Introduction to Fashion Illustration: Part 2

Posted on January 21, 2020 by Shavonne Cruz

We are now ready to add skin and muscle to define our basic body shapes. As you know, the human body has lots of curves and angles, but when sketching for fashion illustration, we want to keep our lines simple. Nice long smooth curves work best for a sleek silhouette. 

Lesson 2 - Fleshing Out the Fashion Figure

Prep Your Work Space:

Purchase tools we use:


Starting at the top of the head, make smooth round strokes slightly curving inward for the eye sockets and curving out again to indicate the cheek bone. Move inward toward the jawline and chin. We will revisit the face to map out all of the facial features later. As you move down to the neck area, make sure you add detail defining the clavicle bones and neck muscles. Remember to keep the lines smooth and sleek.


Round out the shoulders moving down toward the upper arm. Make sure to keep the muscle definition sleek and slender. As you move down to the elbows, you can use sharper lines and angles to define the bone. This will be more prominent when showing different movements as you begin to pose your croquis. This same concept will apply for the wrist. The top of the forearm will appear thicker and then taper in as you get to the wrist. Long slender lines for the fingers always work best and we will revisit detailed hand sketching later on as well.  


For our female croquis figure, we want to make sure that we define the bust area. We don’t want to overdo it, but we do want to indicate a slight curve of the breasts which will be important when it comes to dressing your croquis. Use long curved strokes from the bottom of the torso, turning inward towards the waist. 


As you move down to the pelvis, use small curved lines to define the top of the pelvic bones. The lines will become a little longer and much more rounded as you move on to the hip area. For best results use long sleek, smooth lines to blend the hip into the thigh muscles. Sharper angles will be used to show the definition and bone in the knee. Gradually curve your lines outward again, once you move on to the calf muscles. It’s a great idea to use your photo reference to check your placement of the different body proportions. Use smaller sharper curves as you work your way down to the ankles and feet. Again, details such as fingers and toes will be revisited later on in more advanced sketching. Lastly, sketch in the style lines on the body which we will also revisit when we add clothing to the finished croquis.

Once you’ve fleshed-out your fashion figure, lightly sketch in garment style lines. Garment style lines will help you identify where to place important clothing details such as buttons, necklines, princess seams and more.

Join us next time as we discuss how to balance weight for different posed. Let me know in the comments which types of fabrics you'd like to learn how to render in future tutorials!

For more in-depth courses, check out our Mood U classes available in NYC and LA!

Introduction to Fashion Illustration: Part 2 - Mood Sewciety
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