How to Draw a Girl Body | Character Design Sketching
- Find a cozy cafe
- Look for inspiration in historical fashion
- Find a comfortable seat
- Learn from the past to create something new
- Interprete with your own style
- Start with a vertical axis
- Draw the body following the axis
- Draw the arm visualizing the bones
- Draw the outfit
- Draw the body first
- Draw hatching for shadows and color blocking
- Think in 3 dimensions
- Tip to draw a hand easy
- Create additional fashion poses
- Check your gravity line
To draw an attractive character design (male or female) with clothes, the outfit is essential.
However, to succeed:
- You have to start by drawing the (nude) body first.
- Then only, draw the fashion clothing style.
1. Find a cozy cafe
Let’s go to chill in a cafe to sketch!
This is the “Ngot cafe” in Ho Chi Minh City.
I find good concentration in such places.
And you, where do you like drawing the most?
2. Look for inspiration in historical fashion
I found a very interesting poster displaying tribes’ outfits all over the world.
And one attracts my attention.
I was thinking:
How about drawing something new from this woman from the Asian tribe?
- If you look at video games, animation, movies, the designers behind often take inspiration from history books.
- Then, they twist the originals as their wish to make them innovative and even more interesting.
3. Find a comfortable seat
My seat is at the corner where I find peace.
The seat and the table height give me a proper posture for drawing. (Some cafes have a too low or too high chairs that handicap the drawing practice)
I will draw from here looking at the poster.
Luckily I have a good vision.
* I used to have a nerdy look with big glasses. But I went to LASIK a few years ago to operate my eyes and regenerate my full sight
4. Learn from the past to create something new
If your ego is telling you: don’t copy.
Then, you will hardly get a high designer level.
History is a tremendous treasure that your imagination has now unlimited access to it!
Imagine if mankind was reinventing the wheel every time a new human was born. It wouldn’t make sense. (I’m curious to see what the world would look like though)
Learn how to copy and absorb information to mix them, and cook them in your brain to innovate! That is how brainstorming creative method is so efficient.
5. Interprete with your own style
The original drawing has its own gravure old style.
However, I want to absorb the data to redraw them my own way.
Think of your mind as an idea shaker to generate new ideas!
That’s the magic power designers and artists learn to master every day by sketching daily.
6. Start with a vertical axis
This simple line has its importance.
You will use it as the main guide for your drawing.
7. Draw the body following the axis
The pose is static.
So you need to follow the body parts all along this axis.
8. Draw the arm visualizing the bones
To draw the pose, it is much easier to start with the skeleton.
To simplify, we draw the arms drawing sticks representing the bones.
9. Draw the outfit
Only when you have a good picture of the body, you can start drawing the outfit.
Even if in this drawing, the hat attracted me first, I didn’t start sketching it.
But the body and the head.
10. Draw the body first
It is the same process as learning how to draw a body for fashion design or concept art, or animation…
Drawing clothes has a similar process to draw a shoe.
- To draw clothes, you need to draw the body first.
- To draw a shoe, you need to draw a standard foot first (called Shoe last)
Draw the base drawing first.
And your mind will be relieved of the proportion and posing information.
This is the only way you can draw activating your full creativity.
11. I draw hatching for shadows and color blocking
When you feel pretty satisfied with your accomplishment, add shadows, prints, and color/material blocking.
I use hatching to make it fast and easy.
12. Think in 3 dimensions
Many fashion illustrations are flat. I recommend you to learn how to draw like animators, comics, and manga artists. They can build up the body model in 3d in any position drawing from imagination!
13. Tip to draw a hand easy
Hands are crazy difficult to draw for a beginner.
To simplify the hand, group the 3 last fingers.
It’s now so much faster to draw hands with success!
You don’t have to leave the hand space blank or hide them in the pocket or in the back. I know this trick too, I did it when I was younger.
14. Create additional fashion poses
When you know how to draw body anatomy in 3 dimensions, with the bones as sticks, you can create your own fashion poses. It elevates the fun and freedom of creativity!
I am now drawing the side view with more fluidity and body curves.
A body is organic and full of curves.
The bones use sticks while the muscles use curves.
(I draw with what I call the S-curves)
I want to draw as if the body were like in “dancing movement“.
15. Check your gravity line
A beginner’s mistake is to draw an unstable body posture.
The gravity line is very useful to check your body balance. It starts from the bottom of the throat, then goes down to the ground vertically. Then check your body position if it feels balanced.
Starting a blank page is not easy.
It’s a pleasure to draw from reference pictures as you outsource a part of your inspiration.
It is so much fun!
I recommend you create your own library of inspiration pictures as a database.
If you want to make it seriously, create folders by type.
For example Mechanical, Machines, Transport, Nature, Human, Science….
Whenever you need a boost of inspiration you can pick up something there.
The pictures don’t have to come from Google’s image but most interesting, from your phone camera.