Fashion illustration: line

Yesterday was the first lesson of the fashion illustration course I put together for myself. The lesson was based on chapter 1 of Advanced Fashion Drawing: Lifestyle Illustration by Bil Donovan, and developed contour line drawing using a mixture of straight and curved lines. The process of drawing emphasised observation of the contour using a balancing act technique.

1.1 The Balancing Act

This method of drawing – used in the rest of the chapter, and later into the book – starts from the head and goes down the body in segments such as top-of-head to ear, and then to base of shoulder, etc. Each segment is drawn taking left and right sides in turn, and comparing the vertical positions of the end of each opposing segment line.

For my model in this chapter, I used a couple of poses from The Fashion Huntress. This first drawing is based on one of the photos in this post.  Here, I tried the balancing act as described in the book.

fashion illustration wk01 11

1.2 Straight Line
1.3 Curved Line
1.4 Combination of Straight and Curved Lines

Next I did a drawing using only straight lines, and then only curves (these were expected to be exaggerated). This was to make me aware of how the figure’s outline could be observed in those terms. With the third drawing in this set, I could use a mixture of the two types of line, but to have a single choice for each segment. I have placed all of these side-by-side to see the effect of the choice of line type.

For these 3, I used a different pose – one from this post.

straight lines curved lines combination

1.5 Opposition of Line

In the final drawing, for which I returned to the first pose, I applied the techniques I had learned, and tried exaggerating the difference in vertical positions to create a more interesting drawing.

opposition of line

It was an interesting session. I have learnt new techniques and a new way to observe. I now need to practice! The next few lessons from this book will build on these.



  1. Pingback: Fashion illustration practice: line | art fn

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