11 Fashion Sketching Tips & Techniques

Learn eleven fashion sketching tips and techniques from fashion designer Garo Sparo in this Howcast video.

All right, here are some tricks of the trade, shortcuts, call them whatever you want but they’re really going to help you out in fashion design.

First thing is always have a good croquis that you’ve developed, okay? That’s what’s going to make everything easier when you’re sketching your clothes.

I’m just going to sketch and talk through this but, one thing is, you never want to start with pen, unless you’re really confident. You always want a good mechanical pencil.

You start your sketch in pencil; you know you can just always go in and erase the pencil. I’m going to do like a gown with a train here. I have my little croquis underneath so that’s helping me out, making it go real fast.

And another thing that you want to always have on hand, because even if after you’ve inked in your sketch, is whiteout. Whiteout is a great thing. It will never show up on a scan when you finally scan the finished product into your computer, because you can then print it out and have a gorgeous, clean version; that’s another trick.

So do your sketch, you scan it in, you lose all the whiteout and whatever else you’ve done to it; even if you’ve done patchwork or what have you, you’ll never know.

Photoshop is a good trick for coloring things in, though I don’t use it, I’m kind of old-fashioned that way.

You know you really don’t have to draw hair. Hair is not that important. You don’t have to draw hands if you don’t want to; it’s not about the hands.

You want a good eraser because you are going to mess up, I promise.

A definite don’t is do not ink until you’re ready because you don’t want to have to redraw something. Especially if you have a client sitting right beside you; they’re not going to want to sit there and watch you draw it all over again.

Another great thing is to have a sketching kit that you can pretty much take with you wherever you go because you never know when you’re going to get inspired to do what you’re going to do. You want to have it on-hand so that you get that idea right out of your head before it’s gone. It’s happened to me a million times and I learned my lesson.

Once I’m happy with the sketch, I will usually go in and give it some ink. And even at this point, you still can ink in the sketch and not worry about the pencil; that’s what erasers are for, it’s no big deal. So here we go.

And try to keep your lines smooth and beautiful. And don’t be fazed if they break because that just adds some dimension and what not, "character" we’ll call it.

She’s in a long cap sleeve gown. I’m really into like elongating the body with seam lines; that’s one of my things.

And even if you don’t go straight over your pencil lines, just kind of go with the flow; let your body feel it as you go. Don’t over think it; that’s a big no-no.

Give it some bead work.

And like you know, even if you’re drawing lace, if you’re drawing a plaid, what have you, as long as you have a piece of the fabric on the same page, it really could just be a little squiggle on the sketch; it’s not really meant to be that literal. Don’t get too hung up on those details.

Because it’s all about giving the notion of what the finished product is going to be and showing who you’re making it for, or who you’re trying to get your point across to, right there and then.

Those are some of the tricks of the trade, shortcuts, et cetera.