Know What is Fashion Illustration!

What is Fashion Illustration and Fashion Illustration Media

What is fashion illustration if not a place of rest and refuge? A place where you can play, relax, unwind or create? Fashion illustration as a career replenishes your soul.

A fashion illustration course teaches a candidate how to sketch or draw fashion figures. A fashion illustration course generally does not stretch for a long time. It is necessary for the candidates pursuing fashion design programs. It focuses on the understanding of 9 head proportions, head to toe body elements, posture and movement, fashion poses, etc.

fashion illustration drawing sketch

source: youtube

Many colleges offer different types of fashion illustration courses such as diploma and certificate courses. Sound knowledge of composition, texture, proportion and colours are imparted to the interested candidates through the different types of fashion illustration.

Human Body

All the different styles of basic fashion illustration start with the study and practice of the basics of drawing the human body. Although the human body and the human face may seem hard to get right, everything as a whole is divided into eight proportions. For instance, going from top to bottom, in the first part of the eighth, draw the face. Once you have the head, draw a light vertical line through its centre and divide the vertical line into eight sections. Next, draw the hips above the 4/8 point.

The feet are at the bottom of the fashion illustration drawing, opposite the head. To show the shoulders, draw in the middle of the second eighth with the chest dropping down halfway into the third eighth division. Kneecaps are above the six eighth division, with calves below and thighs above. From the shoulders, draw the dropping hanging arms, wrist at the fourth eighth, and hand with fingers taking up the fifth eighth division.


To get a better sketch, practice drawing a neutral stance from both the front angle and the side angle. Review the eight proportions nicely. Drawing a human body basic fashion illustration sketch may seem intimidating but remember that each body part is proportionate to the others. Note down the proportions from one body part to the other. Fashion Illustrators are fond of drawing every view of the model as well as showing a variety of expressions. People differ in their stance, their look and even their glance! Though people may vary in shape and size, it is the job of fashion illustrators to enhance all types of figures and faces.

Practice figure basic fashion illustration drawing by having someone model for you. Always remember the eight parts of the human body and don’t be afraid to experiment with different poses.

About Fashion Illustration Light and Shadow

Light and shadow play an integral role in fashion illustration as they capture the angle of the model standing and add form, texture, depth, a suggestion of movement and a bit of sparkle. Fashion Illustrators position light coming from one direction, usually from above to mirror natural light. However, very frequently the lighting is intentionally from the side or from below shining up.

How does this help to change the mood of the image? Light direction produces differences in value casting varying shades of shadow. The differences in values suggest depth and give a 2D shape a realistic form. Pleats in a dress, fold in skirts, the fall of the sleeves and a bodice cut – all are built in a three-dimensional manner on a flat page. To bring life into their drawings, fashion illustrators need to be experts at using light and shadow.

Take the help of someone who can model for you, wearing a variety of accessories and clothing with a lamp pointing towards them. Note and capture the highlights and shadows on the model’s figure and accessories.

About Fashion Illustration Media

With the help of different mediums such as watercolour, pastel, graphite and markers, fashion illustrators produce effects of various materials that capture the excitement and essence of the design. To reveal subtle values in clothing and accessories on models, fashion illustrators use pencil or graphite. There is an unstated elegance to grey tone renderings which concentrate on texture and form evenly.

Watercolour helps soften or abstract the illustration. Fashion Illustrators work hard to reveal the material qualities as well as capture the type and style of clothing. It is important that the selection of media is done to match the fashion as it communicates different emotional tones and moods. Look at examples from prominent fashion illustrators and see which media renders fashions formal, informal, business-like, subdued, fancy and frivolous!

Note which media suits the design best by drawing one fashion in three different media.

Drawing Fashion

fashion illustration human body sketch
source: pinterest

Now that you know how to proportion a figure, shade and shadow in three-dimensional form, it is your turn as a fashion illustrator to draw a basic fashion illustration sketch.Think about what inspires and excites you. Is it fancy or comfortable? Is it skin-tight or baggy? Does it have minimal fabric or make excessive use of it? Do you choose to go with understated detailing or oversize buttons, large stitching or ribbons?

Does your fashion illustration sketch have a collar, a hat and scarf or jewellery? It is important in designing that you ask different questions such as these and understand how the clothes fit what you want to draw. Do you wish to capture the model and clothes accurately and realistically or do you want to abstract a particular part of the clothing to capture the most essential part of it, such as how long the train is, how big the skirt is or how puffy the shoulder pads are? Do you wish to communicate an attitude or spirit with your collections? Now is your turn to show how your style of rendering indicates different kinds of clothes with different aspirations.

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Fashion illustration is an extension of your personal style. Finding your style depends on knowing what is fashion illustration at a gut level and the above-mentioned details are sure to be of use.

Also Read: A Guide to Fashion Illustration Sketches with Adobe Photoshop

At Hunar Online, you will get access to detailed video lessons and can learn from anywhere. You will get 24/7 faculty support and a chance to learn from the experts in the industry. Also, watch our trial classes and get a glimpse of our courses. You can start learning your favourite course by downloading the app.

So, what are you waiting for? Join Hunar Online Courses and do what you always wanted to do.

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