How to Fashion Sketch

The fashion sketch is the foundation for clothing style designs. Fashion experts take different approaches to creating their images of inspiration, but all fashion drawings share some fundamental components. You don't have to be an excellent artist to succeed. Though learning how to fashion sketch takes quite a bit of practice, there are tips and tricks to help you progress quickly.

Create a Croquis

Find models in fashion magazines or online images that offer clean, natural poses. The croquis is the mannequin of the page. This form can be "dressed" with any fashion sketch you add. A simple pose is ideal because it drives attention to the clothes, not the figure.

Begin with a basic grid that will help you keep proportions in check. The grid lines can be erased easily, but some fashion sketch artists like to leave in the lines as reference points.

Decide how to draw the croquis model. There are a couple ways to do this. Either draw the model freehand or trace the pose from an image. Trace the image by following the basic shapes of the model. The croquis fashion sketch should resemble a wooden art model, devoid of facial features and fine details.

Draw the croquis using basic shapes: ovals for the head, hands and feet; circles for joints; triangles meeting in the middle for the waist, and lines to connect the shapes together. This can be accomplished by drawing freehand or by outlining the shapes from a clear image using tracing paper.

Create the Fashion Sketch

Trace your croquis. The initial model that you draw serves as the foundation for countless fashion sketches. Use tracing paper or a light box to copy the model for each style drawing you create.

Build your fashion sketch by adding the clothing designs.

Apply the general design drawing rules to the image. Seam lines should be drawn with a solid line, while top stitching requires dotted lines. Zippers require dotted lines as well, but invisible zippers are indicated by the presence of a zipper pull.

Add texture and movement. This process includes adding pleats, folds, patterns and gathers in the design. Pleats and folds should be slightly darker and shorter than the rest of the seam. Uneven lines suggest fullness and gathers. Patterns should follow the shape of the garment.

Include the back view and the inside of the garment. The back view can be a thumbnail image in the fashion sketch. The underside of the design is typically identified with slightly darker shading.


Choose images with tighter clothing so the shape of the body is easily seen. Start with very simple poses. Choose models wearing garments similar to the ones you want to design. A light box can be used for tracing if you want to avoid using tracing paper. The back view is not a necessity.


Avoid distracting details in the croquis drawing. Adding texture and movement is challenging and requires a lot of practice.

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