The Fashion Sketch

by lee caleca
Sketch for Zippered Bustier and Skirt
There really isn't a lot to know about the fashion sketch. There is a lot of work and practice. You will never get good at this unless you practice. Whether or not you can draw well, there are specific techniques you can master to create a fashion sketch. The more you learn about fashion illustration, the easier is will be for you to put together every aspect.

The fashion sketch can be learned if you're a beginner with talent for drawing or have no real talent for figures. You can start by using a template and an inexpensive lightbox which you can buy at any art supplier or craft store. Find a magazine ad which shows a good figure (a figure in a bathing suit is best) and place this picture under a blank piece of paper on your lightbox. Copier paper works well. Switch the lightbox on and trace over the outline of the figure. (It helps if the room you're working in is dimly lit while the lightbox is on.)

You are now ready to sketch in your design. The human body generally measures about the length of eight heads stacked up while the fashion figure measures nine heads. Hair, eyes, and especially legs can all be exaggerated or stylized. The legs should usually be much longer and disproportionate to the rest of the figure. Keep your pencil loose and try not to press too hard.  This makes erasing much easier.
Finished Bustier Project
Once you have mastered the fashion sketch or at least become comfortable with rendering figures, you can begin to dress them. Remember, your intention is to create a suggestion of the fashion idea you want to present to buyers or your staff. Your initial rendering does not need to go into great detail. Once a particular design has been selected for possible production, you can flesh out the details in a further drawing. Practice is the only way to get good at this. The more you sketch the quicker you will become comfortable with the process. You will eventually see a personal style developing. Go with it and above all have fun.