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differences between normal figure and fashion figure in drawing

Normal vs. Fashion body

There are numerous differences between the normal female figure and the figure you use for fashion illustrations. How to draw the fashion body? It is not enough to observe the real life figure, but also you have to know how to change what you see. In this tutorial you will explore the differences body part by body part and see them as no book shows it to you.

Step 1: Different face types

So many shapes of face: diamond, oblong, round, square, heart and oval .
Although in real life we see all different types of heads and faces, in fashion illustration it is recommended to use the oval one, as it is considered to be “the perfect face shape”.
Normal heads and fashion heads

Step 2: Normal or fashion neck

Fashion models have long, thin necks and emphasized collar bones. If you remember this and apply it to your illustrations they will look more graceful and elegant. Note how anatomic details are skipped and the collarbone is exaggerated to make her look bonier.
Real life and fashion neck

Step 3: The fashion figure

Even if you are drawing a woman with ideal body, her proportions still won’t work for fashion illustration. In fashion drawing the body is very idealized.
o The shoulders are straightened up and high, never bent down.
o The breasts are pushed up, round and not too big. Be carefudll with this, because many illustrators tend to give their models a bigger bra with the idea to make them look sexier, but this is not the best solution to represent drawn garments.
o The waist is very thin- with about the same width that the head in it’s widest part is.
o The hips are the same width as the breastline. Think 90-60-90.
Details that are typical for a fit body are welcome, but don’t go too far with this.
Normal figure and fashion figure

Step 4: The arms

The main difference between a normal arm and a fashion arms is that the latter is thinner and more defined. See how the shape of the arm is more “angular” and how thinner the wrist is. To draw thinner arms don’t mean to make them longer, so make sure to keep the real life proportions and the place of the elbow (the same line the waist lies).
Real life and fashion arms

Step 5: How to draw hands

This is among the most asked question in fashion illustration, but it will be discussed in a separate tutorial.
Comparing the real life hand with the fashion one, it is easy to note that the fashion illustration hand has lost most of the details. You draw no wrinkles, and mark ever so slightly the bones. Your model’s hands have to be delicate and in a feminine fashion, not hidden behind her back.
How to draw fashion hands

Step 6: Long, long legs

Another very specific thing about fashion illustration are the beautiful long legs of the models. In the image below you can see how the shape of the thigh is more defined and even a muscle detail is shown.
The knee is just hinted, never give it too much details. Just keep it thinner and slightly tilted.
The biggest change is in the length of the calf. It’s lenght is turning point for the good look of your illustration. A leg looks slimmer and longer if its calf, not thigh, is enlightened.
Real life legs and long fashion legs

Step 7: How to draw feet

The feet in fashion drawing are longer and thinner than the normal ones. The ankle is more defined and the instep is more shaped. When you draw the toes it’s absolutely enough to draw only the thumb with its nail and leave the rest of the toes to viewer’s imagination.
How to draw feet for fashion

About Teya Bozhilova

Teya is the owner and creator of idrawfashion.com.
She works as a freelance fashion illustrator for established and start up fashion labels.
Always and forever excited to bring creative ideas to life with her colorful fashion sketches and a touch of glamour.
If you are looking to hire a fashion illustrator and create something beautiful together don’t hesitate to get in touch!

32 comments

  1. omg what is the website called? Because I’m sure it was released already

  2. hey , i am sure you cannot post how to draw each and every pose but can you please let me know how to go about trying different poses and postures of body parts
    i go completely blank about how to start it

  3. I love your tutorials and posts. you really help me :3 i am at an arts university – doing fashion designing but i still need to practice my illustration skills. your way of creating bodies is damn fine m’am.

  4. Thaaaank you so much for this amazing site!

  5. Has this website been released?

  6. First of all, i would like to thank you Teya for making this awesome site! It really gives a lot of information! To be honest i am a 12 years old girl but i have a lot of interest in fashion designing, my first career dream at the age of 5 :3 (i know too early) was to be a fashion designer! <3 I hope that this website gonna make my art skill excellent and hope that i can be successful in my dream.

    haha but my biggest problem is that i don't have a lot of patience because of that sometimes when i am trying to sketch a fashion body, i strike the page with my pencil and tear it D:
    But with patience i made my first fashion face :3 and glam hair by this tutorial :D yaayyy <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  7. Your tutorials are great! Thank you for making figure drawing feel easy!!

  8. The real body is what most women, including those in Hollywood, sports, and the music industry have.

  9. thanks :lol:

  10. Hi! First I would like to say Thank you for creating this website for inspired fashion illustrators and designers like myself. But one suggestion, I know the fashion world is made for “super slim” people but there is also “normal size fashion” and “plus size fashion” which is great cause I would love design clothing for them especially. I would like to suggest if you could show how to draw plus size bodies also?

