how to draw transparent fabrics – chiffon tutorial

How to draw chiffon

In this step by step tutorial you will learn how to draw transparent fabrics such as chiffon, tulle or basically any light and translucent material that you might want to use in your designs. A well done fashion sketch needs to show the fabrics used in the design in a way that is easy to tell and also appealing to the viewer. Drawing chiffon will no longer be a challenge but rather a fun and exciting part of the creative process. Enjoy!

Step 1: The color of your fabric

The first thing you need to do when drawing chiffon or other type of transparent fabric is to decide on its color. See-through materials will show what’s underneath, but will change its color. Start by coloring the areas that are NOT covered by the chiffon. If the chiffon is light prepare a lighter shade of the skintone and the clothes color. If the chiffon is dark – prepare darker shade of the skintone and the clothes. How to draw chiffon and sheer fabric in fashion design sketches

Step 2: Color the areas covered by the chiffon

Start coloring the areas that are underneath the sheer fabric. Make sure you are not filling them in all the way to the edge. It’s okay if the coloring isn’t perfectly smooth at this point. You can play with the direction of your strokes as long as you stay in the outlines. How to draw chiffon and sheer fabric in fashion design sketches

Step 3: Color the chiffon fabric

With the color you’ve picked gently mark the folds of the chiffon. If you are not sure where to place them check out the “How to draw folds: pants”, ‘How to draw folds: collar” and the rest of the series in the How to draw CLOTHES tab. It is important not to outline the sheer fabric or fully fill it with color at this point. You want to just gently brush trough some areas and nothing more. How to draw chiffon and sheer fabric in fashion design sketches

Step 4: Add another layer

Grab s lighter shade of your chiffon color and add some more strokes. The opacity should be greater close to the outline and getting lighter towards the inside. Take your time to make the transitions smooth and nice and try not to cover all the white spaces left from Step 2. How to draw chiffon and sheer fabric in fashion design sketches

Step 5: Add some pastel

Use a soft pastel and carefully fill in almost the whole chiffon fabric. Leave empty spaces here and there and don’t make this layer too opaque. You want to place less amount of the pastel at the areas where you see only the sheer fabric and nothing underneath.

Tip: For best results use your fingers (or a cotton swab) to take small amount of the pastel and gently smudge over your design.
How to draw chiffon and sheer fabric in fashion design sketches

Step 6: Add depth

It’s time to add some shadows and definition to your sheer garment. Use a pencil and go back to the folds to draw shadowed areas where you think they should be. Also emphasize the outlines underneath the chiffon in case they have disappeared. Don’t overwork it – less is more when drawing transparent materials.
How to draw chiffon and sheer fabric in fashion design sketches

Step 7: Outlines

As you know from the “Outlines: part I “ tutorial, a fashion sketch would look unfinished and fuzzy if you skip the outlining. Always use a shade slightly darker than you original tone and outline everything except for the areas underneath the chiffon. How to draw chiffon and sheer fabric in fashion design sketches

Tip: Outline the chiffon itself but leave the skin and clothes underneath as they are. This way they will look blurred and softer helping you to create the illusion of a transparent textile.
You just learned hot to draw chiffon. This technique can be used with any type of drawing material. Experiment with watercolors, markers, acrylics or anything that you like working with. Have fun drawing your new sheer designs! Fashion sketch by fashion illustator Teya Bozhilova

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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!

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18 comments

  1. Hey there teya, I am new here and want suggestions on my Sketches, so where should I post them so that you can take a view…. Believe me, I I’ll not disappoint you…. Just tell me where should I put them…. I really need your suggestions….

  2. Is there anyway to draw chiffon fabric by pencil? If so, how so?

  3. Hi,
    I used to struggle a lot trying to make it with Photoshop and Illustrator. Now I’m using Manga Studio which has a lot more cool functions that make the process fun and easy but the software in million times more intuitive and fun to use.

  4. Hi can I ask what digital software you use

  5. Really helpful and realistic

  6. Hi Teya,you are amazing! Your designs has encouraged me to design more fashion. Thanks for everything. *Can you please make lingerie and stilettos tutorials?

  7. Thank you for the warm words and the questions, Tata!

    *I post new tutorials regularly and for sure with time I will be able to cover most themes that interests you.
    * I do know how to sew but to me drawing the illustrations and designs have always been more fun. I used to work with markers mostly, but now I use digital dsoftware as it helps me to speed up the process of creating new tutorials and sketches.
    * How to draw types of skirts is a tutorial requested several times already and is definitely going in my to-do list.
    Have amazing holidays and keep finding inspiration everywhere in the world!

    Love,
    Teya

  8. Teya, you are a life savor. Your designs are helping me build my portfolio as I leave high school. I love drawing and fashion but it was almost impossible trying to understand how to add detail and real life looks. Hopefully you continue to share you talent, it is well appreciated.
    * Do you sew clothes?
    * what type of coloring utensils do you use?
    *Can you show more shoe and skirt designs
    Please and Thank You!
    & Happy Holidays!

  9. Thanks and thanks! You have made a huge impact in my life! We need more helpful people like you Thanks again.

  10. ery inteesting…..thanks for te great ttorials

  11. You are too good at fashion :-)

  12. too good………………

  13. C0ol I l0ve it itx t0tally awes0me thankx guyxXx :P :lol: ;-) :D

  14. Thanks, I just started drawing fashion designs and was trying to find a good tutorial for drawing different types of fabric for using with my colored pencils this is exactly what I’ve been trying to find. :lol:

  15. Wow!!! This turned out so beautiful THANK YOU!!!!! :P

  16. Seems quite difficult but would love to try…. :-) I somewhere feel I would be unable to draw this :sad:

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