HOW I LEARNT TO FASHION ILLUSTRATESunday, February 15, 2015
Ive been asked a few times on my Instagram page @Sj_illustrations how I learnt to fashion illustrate and what I use to create my illustrations. Now I'm not an 'Artist' by any means but I do fashion illustrate as a hobby and I love it! So I thought I'd put together a post all about my illustration story so far and hopefully this post will answer some of the questions I've been asked recently and help any aspiring fashion illustrators.
I did a year fashion course after I left school but I'm going to be completely honest , I did not learn anything I'm about to talk about from uni. I've learnt all the basic fashion illustration proportions and import tips all from google and YouTube. I searched 'how to fashion illustrate' on both google and YouTube and found a whole load of tutorials which have really helped me.
When I picked up my pencil last April after around 3 years of not drawing at all, I wanted to be as amazing at illustrating as Hayden Williams...But my proportions where all off completely and I HAD to learn some basics if I ever wanted to be able to share my illustrations with the world!
So that being said, I did a whole load of research and practise to get my female figure hopefully to a descent standard by using a standard mechanical pencil and then needed to colour my illustrations. Craig already has around 10 Letraset Pro markers which he loved as they dont leave streaks or lines in your work , but I obviously was going to need a whole load of colours for skin tones and clothing. I was lucky enough to be sent 12 promarkers to review from Viciousmalicious.com which really helped me expand my collection. As I didn't have a load of different shade pens back last year, I decided to draw my illustrations by hand and colour them using Photoshop cs2. This worked out fairly well as I know my way around Photoshop for work and I started to share my illustrations on Instagram.
By Christmas I knew I wanted to get my pro marker collection to the point where I didn't have to use Photoshop which meant I needed to invest as pro markers don't come too cheap. At around £2.50 a pen , I got lucky when Hobby Craft had an amazing offer on at Christmas for 15% off and the sets which normally cost £25 where on half price offer. I got the spring summer collection set , the skin set 2 and a few random individuals that my collection was missing. I store all my pens in empty Coffee cans and I've swatched all of my pens (pictured above) so its easier to find the colour I need for an illustration.
I typically draw my favourite Celebrities, Bloggers , Vloggers or anyone wearing a cool outfit I've spotted on Instagram. And more recently Ive started to illustrate stilettos. I save the image to my nexus and start by drawing the body shape ,pose or basic shape of the heels, taking into account the 9 head proportion process which I learnt on YouTube. I will link below the two YouTube channels and blogs which helped me the most and I think if you want to learn the basics and the technicalities of fashion illustration, you NEED to sub these channels! Once I've drawn, erased and redrawn my illustration around 100x , I outline my drawing using my letraset fine liners. I wait for that to dry slightly to avoid bleeding and then choose my pro markers . I always start with my lightest colour and build up the colours. Once I'm completely happy with my illustration,I take a picture of it ( or you could scan it onto your computer) and fine tune anything on Photoshop.
Fashion Teaching with Ioana Avram is an amazing channel and her website has been so helpful when learning the female proportions and how to see a pose and draw it. I highly recommend her if you seriously want to learn how to fashion illustrate and know your proportions.
Zyra Bañez is ridiculously talented! I found her YouTube channel when also trying to find out how to proportion my illustrations and also how to colour fashion illustrations. Her blog features all of her amazing illustrations and her Disney fashion illustrations which I'm sure will blow your mind! Be prepared to get totally jealous when watching her illustrate...and when you see her pen/pencil collection! Wow!
As I mentioned above I used to use Photoshop to colour all my illustrations and I still use Photoshop on every illustration but not to colour. I only use Photoshop now to add shadow or light on an illustration or if I've chosen an outfit with embellishments or sparkle , I use the Sparkle Brushes to add that over my original illustration. This is because I don't currently own a white pen and as soon as I do , I doubt I'll use the sparkle tool to add a glittery effect.
The dodge and burn tools on Photoshop, I use to darken or lighten my illustrations. By this I mean on some outfits there are metallic materials or a leather effect which require either a white pen/ pencil or the dodge and burn tools to achieve the shadow and light on the outfit.
I save my image in Photoshop at an appropriate size and upload them to Instagram. I have been overwhelmed with support on my account and I couldn't have imagined nearly a year on from trying to draw fashion illustrations, I'd have celebrities and my favourite YouTubers re posting my illustrations and getting thousands of likes. Its so exciting to see the response my illustrations get and I have also loved seeing so many fashion illustrators who I follow and aspire to be as good as 'like' my drawings.
I hope this post has helped in some way and answered all the questions that I've been asked on my page. Let me know if you are a fashion illustrator in the comments, I'd love to check out your illustrations and I hope your all having a fantastic weekend!
Thanks for reading!