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Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew

Lesson 3 of 14

Drawing: Draw Your Muse

Jay Calderin

Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew

Jay Calderin

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Lesson Info

3. Drawing: Draw Your Muse

Lesson Info

Drawing: Draw Your Muse

First step is to draw our muse. And the key to why this is important, why this face is important, is you want to have the identity on the page reflect who you envision wearing it. Best example is some of you mentioned doing custom work for individual clients and if all your sketches are blond and blue eyed and you have a customer who has brown hair and brown eyes she can still appreciate the value of the sketch, it's a beautiful sketch, and it has great information, but it's one step removed from her seeing herself in your work. So that's another tool for your sketching is you can put your customer in, you don't have to represent them exactly, but put the feel of her, so she can imagine how that would look with her hair color, her skin color, all that kind of good stuff. So to create your muse you're gonna focus on these things we have up on the screen. So with the face you're creating an identity, with the body you're exaggerating the figure, and some people have varying opinions on e...

xaggerating the figure. Usually in fashion drawings we exaggerate length. And although that's associated with tall, skinny models, it's also a way of putting a lot of information in an area that we have most information, but when you're drawing really small it's hard to do, which is the torso. So this area usually has a lot of information. This shirt alone, the placket, the buttons, the pockets, the patches. So working really small sometimes it helps to expand the figure a little bit. But traditionally one of the reasons for having sort of a quote unquote skinny model is that the clothes hang on her and it's not about the person's body, it's about the actual clothing. So a lot of times they are called hangers or mannequins, even in older circumstances their models are referred to as the mannequin or the hanger, so that the focus is on the clothes. That's changing more now, because we're getting more athletic, form-conscious clothing, so now we wanna see some of that body in motion in clothes, so that becomes a little bit, an alternative if you're interested in that. Kind of like with your brides, Patty, like they might want to see a more robust figure. So, and then attitude, projecting a persona, 'cause you wanna have an attitude in the sketch. And then a brief kind of reference to digital, which is just an alternative canvas. 'Cause if someone doesn't have computer skills yet they can shy away from using the computer and again, just like with the hand-drawing, it's about taking each of these steps and applying it with the tools that you have available to you on the computer. All right, so let's move on. So the first one is the face. Now this depiction is just showing the varying steps. So doing a basic face with features, adding makeup and detail, and then adding hair. Now the premise of all of this is always to think silhouette first, just like we did with the clothes earlier, and then informing that by breaking it down into areas and putting in details. So let's get started. For the face one of the things we wanna do is we wanna have a clear line down the center of her face. And you can draw that line, but I normally work in tracing paper first, so I can do many iterations. And so I'm going to fold my page in half. Do you want us to go with you? Uh, yes, you can go, you guys here and at home, you can go along if you have the tools. And if you don't have tracing paper with you you can do this with a piece of regular paper, because it's all about the creases, it's not about seeing through for this particular step. So I folded it in four and what I'm doing here is I'm giving myself four zones. I like to save paper, not be wasteful, so I'm gonna draw my face primarily in one zone and then we're gonna use the tracing paper as a layer to do the different steps to see how she evolves. So in this first section I'm just gonna fold this in half again, so that I have a center line for her face. And here we go. You want to think about placement on your page, so if this is your canvas, this is space you've allotted for your face, you wanna give yourself a little room on top and a little room on the bottom. So that can be two fingers, three fingers, whatever. So I'm just gonna give myself a little mark on that line on the top and the bottom. So that's my fold line, that's the center of her head. And the top is just telling me don't go any further and so is the bottom. Now at first you can draw an oval. And notice that I changed the orientation of my paper to suit my needs. So I'm right handed and I prefer to draw an oval sideways than up and down, 'cause it's more awkward for me. So I'm just gonna do a big oval and it doesn't matter how perfect it is, just a guideline. So