5 Steps to Fashion Illustration

I know I said it about 2 weeks ago, “how-to” post is coming soon… Well, soon is here :)
I finally had a chance to sit down at the computer for longer than 20 minutes and put together some photos of my latest illustration. I hope it helps some of you who just started learning illustrating.
I’m going to let you know the main steps in illustrating plus some of the things I learned on my own. Don’t forget you can always click on the images to view the details.

Step 1

Draw a croquis (a sketch of a model, usually an outline of a person in a position you want her/him to be). Average person is about 8 heads tall, but in fashion drawings it is about 10-11 heads. Usually, fashion torso is slightly longer, however legs still take up the rest of the height. So if you look at it, legs are as long as the whole torso + head.
I personally, start with drawing a torso and hips (shown with red lines). Don’t forget to make sure that the body doesn’t look off balance – connect the head and the feet with a straight vertical line. Balanced figure will have lower part of the line fall in between the feet.

Step 2

That’s where you let your imagination go wild. Draw out the design of all the garments and accessories. Remember, it all doesn’t have to be perfect. You can use photos to see how different fabrics behave depending on wind, gravity, etc.

Step 3

Color in or leave some spaces empty. For example, a lot of times illustrators leave skin uncolored so they can emphasize fabric hues and textures. Colors where the light hits or where they are more exposed to light are much lighter than the rest of the garment, and places where clothes are touching the skin or wrinkles are darker. You can pick your colors from watercolors, paint, pencils, ink, pens, markers… anything you like.

Step 4

Outline! Or don’t. Your choice. I use a regular black ink pen, but if you want to outline before coloring, you will need to get a pen that doesn’t smear. Personal favorite is by MICRON. They have amazing variety of thickness of the tip and colors, perfect for any illustrations.

Step 5

This step is for those who’d like to share their art. It’s very nice to have a scanner, so you can scan your picture and make it pretty for the internet. At this point I can’t afford one, so I use my digital camera, which is not the best choice in the world, but gets the job done.

Those are my personal steps to illustrating, but it all depends on your personal style or choice of media. Don’t get discouraged, the more you  practice – the better you will get at illustrating. I’m not the greatest illustrator out there, but I surely enjoy what I do. And that’s our goal.

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