Computer Croquis + Pattern Illustration Tutorial

1 Oct

Boy, that’s a mouthful but I really wasn’t sure what to call it!

This is a demonstration of how I made the illustrations for the Fall Palette Challenge wardrobe below.

(I just wish to apologise in advance if anyone who actually knows what they’re doing with this stuff is reading. It was developed through true trial and error style so there will quite probably be better ways of doing it)

For the demo I’ve chosen this dress from the July Burda magazine because it has some interesting details to show.

As for the software, I use a free program called that works for most of the things I want to do. I am sure if you have photoshop that will work a lot better, though. Whichever program you choose just make sure you can do layers with it.

Click to enlarge.

The first thing you want to do is open an image of your croquis. This fabulously curvy one came from Amarina at Ursa Major.

I wanted to have the pattern beside it for reference so I increased the canvas  size {Click Image Menu – Canvas Size – then double the width} and pasted it beside.

Create a new layer above the back ground image {Layers box – bottom left icon with the green plus sign}

Choose the main colour you want the garment to be from the colour box then select the line/curve tool {Tools Box – Third from bottom on right}.

Use this tool to draw the first style line of your garment. For this dress I’m starting at the neckline.

The line is straight to begin with so don’t worry about the shape, just make sure it starts and ends where you want it to.

When you’ve drawn the line, you’ll see four dots appear on it. These can be dragged around in any direction to create the curve.

Continue with this tool until all your outline is marked.

Hint: Make sure all the corners connect up otherwise the next step won’t work.

Now select the paint bucket from your Tools Box and fill in the garment.

In the Colors Box click on “More” then make your shade a smidge darker using the slider marked “V”.

We will use this shade to mark the style lines of the item. To do this you could use the paint brush but I like the irregular effect of the Free-form Shape tool {Tools Box – Bottom Right}.

Now you can use a darker shade to create the shadows mostly on one side of the garment using the Free-form Shape Tool.

Add highlights to the opposite side with a lighter shade.

That’s the dress done but I want to give her some hair. To do that I follow the same process with shadows and highlights.

The finishing touch is to hide the remaining visible croquis lines at the neckline. At this point you can make small adjustments too.

I used the paintbrush tool with white to cover the lines and then used the line/curve tool to lower the neckline a little.

That’s it you’re done.

You can either save the image as a .jpg or .png file which will flatten it to one layer, or you can save it as a .pdn file which retains the layers. I have both and in the next post I’ll show you why (hint: I have way too much time on my hands).

So I hope that explains it, but feel free to ask any questions or suggest ways to do it better 🙂

xo Alana






6 Responses to “Computer Croquis + Pattern Illustration Tutorial”

  1. 2paw October 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Thank you so much. It’s like magic to me, even after your wonderful tutorial, but I might be brave enough to experiment now. I love your Palette illustrations, they’re fantastic!!

  2. Marybeth October 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    WOW! Thanks!!! I can’t wait to give it a try! You’re the best for posting this awesome tutorial… I’ve seen other similar illustrations but I never knew how people did them… Sweet!

  3. Stephanie October 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Oh, wow, thanks for this tutorial!

  4. SuzyB October 5, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    Thanks for the tutorial, I’ve had a play and without your step by step instructions I would have no idea (even with them, mine came out no where near as nice as yours!)


  1. Honey, I shrank the sewists! « Lazy Stitching - December 2, 2011

    […] included in the book is creating a personalised croquis for sketching inspiration. I’ve written about my love of ursa major’s curvy croquis before but I couldn’t resist playing with […]

  2. Croquis « Country Girl Couture - December 20, 2011

    […] may not know it yet, but the lovely gal over at Lazy Stitching inspired me to try a croquis. I had my husband (who giggled like a schoolgirl the whole time ) […]

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