Line quality in fashion drawing-
FELT TIP WATERPROOF PENS , whether analog or DIGITAL, are a staple and using a variety of pens can make your line quality in fashion drawing dynamic.:
One really great way to explore line quality in fashion drawing, aside from the pencil/ charcoal route, is getting nitty-gritty with what is available in felt and brush-tip pens, which I always have in my creative and professional studio kit!
This is the price at the local Michael’s store.
What is line quality?
Take a look at the image below and notice how many different thicknesses of line you see. It’s a great example of a varied line quality in fashion drawing. It’s not just the texture o the line, but it’s thickness and variety of light and dark.
(learn to create these kinds of classes in my Craftsy Course!)
Likewise, when used for fashion illustrations and croquis
they can be used over or under gouache or watercolor to define details and boundaries, stitchlines, facial features, textured surfaces, and more. Waterproof, fine, black lines are clean and smudge proof, yet indelible. NO BLEEDING when you paint over them!!!!!!!!!
In my signature Freedom Fashion Online Course,
modeled after the Parsons Fashion classes I’ve taught for two decades, we will discuss these techniques and more, starting from basic model drawing, through developing concepts in your croquis book and presenting them rendered in finished illustrations. I’m so excited to share these techniques and see a vision be born on to the page!!
And see, it’s not only for black-and-white work. here I used the brush pens over the paint.
Waterproof? Yes, if they aren’t digital they’ve got to be waterproof,
and you really need to distinguish which pens in your kit are waterproof and which ones aren’t so that you’re NEVER surprised. PAINT WILL BLEED YOUR INK IF IT ISN’T WATERPROOF!
(A water-soluble pen, don’t get me wrong, can make really cool effects when you want it to, too. When wetted, they blur and bleed into the wetted area and the line becomes less defined. That’s line quality in fashion drawing too. Generally I’ve always found them to be less black than waterproof pens, too, taking on a bluish or brownish cast, so be aware of this distinction as well).
SOMETIMES BLEED IS WHAT YOU WANT! see these articles for inspo and ideas.
Adding water to a water-soluble ink drawing creates washes and bleeds, which are a lot of fun, as long as you are expecting them! Talk about LINE QUALITY in fashion illustration! it’s a special effect! This is a maternity fashion image.
What about Waterproof BALLPOINT pens?
Roller-ball (Uni-ball,Vision, Precise, for example) form and felt-tip forms. In the design houses I’ve worked at such as Gap, Target, CKJeans, and LOFT, we always used MICRON pens in a variety of widths. These are purchased a-la-carte and cost about $4 each.
PITT pens by FaberCastell I always recommend for students and for my own use, I like to order packs of pens in a range of sizes such as or Staedtler’s four-pack which doesn’t have a brush tip. Even Prismacolor now has a pack (includes 5?) of waterproof felt-tip pens that includes a range of tip widths. So it’s easy to have line quality in fashion drawing that’s varied even with relatively fine pens!
(I know we all love Sharpies too, but they smell WAY too toxic for constant use and leave a round dot at the end of lines…. which also can be really fun WHEN YOU WANT that.)
Brush tip pens are AMAZINGLY expressive,
and thankfully have become imitable even in AI (Adobe Illustrator) by using the blob brush and angle tips ( as used in our company logo!). Brush tip pens give immensely more line quality and variation for flair and excitement, while a fine-tip pen explains information in detail or creates incredibly light-handed patterns, textures, or edges.
Tombow is the most well-known brand of the classic dual-tipped water-based brush tipped pen.
Pitt Pens are the deepest blackest ink, and I used their brush pen below. There is a regular size available and a full range of colors in the MEGA size as well.
Please ask/ share any questions or insights about your experience!
I can’t wait to see what you’re doing and hear your thoughts. Let’s take fashion back and create our own images. Let’s revel in the work of the human hand in conjunction with the human body and the human spirit!
Thanks for joining me! xoxo Onward Ho!, Fashion Illustrator Tribe! Changing the face of fashion.