with this guideline I wanna pick which side I think is more representational to the side of her face. So I'm gonna say right here, and I'm just gonna give myself a border. So basically I'm sculpting, I'm creating this block and I'm gonna keep sculpting. Now everybody should have the top, the bottom, and the side. And the sides, you want it to be parallel to your center line. And again, don't worry about being perfect, that is not what we're going for. We're going for in the vicinity. We don't have to be perfect. So now the other side of this I can judge in two different ways. I can say, okay, use my pencil, and say, okay, for the center line to that edge that's how far it is. And I can do the same thing here and tell me that that's the side. You can also, because if you're working with tracing paper, fold it back on the half line and make sure you have an actual reflection and I was actually kind of right there, so that's good. So you have the other side. And we work on getting this balanced, because that's what were people kind of wander a little bit if they do freehand is thinking about the features might be a little lopsided and the face might look a little wonky and this helps create a real strong foundation, the bones so to speak. So now since we want an oval we're just gonna square off these top lines and to create a nice curve you just wanna pick points, like here, this distance, make it the same distance from here to here, and then use your hand to act almost like a compass, so that you can do a nice curve between the two. So you're just joining two points, you're just creating a little curve. And you do the same thing on the other side. And then you have a head, the top of her head is oval, but there's a little flatness on top, which helps it look more real. So now we're not gonna do anything with the bottom part yet, because all the information from the bottom comes from where the features are placed on the face. So some basic math. We're gonna cut this face in half. This center line is where the eyes go. Then from that eye line to this baseline halfway is where the nose goes. Then halfway between the nose and the bottom is where the mouth goes. And already we're starting to see a face even with just lines, because we're recognizing, our brain is recognizing the proportions. And everyone's a little different. Again, we always work with the middle, that middle zone, but remember that the beauty of this is once you have this baseline you can look at someone's face and go, oh her eyes are a little higher up, so if you wanna capture that look you're gonna raise her eyes a little bit. So that line becomes a guide that you can lift or lower. So now we can draw the rest of her face, because we have some important information. One is the mouth. We have where the mouth is. And if you follow your mouth along to the side you get the hinge of the jaw. So that is where the jaw is going to start. And then you just have to pick how wide you want the chin to be. So I'm gonna go, say that's my chin, and I always think of a ventriloquist dummy. You know how they have those little lines here? So that's the point for the chin. And then you connect the dots. You go from that little bar to the side and to the side. And now you have the rough of the shape of the face. How are we doing? Any questions? All right. So. Can you just tell us again, Jay, somebody was asking online, tell us again why we're starting with the face before moving on to other parts? Yes, it's real, I think it's really important, because you want to have that identity. I think if, I have actually all my students do their first exercise after they draw the face is to create six different faces based on the same one and just change lip color, eye color, hair style, because once you're designing for someone you're not working in a vacuum. And even though it's sort of like a drawing, it's not a real person, it's important, I have them name them. This is Jenny, this is Susan. And also try to think about who they are, because we all have friends who we know will wear certain things and won't wear certain things, and we wanna get that way about our muse. We wanna know that this is my more adventurous girl, so I'm gonna give her a stronger jaw line and a cooler haircut. And those are things you want to think about when you're creating the face, because it helps you. So all right, so the face. And we can always soften it. Like if you don't like a strong jaw line then we can start acting like a sculptor and just start cutting away to soften her jaw and her chin. And all of a sudden we have this nice canvas for her features. And usually the neck is about halfway on both sides, so that it's big enough to support our head. 