We have our dream dresses, and then we have dresses we just want to draw… One good thing about knowing how to illustrate gowns on figures is that one can see how a gown would look on a person. This helps to understand how to create and design a gown perfectly, the fit, and whether or not such idea is plausible. This is why you need to understand the art of illustrating simple gowns or dresses for fashion designers and illustrators.
Illustrating Simple Gowns
Straight gowns are easier to illustrate than flared gowns or gowns with frills. For this tutorial on how to illustrate simple dresses or gowns, we are however, focusing on the two.
This is a list type of post. I’m dropping key tips on illustrating simple gowns. Once you’ve gone through this, illustrating gowns to fit the idea in your mind, would be an easier course.
How To Illustrate Gowns or Dresses For Fashion Designers and Illustrators
First, choose your croquis/template to draw the dress upon. There have been many tutorials on drawing a fashion croquis on this blog. This post would lead you to them all.
I chose a walking template for mine. We’re keeping it simple.
- Start from the bottom when illustrating gowns.
Choose the length you would love your dress to be.
I decided to make mine a short gown. We would focus on illustrating short dresses today and apply the same rules to the long or maxi dresses next time.
To mark the length, I used a straight line across the legs. When drawing simple gowns, I use that line as a guide to the length.
2. The folds or frills tell the texture and weight of the fabric
In the above illustration, for straight gowns, notice how the fabric curves around her legs at the bottom. This shows that the fabric is:
- Tight around the body and
- Most likely stretchy
However, in the second illustration here
Notice how it doesn’t wrap around the legs like the first one. This shows that the fabric is most likely:
- Not too tight
- Not very stretchy
These little things matter. So I’m going to show them side by side so you can note the difference. This is a detailed tutorial on illustrating simple dresses in fashion designing. You’d see a lot of things you didn’t know mattered.
For flared gowns and full skirt gowns,
almost the same rules apply.
A gown that has frills when one is walking is most likely done with a thin/light material that drapes easily. Whereas, one that doesn’t have frills, just folds, shows that it is most likely done with a heavier material.
Also, the amount of frills matter in illustrating flared dresses. An A-line dress would not have as much frills as a full circle skirt, done with light material.
For an in-depth tutorial on how to draw frills, check this post on drawing frills.
Take note of both illustrations on this paper.
One is frilled, which shows a light material that’s easily carried by the wind. The other just has folds, which shows a heavier material that’s not easily carried by the wind.
Make use of fashion infographics if you please. You must know the different necklines, it helps to create different dresses. Also, when a client explains what he/she wants, you would know what to put down.
For the first gown in the straight gowns, I used the assymetric neckline, and used the Sabrina neckline on the second gown as shown in the above fashion infographics. The flared gowns, I used the square neckline for the first gown, and the halter neck for the second.
Choose a sleeve length and type, and add to the dress.
The sleeves could be bodycon, free, bell or whatever you likie it to be. Here’s a sleeves infographic that could help in illustrating simple gowns.
After putting sleeves, I traced over with a black pen.
Colours and Details
Putting details comes last for me. Sometimes colouring comes before detailing, and other times, it may come after. I completed my model’s face and hair, put the shoes as well. For help with the face, look at the post on perfecting your female model’s face. For the male, we have perfecting your male model’s face.
I also traced the entire drawing with a black pen. This is something I love doing.
For these sketches, I made use of my Nataraj colour pencils. I haven’t yet discovered colours I can call my holy grail. I coloured the dresses monochrome and used my nail polish to add a bit of sparkly detail to the second dresses in both the straight and the flared dresses set.
As you’d notice, I kept the dresses and illustrations very simple. No prints or patterns, as this is a fashion designing guide to illustrating simple gowns. However, in latter posts, I’ll be teaching more complex designs.
Till next time