Skip to main content

art & design

Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew

Lesson 5 of 14

Drawing: Render Color

Jay Calderin

Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew

Jay Calderin

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

5. Drawing: Render Color

Lesson Info

Drawing: Render Color

So now, I'm gonna draw a very simple outfit, because our next phase is going to be about rendering color, so we need something to render color in, and we also wanna talk about how we get our sketch transferred. So, if you bear with me for a second, here we go. Where's my black? Oh! OK, so, I'm just gonna do a very simple outline. OK, and I'm very purposefully going to work in just one color, because when we transfer, we're gonna use the actual colors we're going for. So, I'm gonna create this little impure airline, I mean, airline, (laughs) a-line, outfit. And, let's just do a little scoop, keep it very simple. And, yeah, OK. OK, so it could not get more simple than this. And you would do all the information for your sketch, you do a nice little sketch, and then we have the light board here. And again, because you don't have to do everything freehand, you can build, we would put this sketch underneath, and we normally, we could work with any kind of heavier paper, and we can position t...

his sketch where we want it on the page, and for the transferring, we wanna give ourself clues for when we start drawing, and we also wanna make it so light that we barely can see it. I mean, we can see it as a guide for color. All right, so here I'm gonna follow all the areas I see skin in, with a skin toned pencil, or something close. I'm gonna switch off and make her a redhead. And again, just transfer over the basic information. Maybe put in her details. OK. And then, work with the colors, that I'm actually creating the garment in. At least for this sketch. And you don't have to trace out, again with those, with a heavy line, you can just do those little directions, that give you the essence of direction for that line. You could in the beginning, just actually trace out every single line, but even if you do that in the first process, at this point you can get a little lighter and use that quality of line. And let's say I choose a different color, for the bottom. OK, so I think we have enough there to work with, so when we're working on the solid white paper, not the tracing paper, then we can start to introduce color, and we can treat it almost like a coloring book. We're filling in that base color that we're gonna be building texture, and shadow, and all these kinds of good things. So, the idea behind rendering color, at least so that you can get comfortable with it, is to transfer over the design, use the colors as a guide, and then, that's your frame, and then you fill that shape with the right color, and then we can shadow. OK, so I'm gonna go ahead and select my colors. You can do a little taste. And all I'm doing is filling in the background, not worrying about every little hair, and just thinking about what that middle color is. I can keep on going. And you might wanna do all the base color first. And it's also important to remember that whatever the medium is, I'm using markers 'cause they dry really quickly, and they're great for a demo, but you can do all the coloring in with watercolor, or whatever medium you wanna use. The other thing that I try to do is follow the grain of the fabric. So for instance, I try to follow the shape, so it's going in that direction. A lot of times that can help with not having sort of splotchiness that doesn't feel like the fabric. And then finally, just gonna work on the half so you can see all the levels of it. We have a question here. Yes. Studio, go ahead. So I was just wondering if, I know you said that a lot of times you start out with color pencil-- Yup. And end with it, but do you try for the most part, to stick with one type of utensil, like all watercolor, all marker. Like, does it get weird when you, Per sketch? Or just in general-- Per sketch, like I feel like mix and matching can be weird. Yeah I would say, you don't, usually mixing watercolor and marker can be a little difficult, unless you're doing something very specific, but I wouldn't rule anything out. I would think, you just want a formula. Like, I've had students who basically say, they're gonna do all their skin tones in watercolor, 'cause they like the way that looks, and then do all the clothes in marker, and the contrast, as long as it's consistent, can be really nice. OK. Yup. And here for the filling in of color, I can always come up, to meet and to fill this so that we're blending back, and the streaking actually works for us. OK, and we can emphasize the bottom. So now, we've worked basic color, kind of almost, like a, you know, coloring book. Now we can add a little bit of shadow. Shadows are something you probably, you don't have to add, they can get a little heavy sometimes. I always try to think of a light source. So if we have light coming in, in that direction, right, from the upper side, then shadows are gonna be on this side. So this arm, I might add another layer of color, so it gets a little richer. I might add a little shadow underneath the bust, on this side, for her skin I might give her a little shadow underneath her chin, to kinda bring it out. I might give her a little shadow for her cheekbone, bridge of her nose, I'm not doing the other eye, but you give her, so the hollow of her eyes, and here we really have the foundation for everything we would finish off with pencil. Because we have that full color filled in. Good, yeah. What type of markers you were using? I, that's, thank you, that's a good question, 'cause I use primarily Prismacolor, I like the quality of them, I know that there are more generic versions, to be honest, the quality for most of those high end markers are pretty consistent, but I just grew, kind of started it all with Prismacolor, the same thing with the pencils, but there is a whole range of specialty pens, which I actually kinda have a few of them here. There are so many, but like when I'm doing metallics or whites, or anything like that, these all play into the process afterwards, so they're like little highlights, and little, you know, if I wanna do bead work, so actually, let me play a little bit. If I was doing, bringing in sort of a gold bead, I might take a metallic, and then here, I might be putting in detail, depending on where the design was, and 'cause it's really hard to find exactly the right color with regular markers, so sometimes you have to go into colors that are gonna sit on top, but the key to this is, you don't wanna use these kinds of markers for your base color 'cause there's nothing to build on, they completely obliterate the sketch, they take over. So these kind of heavy, like metallics, or even, I have a very cool white pen, and I'll do it over here, which actually is one of the few times, I mean, a few ways for you to get white on top of a dark color. And these are really great, these particular ones are Galaxy markers, they're the, they have white, they have black, they have metallic. But that's how you can kind of embellish, but the baseline are these Prismacolor, and the Prismacolor pencils.

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.

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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.