'Cause some people draw really skinny necks and some real big, so. I would like to check in with our studio audience in here. I heard some giggles over there. I don't know, how are you guys doing? (laughs) This is the exercise, this was the play, the freedom. Mine looks like an alien right now. Well, like I said before, that means we're halfway there. (laughs) And we haven't even put any features in, so. The top of the head seems, Well, it seems big, right? The top of the head seems very high. Okay, well what do you think we're missing? Hair. Hair, and most people will just add hair to the top. If we take the measurement from the mouth to the chin, like with our pencil we can figure that out, and we put that same measurement here that can be, we go straight across, that is our hair line and then we blend it. Because a lot of people will add the hair on top and we have to remember that our hair lines come deeper into the circle. And this is also, everybody's hair line's different, so we can go higher or lower depending on the look we're trying to create. For ears we're just gonna do a little cap here and at about the nose a smaller cap and just connect them. 'Cause ears can be really complicated, but for this view it's pretty simple. And then we're gonna do a little hood. So we're gonna go, start on the outside, and go in about halfway. And we have a little shell of an ear. Would you do that again? Yes, a little cap, little cap, and then connect them. And then just do the little hood coming into the face. And there's a important detail here that is easy to forget. This hair line that we created doesn't have any hair on the side of the head, so right about here we wanna go out just a fraction and blend that, so she has a little hair at the temple. So we have our map. This is our map for our features. So let's do the features over on the side separately, because we know where they go. The first thing is the eye and for the eye we want a top, a middle, and a bottom. So I create three lines. This center line is this line. The top lines you can think of kind of like glasses. So above the eye and below the eye. So we have this and we wanna figure out, we need to decide how wide we want that eye to be. Here on our line we wanna give ourselves a little room in the middle for the bridge of the nose and we always can forget too this little space on the side of the face, so I bring it in a little here. And that's a really big eye, but in fashion drawings it's kind of nice to exaggerate the eye, but you can modify it as you see fit. So we decide how big that eye is and that's right here. Most eyes are based on a variation on an almond shape. They pinch in at the sides at some point. So we use this middle line as a guide to start the point and to arc over to the other one, and we wanna kind of hit the top of that line. Then we do the same thing on the bottom and we have an almond shape. Now you can do a lot of variations with this, by how wide the box is and how tall the box is. So you can have a very round, boxy eye or you can have a longer eye. So remember, you change the shape of the box, but keep that idea of a sort of an almond shape and you can do almost any eye. Now we're gonna put the iris in the center, which is just gonna be a big old circle. And that gives us her eye. But we need to add something, so that she doesn't look terrified, 'cause right now she looks a little scared. So we need to calm her down with her eyelid. And it's just another arc, but lower. And the reason I put, you might ask why I put the circle in first, is because if we put it in afterwards we can run the risk of putting it in under the lid and it doesn't relax the eye, it's still this starey eye. So if we do this and cut the top off on a little arc like that then all of a sudden that cuts off the top of the circle and relaxes the eye a little bit. Now with this eye, just a little side tip when we're coloring in this eye, you can do this after you color something in, but you can also leave it out, is leaving a little tiny arc, like if you do a smaller circle in here and you color that one in you get a little highlight on the eye. Yep. Next up are eyelashes and eyelashes I kind of have a rule, at least when we're working really small, three, five tops. So I usually, we have eyelashes coming out in all directions, but when we're looking head on what we really see are the ones going out to the side, so I do from the middle one, two, three, and then maybe two smaller ones in the middle. And that's enough to give her a little lash. And notice, quality of line is very important. So if I draw this I have a very, sort of stilted, flat curve, but if I do this and lift off the pencil it tapers off into nothing and that creates more of the illusion of a lash or for something else. It might not be for that, but this is the first place we kind of see it. Yes? I just wanna jump and comment, Liberace says, these tips are so good. Oh, nice. And I'm sitting here mesmerized as well. How did you, what was the process for developing this sort of step by step? Well, I started, I was taught to draw in a certain way and that was great. It was kind of more of a traditional sense with like, in fashion terms you hear a lot about nine heads and all these different techniques, but I really kept coming across, when I started teaching, people who were just terrified of those techniques where they weren't