Practicing Fashion Illustrations

This afternoon we had a taster session of drawing fashion illustrations, after researching the techniques of artists like Francois Berthoud’s soft application of inks and watercolour, or Tony Viramontes’ collaging and thick vivid brushstrokes.

We began with the first exercise on the handout, which was to scribble the angles of the pose being held, and to mark the proportions roughly. I found it difficult to mark the curve of the back, but it just requires practice, and this technique is really effective in establishing the movement of the body quickly.

Using black acrylic paint

This illustration was based off the graphic style of David Downton,  but I added colour in the beginning so it could be improved by leaving it as black on yellow paper. Her body is still incomplete, but I managed to capture the drapery of her dress roughly with a large brush and black acrylic paint. The chair also needs to be added to make the pose seem less awkward.

David Downton’s use of thick black lines

Kat really liked this piece- it was a 15 minute exercise with 4 consistent studies in total.  In fashion illustration, it’s necessary to keep within a good body proportion, but also to exaggerate the angle of the hip and shoulders, which means using some artistic licence. I believe that’s what made this piece my strongest one from in the session, as I begun to stylise her a bit more and her movements. The newspaper background acts well as a mid-tone,  and all I need to do is fill in the red outlined figure with white paint, to bring that one out. I’m also happy with my improvement with drawing legs and feet from life.


This was my final illustration. I like my choices in paper for collage, and the green definitely makes a statement, as it encourages the black to emerge more as sharp, graphic  shapes. Perhaps the hat could have more yellow blocks, and her blonde hair could be portrayed with bold yellow paint, instead of a powdered, chalky texture. Next time, I will be careful again with my proportions as the legs should be much longer, and more focus on the arm that’s hidden behind her, as this seems inaccurate and awkward.

Overall, I am very satisfied with what I produced today and I want to continue practicing fashion illustrations so that I can present my textile pieces more clearly and attractively on the body.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s