Introduction to Technical Flats - Part 2 of 10
INTRODUCTION TO TECHNICAL FLATS
SECTION 2: SCALE
Today we are going to be talking all about scale! Understanding the reasons behind drawing to scale or choosing to not draw to scale, is incredibly important for your brand and for you as an illustrator. It will dictate how your sketches are perceived and used.
Need to catch up? Read Section 1: Tools and Windows
Follow along with this step-by-step video!
When drawing to scale, 1/8 scale is most commonly used. Other scales such as ¼ or ½ scale may be used when drawing infant apparel or certain accessories. When using 1/8 scale always have your grid showing (view > show grid) because each box is 1/8” tall by 1/8” high. This means that when drawing a garment to scale each grid box is equal to 1”. To draw your garment to scale, you must first measure your garment and fill out a POM sheet. With your measurements handy, you can begin marking out the dimensions of your garment with guides (or lines on a separate layer). Often, drawing in 1/8 scale will leave your sketch looking odd because you are taking a 3D object and portraying it in 2D.
In the Industry proportional scale is most commonly used. It is much easier, faster, and looks more true to the garment. There is less need to update the sketch throughout the life-cycle of the product because it is only updated for design changes, instead of for every measurement change. To draw proportionately, start by looking at the garment flat and begin marking out the outline and other prominent factors. It can be helpful to have a few basic measurements (height, width, etc.) to establish the proportion. You can also take a picture of the garment laying flat, copy and paste it into your document, put it on a new layer, and draw over the top of it. I find this method the most effective.
Once you’ve established your basic proportion you can use it as a block going forward to create consistency among your sketches. A block library will consist of outlines only and possibly a few details that you use consistently. You can save your block library as a regular AI file. To use, open the AI file, choose your block, copy and then paste it into your new document.