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How can I better sketch mannequins when drawing clothing designs?

I can sketch dresses, skirts, shirts, and jackets but I want to be able to better draw my designs and be able to add flow easier

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Veronica’s Answer

Hi Briana,

I love creating fashion sketches, and it's a great way to flesh out designs before moving to draping or pattern making. I learned how to sketch in fashion school, they follow a 9 head figure croqui. A croqui is a fashion body template to draw clothing on.

It helps to create the body template before you draw clothing, it gives you the correct proportions for the torso and legs. Your drawings will look proportional and more realistic. After you create your template you can tilt the shoulder or the hips, and give it movement.

9 head croqui reference
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/304485624810727797/

Hope this helps to build the foundation for fashion figure drawing. Good luck! And remember fashion illustrations don't have to be perfect, you will find your own style.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Brianna !

It's great that you have the special talent to draw clothing ! It's not unusual to find drawing clothing on figures a little difficult, but you don't have to be full fledged into your career to do it successfully. You can do it and you can do it well !

My first instinct is to advise you to practice with photographs and live models to see how various fabrics fall on the body. Where does the hem land, what happens to the collar or sleeves when a model is in a certain position. It takes practice. Research many design sketches that you can find in books and on the internet. My second thought was to create a few templates. You can vary the accessories and the hair styles depending on the style of the clothing. I have found a couple of interesting guides, one is a blog type "how to" and the other one is a Master Class in drawing the figures. It might be worth looking into. I will provide both links to them below. Since this type of work is visual, it is worthwhile to look at some samples and "how to" material.

My third idea is to completely draw the outfit first and than add in the arms, legs, neck, head. Envision what the garment would look like if the figure was sitting, standing, running, or in any unusual position. I truly think that this is indeed something you will be able to master, it just takes practice.

Best wishes in all you do !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

https://www.doinaalexei.com/beginnersewingtutorialblog/how-to-draw-a-fashion-figure-in-a-few-simple-steps-step-by-step-guide-with-pictures
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/step-by-step-fashion-drawings-how-to-draw-a-fashion-figure-in-10-steps
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Yvonne’s Answer

Improving your ability to sketch mannequins for clothing designs involves practicing the human form and understanding how clothing drapes and flows over it. Here are some tips to help you enhance your mannequin sketches:

1. **Study Anatomy:** Learn the basic proportions and anatomy of the human body. Understanding the underlying structure will help you accurately depict how clothing fits and flows.

2. **Gesture Drawing:** Practice quick, loose sketches of the human figure in various poses. This will help you capture the natural flow and movement of the body.

3. **Use Reference:** Study photographs, fashion magazines, and fashion illustrations to see how clothing interacts with the body. Pay attention to how fabric folds and gathers in different positions.

4. **Mannequin Templates:** Use pre-drawn mannequin templates as a starting point. These templates provide a basic body outline that you can then add your clothing designs to.

5. **Practice Drapery:** Focus on sketching the flow of fabric and drapery. Use flowing lines to indicate folds, pleats, and how the fabric hangs.

6. **Simplify Shapes:** Break down the body into simple shapes like cylinders for arms and legs and an oval for the torso. This simplification can help you focus on clothing details.

7. **Vary Poses:** Experiment with different poses and body positions to challenge yourself. This will expand your ability to draw clothing in a variety of situations.

8. **Study Fashion Illustration:** Look at fashion illustration books and tutorials. These resources often provide guidance on drawing mannequins and fashion poses.

9. **Feedback:** Seek feedback from experienced artists or fashion designers. They can provide valuable insights and tips to improve your sketches.

10. **Practice Regularly:** Like any skill, improvement comes with consistent practice. Dedicate time regularly to sketching mannequins and clothing designs.

Remember that improving your sketching skills takes time, so be patient with yourself. Over time, you'll develop a better sense of how to draw mannequins that complement your clothing designs and convey the desired flow and style.
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