Stylize Your Characters More!

Hello dear reader!

Today I will be talking about fashion illustration; not quite regarding the fashion illustrations made as blueprints for an actual dress but rather for drawing characters and giving them more personality than an article of simple clothing. I want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and explore more of the fashion side of character design if you haven’t done so already. This post is not much of a guide or tutorial on how to draw and design clothing for your characters but more of an explanation of the process behind many of my clothing drawings since I don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough to teach this topic but, instead, share and perhaps motivate someone.

As one who deeply enjoys fashion and experimenting with new designs, I enjoy implementing them in my illustrations. The clothing is what I consider an essential factor for my character. I used to struggle with it before, which is probably why I used to skip the clothing part for my characters and cover them up with floating fabric. I describe it to others as a choice for aesthetics, but in reality, it was just an excuse not to practice learning drawing fabrics. It helped cover my flaws for a while, but I soon had to overcome my weakness. Of course, many tutorials on YouTube are easily accessible with a few search words; therefore, I won’t be giving a step-by-step tutorial on it.

My Drawing Process

I usually do most research when I’m working on an illustration than when I’m doing sketches. When I’m just sketching, then, I try to push myself with silhouettes and dramatic shapes. Because of practicing drawing clothing from references prior, I can now create enjoyable outfit designs without having to go on Pinterest. When drawing clothes for full illustrations, then Pinterest is my Go-To. There are boards I have made with all outfits I would like to draw and think will be a good reference for my illustrations in the future. Even if I’m sure how it will look, it is still helpful to have a reference. Not just for newer design ideas but also to know how it will fold and move on the body or object. It would be even better to create your reference if possible. If I can’t find exactly how I want a reference of the folds on cloth, then I try to take pictures by myself. It gives me more accurate results.

I used to only stick to doodling oversized hoodies before, but I started challenging myself to do more and adding more layers to it or adding designs. Let’s quit simply drawing a plain oversized hoodie on your character and give it more fun outfits that let their personality shine – unless a hoodie is the best way to describe your character. Even then, add details that will tell you more about them. Maybe the hoodie has pins or logos that hint at their interest in a band or a show. Perhaps safety pins and rips that show them to be very edgy. Or they are the opposite of that aesthetic, maybe they have lace details in their hoodie! What a character wears can tell a lot about their personality. So why not try expanding our visually communicating drawing skills through clothing?

I hope you will have fun and challenge yourself after this little reminder to experiment with outfit drawings, as I will continue to do so too.

Thank you for reading!

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