Drawing Eyes

Moving to the next lesson in my Fashion Design Studio book, I was inspired to focus on drawing eyes. This lesson's objective is to learn to sketch the features of the face. Fashion models have simplified features, so that attention is not drawn from the clothes to the face. However, style is exaggerated on the features as well.

So the eyes are slightly elongated with thickened eye lids and full lashes that sweep upward. A minimal make up look is desired.

Eyes can be challenging for me to draw. Perhaps because I am right handed, the right eye is easier for me to sketch. The left never quite matches the right eye. This is, therefore, very good practice for me.

I learned that the eyes are spaced a single eye-length apart. I found that helpful tonight as I worked my way through the drawing practices. And the closer the image, the more detail is required on the face. The eyes are considered the feature to give the most depth and personality to, rather than the nose and mouth, which are kept very basic.

My first eyes…a side view and front view.

Narrowed eyes and deep eyes. Note the simplified lashes. The most attention is given to the pupils and irises.

Beginning sketch for eyes that will be colored in.

Adding details and color. You can see my challenge with eyes. They don't quite match. The right one feels natural to me as I sketch it. The left feels awkward to draw. It would help if I was ambidextrous! I could simply switch the pencil to my left hand to draw the left eye. I made adjustments to my colored drawing and evened up the eyes a bit.

Although the fashion figures I will be drawing will focus on the outfits more than the facial features, I welcomed this opportunity to practice on the eyes. There are lessons coming up on drawing noses and mouths, hands, feet and hair, but the eyes called out to me tonight. I felt inspired to start there.

Why? Because the soul is glimpsed through the eyes. Intimacy starts there, with a look that sees deeply into another.

"Eyes are captivatingly beautiful. Not because of the color but because of the words they hold within them." Unknown

Communication starts there as well. The eyes can convey humor, love, sorrow, hope, joy and despair. So much of who we are can be conveyed with a glance, through eyes that are clear and full of life, or eyes that are guarded and veiled.

I intend to keep practicing on the eyes. It is important to me. As I snapped a pic of my final work, my iPhone camera, at least, recognized that there were eyes on the page. It struggled to focus on a face that was not there, putting up squares to define where the rest of the face should have been. I'll take that as encouragement!

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.

Fashion Design Studio

It has been a very busy week. What a joy to have some quiet time late this afternoon, to dream and create and play. I returned to the creative activity I selected a couple of days ago:

Design and sketch a piece of clothing.

I am resisting the temptation to rush ahead and draw an outfit or an article of clothing. Instead, I am taking the time to learn the process of fashion design. Oh, it is simplified, compared to the classes one would take in a college course. However, I am learning from an excellent book geared toward teenage girls or young adults. It is perfect for me and part of a very enjoyable journey. I love that these words are printed on the cover of the book:

Creative girls draw.

Yes they do!

My creative studio this evening is my bedroom. My diffuser has Young Living peppermint essential oil in it, which seems to be a great mental stimulant. The setting sun is filtering through the blinds. I am barefoot and bare legged, wearing cool and comfy clothes, in deference to the heat outside. My bed with its lightweight summer linens and fluffy pillows is serving as my desk and my chair.

In such pleasant surrounding, my imagination is free to expand and take flight.

I have started at the beginning, which is always a great place to get underway, becoming comfortable with drawing fashion figures. Before I can draw a skirt or a top or a flowing wrap, I need a form to put it on. I appreciate that this book takes the time to introduce the human body as a series of shapes and connecting lines.

I have had fun tonight, sketching these simple basic figures. I learned about proportion as I drew, and how the body is divided into segments. As I practice different poses, I see how the bones give structure to the human form, how the shoulders and hips tilt in opposite directions, and how truly wonderfully we are made.

It has been very good to spend time this evening familiarizing myself with these basics. The act of drawing is searing these important details about form into my brain. My next lesson will be to flesh out the stick figures, giving them shape through the curve of muscles.

Then I will be ready to study aspects of clothing and style and design a piece.

Did you realize that the shoulders and hips don’t tilt at the same angle, ever? I had to stand up and strike some poses to see!

My next lesson…fleshing out the basic form.

I don’t know, exactly, where this journey will lead me. I hope to a finished article of clothing, that I designed, that I can wear. Beyond that, who knows? Fashion design has long been an interest of mine. I am excited to be taking action steps instead of just dreaming about it.

The Divine has noted my dreams and my actions. The morning after my post about designing a piece of clothing, one of my Facebook notifications was about a new frame I could select for my profile picture. I laughed when I saw what it was. And then tears filled my eyes. The frame makes my profile pic look like the cover of a fashion magazine.

How amazing is that? Yes, it means Facebook is tracking my posts. But more than that, it is a wink from the Divine. It is an invitation to keep playing in this creative area. It is a Divine promise to meet me on this path, if I will keep walking, and show me how far my intentions can take me.

I am willing to keep going. How could I refuse such a playful invitation? That fashion magazine cover looks good to me. I am inspired to make it a reality.

Have fun designing your own fashions with this cool book:


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