Finding Your Sketching Voice - Part 1

Finding Your Sketching Voice – Part 1

Finding Your Sketching Voice – Part 1

Now that you have completed our beginner and intermediate drawing lessons, you are ready to enter the process of finding your own drawing style. We start this lesson with a quick look back in fashion illustration history, highlighting how illustration has changed over the years. Then, using a tear sheet image for inspiration, we will teach you how to personalize your illustration, while at the same time learning how to find your sketching style, or, as it is known in the industry, your ‘sketching voice.’ With practice, you will soon be able to create a style that fits your creative aesthetic.

Module Description Step
1 Illustration Styles 1-2
2 Mapping the Gesture 1-8
3 Creative Interpretation Part 1 1-7
4 Creative Interpretation Part 2 1-10
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MODULE 1 • Illustration Styles

Step Description
1 Learning how to find your own ‘sketching voice’ is a process. Most people start by learning how to draw the basic fashion croquis, then spend time researching the styles of other fashion illustrators for inspiration. You must learn the ‘rules’ before you can ‘break them.’ Throughout history, fashion illustration has changed with the times. A quick look back tells the story, starting with the very fussy style of fashion plates from the 16th to the 19th century. The semi-cartoonish illustrative style of designers like Poiret in 1913, Ertè in the 1920s and Schiaparelli in the 1930s, were a welcomed change. These fashion designers and illustrators were not afraid to experiment. The drawing style in the 1940s tended to be tight and detail-oriented and favored the classic hourglass silhouette. Dior, creator of the 1947 New Look, still favored the hourglass silhouette, however his illustrative style helped usher in a new freedom in fashion illustration, one that was less rigid and more playful. The next big trend in fashion illustration came in 1953, when couture designer Givenchy chose Audrey Hepburn as his fashion muse. Her gamine figure, broke from the hourglass trend and this silhouette continued throughout the 1960s with Youthquake designers like André Courrèges and Mary Quant. Waif-like models such as Twiggy, came to represent the female croquis standard for decades to follow, even up to the present day.
2 From the 1960s to the present day, just about ‘anything goes,’ when it comes to illustrating fashion. As you can see, figure proportions go in and out of vogue. Today, it’s more about creating a figure that represents and reflects your target market and your customer’s lifestyle.

When finding your illustrative style or ‘voice,’ it should reflect your customer profile and appeal to their creative sensibilities. Is your customer young & trendy, or sophisticated & elegant, or casual & street–fashion savvy, or dramatic & avant-garde?


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