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Creating a Fashion Sketch in Adobe Illustrator CC

Hello Everyone,

The process of stylized sketch drawing by hand is a pleasure for the most of the fashion design students. However, it is very time-consuming process. Just one inaccurate line or marker stroke can spoil the drawing. Have you been in the situation, when you left your drawing on the table without supervision, and a kid or a cat smiley decided to improve your fashion sketch? Can you imagine frustration to see the ruined illustration after long hours of working on it?

And there is one more drawback of paper hand drawing – it fades in time.

Fortunately, modern technologies allow restoring a damaged drawing. For example, unwanted spots or scratches can be easily erased in Adobe Photoshop on a scanned image. Alternatively, the scanned drawing can be turned into the vector format by using Adobe Illustrator. If you create a vector drawing, it will be easy to improve any line, recolor your sketch, copy it as many times as needed, scale it and so on. You will be able even to change the fashion figure pose.

Today’s technologies allow us to draw without paper. If you have good drawing skills, you can use the Wacom tablet or iPad Pro and draw a fashion sketch straight in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop using a stylus.

Let’s look at several examples.

You can scan an image, originally created by hand, and place it into Adobe Photoshop. Then you can fill it in with various colors or textures, imitating real marker, pencil or brush strokes. Garments can be painted with scanned fabric.

If you are uncertain how to convey your ideas into a fashion drawing, don’t feel uncomfortable. There are several easy techniques of fashion sketch creation by using Adobe Illustrator. You won’t need Wacom or any other tablet pc. You can draw by using a computer mouse, the Pen tool and the Brush tool in Adobe Illustrator and a model photo as a template. Then transform your drawing into a 9 head fashion sketch.

You can use a photo and a hand drawn sketch together as a template, combining them in one stylized drawing.


If your hand drawing skills are very good, draw a quick fashion sketch with a pencil, then scan it and transform into a vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator. Then, you can change colors of the drawing, enlarge or reduce it, copy any part of it and do many more things. To imitate hand drawing, you can use the Brush tool in Adobe Illustrator.

Any line created in Adobe Illustrator can be edited. Outline and fill colors can be changed easily.

Besides the abovementioned methods you will be able to install Adobe Illustrator in your tablet. As announced by Adobe, the release of such possibility was slated for release in fall 2020. Any tablet turns into a digital drawing canvas where you may draw anything you want by using a stylus. After the drawing is finished, thanks to cloud technology, you can transfer it to your desktop version of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop for further work. However, in order to enjoy this possibility, you have to create the Adobe account and use your Adobe ID. smiley

An approach to fashion sketch creation depends on your specific goal and available time.

The topic of developing fashion sketches / stylized sketches is covered in chapter 12 of my e-textbook "The Craft of Garment Design with Adobe Illustrator".

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