breaking it down. So I really kind of really distilled everything to the absolute most basic thing. Because when you do this then you can transform these shapes, but this is the foundation of all those things. Like if you were to abstract features, this is what it comes down to. Really, really cool. Fashion Time says, I feel like the eyelids for some reason are difficult. Well, it's the same, it's basically just a lower arc. You're still going from here to here, but what you might wanna do is pick a point maybe halfway and draw the arc in there. You don't wanna go straight across, 'cause it will flatten out the eye, well, I should say you don't want to, because styles, that could be a cool thing. I never say no to students. After they've done my version they can come up with other versions. But yeah, it's just an arc like the top one, it's just a little lower. And the key really is to cut off that top of the iris or the circle. So next up is, to finish off the eye is the brow. And I have a little, you can have all different types of brows. I always think of a certain formula to keep the arch of a brow kind of dramatic. And what I do is see this line right here, the angle for the inside of the eye, I will go up a little higher and follow that angle. Can everybody see that? So I follow that angle and then when I break the eyebrow, when I arch it, I make sure that it's at least 2/3 of the way over, because if you do it in the middle it looks like a mountain peak. So if you go 3/4 of the way, and unfortunately the word eye is there, so you can break it off by going straight or at a little bit of an angle, so this right here, this line, becomes your brow. And again, that quality of line is important, that last little tip you can kind of lift up the pencil. And then you don't have to put a lot of hairs in there, I mean you can, but you can just go heavier with this side and then blend it and not have too much of a point on it and you have a very simple eyebrow. And again, you can have very heavy brows, very light brows, anything you want really. So when we put this in. Oh, and a little tip I'm gonna show you here when I put this eye. If you start the bottom, but don't finish it, don't go all the way across, you'll get a much more open eye. A lot of times when you put in that bottom part it can look heavy makeup. So if you want a more innocent look you can choose not to finish it. So now you have your eye with an eyebrow on the face. And for, in the beginning everyone always feels like if you use tracing paper it's a bit of a cheat. It really isn't, it's a training tool. So if you're having problems getting both eyes symmetrical or lined up the beauty about why we suggest the tracing paper is you can fold it in half and draw that other eye. Now the one thing you have to be, the one little thing you have to be conscious of is the iris. If you drew it even remotely to the side or to the inside you need to do the other one so that she don't look walleyed or cross eyed. So you just need to move it over just a little bit. But if they're dead center you can duplicate the eye. Yes? Jay, can you just tell us again how you took the shape of the eye that you drew a little bit bigger and then placed it into the face itself? Yeah, I used the center line as the basis, but you can also draw in the top and the bottom and then box it off and those steps can help you kind of manage. 'Cause a lot of times you can do the eye really big, but when you're working on your croquis you're working really small, so any and all guidelines that we do separately we can put into this map. I call it really the face map that where you're putting in the features. And again, where you have the line for that map you can elevate the eyes, lower the eyes, you can do a lot of different things. All right. All right, so now the nose is made up of three little circles. Now for the nose you don't need a lot of information on the sketch. The nose is often downplayed. But if you're doing costume and you wanna do a more prominent nose, because the character, that's more of the look, I'm gonna show you from scratch and then we can take the simple notation away from it. So we're gonna do one little circle, and two little circles on either side. And that's basically Mickey Mouse, right? So what we're pulling for here is the relationship between these circles. So we're looking for the connection in between them. And I'm gonna draw a little harder, so you see, and here the curve in between those circles gives you the nostrils, between those circles. And then the tip is the tip of the nose. And then if you want to you can emphasize the outside of the nostrils by taking the side and doing that. And then obviously you wouldn't keep the circles in the sketch, but you can just tip of the nose and nostrils. I like to keep the nose a little simple, but you can go around and add more information to the nose. How's everybody doing? I love that everybody's sketching, it's great. All of you who said you wouldn't sketch. (laughs) So now the mouth is three circles as well and it's