How to Make Fashion Illustration: Learning Basic Figures
A fashion illustrator is an interesting career option for people interested in fashion and drawing. Anyone with a desire to draw can do a fashion illustration. In the design industry, having the ability to illustrate by hand is highly valued. In fact, being a fashion illustrator can be very profitable. The current salary range of a good fashion illustrator is between $30,000- $60,000/annually.
Fashion illustration is a skill one develops through practice and patience. Bina Abling (Parsons and FIT fashion illustrator instructor) said, “The trick is to master the basics so that your talent can find expressions”. The range of fashion illustration is vast and can only be limited by your imagination. To be able to create a good fashion illustration there are two things one must never forget: knowledge of basic proportion and drawing in constant proportion.
One of the most basic and important things when starting a fashion illustration is to study fashion figure proportions. It is important to train your eyes to see, and surround yourself with fashion magazines that will inspire you to draw. The easiest way to determine proportion is breaking it by halves or thirds. It is vital to familiarize oneself with the concept of basic figures before attempting to scale freestyle.
RULE OF THIRDS
In the rule of thirds, the human eye has to be trained to look at a human figure in three parts.
- head to the waist
- waist to the knee
- knee to the toe.
RULE OF HALVES
In the rule of halves, a human figure is divided into two equal sections. The first half is from head to the end of the torso. The second half is from the torso to the ankle.
Step by Step Procedure in Drawing Constant Proportions
1. Our body parts have different lengths. Some are longer, while others are shorter in comparison with each other. To be able to study the relationship of these different figures, one must draw these figures proportionally one by one.
2. After drawing it proportionally one by one, put these figures together. The trick is to match the figures together step by step. It must fit each other until it creates a whole figure.
3. The ratio of halves or thirds works for both side and front view. Take note that in fashion figures the proportions are usually elongated.
These are specific guidelines that divide the fashion body into sections. The guidelines serve two purposes. First, is to put a guide on the proper sewing line in a fashion figure. This will help you when dressing your figure and placing the proper garment design details in place. Second, is that it is an outline where you can play around with the different poses when sketching your figures. Poses are important on illustrations, some poses gives the illustrations for example a better drape or highlights what you want to draw your viewers attention into it.
Lastly, sewing lines are very important in drawing the design details. Take note of these when drawing your illustrations. The princess seams (the one that goes from the shoulder to the end of the torso) is parallel to each other and breaks the figures into quarters.
Source: Fashion Sketchbook second edition by Bina Abling
Illustrations taken from the book