How to draw denim

Sometimes it’s not enough to know how to draw a certain cloth, you also need to know how to recreate the fabric’s texture which is made of. This will make your sketch look more professional and dimensional. Here in this “ how to draw denim tutorial “ you will learn how to recreate denim fabric in your fashion illustrations using a very quick and easy technique so your next skinny jeans drawing to look even better.

Time, Tools and Difficulty:

Time to complete the tutorial: 10min
Tools you’ll need: drawing paper, a pencil, colored pencils, and an eraser
Difficulty level: 4.5/10

How to draw denim in 7 steps:

Step 1: Base color

Including all the details, draw the garment you want to make look like it’s made of denim. Denim clothes are usually stiff and when you draw the folds make sure they don’t look too soft.
Lay down the first layer of color. The final version of the jacket will get much darker, so pick a light blue for base.

The technique described in this tutorial can be applied to every single color in the palette. It is absolutely not obligatory to use blue as base color for your denim drawing.

Draw denim for fashion sketches base color

Step 2: Shadows

Draw the shadows using a second layer of the same color or a slightly darker shade. Normally the clothes create shadows where there are creases or one surface is in front of another ( see the pocket). Also, notice how the color of the collar changes in depth. The same happens with the sleeve.

Draw shadows on denim for fashion sketches

Step 3: How to draw denim texture

Start adding narrowed lines all over the fabric. Make sure that the lines look organized and follow the same direction. It is best to use a color pencil in a very similar shade to the base color.

Adding texture to denim fabric for fashion sketches

Step 4: Add even more texture

In the places where there are shadows repeat the process, but using black/dark grey color pencils. For the places, you think are brighter use a white pencil.

Color pencils are good to represent denim in fashion sketches, because they already have the crispy texture we are looking for.

Try not to overwork your drawing with black and white lines. If you do so, erase the unnecessary ones.

Denim textile texture adding

Step 5: A realistic denim fabric

Take your white pencil again and this time make strong vertical bleached effects. They are supposed to hint where the jeans’ clothes are worn-out. Put those only where the volume of the body is the most bulged.

Draw realistic denim fabric for fashion sketches

Step 6: Add some details

Find an orange or brownish shade that will overlay the base color of the jeans and underline the stitches. This is very specific for jeans. Color the buttons and if you have any other details.

Adding details to a denim jacket

Step 7: Make your fabric look smoother

You already have your sketch done, but if the fabric looks too sharp for your taste I recommend you to take a paper blender and go over some parts of the sketch. This will give a nice polished look at your fashion drawing.

Drawing denim for fashion sketches

Have fun experimenting with denim fabrics in your designs! And if you want to learn more techniques of how to draw textiles you can find the resources here.

Girl with a denim jacket and a butterfly


  1. Thanks but can ya also make the instructions of how to make straight long hair

  2. Your website is amazing! I’ve always been a huge fan of fashion, and hope to work in the business someday and this website really helped me in learning to draw.
    Just a question, in what steps did you use marker and in which did you use the colour pencils? x

  3. I am an aspiring fashion designer and really good at it but i have improved since i have come acrss this website.I can nw draw a perfect torso and shoes…Thank you :-)

  4. i LOVE your website!!!!! :lol: it the best i have come across in ages! your amazing! i have been into drawing fasion for all my life (you know as long as i can remember) i am 11 and a wanna be fasion designer. i love designing and also make alot of my own clothes. i all ways make my sisters dolls clothes as well. i am your BIGGEST FAN EVER!!!!!!!!
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  5. :-) lovely work well donne,i can’t belivemy self how easy i’m drowing jeans and jakets now ;-) thank you thank you thank you.all the best wishes

    spread Love

  6. :D :-* 8) :cry: :o
    :oops: :P :-x
    thank you soooo much, this has been a great help to me and i appreciate you taking your time to write out this tutorial

  7. Thanks for the nice advices you give…..I knew it has to be easy to draw this fabric, but I couldn’t make it look REAL. Now it’s just fine, I’m very happy :-) :-) 8)

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