There is no time like the holidays for glitter and glamour. It is one of the few times out of the year where sequins can be worn for almost any occasion and no one will give it a second thought. Between shimmery Christmas lights and popping confetti, you can’t avoid glitter in all of the cheery holiday celebrations. You might as well embrace it!
While sequins may create a perfect, glittery, fashion look for the seasonal events, it can be a very difficult fabric to incorporate in fashion designs. The shimmer and shine of sequins is the reflection of light on a 3-dimensional fabric and trying to draw it on paper in a 2-dimensional form requires the right techniques to achieve accuracy. Below, is a step by step tutorial for mastering realistic sequin fabric that will instantly transform your design right before your eyes.
Materials: mixed media sketch paper, markers, paint & paintbrushes, white-out pen, fine point sharpie, and glitter glue.
Time: 1 hour
Begin this tutorial with a fashion croquis. I chose to do a back view to show off design details. Click here for resources on drawing fashion figures.
The first step is outline the gown on the body. I chose to do a mermaid style gown that hugs the hips and flares out around the knees. I also added a big accent bow and low back.
Then, fill in the dress. I chose to use a shimmery gold paint. Any type of paint or markers would work to fill it in, but I prefer to use paint that already has a shimmer and shine to it.
Then, following the curves of the skirt, draw little dots with a sharpie marker. Draw the dots on the curves that come out, away from the body. The dots are used to create the illusion of a sequin fabric.
Choose whether the light is coming from the right or the left and stick to it throughout the whole drawing. I chose for the light to be coming from the right side. I began drawing the dots on the right edge of each curved part. On the side of the light (in this case the right) draw the dots very close together for beery single outward curve. Draw the dots more spread out as you get closer to the inward curves. This represents the way that sequins pick up the light. The inward curves represent the fabric that drapes inwards towards the body and would not reflect the light off the sequins. This means that the inward curves do not get any dots.
Continue this up the skirt, onto the bow, and up the straps. Since the light is coming from the right side, the right strap will have dots that are denser versus the left strap where they will be more spread out. Similarly, the top of the skirt and bow will have the heavier focus of dots on the right sides versus the left sides.
Next, draw white dots with a white-out pen on the same areas of the black dots. Keep the density the same as the black dots- meaning close together versus far apart. Draw them on the whole skirt, bow, and straps.
Afterwards, go over the black and white dots with glitter glue. This step is optional, but it will add extra shimmer and shine to create more realistic looking sequins. Again, use more glittery glue on areas that are denser and less where it is not.
Afterwards, add any extra dots to fill in any blank areas. Then, fill in the finishing touches including the skin tone, hair, facial features, and shoes. I also chose to add a Christmas present in her hand for seasonal festiveness, but this a completely optional addition.
What did you think of drawing sequins? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Stayed tuned to check out my tutorial on how to sew sequins on the blog tomorrow!
Until next time.