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Introduction to Illustration for Womenswear - Basics

What is Fashion drawing/Fashion Illustration ?

  • Fashion illustration is a Commercial art form. Through it, a designer expresses his design, demonstrates colour, shade and texture in a clear and exciting way.


  • As a part of his duty, a designer must always be aware of the latest trends. He should interpret these into styles for a particular customer and a target market.


  • But simultaneously, he must always be looking out for ideas to inspire original creations. Inspiration is derived from tangible and global influence that had taken over the world throughout the Time, and also the ones that probably will in future.


  • If you are willing to get inspired, you can find inspiration in anything- be it the book you’ve read, a film you’ve seen or even a person whom you’ve met. You need to keep your mind open while looking for an inspiration.



What do you have to think about while sketching?

  • Sketching and drawing will help you in putting your imagination down onto a page.

  • You have to think about what inspires you and why.

  • What do you want your garment to be? A saree or a lehenga?

  • What occasion will this outfit be the most suitable for? A reception, red carpet event, or a wedding?

  • According to you , what should the client feel about wearing this outfit? What colours will help you in inspiring this feeling?



What do you need while making a Fashion Illustration?

  • The presentation of your design is entirely up to you. Whether you want to use markers or pencils is entirely your call.

  • Though the choice is upto you, you still need all the right materials for your medium, such as charcoal, ink, paints, paper.

  • Also, what is important is a workspace. You need to have a space to get your ideas down.

  • You can experiment and innovate in illustrations when it comes to sketching.

  • However, keep in mind that your illustrations must be clear for the tailor.

  • The proportions need to be accurate and the detailing must be crystal clear.

  • Sometimes, making notes around certain detailing will come handy. For eg- while specifying the way a drape falls.


What do you need in order to start ?

  • Inspiration- Your mood board serves as a reference point for everything you do for your collection. This includes sketching so use it well. Finding your unique style is very important- Be it in material or style. Find what suits you the best. Though there are a few rules when it comes to sketching , but make sure that your unique style is reflected.

  • Workspace- Ideally, you should work on a flat surface with plenty of space for your arms and supplies.

  • Paper & Cartridge- for sketching .

  • Watercolours- for watercolour renderings

  • Layout- technical drawings can be used to copy paste sketches.

  • Newsprint- life drawing and sketching, good for charcoal pencils and chinagraph.

  • Multi-media - good for all round fo ink pens, marker pens, pencils and oil pastels.

  • Marker- bleed proof, suitable for marker pens.

  • Pencils and charcoal- very versatile , work with 2H, H, HB and 2B range. Harder pencils are useful for creating fine details line drawing. Softer is better for expressive sketch drawings and tonal values.

  • Coloured pastels- soft pastels leave a blendable delicate mark on paper whereas hard pastels are for broad, flat areas of colour as well as firmer lines.

  • Chalk Pastels- are in lighter tone, and require a fixture to prevent smudging. Chalk pastels are sometimes used for fashion life drawing as an alternative to charcoal. Though lesser used oil pastels do not require a fixative and produce a thick buttery mark.

  • Inks- Available in a wide range of colours. Colours can be mixed also.

  • Paints- Offer soft , subtle colour washes and translucent effects.

  • Chinagraph pencils- Hard wax pencils, best used on newsprint paper for figurative drawing and sketching.



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