Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Feel like adding some MALE fashion illustration sketches to your sketchbook? I hear ya! I LOVE drawing female faces & fashions. But every once in a while- I like to mix things up and draw a dude.
Today we're sketching an EASY fashion illustration figure in pencil, and coloring him in with alcohol markers. He's simple enough to do even if you've never tried fashion figure sketching before. Grab a pencil, some markers & come draw with me!
If you're new to drawing and coloring with alcohol markers, or have a brand new set of markers, make sure you grab my FREE Swatch Sheet so you can swatch your markers out before we get to the coloring portion of today's project. Simply click on the button below, and I'll send it straight to your email!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
I can't wait to show you a flip through of the fashion sketching book that inspired today's video, Figure it Out! Simple Lessons, Quick Results by Christopher Hart. It's literally filled with lessons & drawing references that will keep you drawing for days.
A couple of weeks ago I did a female fashion sketch tutorial inspired by another one of Christopher Hart's books (I have ELEVEN of them because I LOVE him that much!). SO many people in my Facebook group were drawing along with me and I just loved it, so decided I had to do another one!
There are so many ways to draw the figure. I'm actually writing a new book right now about how to draw figures using my own Quadrant Method (check this video out if you want to see how the Quadrant Method works for figure drawing).
As I said in my previous Christopher Hart project video - I LOVE his instruction. It's clear, concise, and simple to follow.
I'm using a mechanical pencil to sketch today's male fashion figure. I love the Graphgear Set by Pentel that I'm using in the video because it's weighted and helps me feel like I've got better control.
This particular drawing prompt from Christopher Hart shows the head tilted just a bit, as well as the shoulders. Since we're drawing a guy- the shoulders are fairly squared off and angular.
Our dude has a bit of a swagger in his step, which makes his torso curve. We're also drawing one leg "shorter" than the other to indicate he's in motion, mid-step.
You'll notice the joints in fashion illustration are initially sketched in as balls or circles. These guidelines will get erased when the drawing is finished, leaving a gentle curve behind.
Fun fact about fashion figure sketching - the elbows of your figure should always end up at the waist of your model, so keep that guideline in mind as you're drawing. I love that this illustration has the guy's hands in his pockets! Makes things SO much easier - no fingers to worry about.
If you are someone who wants to learn how to draw hands and fingers realistically, I've got a course over at Awesome Art School just for you, and a book of the same hand drawing projects on Amazon.
Once you've got the arms of today's guy sketched in, and have a little detail added to the pants and shirt, it's time to get rid of some of your guidelines.
I'm using my favorite vanish eraser. It's super gentle on your paper and really lifts the graphite quickly. They sell these at Jerry's Artarama for $2! If you don't have a Jerry's near you, you can also pick them up on Amazon at that link above.
Super important tip if you're planning on using alcohol markers (Copics, Ohuhus, sharpies, etc.) to color your dude in...
You'll want to outline first in a fineliner, then erase all remaining graphite because if you color OVER graphite with your alcohol markers, the underlying graphite will smear. It can also really wreck/stain your lighter marker shades like yellows, light skin tones or pastels.
You also need to really make sure you pay close attention to what your fineliners are made of. Alcohol markers blend beautifully with other alcohol markers. But... if you outline in sharpies (this is ALSO an alcohol marker)- you're gonna get smearing or "bleeding" because the fineliner is gonna try to blend with the alcohol markers you're shading with.
Do yourself a favor and use a fineliner that's a water based or pigment based. This will ensure NO blending takes place where you don't want it. I love this set by Molotow. It's a great value (11 fineliners in a variety of nib sizes for around $28).
After your finelining is done, take another pass over the whole drawing with your eraser to make extra sure there is no remaining graphite.
You'll notice just before I grabbed my fineliner, I decided I wasn't as in love with the mohawk I'd drawn in for my dude's hair as I thought I would be. My How to Draw Fun Fab Fellas drawing book was on my art table, so I decided to flip through it for a little men's hairstyle inspiration.
This book was part of my original How to Draw Fun Fab Faces trilogy, and came about because I've got three sons. They used to joke about how I only drew girls, so this book was kinda for them (and anyone out there who loves drawing faces or wants to learn how to draw a male face).
For coloring with alcohol markers (or really any art supply), I recommend you use at least 2 shades of the same color so you can show a little dimension in your shading. It just makes your drawings look so much more sophisticated.
If you don't have two shades of a color available - just use the same color and add another layer to darken parts of your drawing and indicate shadows. That's what I'm doing today.
If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm in LOVE with my copic markers! But they cost an arm and a leg to collect (trust me- I've been adding to my collection for YEARS!).
Usually I tell my students to purchase a set of Ohuhu alcohol markers because they're much cheaper and still great quality. You can get this giant set of 120 shades for around $99. I know $99 for markers still sounds kinda high - but if you want to play with the rainbow and not sacrifice quality, this is your brand.
They have an excellent skin tone set too! Just for comparison, this Ohuhu skin tone set comes with 24 markers and runs around $30 on Amazon. The copic marker skin tone set (while gorgeous & top of the line), only comes with 6 markers and costs around $45.
If you're new to working with alcohol markers, watch this video - it's everything you need to know to get started.
You can totally mix and match your alcohol marker brands too. So if you feel like splurging on a smaller set of copics and grabbing the Ohuhu skin tone set - they work beautifully together. I work with both brands interchangeably all the time! Can you tell I've mixed brands below?
Didn't think so ;) Once you've finished coloring today's adorable fashion dude, don't forget to add some white highlights at the end. This is one of my absolute favorite parts of my projects, and really takes your art to the next level.
I had a white poster paint sharpie nearby, so I simply grabbed that to add my highlights in. You could also use a white posca pen here. They're interchangeable too, and both work really well on top of alcohol markers.
Make sure you stick with me until the end of today's video for a FULL flip through of Christopher Hart's book, Figure It Out! Simple Lessons, Quick Results. You're gonna love it!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
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Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.