Modulated line

In my previous posts I talked about fashion poses and fashion sketches: some simple steps that will teach you how to draw the human anatomy. Let’s start with the beginning: the most difficult thing when drawing a fashion illustration is the line. You must study how many line types there are and your sketches will become even more creative and expressive.

For the moment, try to do the following drawing exercise to train your hand: the expressiveness of lines in movement. Use any pencil you want from 2B to 6B ( you will need black pencils because they are more greasy than the other: for example HB or H, or F pencils that we use only for technical drawings).


Play with the pressure to leave marks: sometimes the line is smooth, then it goes smoother and after that you can push hard and see the result: some nice thick lines, very powerful.

This exercise will help you be flexible when drawing. Now that you got the movement and the “balet” of the hand, try to change the angle of your curved lines: verticals, horizontals, diagonals: ascendent and descendent diagonals.

drawing exercises

After this exercise, take in consideration the following 3 main situations when we use modulated line in our fashion drawings.

1. When having in consideration the light and shadow: for example: if the light comes from left upper side, then all the lines that are closer to left side are smoother and thinner than the lines traced on the right side of the drawing – those are in shadow, and they will be darker, heavier and bold.

2. When drawing the human body, we have to have in view the axes and the position of the body. In the drawing below it is obvious that all the weight of the model is sustained by the leg in the right ( meaning her left leg ). So this rule says: the leg that supports all the weight of the body must be drawn bolder than the other.


3. The last rule says that where angle changes, you must add more pressure to your line. When line goes straight, it can be equal. When the line changes its shape and direction you must underline this by using pressure. Do this exercise and keep in mind the 3 situations. Enjoy my next post and observe how I used the line.

the light and shadow in a fashion drawing

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