about the relationship between the circles, but now they're stacked up in a little triangle. And the key to any mouth is the relationship between these circles in the middle. So it's over that circle, under this circle, and over that circle. That will give you the opening of the mouth. And most people, no matter what the shapes of their mouths are, have that little dip in the middle and then going over on the sides. So underneath the middle circle and over the other two will give you that perfect little dip. And the sides of the mouth, it can depend on whether you wanna go real serious or real smiley. So if we go straight across it can look very serious. But I like to turn it up just a little bit to make her look like she's remotely happy. (audience laughing) She's happy to be in that dress. And then at the bottom of the circles you bring them across and you have the bottom lip. And that top circle you can cut a little U or a little V into the circle and then you just connect that to the outside. You go down. And this is, I always do this little cupid's mouth, 'cause that's the first thing I learned, so it's my go-to. But you can, again, go wider or fuller. And I'll just draw a couple of variations, so you can see. So if I go really big and oval this way I still have up, down, up. But I have a very different shaped mouth just depending on how wide, the ellipse, whether it's perfectly circle or more oval. And you can do that up and down too. So we can have very sort of long mouth, wide mouth, play a lot. So, and then here I'm gonna do a version of the mouth without, this sort of implies a finished mouth in terms of makeup, if you just do the opening and a little hint at the bottom you have a nude mouth. So no lipstick, you just have that opening and just a little shadow underneath the bottom lip. And if you're doing a very, as you can notice, she looks very innocent and there's a sweetness and openness to her face, because not everything is super defined. So she looks almost younger or more innocent or sweeter. Okay. Now again, everything that you see about your sketch that you may not like what you wanna do instead of going, I can't draw, which you can, is to look at that, look at what you don't like, and figure out what it is that you don't like. So say, oh that mouth is too small or she looks pursed or she looks too big or whatever it is and make the modification. And you don't have to start from scratch each time, you can put another layer of tracing paper over it, copy all the good stuff, and then do a variation and change the mouth. Saying why don't I like that mouth? Is it too small? Is it too wide? And make those adjustments very simply. While you pause I'm gonna give a shoutout to Michelle B. who has been a student here at CreativeLive, a regular for many years, and Michelle says, wow, oh wow, I have never seen this done. Perfect, best lesson ever. Wow. Just the breaking it down and people are loving the bubble lips as well, so thank you. I love it. Thank you. Excellent. So now we have our face. So one thing I do say and I'll repeat this when we do the figure as well in a minute, we want to think about how to correct things and a little exercise that I use is to turn your sketch upside down, because you will immediately see things that are askew or out of proportion or longer on one side or shorter on one side. When you turn it upside down our face isn't automatically correcting it to a see a face. We see just shapes and we'll know right away if something's off. And you'll see that probably better when we do the figure as well, but it works with the face, or anything you're drawing really. So one last thing for the next version of her and I'm gonna use the tracing paper layering, just so we can see the difference, is we're gonna talk about hair. 'Cause a lot of times with hair people will put way too much information in the hair, like too many lines, because they're actually trying draw every single hair and get it documented. What we wanna do is just like we talked about with the clothes is to create a silhouette first. So you wanna say what is her hair line? Is there a part, let's say. So if we give it a part, give her a part, and then say is it short, is it long, does it get kind of when we talked about silhouettes, do they get wider at the top, wider at the bottom, are they round? So here I'm just gonna do kind of a triangular shape, but a little softer. And you can draw a triangle first if that helps and then start to cut it away. But here, I'll give her a neck, here I'm gonna say it's short, it goes to her neck. So there we have, she's got a short haircut, right? So the silhouette is first, because I'm gonna show you two different techniques for a texture, which is the next step. How to break this, oh, I'm sorry, skipped over one. You wanna think also locks of hair, the big chunks of hair in the hair style. You're almost thinking like a hair dresser. And I'm gonna say I want a piece of hair going over her face, like that. Another one here. And that gives you these big, if there are any bangs