Fashion 101: Rendering Prints

What is a Croquis?

Croquis are fashion illustrations that represent your target customer. You visualize this person in enough detail to “style” them to life in illustrations. The meat of your market, they’re fleshed out through demographic research on ethnicity, income, culture, location, age, and gender. A fashion illustration is an informational drawing, or blueprint that the designer/company will send to the manufacturer  to produce the garments.

The purpose of prints

Your portfolio tells the story of who the customer is, and where she’s going. Regardless of your preference, it’s a great idea to demonstrate versatility by the simple use of prints. Your little ladies are the secret to your success as long as you’ve got all the garment information intact.

How To Render Prints

Step 1

According to “Illustrating Fashion Concept To Creation” by Steven Stipleman, “When you add tones you begin to render.” Choose a skin tone for your croquis. Using a marker or pencil, fill in the exposed skin. Usually the face, hands, arms, neck, legs and feet.

Step 2

Using a #2 pencil, sketch the garment on the body of the croquis. Using a marker, fill in the background color of the desired print on the garment.

Step 3

Draw the basic motifs of the print directly on the garment, using a pencil. If polka dots are your print, draw polka dots onto the garment. Consider using 2-3 different size motifs for visual appeal.

Step 4

Using a light gray marker or pencil lightly add shadows and folds to the appropriate areas. These areas are anywhere you can put 2 fingers. This includes lapels and buttons, underneath breasts, crease of elbow, knee area, or underneath areas that are poking out. Whenever something covers something a shadow also occurs. In a jacket and skirt set, the shadows fall on the skirt under the jacket. Shade by laying the pencil tip on it’s side, lightly pressing down and applying loose light strokes.

Step 5

Using a black fine tip marker or pencil to add design details: buttons, zippers, top stitching, seams, darts, and so on. Put a face and hairstyle on your croquis, take one last look, and add the accessories: shoes, make up, jewelry, hats, bags, sunglasses, and so on. She should look like she has a specific destination, and whoever sees her should instantly know where she’s going!

Skill Level


Fabric swatches with print
Fashion sketches
Colored pencils
Colored markers

Consider using a fashion figure template if your croquis aren’t up to par.
Double check your design details.
Consider trying the process a few times before presenting to a client.
Check the garment for every design element.
If  you’re Adobe Illustrator savvy, scan sketches into computer and touch up in Illustrator.

Save all your sketches to be usd as references and templates for future designs.

Missing design details means more cost for the designer because the garment won’t be correctly produced.

You may have to try this more than once to get the look you desire.


Illustrating Fashion Concept To Creation, Steven Stipleman, 2005

For more great information on Fashion Design/Art check out my articles on,Tyra Banks’; and products/artwork featuring my signature croquis at…..Stay Tuned,MUAH aaand scene


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s