Fashion illustration course, for 1

Hi everyone! Normally at this time of year (since 2011), I’d be signing up to a new adult education art course: perhaps David Forster’s watercolour course, Michael Mulready’s pastels, or perhaps an oil course. However, this time I decided to do something a bit different.

Back in November, artist Julia Linn wrote about fashion illustration, including images she had found, and books about the topic. I was inspired by her post and even reblogged it here. This is now the time for me to follow up on this.

For the next 10 weeks, I will spend 2-3 hours every Wednesday evening teaching myself fashion illustration. Yesterday was week zero – a time to plan. I gathered some interesting books from Edinburgh’s Fine Art Library, and constructed a course for myself around them. These are the books I will use:

fashion illustration books

  • Fashion Illustration School: A Complete Handbook for Aspiring Designers and Illustrators, Carol A. Nunnelly
  • Advanced Fashion Drawing: Lifestyle Illustration, Bil Donovan
  • Fashion Drawing In Vogue, William Packer
  • Fashion Illustration By Fashion Designers, Laird Borrelli

The course content will be based around the first two books. I chose the last two books for inspiration.

I will start with the first half of Advanced Fashion Drawing. This will help me adapt my drawing skills to fashion imagery instead of the realism that I usually focus on. Then I will move to the latter parts of Fashion Illustration School, and practice drawing fashion garments. In week 9, I will hop back to the first book to apply a little more abstraction. And then to finish with, I will use the last week to use what I have learnt for a final image.

Skip past this bit to see images from the books I’ll be using for inspiration…

Here is the course agenda I created:

Advanced Fashion Drawing, Chapter 1. Line
1.1 The Balancing Act
1.2 Straight Line
1.3 Curved Line
1.4 Combination of Straight and Curved Lines
1.5 Opposition of Line

Advanced Fashion Drawing, Chapter 2. Elongating the Figure using Verticals, Horizontals, and Diagonals
2.1 Verticals
2.2 Horizontals
2.3 Diagonals

Advanced Fashion Drawing, Chapter 3. Beginning a Vocabulary of Shapes
3.1 Drawing the Figure in Three Shapes
3.2 Drawing the Figure in Five Shapes
3.3 Mapping the Figure
3.4 Contrasting Shapes
3.5 One Large Shape

Advanced Fashion Drawing, Chapter 3. Beginning a Vocabulary of Shapes
3.6 Black Shapes
3.7 Gray Shapes

WEEK 5 & 6
Fashion Illustration School, Chapter 4. Techniques
Technique 27 Illustration basics
Technique 28 Forms and garment types
For these 2 weeks, I will experiment with applying garments described in Chapter 5. Garment Types.

Fashion Illustration School, Chapter 4. Techniques
Technique 29 Mapping

Fashion Illustration School, Chapter 4. Techniques
Technique 30 Folds and draping
Technique 31 Simplifying folds

Advanced Fashion Drawing, Chapter 3. Beginning a Vocabulary of Shapes
3.8 Negative Shapes
3.9 Dark and Light Values

Free session to create an image based on what I have learnt over the course.

Images from Fashion Drawing In Vogue

I chose two books that contained lots of images that might inspire me while I’m following my course. Here are a few drawings that have been featured in Vogue over the years:

Jean Pagès

vogue - jean pagès

René Bouët-Willaumez

vogue - rené bouët-willaumez 1

vogue - rené bouët-willaumez 2

vogue - rené bouët-willaumez 3

Images from Fashion Illustration By Fashion Designers

These are some fashion illustrations done by fashion designers:

Antonio Berardi

designer - antonio berardi

Denis Simachev

designer - denis simachev

Gianfranco Ferré

designer - gianfranco ferré

Michael Vollbracht

designer - michael vollbracht

I am excited to be doing this – it should be fun and useful. Wish me luck!!



  1. alexcellent2012

    Best of luck Tim! I think it’s so awesome that you’ve designed your own course – it looks very comprehensive. Your passion and talent will take you great places. I love the idea of being structured about it and committing to a time each week to do it. You could teach this course to others in future! Very inspiring.

  2. julialinn

    Im really glad that I could inspired you to try something new and different. Im looking forward to see how you develop your skills and I really like how you put up the course and I find the post really inspiring!

    Best wishes, Julia Linn

    • Tim Hards Vicente

      Many thanks for having a look! If it goes well, I’ve got a feeling I may extend this beyond 10 weeks – but I shouldn’t get carried away just yet!! I’m still finding my feet with painting and drawing. Since starting to paint 3 years ago, I initially found that I preferred landscapes over still life, portraiture and abstraction. But fashion is a late discovery, and I’m quite captivated by it! It is literally art applied directly to the person – and capturing it in 2D is just a variation of the real 3D version. So interesting. So much for me to explore still.

    • Tim Hards Vicente

      Thanks Kate! I was pleasantly pleased to see a whole shelf full of fashion illustration books in the library, and they weren’t reference books so I could take them out! Fortunately they had a mixture of teaching books and general ones, so I was amply provided for. The Fashion Illustration By Fashion Designers book is particularly interesting as it has quotes from the designers about how they work, along with a few examples from each. I’m sure I’ll be dropping off a few highlights from it during my weekly progress posts 🙂

  3. Pingback: Fashion illustration: line | art fn
  4. Sharon Quigley

    Fantastic Tim! The course looks really well structured and good fun. I admire the way you really get stuck into projects. Perhaps you should come and lead a Drawing Room session at some point? Looking forward to catching up on the 13th of February. sq

  5. Pingback: Fashion illustration: verticals, horizontals and diagonals | art fn
  6. Pingback: Fashion illustration: drawing the figure in three shapes | art fn
  7. Pingback: Fashion illustration, on hold | art fn

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