or big chunks of hair. Now that's her haircut, but she may have different types of hair. If it's straight you would just follow in and add a couple of straight lines. Again, you don't need a lot of them. And maybe a couple of lines in here. And that is all you need, 'cause once you start to put lots and lots of lines in there it starts to get very, very heavy. And the reason this is all you need is because when we start to color this in we're gonna color in the whole shape first, then we're gonna add some highlights and some low lights with the same color, and then just a couple of accents with pencil. And because of all that layering of color you'll get the essence of hair. But let me show you also, here these are kind of big waves, so that can be an alternative to straight, but then we can also do curly. And curly, if I don't do a straight line around the edge and do these little Cs and Ss and I break that line up and even here in this chunk, and start to fill this in. Little S, and you want it all to interlock. And it's just little Cs and Ss. And you're starting to see curly hair emerge, but within the hair style. So I'll take a while for me to fill all this in, so I'm gonna assume we've got that, yeah? Okay. So, and you can also even do sort of a kink, hair with a little bit of a kink to it. So for instance with these hair, these straight hairs you can kind of break them up. And you can do, sorry, hair that has kind of a rougher texture to it. So we have big waves, we have straight, we have curly, we have hair with a little kink. But, again, you wanna emphasize silhouette, shapes within the silhouette, almost think of them as style lines, like saw in the dress form, and then texturizing and giving them the style of hair. Okay, all right. Jay, your desire to make this approachable and attainable and doable to people is coming through. Yeah? Yes. Oh good. Thank you. All right, I'm just gonna tear this, 'cause I wanna use this other side. All about saving the paper. So the other thing you can do is change her identity with color. So I like to come up with little formulas for color, just like you would if you were buying makeup. And look at how different she looks if we color in, a little eyeshadow, if you color in the areas with a soft palette. Oh, and a little tip. When we're coloring in that upper lip we can go a little heavier, a little darker, and then go softer and use the side of the pencil to color in the bottom and we get that natural shadow. And where am I? Where are you? Oh, here we go. So I'm gonna go very soft, outline the eye, lashes, put in the nose for the details. And here I'm gonna say her hair is soft and wavy and blond. And we see a particular identity, right? We can associate her with a certain look, softer. If we take the same piece of paper and give her, let's make this silhouette very severe. And it's basically like playing with makeup. And let's give her a really dark eye color. Once you've done all the work to come up with this structure of the face it will, let me add a little color to this, just so you can see the difference. Just color in a little bit. We have two very distinct girls. Sorry, I should hold it this way probably. Two very distinct girls from the same exact structure. So remember, once you create the bones you don't need to reinvent it every time, not that you shouldn't evolve and try different shapes and different features, but just to show you the versatility of creating this. And like I said, this will help kind of interact with your audience, your customer, so then it reflects more of the attitude and the look of the actual client.

Class Description

Bring your designs to life with Jay Calderin in Making Fashion: Draw, Draft, and Sew!

Jay Calderin has been called a “a budding designer's best friend,” and in this class he’ll show you exactly what it takes to create and construct custom clothes. 

You’ll learn about:
  • Drawing and planning for clothing production
  • The stages of pattern making
  • Constructing and finishing garments
Jay will help you get started with smart drafting tips and offer insights on working with muslin so your patterns lay and drape properly.

If you want to produce one-of-a-kind garments, join Jay Calderin for a complete primer on getting started in Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew.


Jacquelyn Bradley-Nelson

I love this class, I'm glad I found it. This what I want to learn or add to my knowledge. JayC you are awesome! I need more learning on rendering coloring for illustration for that is. I can't wait to see what's on the other class I will take. Thanks! Signed: rm515jb.

Andrea Leggett

I really enjoyed this and the draping really opened my eyes to what can be achieved. Jay made it look easy so I plan a shot at draping later and will post my effort on Instagram with thanks to him! Thank you Creative LIve for bringing this to me (in the UK) and special thanks to Jay. When I'm in Boston in August I"ll buy you a beer!


Loved the draping information. It was logical and clear enough to make me want to try it.