Students of fashion design are given design projects by their college lecturer or by a manufacturer, a professional designer or a buyer. Each assignment will give the students of professionals the chance to design in different areas of fashion. The design briefs are presented in a concise way explaining the requirements and stages in which to work and when the project needs to be completed. It is important to understand the brief fully before commencing and interpret the requirements correctly. This will also avoid any kind of confusion or loopholes in their work.
When developing research and bring for a theme on which to formulate the basic ideas, the designer can scan following different areas :
It is important that a designer is constantly aware of the changes and influences taking place in the fashion industry. Effectiveness of fashion exhibitions, trade fairs and fashion shows. Fashion magazines and jewels should be thought of in terms of their readership and editorial context.
Students require ability to produce design ideas with clarity and speed. One should be able to sketch the figure by estimating the number of heads into the body.
During design collection student should start by entering ideas in a sketch book. A camera may also be used to record images and textures like - cloud formation, flower and plant form & architectural details. Research material is often displayed on a pin board for time to time reference. From the research, sample design sheets are produced working to the selected them and developing many design sketches. Presentation drawing is often produced, illustrating the design in full colour with samples of leather and trimmings and a fashion sketch suggesting the total image is often included.
It is an invaluable tool for the fashion design illustrator. It can be used to :-
- Reduce or enlarge drawings.
- Reproduce drawings on which to experiment with. Colour pattern and texture techniques before working on the origin.
- Produce material for background effects on presentation boards.
- Transfer drawings on to different coloured papers.
- Transfer drawings and photographs on to acetate-which is very effective for presentation work.
- Paste-up drawings when working on the arrangement of design work. Cut out the figures and general artwork, and use spray mount to fix it on to clean white card. Photocopy in black & white or colour for a clean professional look.
- Photocopy artwork for reference when sending your originals off for competitions etc.
- Enlarge sections of design drawings details of collars, pockets and style features.
- Tone : Use one colour to produce four clearways. Vary the squares from light to progressively darker tones.
- Burnishing : Colour may be smoothed out by burnishing. This is achieved by going over the colour with a white or light grey pencil.
- Mixing colours : Coloured pencils may be mixed to create a wide range of colours.
- Changing tones : Tones of colours are made by changing the pressure on the pencils.
- The drawing is sketched with a black Fine liner pen on smooth white illustration card.
- The denim jacket and trousers is coloured with an ultramarine pencil, shaded in one direction from one side of the figure in a darker tone by putting more pressure on the pencil. This gives the effect of more light falling on one side of the figure.
- In the last stage the darker tones were added to the garment under the collar, pocket, and folds in the jacket and trousers. A soft lead pencil has been used over the blue denim to give the effect of the texture and weave. The face was tinted with a burnt sienna pencil, shading the face on one side. A thick line has been added round the figure with a medium Stabilo black pen and burnished with a white pencil to smooth out the colour.
- The drawing was completed with a thick black outline round the figure, the latter being cut out and mounted using a spray mount on to a clean sheet of card.
- Technical pens
- Plastic-tipped pens
- Fiber-tipped pens
- Roller pens
- Ballpoint pens.
- Markers tend to bleed on some papers and may go beyond a line. Always experiment with pens first before applying colour to an original drawing.
- Some areas of the work will tend to look darker if these are gone over twice with the same marker.
- Always clean the nib if one colour is to be used over another.
They are available in a wide range of colours and sizes, with many different nib sizes from cylindrical shaped heads blunt bullet like points, shapes and fine points. The inks are either water soluble or spirit based. Markers can be used for filling in areas of colour or for making bold outlines, to give a clean and pleasing effect. They are very convenient as they dry rapidly and are especially noted for their clarity of colour.
The range of markers available can bewildering. Some contain soluble ink and others permanent colourfast ink. The nibs tend to be fibre-tipped nylon or foam. Sizes range from fine to broad, and they may be round, square, bullet or chisel shaped. They are also available in a wide range of colours. Note that the caps must always be replaced after use otherwise the pens tend to cry out. Spirit-based pens should always be used in ventilated areas.
Studio markers are also available in a wide range of colours and tones. Some are made with two nibs, broad and fine, combined on the one pen, and produce a clean smooth flat effect. They tend to be expensive but looked after they will last a long time. Bleed-proof paper which prevents ink passing through on to the backing sheets is available for use with permanent markers.
Although no brushes are used, the use of pastels is more akin to painting than drawing. The advantage being that there is no liquid medium and hence no drying time to consider. The range of tints in each colour is considerable. A variety of tones can be achieved by beating the tinted paper as a mid-tone, and a coloured paper may be used as a key for the rest of the colour scheme. Different effects can be created, depending on which part of the pastel stick is used.
