Fashion Design in the Garden

I picked up my sketch pad and pencil this evening and moved my creative studio outdoors. The next lesson in my Fashion Design Studio book was to flesh out the stick figures I created last time, implementing what I had learned about drawing the human body.

I not only happily anticipated sketching out my first design figure, I looked forward to doing so in my beautiful backyard garden. The mild weather continues, pulling me outside. I carried my supplies to the brickio and brewed a cup of lemon balm tea while I was out there.

My cat Shy Boy thinks if I'm sitting in the garden, it is for the purpose of holding him. He grew weary of my sketching after a while and moved to lounge nearby on the fire pit. What an inspiring space to create in. I paused frequently to gaze at my herbs, grasses and flowers, and sip my tea.

Here is my progression this evening:

I started with the basic figure, striking a pose. The most challenging part of fashion sketching, for me, is going against my instincts and exaggerating the length of the torso, arms and legs. I learned long ago to draw an adult form seven heads tall. In fashion design the standard is eight or even nine. This figure is about 7 1/2 heads tall, which is an improvement for me.

Adding in details, while keeping the facial features very minimal. I laughed as I drew because as a kid, I struggled with posing arms. I usually just drew people with their arms folded behind their backs! I feel like I am getting the hang of arms and legs.

Time out for tea. I picked sprigs of lemon balm out of the garden and let them steep in very hot water. This mug with the mesh basket and lid is the perfect way to make tea for one.

The lesson tonight focused on the body not the clothes. I sketched a simple dress, using an example from the book. I was pleased with my first model.

Then the part that is always fun for me…coloring. I did the flesh tones first, using Prismacolor pencils in ginger, tan, and harvest gold, with a bit of pink on the cheeks. Using more than one color, and adding shading by imagining where the shadows would be, creates depth and a more realistic skin tone.

Clouds gathered to the west, and the falling temps drew in mosquitoes. I moved indoors to complete my lesson. I enjoyed every moment of my creative exercise, which is all part of a larger project to design a piece of clothing. I am not minding the step by step process. I am learning as I go and having fun.

The next few lessons will focus on details of the body. I'll be sketching hands and feet, faces and hair, and capturing the full body in many different poses. And then, after I am quite comfortable drawing fashion figures, I'll begin learning elements of clothing design, such as collars and bodices, pants and pleats.

It's a journey…a leisurely fashion design journey. I am loving it.