Fashion Figure Drawing Basic 101 for beginners

Fashion Figure Drawing Basic 101 is for anyone who wants to learn to draw fashion figures even as a complete beginners level.

Fashion figure drawing In this Fashion figure drawing tutorial you will learn to draw a basic fashion model also known as a croquis. Using a great beginners fashion illustration drawing video this article outlines some notes on the basics of sketching fashion figures. It’s a 9 minute YouTube video by Zyra Benez, which is also inserted for you to watch. I find it one of the most helpful videos available for the student who aims to get better at fashion figure drawing.

Drafting the Fashion Figure Proportion

Start off by using ruler to draw two lines on the paper using the edges of the ruler. I measure the distance between the lines to be 2.8cm and that’s going to be the size of the head. So then draw in the shape of a head, basic oval shape will do. Repeat this process 8 times down the page so that we can achieve 9 heads for this technique. Again just using your ruler to draw in lines making it 10 lines in total with 2.8cm distance apart.

Now you have 9 heads and label each head as Head 1, Head 2 and so on.

9 Heads and 10 Lines Figure Proportion Guideline before you start Your Fashion figure drawing

Next we’ll add some more guide lines for different parts of the body.

Fashion Figure Drawing - mapping out the 10 heads
Credit: Fashion Illustration, Inspiration and Technique. By Anna Kiper

A third of Head 2 is going to be the Neck and Shoulder so just draw a straight line across. This line is where the neck ends and where the shoulder starts.

And then between Head 2 and Head 3 is going to be the Apex.

Between Head 3 and Head 4 is going to be the Waist.

Two thirds of Head 4 we’re going to draw another line and we’re going to label this line as the Hips.

Between Head 4 and Head 5 is the Groin.

Just above the waistline measure a sixth from the waist line upwards and label that as the Elbow.

The Hand is just about the size of Head 5 so label Head 5 line as the End of Hand.

Between head 4 and Head 5 which is also the groin area is going to be the wrist.

Now, between Head 6 and Head 7 are knees.

And then between Head 8 and Head 9 are the ankles.

Will the model in your fashion figure drawing have heels or not?

Now for the feet, you can approach this in two ways. Either about more than half of Head 9 is the Feet without heels, or the whole of Head 9 for a model with heels on.

Poses for Fashion Figure drawing
Credit: Fashion Illustration, Inspiration and Technique. By Anna Kiper

Filling in the shapes

Now we get into the fun part, here we get to draw in the figure. We begin by drawing basic shapes which is really plotting the figure. Start off with the neck which is just two vertical lines down.

For the torso, plot the width you want for the body parts such as the neck line, the apex line, and the waist line. You can go for a broad shoulder and a small waist as an example, and in between that when you connect the shoulder and the waist you get the Apex. Use the same width of the Apex for the hips as well. Now join both lines to the chin of the fourth head for the Groin.

Plot the fashion figure with shapes that would make up the body parts

Draw about the width of the head for the knees, and connect the lines.

Smaller than the knees would be the ankles. And then draw the full size Head 9 for the feet.

Now go back to the arms to draw them in. Draw two circles unto the shoulders and then rectangles for the upper arm and the knees, the lower arms and the hands.

Using a black fine liner ink-in the whole figure.


Fashion Figure Drawing Tips from Zyra Benez (In her own words)

Do not draw straight line in Fashion figure drawing

“So one tip that I could give you is not draw straight lines. Yeah, when I draw figures I try not to because I am aiming for a curvy figure. And drawing straight lines won’t really help my case. And by straight lines I mean like ruler straight lines. As far as I’ve observed the body actually has a lot of curves in unexpected places. Like I never expected the legs to be so distorted looking but it kind of is.

I remember when I just started drawing that I used to draw legs and arms flat out straight, and now that I look back into it, it looks very cartoonish and unrealistic. Since I’m aiming for a kind of almost anatomically correct figure I want curves instead of straight lines. But you don’t want to do it too much or else it will look actually distorted.”

Observe Fashion Figures in magazines

“Another tip would be to observe. In this case I guess it would be helpful to observe people but I guess you could start out with people in magazines. And usually if you want to draw figure you would want as much skin showing as possible so bikini shots in magazines help a lot.”

Practice drawing fashion figures

“Also Practice. It’s very under estimated but it helps so much. And the more you practice the sooner you actually get better. And one day you’re just going to draw the figure without having to draw the nine heads and then drawing the lines and then using a ruler to draw the lines and measuring and all that kind of stuff. Because you’d just draw it right away and it’d look really good. So practice!”

Video Credit: Zyra Benez