Water colour may be bought as solid tablets or as paste in tubes thinned with water before use. Paint boxes of different sizes are easily available. Paint brushes vary in quality from sable to nylon. The paper surface is also very important. Unless you are using good quality paper, it should be stretched. If this is not done, the paper will react to the water by crackling and your work will be distorted.
Fill the sink with clean cold water. Pass the paper through the water, hold it up for few seconds to let all the excess water run off, then lay it flat on the drawing board. Fix the paper down on the board with brown gum strip round the edges. When the paper has dried it will be perfectly flat and ready for use. When the drawing is completed and perfectly dry, use a scalpel and straight edge rule to cut the paper from the board.
Gouache is the same water colour but is mixed with white pigment, which makes it opaque. When dry, gouache forms a positive film of colour. Hard divisions of solid colour are associated with it. A free style of painting may also be achieved where the brush strokes are visible, working with wet paint on wet paper. Watercolour paper or boards are most suitable for gouache. Cartridge and layout paper are not suitable. Wheather method is used, the main characterstic is the ability to provide a strong contrast of colour and tone.
Water colour broods or papers ore most suitable for gouache. Tinted papers may also be used as the paint is opaque.
Coloured pencil is easily available, graded from very hard to extra soft. Pencils offer the most versatile methods of colouring a drawing. By varying the pressure, different tone values may be obtained.
Water soluble pencils are also available in a wide colour range. To use them, the drawing is produced as normal, and then a water colour wash is applied to produce an even colour, which obliterates the pencil marks.
Coloured pencils can be graded from soft to hard. They may be purchased in boxes with a large or small selection of colours, or obtained individually. Some are water-solvent and may be combined with water for application with a brush over the pencil, in order to give a water colour effect.
Always try these pencils before applying them to the drawing. The more pressure applied to the pancil, the deeper the tone and the more intense the colour will be. It is more effective to stroke in one direction only (as illustrated).
Select a paper, from rough to smooth depending on the effect required. Remember to use an absorbent paper when applying water.
Experiment with Pencils
Coloured pencils and black fineliner pen
The sketch can be produced in four stages.
Pen and ink creates immediate visual effects, in both line and tone, which may take the form of lines, dots, hatching and cross hatching. Ink drawings combined with washes of coloured inks are most effective. Many different colours are available. Inks on either be used on their own mixed together or diluted with water.
Achieving Texture in Pen and Ink
Textures can be shown by using different line values in the same drawing. Examples are shown of herringbone, tweed, checks, ribbed and cable-stitch knitwear.
A wax crayon or candle may be used as a resistant to water colour and inks.
First draw with the candle to make the paper waterproof beneath the wax. Add a wash and the area will remain free of colour. A rubber solution may also be used to gain a similar effect.
Various selection of wax crayons is available and they come in different thick nesses. They produce a solid bright colour and the harder the pressure, the deeper the tone, but it is difficult to produce different tone with wax crayons. Experiment with the crayons on paper of different textures and colours. Some crayons are wax based, others are water solvent and may be used combined with water.
A box with a glass top containing a light for tracing. By placing the work to be traced under a sheet of paper which rests on the glass and is illuminated underneath by the light, the work is then shown clearly. These boxes are available in range of sizes.
The airbrush provides perfect even tones, graded tones and soft lines. It will also blend colour. It is operated by a motor compressor or compressed air propellant aerosols.
White layout detail paper with a surface ideal for ink and pencil. The paper is semi-transparent, which is useful when working over roughs and developing work.
Various pens used for drawing can be divided into five groups :
New types are constantly being produced. When selecting a pen, experiment with it first to see if it produces the line required. The paper or card to be used also has to be considered carefully as the surface will affect the line value.
These sketches illustrated the use of different techniques using a variety of pens with different line values, often within the same drawing.
The ink pens used by designers are known as technical pens. They produce a clear line, the nib of the pen being in the shape of a tube. The ink is fed down the tube, the size of which produces the width of the line. Technical pens are extremely accurate for very fine detailed work.
These produce very fine accurate lines.
The nibs are made from vinyl tip or nylon, and vary from firm to supple. They are made in a selection of sizes for different line values.
These have a very smooth action, producing an even flow of ink. A range of colours and widths are available.
The point is made from a steel carbide ball that rolls, and is available in a range of colours and widths.
The height of the average figure varies from between seven and a half or eight times the height of the head. When drawing a fashion sketch, the Proportions are usually eight of eight and a half with exaggeration on the length of the legs. Try not to over-exaggerate when producing sketches, however, as this may distort the proportions of your designing.