The first thing that you’ll need is a drafting table. This is where all the magic happens! A good drafting table should be adjustable so that it can accommodate different sizes of paper. It should also have a flat surface that allows for easy maneuverability when drawing. A good quality drafting table can be expensive, but it’s worth the investment if you’re serious about designing dresses.
Once you have your drafting table set up, it’s time to gather your materials. The most important tool for sketching any dress is the pencil. You'll want to invest in some quality graphite pencils, like Faber-Castell 9000 or Derwent Graphic series. Also a good quality mechanical pencil with HB lead will allow for precise lines and details when sketching out your designs. Other essential supplies include an eraser/kneaded eraser (for making corrections), blending stump, ruler (for measuring proportions), sharpener and tracing paper (for tracing patterns). Additionally, quality colored pencils are great for adding color or texture to your sketches.
Last but not least, you’ll need fabric swatches or pictures of fabrics that inspire your dress designs. Fabric swatches will give you an idea of how certain fabrics look and feel before committing to using them in your creation while pictures of fabric can provide inspiration when choosing colors and patterns.
Light and shadow are two of the most important elements of pencil sketching. When shading your sketches, understanding how light interacts with different surface textures can help you draw realistic objects that look three-dimensional on paper. Pay attention to where light comes from and how it affects shadows on different surfaces; this will help create more realistic drawings with depth and dimension.
How To Draw A Dress: Creating Texture
Creating texture through hatching and crosshatching is another important concept for creating lifelike drawings. Hatching involves drawing parallel lines close together in one direction while crosshatching involves drawing two sets of lines at right angles to each other to create a mesh-like texture in your sketches. Varying the pressure on your pencil while applying these techniques will also help create interesting textures in your drawings.
Once you have your materials, understand the concepts of light and shadow & texture, start by sketching out the basic shape of the dress with light lines. Then add details like ruffles, straps, waistlines and zippers as desired. Once you have the basic outline down, you can begin defining the shadows and highlights for added depth. Remember to keep your strokes light and gentle until you’ve got your desired look. Here are some essential sketching tips: