Day 5 — Making It Easy

Who says drawing has to be difficult? Who says fashion illustration is a complex, complicated process? Some books seem to suggest this, but thank goodness the one I’m reading takes quite a different approach!

I’m now over the half-way point of Master Fashion Sketches in 9 Days, and I’m still loving it, still having fun, and still excited to be learning fashion illustration  — the easy way.

Today’s lesson focused on variations in our model’s pose. I’ve played around with these in previous lessons, but now it’s time to really think about it a bit more, to take a closer look at human anatomy, and see how the body can twist, turn, bend, and curve to make fashion illustration all the more interesting.

I’m glad now that I’ve spent a lot of time doing gesture drawings in the past, because what I’ve learned there does help me with creating various model poses. But there’s another way that’s even easier, and apparently it’s one that a lot of designers use: starting with ready-drawn templates.

The book’s author suggests that we make our own templates, but if we’d rather do it the quickest way, sure, there are lots of fashion illustration templates available. I did practice making my own, and I did reasonably well with it. Again, having done gesture drawing in the past, I’m acquainted with putting bodies into weird poses.

It’s a good idea, the author suggests, for us to come up with a “repertoire” of poses, maybe as many as five different ones, that we enjoy using as we continue our fashion illustration lessons. I chose five basic poses — not a lot of twisting and turning — and I’ll practice making these drawings over and over. Now that I understand the fundamentals of putting a model pose together, it is a fairly simple process.

Another method suggested in today’s lesson is to use tracing paper and trace out the essential body structure of a printed fashion illustration. Those essentials are marking the shoulder line, the waist, the hip line — just as we typically do in gesture drawing. But if we’re tracing from a “real-life” illustration, our proportions will be off. Our tracings will look “fat and chubby”. Indeed. Even though we’re drawing accurate proportions, compared to the very idealized woman of fashion illustration, our realistic models will certainly look “fat and chubby.” So, we should then stretch them out. Apparently this is something that can be done with software programs — the author mentions using MS-Word — but I think I’ll skip that idea and go with my own templates.

I did browse a bit online, selected a few poses that I want to practice with. I intend to draw and re-draw these until I feel perfectly comfortable. I’ll then save them to use as personal fashion illustration templates.

Here are the ones I chose:

I found these through Pinterest, visited the website to ensure that these were free templates (yes, they are), and I meant to bookmark the site. Somehow I lost the link and haven’t been able to find it again.

If you’re interested in finding fashion illustration templates of your own, there are many available online. A quick search will lead to many free poses you can download and use in your own fashion sketches.

So now it’s practice time for me. There are many additional poses shown in the book I’m studying, so I’ll give each of those a go, too, and as time allows I’ll go back to re-visit some of my favorite gesture drawing websites. I think that will be a lot of fun.

Will I really be able to master fashion illustration in 9 days? At this point, I can say, “No, not exactly.” I won’t master the art because all art requires practice, much more practice than we can gain in a mere nine days. But I will say that I’m doing much better with fashion illustration than I expected. The book really is making the process easy. I’m enjoying it immensely.



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