HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR (FASHION) DRAWING SKILLS?
I'm not a fashion illustrator, but I am a person who has managed to improve one's fashion drawing skills, so I feel I can contribute something to this subject. Today I want to share with you how I did it. Learning more about fashion drawing is something I did for my own personal satisfaction, but I can't deny there were some other benefits. For example, I gifted a lot of my drawings and made some people happy in the process. I didn't know so many people like fashion illustration so much. A handmade fashion drawing is actually a great gift idea.I even sold one or two of my fashion drawings, and getting better at fashion illustrations also provided me for additional content for my fashion blog, so that's been fabulous. It's been a rewarding experience on many levels. If you want to find out more, scroll down and read tips for improving one's fashion drawing skills!
|My illustration of VW design|
1. PRACTICE REGULARLY
Drawing is a skill, and just like with every skill, it can be developed with time and practice. Practice makes perfect! The more we practice drawing, the better we will get. It's as simple as that. Regular practice makes it easier for your muscles and brain to remember what they are supposed to do. In addition, regular practice connects the neurological pathways, allowing you to work more quickly. Every time we learn a new skill or a new way to do something, we rewire our brain and allow it to work better. So, learning new techniques and practicing regularly is extremely important when it comes to getting better at just about anything. I found that regular practice does make a difference. You don't have to consistent all the time, but try to be consistent at least for a period of time. Once you get better, it will be possible to make pauses without using your drawing skills, but warming up might still take some time.
2. PRACTICE AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN
Seizing every opportunity you get to draw is the way to go. You don't have to set aside a few hours every day, sometimes even a few minutes can be enough to get some idea down on paper. You may even want to set some fixed time, like two hours every Friday. The important thing is to keep trying to find time for your art. With time it will become a habit and finding the time for drawing should become less of a mission impossible and more of a simple challenge. Time is hard to come by, but it's not impossible. Keep that in mind and practice drawing as often as you can.
3. CARRY A NOTEBOOK OR A SKETCHBOOK WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES
This is such a great tip, I can't recommend it enough. Having a sketchbook at hand is extremely useful in developing one's skill because it serves both as a reminder for you to draw and an easy way to get down to it. If you can't (forever reason) carry a sketchbook and art tools on you, even a simple pen (or pencil) and a small notebook can do the trick. You may also want to doodle in your planner. Even simple doodles can be enough to keep drawing a part of your life. Sketching is essential because it's the perfect way to brainstorm and get ideas on paper.
4. FIND NEW WAYS TO INSPIRE YOURSELF
Finding new ways to inspire yourself is always great. This year I started doing fashion collages. I often pair my drawings with my photography. I find it really inspirational (not to mention fun) to mix the two mediums. Bellow you can see two such collages. The location is Bijelo polje in vicinity of Mostar city. In addition, fashion drawing is not an isolated area. Everything you learn can probably be applied to it. If you improve your basic drawing skills, that will reflect on you (fashion) drawing. If you learn some fun new tricks, don't be afraid to use them. If you get better at drawing faces, that's something you can apply to your fashion illustrations. Besides, finding time to inspire yourself is a great way to keep you creative energy high. Sometimes it will pay off big time to follow some creative urge, to listen your heart and try something new. Playing with different textures is also fun. I sometimes use rose pedals to decorate my fashion drawings.
5. DRAW WITH A REFERENCE
Drawing with a reference will surely help you improve your perception and technique. Moreover, working with a reference is extremely useful in developing one's art skills. You need to learn how to see things to be able to draw them. An eye for detail is something we can develop. Using a reference, you'll practice how to work out proportions and distance, and other things that you'd need to take your drawing skills to a new level. You don't have to make your drawings in hyper-realistic style if that's not your thing. You can work in any kind of style you want. Even if your style of drawing is very arty or stylized, you can still benefit from working with a reference. I reckon that I draw with a reference as often as I drew without one. I obviously always draw with a reference when I'm doing my Inspired by illustrations, so that's another idea. You may choose something you like, such as creations from your favourite designer or outfits from your favourite fashion blogger and draw it often. That's a great way to practice drawing with a reference. Another thing I want to stress is that you shouldn't really on photography or art all the time. Try to sketch from videos or real life. You can even try drawing yourself and work on a series of self portraits. If you can't find a volunteer or pay a model to pose for you, drawing your own reflection in the mirror is really the only option to practice real life drawing, isn't it?
6. DRAW WITHOUT A REFERENCE
Drawing without a reference helps you improve your imagination. When it comes to developing your skills, this kind of drawing is just as useful as drawing with a reference. Drawing from your head makes you more independent and can be a great boost to your confidence. "Did this really came out of my head?" You'd ask yourself. Impress yourself with your ideas, because really you're the one you should look to impress. Besides, if you really want to do fashion drawing, sooner or later you'd want to come up with your own creations, right? Maybe you're even hoping for a career in fashion design? Either way, drawing without a reference is a good way to develop your skills. It might seem counteractive that I'm recommending two opposites: drawing with and without a reference, but that is because both are important for different reasons.
7. EXPERIMENT WITH DIFFERENT MEDIA
Experimenting with different media can give you fresh ideas and lookout on things. I, for example, sometimes draw fashion illustrations with old make up. Why not try to use your expired eye pencils or lip liners this way? You're be surprised at how it can make you see your drawings in a new light.
8. CONSIDER USING FASHION TEMPLATES OR FIND OTHER DRAWING TOOLS & LEARNING MATERIALS
I don't really use fashion temples, because by the time I figured out how useful they potentially were, I already made my own. However, if you are a beginner, there is no reason why you shouldn't use them. You can buy them or even find them for free (some artists and fashion illustration teacher offer and share them for free on their sites and/ or other social media. Do make sure you know the source from where the templates are coming from. Yes, there are artists and teachers who share them for free but make sure you double check or risk being sued for intellectual/art theft. The Internet is filled with fashion temples. Have a look around and see what might work for you. If you are really into developing your fashion drawing skills, maybe it is a good idea to order some books from professional art illustrators. Professional materials always help.
9. DON'T RELY TOO MUCH ON THE ART SUPPLIES
If you're just starting to work on your (fashion) drawing skills there is no need to stress yourself financially by buying the most expensive art brands. You can start with what you have. You don't need that much to get started. Old markers would do just fine for sketches. I already mentioned old make up as a potentially free art tool, didn't I? Before you buy something, think whether you really need that art supply. With time, you might want to invest more in art supplies. However, don't become too dependent on a certain brand. Remember that it's always you, not the art tool that is doing the job. You're the only one who can take credit for what you do, your drawings are your creations and there is no need to be overly grateful to the tool that allowed you to make something. If you make a good drawing, it's not because of some fancy art supply brand, it's all you. Good art supplies will help, and sometimes you'll need to invest into something, but don't forget that art tools are just that- tools.
10. TRY TO FIND A TEACHER AND/ OR OTHER ARTISTS TO LEARN FROM, GET INVOLVED IN ART COMMUNITIES
If there is no fashion illustrating/drawing course where you live, you can always try to find teacher or courses online. You can browse the YouTube and look for fashion illustration teachers, artists or enthusiast. That's what I did. It's amazing how many people out there will teach you fabulous drawing techniques for free. Don't forget to thank them, because that's really the least you can do.