30 second sketch with Tombow Pen & Waterbrush

Plaids, Checks, Stripes, Herringbone, & Houndstooth…Oh My !!!!!!!!!!!

Illustrating and Designing with horizontal/vertical grid patterns can be very challenging.  Even though we are mostly saved from this by 2-D & 3-D apparel design and illustration software, it is still helpful to know how to do quick sketch versions of these textiles when roughing out ideas for clients.

Here are some helpful tips for dealing with GRID TEXTILE PATTERNS.

Dart distorts the pattern

  1. These patterns run with the grain (vertically) and cross grain (horizontally) at right angles to each other. 
  2. Be sure the underlying grid structure is equally spaced and remains uniform in size as it travels over the garment.
  3. Darts, complex drape and seams may appear to change the design of the textile pattern.  The example shown here shows how a dart brings the two stripes together.  Even though lining up the print at seams is the sign of a well made garment, it can be a nightmare.
  4. Grid patterns shown running diagonally indicate a BIAS cut to the garment pattern.  Be sure that the direction of the grid is accurate.


  1. Draw the base grid quickly in light pencil.
  2. Indicate the pattern mostly in the body area, letting it fade out as it goes away from the body. 
  3. I like to use Tombow Pens and Waterbrush with Gel pens for fine light color or white detail.



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, FASHION DESIGN and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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