29 Jan



January 29th, 2015

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen for Part III!  I apologize for the delay, but unfortunately life is still kind of hectic for me! (That and I procrastinate sometimes T_T)


In this post I will be explaining what are croquis, how (ish) to make them, and what can you use them for.



Origin of CROQUIS krō-ˈkē

French, from croquer to sketch, rough out, literally, to crunch

First Known Use: 1805

(Thank you Merriam-Webster dictionary for awesome stuff)


In the art world, it’s basically a loose drawing, just enough to get an idea onto paper that you can flesh out later.  They’re also good for practicing basic art skills and loosening oneself up in prep for an art session of any kind. (I don’t honestly do them myself, as I use templates, but I should probably get into the habit of doodling and sketching again….I lose my art skills quite rapidly if I don’t use them for a length of time).

For instance, this drawing, pulled from deviantART user EsbenLash is a great example of an art croquis.  (Honestly, they have some pretty damn awesome artwork besides.  Go check them out ❤ )  You basically get the idea that this person is leaping, or dancing, or whatever.  It’s not finished, but you get the jist and can work on it later.

Line Drawing

In the fashion realm (and more often than not if you google “croquis”) croquis just means a body template.  Typically used for anything from drawing clothing lines to flats (the technical term for digitized fashion designs like you see on the back of a sewing pattern). As a side note, flats can be useful to see a more technical approach to your designs once you’ve narrowed them down (but I’m getting ahead of myself here).


At the end of this How-To, in the Resources LIst, I added a ton of handy Fashion Illustration books that you may want to look into.  I have many of them myself and it doesn’t hurt to have several different kinds to reference depending on how you learn/what style you like.


OKAY! AWESOME!  We have a basic idea of what a croquis is.  Now what do we do with them and how do we use them?


First: we’re going to need a few supplies, depending on your drawing habits:

  • Paper (sketch pad, printer paper, scraps, whatever)
  • Templates (optional; will discuss later)
  • Tracing Paper (optional)
  • Pencils (Mechanical or regular drawing; I prefer a 2H when not using a mechanical)
  • Mood board you worked on earlier or other inspirational pieces you’ve gathered


A note on templates: This are easy to acquire or make yourself.  There are several templates you can source from deviantART, Pinterest, Google, or other search engines.

  • For old fashioned paper method- it is good to have tracing paper handy once you print out some templates (or if you’ve drawn your own), that way you don’t have to worry so much about how your figure looks and get down to drawing the clothing right away.
  • For digital art: if you create your template (or trace/modify a template you find online), I suggest making the outlines a light blue and do several per sheet.  This way, if you’d rather do the clothing drawing by hand, you’ll have a lighter line to draw atop of rather than getting confused with a solid black line.

Example of using a croquis found online. Croquis source: P.S. She has quite a few books that look to be very useful resources. I provided links to buy her books in my Resource List. ❤


Example of hand drawing croquis. They aren’t pretty, but they’re functional. Also, notice all my note scribbles next to each design.

Second: Find a comfy place, and draw!

Sometimes I find going to youtube and searching “inspirational video game/movie score music” gets me into the grove.  Especially with my scale maille.  Depending on the desired amount that you’d like for your collection, it is usually best to draw twice that. For instance, draw 12 or more pieces at least if you’re planning on a 6 piece collection (Honestly, I’d do at least 15~20.  Nice good round numbers haha). The reasoning behind this is so you can get obvious ideas out of the way in order to get to the more creative, original designs floating about in your brain waiting to be drawn.

Also as a reminder, make sure you have that mood board/inspiration page handy! It is very easy to go off track.  While it isn’t terrible that you go off track (sometimes you come up with some pretty awesome designs for future/other collections), it’s always nice to have it near you to refresh your mind what it is you’re trying to build your collection around.

Note: As things like possible fabrics/accessories/things not easily drawn pop into your mind on a particular outfit, make sure to note it somewhere near the garment, using arrows or contrasting colors when necessary.  It’ll help in the long run, especially when you get to the fabrication portion.  You wont have to go “OKay…now -what- was the fabric I was thinking of for this??”


Third: Take Breaks, and ask for feedback.

You may not think of it, but taking breaks is actually a decent idea.  It refreshes the mind, and lets you not have to focus on the task at hand (It can get quite daunting.  Believe me.)  This way, you’ll be able to look at your collection with fresh set of eyes and maybe see combinations you didn’t initially think about.

