Design a Window Dress

Maybe you want to get started drawing fashion, but you’re a little intimidated by the blank page. If so, this mini tutorial has been created to allow you to be playful – once your window dress is made, you can change its design by holding it up to anything.

rose dress

Start by drafting your figure and your dress. Below is an example of what a typical draft looks like – the rough outlines of the proportions are visible. Don’t worry about being messy with a draft, a messy draft is a good draft. If you need help, you can use the drafting tutorials in the book as a guide, or you can use this tutorial online.

window step 1

Once your figure is drafted, trace it out onto a nice thick piece of paper – I used 140lb hot press watercolour paper. Keep the outline of your dress very simple so it’s easy to cut out.

window step 2

If you like, you can colour in the figure’s skin and hair, as I’ve done here. I used a watercolour wash that was a mix of Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, with the tiniest touches of red, blue and yellow. The hair is Burnt Umber mixed with Mars Black. Don’t overwork watercolour, it’s best to leave it to just a few strokes.

window step 3

Then I outlined the figure using a black fine-tipped brush pen by Japanese brand Kuretake.

window step 4

Then I used a sharp knife and a cutting mat to cut out the dress. If you use these tools, it’s very important to go slowly, don’t press harder than you need to, and make sure you are cutting AWAY from yourself. If you’re still a kid, get an adult to help you. You can also use scissors to do this – if you have a small pair of scissors with pointed tips, they work best.

window step 5

Once you’re done, take your drawing and a camera, walk around and see what kind of dress designs you can come up with, as I did up top! If you tried this tutorial, I’d love to see what you made, please feel free to share in the comments.

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