"Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life." -Bill Cunningham

Do you like scanning through the pages of fashion magazines? Do you secretly judge what other people are wearing? Do you enjoy choosing outfits for yourself and your friends? If so, you might have a passion for fashion.

Today, the fashion world is a multi-billion dollar industry that has its reach in countries worldwide. Whether it's sustainable/eco-friendly fashion, haute-couture, or sportswear, everyone has an idea of what style is like. Also, it's worth stating that the masterminds behind the most acclaimed brands are viewed as living artists.

But, how does one start a career in the fashion industry? While there are many different jobs in fashion, the most desirable is that of a designer. Becoming a designer who creates clothing items and sells their designs to other people is quite a feat. Nonetheless, it's worth stating that the first step to becoming a designer is learning how to sketch and create designs on your sketchpad.

So, without further delay, in today's article, we shall consider the art of fashion sketching, what it is, why it's a worthy endeavour to pursue, what potential careers are available for fashion sketchers.

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What is Fashion Sketching?

"What's becoming very obvious to me is that fashion is art." -Lupita Nyongo

There are so many distinct types of art that can be enjoyed by viewers. One of the most striking examples of art is fashion. However, before fashion pieces were seen on the bodies of models and everyday people, they were sketched in notepads; this art form is known as fashion sketching.

Fashion illustration is known in the simplest definition as communication fashion ideas in a visual form that originates with sketching, drawing, and painting. 

Professional fashion designers and those in training use fashion sketching to brainstorm their ideas and visualise the final product. Before the sewing starts, fashion sketching must be completed, especially for amateurs who want to prove that their designs are worthwhile and worthy of being manufactured.

It's worth stating that fashion illustrations or sketches are known in the fashion & design world as "croquis." The word "croquis" is from the French language, and it signifies a figure or sketch of something.

Before concluding this section, you could say that fashion sketching is indispensable and extremely important to creating pieces of clothing and all fashion items.

Why is Fashion Illustration an Important Art Form?

There are so many impressive and groundbreaking art forms that are a feast for the eyes that we cannot imagine the world without. Such as? Painting, drawing, acting and singing. However, did you know that fashion sketching is as essential as any other form of art? The following reasons demonstrate why fashion illustration is indispensable:

  • Fashion drawings convey the ideas of clothing pieces and a fashion line to others.
  • Fashion sketching is a brilliant way for aspiring designers to hone their skills by creating a portfolio and seeing their favourite styles.
  • Fashion sketching helps distinguish artists apart from each other.
  • By sketching clothing pieces before sewing them in the studio, viewers of the sketches can establish the mood of the overall collection. 

It's important to mention that without the distinctive art form of fashion sketching, some of the most beloved fashion houses and designers would not exist nor be able to experiment with their unique style and create masterpieces that can be worn by you and me.

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What is Needed to Start Sketching Fashion Illustrations?

materials for drawing
The tools for fashion illustration are pretty similar to those used for other drawing types, including a pencil, a notepad, an eraser, and some pens. (Source: Unsplash)

All hobbies and activities require some tools to purchase before they can be practised, and fashion sketching is no different. So, what equipment that an amateur fashion illustrator needs to buy? The following list highlights the necessary tools to start fashion sketching:

  • A Notepad: we recommend purchasing a sketchpad that has 8.5x11 inch sheets of paper. In the beginning, you'll want to buy various sketchpads to practice as much as you can.
  • Writing Instruments: you'll want to purchase a few pencils, some pens, and some colour markers so that you can add as many details to your fashion illustrations as possible.
  • A Ruler: a ruler is a brilliant idea to sketch the fashion figures in an orderly way.
  • An Eraser: if you've decided to start sketching on paper instead of an electronic device such as a tablet, you'll need an eraser because, like every beginner, you'll be making a lot of mistakes!

If you are dedicated to honing your fashion illustration hobby on an electronic device, you'll need to download software such as Adobe Photoshop and purchase an e-pen.

A Guide for Beginners: Drawing a Fashion Sketch

what is fashion drawing?
Fashion sketching is an essential element of clothing design since it allows the artist to express their vision and show it to others before manufacturing starts. (Source: Unsplash)

Are you a beginner who desires to create fashion pieces but doesn't have any specific drawing abilities? If so, you're probably in need of guides on how to sketch "croquis" effectively on your notepad. It's important to state that drawers of fashion illustrations utilise the following mediums:

  • Gouache, 
  • Marker, 
  • Pastel, 
  • Ink. 

All of the previously mentioned methods help artists convey their ideas effectively and others to see their vision. Nevertheless, since we live in the digital age, more and more fashion sketchers have been employing technological devices to complete their illustrations on software systems such as Adobe Photoshop. Furthermore, virtual drawing programmes allow the artist to edit and re-edit the sketches without the hassle of erasing them on paper.

Before the clothing pieces are sketched out, fashion illustrators draw a "croquis" and then build on top of that. The artist does their best to render the fabrics and silhouettes attractive to make the clothing look appealing to all viewers. Fashion drawers illustrate clothing on a figure using 9-head or 10-head proportions.

But, are you curious about how you can draw a fashion illustration as a beginner? If so, look no further than the following guide that provides a ten-step blueprint of how to illustrate a fashion figure:

  1. Draw a long line down the centre of your paper that will serve as the fashion figure's centre of balance.
  2. Divide the paper into nine sections that are equal in size and that will include the fashion figure's head, bust, waist, hips, thighs, calves, ankles, and feet.
  3. Illustrate the pelvic area of the "croquis." This should be drawn in the middle of the fashion figure and can be angled in different directions to create unique poses.
  4. Draw the torso and the shoulders with lines that curve inward and outward. The shoulders should be the same width as the hips.
  5. Sketch the head and the neck. The head should be a circle drawn in proportion to the rest of the body.
  6. Draw the legs. One of the essential elements of the figure, the legs should be approximately four times as long as the head and neck.
  7. Draw the arms with sharp lines positioned alongside the body or at the hips. Finish the design with the hands and the fingers.
  8. Illustrate the feet and sketch them equally apart from one another.
  9. Now that you've followed the previous eight steps and have a good-looking fashion figure, the time has arrived to create your fashion design/clothing items.
  10. Illustrate and add life to the design—shade in the drawing with your pencil or colour in the fashion dimension to demonstrate your style.

The previously mentioned guide is courtesy of the brilliant experts at Masterclass. Since they are leaders in their field, their tips and tricks are worthy of being followed.

Potential Careers for Fashion Illustrators

sewing and designing
Before the sewing can start for fashion designers, they need to sketch their ideas out on paper. (Source: Unsplash)

Do you love fashion sketching so much that you want to dedicate a career as an illustrator of clothing items? If so, you'll be happy to find out that there are many employment positions for fashion illustrators who have a talent for creating new styles and trends.

Depending on your expertise, years of experience, and the area that you wish to specialise in, you may find work as a fashion illustrator at the following locations:

  • Department stores, 
  • Retail chains, 
  • Clothing manufacturing companies, 
  • Textile companies, 
  • Design studios, 
  • Art studios, 
  • Academic institutions.

If there has been professional training and post-secondary accreditations received, salaries at the previously mentioned places of employment are above-average. However, the most popular job that most fashion illustrators wish to have in the future is designer.

Becoming a designer is a dream that requires a lot of perseverance and hard work. Yet, it is possible for fashion illustrators since many have been through the steps and have become fashion geniuses. 

In conclusion, learning more about fashion illustration is a worthy endeavour that will significantly help aspiring designers plan the clothing items they wish to sew.

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.