Once you think you’ve exhausted every possible outcome, either take another break, or ask close friends and families what they think.  You don’t have to listen to everything they say (as they may not understand the purpose of your collection to begin with), but the feedback is important.  It’ll help narrow all the designs down to your chosen amount, whether it’s still the same as original thought, or more.


FINALIZING: IT’S TIME TO D-D-D-D-Decide! (You thought I was going to say “Duel” didn’t you)


Now that you have the feedback you need and all your drawings in front of you, it’s time to narrow the designs down.  This is a moment you have to be realistic with yourself.  You may end up wanting to do a 20 piece collection now that you have all these spiffy ideas, but do you really have the time to do it?  This is especially true if it’s your first collection.  You can always reuse ideas in another way for different collections, so never scrap them!


Again, it may be helpful to run by choices with friends and family.  If you explain your theme and ideas, it’ll both help solidify the idea in your mind, as well as help you figure out the best way to write about your collection when it comes time to show them (whether it’s in a show, a fashion spread, etc).


When it is all said and done, you should have a pretty good idea of what the collection is going to look like right now.  For me, personally, at this stage is where I like to start making a few flats for my collection.  It helps me further visualize the collection and I can start messing with colors and other various ideas.  Adobe Illustrator is a good vector-based program to use.







(Resources used in the post noted by an * )



    • *Tahmasebi, Sha. Figure Poses for Fashion Illustrators.  ISBN: 978-1438070490
    • *Watanabe, Naoki.  Contemporary Fashion Illustration Techniques.  ISBN: 978-1592535569
    • *Hagen, Kathryn. Fashion Illustration for Designers (2nd Edition).  ISBN: 978-0135015575
    • *Szkutnicka, Basia.  Flats: Technical Drawing for Fashion (Portfolio Skills: Fashion & Textiles).  ISBN: 978-1856696180
    • *Drudi, Elisabetta; Paci, Tiziana.  Figure Drawing for Fashion Design.  ISBN: 978-9054961505
    • *Park, Aeran.  Workbook for the Fashion Designer.  The Complete Guide to Fashion Illustration.  ISBN:978-0132675819
    • *Tinli, Basak. Complete Fashion Designer’s Guide: Themes, Templates and Illustrations. Buy Here
    • *Tinli, Basak. Fashion Designer’s Guide: 50 Themes, Templates & Illustration Ideas: 20th Century Fashion, Historical Costumes, Sub-Culture Clothing, Categories. Buy Here
    • *Tinli, Basak. Fashion Designer’s Guide: 50 More Themes, Templates & Illustration Ideas: Sports and Activities, Dance Costumes, World Cultures, Sci-fi & Fantasy.  Buy Here
    • Calderin, Jay. The Fashion Design Reference Specification Book: Everything Fashion Designers Need to Know Every Day  ISBN: 978-1-59253-850-8
    • Tortora, Phyllis G.  Survey of Historic Costume A History of Western Dress.  ISBN: 978-1563678066
    • Leach, Robert.  The Fashion Resource Book: Research for Design.  ISBN: 978-0500290354
    • Volpintesta, Laura.  The Language of Fashion Design: 26 Principles Every Fashion Designer Should Know.  ISBN: 978-1592538218
    • Martin, Marcarena.  Field Guide: How to be a Fashion Designer.  ISBN: 978-1592534913
    • Genova, Aneta.  Accessory Design.  ISBN: 978-1563679261
    • Steen, Camille; Lee, Jaeil.  Technical Sourcebook for Designers.  ISBN: 978-1609018566
    • Armstrong, Hellen Joseph.  Patternmaking for Fashion Design (5th Edition).  ISBN: 978-0136069348
    • Armstrong, Hellen Joseph.  Draping for Apparel Design.  ISBN: 978-1609012403
    • Amaden-Crawford, Connie. The Art of Fashion Draping.  ISBN: 978-1609012274
    • Kershaw, Gareth.  Pattern Cutting for Menswear.  ISBN: 978-1780673196
    • Kiisel, Karolyn.  Draping: The Complete Course.  ISBN: 978-1780672861
    • Kim, Injoo.  Patternmaking for Menswear: Classic to Contemporary.  ISBN: 978-1609019440
    • Knowles, Lori A.  Practical Guide to Patternmaking for Fashion Designers: Juniors, Misses and Women.  ISBN: 978-1563673283
    • Knowles, Lori A.  Practical Guide to Patternmaking for Fashion Designers: Menswear.  ISBN: 978-1563673290
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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in How-To


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