faced with your own very special occasion, you may feel challenged to devise your own attire for the evening.

In either case, you might be looking for some tips that will help you produce a top notch fashion illustration. And are you ever in luck, we’ve got some for you:)

  • When drawing this type of rendering, you can use a real life model or a magazine picture as your guide. (Gals, call up Marcel Castenmiller or Tyson Beckford! Guys, get Cindy Crawford or Tyra Banks on the phone. Yeah, good luck with that...)
  • Start by drawing a stick figure of the human body, with all the usual appendages. Feel free to add hair and features as you see fit; but in this particular pic, it's the wardrobe that counts.
  • Select the clothing pieces that you want to draw and commit every detail to memory. The intention of this picture is to sell the outfit, so you want to bring your subject to life on the sketchpad; ensuring that the potential customer gets a true impression of the look, shape and feel of the piece.
  • To this end, pay attention to detail. When sketching a floral print dress, for example, every flower should shine, and the flounce and flow of the dress should be evident to the viewer. Add color and texture to realize your vision; soon you will commit a dream to paper that your customers want to realize—and to wear.


 

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