  11. It makes me sad that fashion is drawn on these unrealistic figures. Maybe if all fashion was drawn on the ‘real’ body you’ve shown, fewer people would have problems with self esteem and eating disorders.

    It is a lovely drawing, but I think it should stay in the realm of fantasy stories, not real-life design.

  12. You’re tutorials r an amazing help! :D :D could u do a tutorial about an elegant prom dress or something like that

  13. Oh, that ‘s great. I want be fashion desinger, unfortunely i don’t know drawing :/ :D But thank you for helpig me :D

  14. Hey Teya,
    Love your site! It has helped me tons! I love fashion and design, but the problem is I don’t have the patience to sit down and draw a beautiful sketch. I was wondering if you could do a tutorial on making a quick sketch that still gets across your idea. Thanks!

  15. can you do one on prom dresses please Teya thank :-) you

  16. [quote name=”Matilda”]Heyo Teya!

    I am very interested in a fashion career for my future but the only thing stoping me is my ability to draw… :sigh:
    So my friend realiszed that i have that problem and it is onstantly confronting me in my studies so she advised me to this site and you would not believe how much it has halped me!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! :lol:[/quote]
    I’m so happy to hear it, Matilda!

    Designing is about haveng an eye for what’s beautiful.
    But you need drawing skills to convince others you DO have this eye :)
    I wish you to soon master the fashion drawing and to have a great fashion career!

  17. Heyo Teya!

    I am very interested in a fashion career for my future but the only thing stoping me is my ability to draw… :sigh:
    So my friend realiszed that i have that problem and it is onstantly confronting me in my studies so she advised me to this site and you would not believe how much it has halped me!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! :lol:

  18. Thank you so much!! This is can help me alot thank you! thank you! :lol:

  19. i like to design,but i dont know how……..i can draw…i love design….

  20. i love your designs i hope you make a tutorial about male body too and add more hairstyles like updos,bangs,and fringes. ;-)

  21. [quote name=”Zakyah Freeman”]Hi Teya!
    I Just Wanted To Tell Yhu That I Love Your Designs And Tutorials And They Are Really Helping Me Improve!!!! Could Yhu Post A Tutorial Of How To Draw Various Poses, Other Than The Walking Pose? Thanks A Bunch,
    Zakyah :roll:[/quote]
    I will, Zakyahn :-)
    I have promised a “How to draw sitting pose” tutorial and I try to keep all my promises.
    Right now I’m working on a tricky “how to draw a zip” little tutorial. Soon comes the sitting pose ;-)

  22. Hi Teya!
    I Just Wanted To Tell Yhu That I Love Your Designs And Tutorials And They Are Really Helping Me Improve!!!! Could Yhu Post A Tutorial Of How To Draw Various Poses, Other Than The Walking Pose? Thanks A Bunch,
    Zakyah :roll:

  23. Thanks!! i love so much~~ thx for your help~~

  24. cool :D

  25. [quote name=”I Draw Fashion”]Jua, next month I am opening a website that you’re going to love. Just wait for a while ;-)[/quote]
    [quote name=”I Draw Fashion”]Jua, next month I am opening a website that you’re going to love. Just wait for a while ;-)[/quote]
    wooooooowww!!! I’m excited already! :D
    I will keep checking your page until next month xD
    Thank you sooooooooooo muchhhh,actually fashion would be so hard without your help! :)

  26. Jua, next month I am opening a website that you’re going to love. Just wait for a while ;-)

  27. Hello Teya!
    This is very nice! :D
    by the way
    I was wondering if it’s possible to teach us how to draw Male figure? I’m interested in Men’s fashion,but sadly,it’s not as popular as Women’s :(
    It would be more than awesome if you can! but it’s totally ok if it’s not possible :)

    Thank you so much for helping us :)

  28. [quote name=”jade”]WHERE YOU BAD WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED I WISH U COULD COME TO MY HOUSE AND TEACH ME IF U HAVE A DAUGHTER SHE IS SO LUCKY :r :-) ;-)[/quote]
    :-) Of course I was bad… someday I will publish my old drawings to show you where I started from… nothing even close to what you see here.
    It is all about practice.
    I know that there are much more talanted designers and illustrators than me, who visit this blog. But talent is only 10% of what it takes. The rest 90% is hard work, you know :-)
    Thank you for being so kind. I wish I have a daughter some day that will be pround of her mom.
    I wish you a lot of inspiration and creativity,
    Teya

  29. WHERE YOU BAD WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED I WISH U COULD COME TO MY HOUSE AND TEACH ME IF U HAVE A DAUGHTER SHE IS SO LUCKY :r :-) ;-)

  30. Very nice step by step guide! I love the elegance of your illustrations!

  31. i love thizzz OMG!!!!!

  32. :lol: this is brilliant – it’s really helped with my textiles thanx

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