Tuesday Tip: Illustration Poses



The first step in tackling any fashion illustration is to choose a pose. Looking at a picture is the best way to do this. It takes some time to find good poses, so you should hold onto them and start a "pose" folder for future reference. I've found that be best resources for tears are high fashion magazine editorials and catalogues. Bathing suit layouts are great because the figure is not hidden under clothing.
The most important element to look for when choosing a picture is that the top of the head to the tip of the toes be visible. It must be a full body shot otherwise your just guessing what the legs or feet look like and your drawing can come out distorted if your guess is not accurate. In the beginning its also best to choose poses that are straight forward, with the head and body facing front. Three quarter poses and profiles can get tricky.
When starting your drawing keep in mind the shoulder line and the bust line are parallel to one another, as are the waist line and hip line. The high hip is also the leg that the body weight rests on and cannot be changed. Yet the other leg, the "free leg", can be positioned many ways as I've illustrated above. The arms can also be arranged in any way but a bent arm with hands on the hips always give a nice effect and adds some nice negative space to your illustration.
To begin drawing a pose from a photo it's helpful to make a copy of it (or place tracing paper over it) and draw the shoulder, bust, waist and hip lines as well as the center line and panty line, as I have done with all these images. (This helps to know where seams and other clothing details should be placed.) Then draw a loose gesture drawing to get the main muscle masses down. You can create the final sketch outline from the gesture drawing and erase the unnecessary inner lines or just layer on another piece of tracing paper or thin marker paper and outline the body. Then start designing!

If you have any "pose" questions ask away in the comments section. This way everyone can see your question and my answer. I hope this was helpful!

(Photos from Saks Fifth Avenue and illustrations by Brooke Hagel)

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Leave a Comment

Quiet Storm said...

SUCH A GOOD POST!! love it!!

renee said...

Great class today Brooke - I love that you are doing this!

~Renee

strawberry lemonade girl said...

Oooooooh how fun, I'm so excited to read more of your blog. A fellow fashion lover! WHoo hoo!

I just found out you are on my BYW team and wanted to say hellllo. Welcome to the Valley of the Blogs!!

xoxo
alex

Katy said...

oh my gosh! i love your stuff. im moving to new york in august to study fashion design at parsons. ive been studying your figures and i LOVE your rendering techniques. where did you learn?

Brooke said...

Thanks everyone!

Katy-I graduated from FIT, Parson's rival! ;)

Aleutie said...

Great, useful post! Will apply it with my dolls. Thank you!

modern eve said...

okay, so i am not even an artist; but i feel like i learned something wonderful today! shoulder & chest parallel and hips and waist parallel -- it kinda makes me want to go draw! thank you! =)

Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life said...

This is so freakin cool! Thanks for walking us through these poses!

Amanda said...

Why is standing toes pointed inward (pigeon-toed) so popular with models? I think it looks so goofy.

Brooke said...

I used to really hate it in college. I couldn't understand why some girls would draw like that, it drove me nuts. But its grown on me.

Marvella Iris said...

Yay I'm glad I found this. I find everything helpful. Thanks :)

Amelia said...

I like the pigeon toed look. I am pigeon toed naturally, so some people can't help it. Anyway, I love it, especially drawn the way you do Brooke!

angelo said...

If you like fashionhave alos a look to Milan Fashion Campus http://www.fashioncampus.it/Fashion%20Figure%20Templates.htm

Kailee said...

cannot tell you how helpful this is to me, please do more posts like this! espically the last diagram/picture in the post.
xoxo

Anonymous said...

Very helpful, thank you!

Lnzz said...

What kind of markers do you use to color in your drawings?

Lnzz said...

What kind of markers do you use to color in your drawings?

Brooke said...

Mostly Copics. Here's a post about my tools: http://fabulousdoodles.blogspot.com/2009/12/secret-weapons.html

Nhimfashion said...

Really really helpful for me! Thanks a lot ^^!