Fashion illustration: drawing the figure in five shapes, and mapping it

Today, I was able to complete half of the next planned lesson of my self-directed fashion illustration course. I covered 3.2 and 3.3 of Bil Donovan’s excellent Advanced Fashion Drawing: Lifestyle Illustration. As I didn’t finish what I had originally planned for this lesson, I will extend the course by another lesson to accommodate 3.4 and 3.5 next week. This brings the total duration to 12 lessons, of which today was the 4th.

Parts 3.2 and 3.3 continue to cover shape in fashion illustration, building on the previous two chapters about line. For both of these, I drew the Fashion Huntress, based on the first photo in her not wavering in wind post of a couple of days ago.

3.2 Drawing the figure in five shapes

In 3.1 in the last lesson, I had tried breaking down a figure into 3 pieces. This time, I tried the same but using 5 shapes instead. I produced 2 versions of the same figure:

fashion illustration wk04 32-1 fashion illustration wk04 32-2

3.3 Mapping the figure

With this I continued the theme of breaking the figure into component shapes, but could take it as deep as I wanted – using contrasting areas of shape break-downs.

Here on the left, I show my initial version of the figure using 7 shapes. Then on the right is my completed figure using many more shapes.

fashion illustration wk04 33a fashion illustration wk04 33b

Do you like it?

Hopefully parts 3.4 and 3.5 are coming up next Wednesday, but I might have to postpone them a little.



    • Tim Hards Vicente

      Thank you so much. I too was pleased to see how the final version developed yesterday. I am using very different techniques to those I learnt before embarking on learning fashion illustration. And I like it! It has been well worth trying this out, as I can see it will affect all art work I do, from portraiture in oil to watercolour landscapes. In such a short period of time I have become more aware of the impact of line and shape (and how to vary it for a desired effect), and in this last lesson I saw what a difference varying the texture/form can have. And I haven’t even mentioned the appeal I’ve found in drawing fashionable figures – that has been great! I have found it more interesting that the other types of subject matter I’ve drawn and painted in the past. I think I might continue exploring this for a while yet. Plus I’m only a third of the way through my course!!! 😀

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