The 30 Second Fashion Sketch

Sharpie on Tracing paper

One of the skills necessary for a Fashion Designer is to be able to do a quick sketch for a client, on a napkin, at a lunch meeting.  This kind of “30 second sketch” requires some practice and is best done always using the same pose.  It is a bit of a formula but helpful for these kind of situations.

Here is a template I developed for one of my classes to help students learn to do this in 30 seconds. 


8.5" x 11' template for quick sketch

I divided the figure into 3 sections.  Note that the bottom line is actually the ankles so that feet and high heels can go below that line.  The top third is also divided into thirds.  The top third of that section is the head.

I have also posted some of my quick 30 sketches.  You can see that these are all quite small and primarily used to sketch the shape and silhouette of the design.

quick sketch progression


About Justine Limpus Parish

Associate Professor - Art Center College of Design apparel design - Product Design Dept. costume design - Entertainment Design Dept Fashion Instructor: Mt San Antonio College Workshop instructor: Disney Consumer Products
This entry was posted in FASHION & COSTUME ILLUSTRATION. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The 30 Second Fashion Sketch

  1. Lucis7 says:

    Very true! we sometimes have to draw very quickly to get an idea on paper so we don’t forget it! I have a question about the progression of the sketch, which parts are drawn first of all? are the shoulder and hip lines, or the lines of movement of the spine? maybe is the head first?

  2. TJLubrano says:

    Ohh I just stumbled on this and I love this tip! I’m not a trained fashion illustrator, but I’m looking for ways to perfect my skills and create better fashion ladies. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ll be checking out your site and Vimeo channel tomorrow!

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