The Fashion Model vs. the Average Woman

Fashion models are significantly taller and slimmer than most women. The fashion model's length and simplicity of form help display clothing with a dramatic affect. Style lines, asymmetry, and silhouettes of garments are exaggerated when displayed on an elongated scale. This elongated scale helps to portray a fantasy. These garments are then edited into the real world to be enjoyed by a wider range of people. 

The image on the left is an average woman. The image on the right is photoshopped to represent an exaggerated fashion croquis or template that is 9 heads tall from the top of head to the ankles. This proportion is common to fashion sketching. 


Drawing the fashion figure with 9 heads proportion—Part 1 goes more into depth about the proportions of the fashion figure. This is the place to start if you're interested in fashion sketching. 


Drawing feet on the fashion figure: high heels vs. flats

Let's be honest, drawing feet is annoying. I find drawing flat shoes to be more challenging than drawing heels. Flat shoes often end up looking like little boats or skis or Donald Duck's flippers—not cute.

"Things don’t always work out the first time, but keep trying." – Donald Duck.

"Things don’t always work out the first time, but keep trying." – Donald Duck.

Out of frustration, I had a photoshoot with my feet to try and figure out how to draw heels and flats with ease. 

In the far left image, my heels are planted firmly on the ground (my feet are completely flat). In every following image, I am raising my heels slightly higher; the far right image displays my maximum heel hight. From studying this progression of heel hight (while standing forward in an upright position), I noticed this relationship:

The lower the heel, the more the feet face out away from the center body line.
The higher the heel, the more the feet face in towards the center body line. 

To help illustrate this point, note the red arrows on the below sketch. 


Also note that the placement of the feet from the bottom of the page stays consistent (this is the floor and floors don't move). The knees and ankles gradually gain height from the bottom of the page as the figure gets getting taller with the new heel height. 

I recommend exploring this relationship by standing in the mirror and slowly raising your heels off the ground.
How does your anatomy appear to be affected? 

  • What area on your foot begins to support the weight of your body?  
  • How does the activation of muscles affect the silhouette of your legs?
  • Are there any other structural changes you notice in your body?
  • Curiosity enhances learning, so try approaching this with the spirit of curiosity and exploration. 

See this article to learn how to draw the face on your fashion sketch.