Back in January I outlined a course I wanted to put myself on, to start learning fashion illustration. I was inspired to do this following my interest in the art of fashion stemming from 4 fashion-related workshops I attended this time last year.
I had set out a 10 week schedule. Although I explored each work’s material a bit more fully than I had originally anticipated, I only managed to complete the first 4 weeks.
In that time, I learnt a lot of techniques that have already had a big impact on how I draw figures. I owe it to the excellent book I used – Advanced Fashion Drawing: Lifestyle Illustration. As a bonus, the author, Bil Donovan, picked up on the fact that I was blogging about his book and left me some helpful guidance and encouragement. I am grateful to him for his help.
Although I had to cut my course short, I will definitely come back to it. I greatly enjoyed learning how to draw fashion figures, and I expect I will be employing elements of the techniques I learnt in everything I do from now on.
These are my highlights from the course:
It has been two and a half weeks since the last installment of my self-directed fashion illustration course.
Having introduced various techniques to consider and draw stylised fashion figures using lines and shape outlines, Bil Donovan’s Advanced Fashion Drawing: Lifestyle Illustration book moves on to explore using filled in shapes.
For this lesson, I used one of The Fashion Huntress’s photos from her blog. She has given me permission to include it below.
3.6 Black shapes
Using the techniques covered so far, I started with a figure drawn in 5-7 shapes:
Then I used selection to identify a shape to fill with black (using a piece of charcoal rather than the charcoal pencils I’ve been using so far), and proceeded to fill it starting from the top and working downwards. While doing this, I used mapping to introduce stripes across her top. At the end, I also added a few extra details:
The photo I drew from was shown on the secret agent stripes post, a few days ago. (c) The Fashion Huntress
I very much enjoyed adding solid areas to my illustration. In the next lesson I’ll be using different shades of grey.
My dad prompted me to redo my cowboy boot sketch from yesterday using the fashion illustration techniques I’ve been learning:
For comparison, this is my original sketch:
Both were quick sketches, and nothing particularly interesting to look at – neither are as good as I could do if I tackled them with a bit more care – but they’re getting me back drawing after a few days away from my sketchbook.
Here is another practice drawing of the fashion illustration lessons that I’ve been doing. This one incorporates one large shape, as covered in the last lesson. Unfortunately I struggled to incorporate contrasting shapes, so I still need practice there. I think I need to take a bolder approach to tweak the drawing like how I did when I was drawing just lines: for example, I could have made the collars on her coat differ in size.
It is my second drawing of Tania from her Little Pretty Mess blog. I used an image from this pretty post.
This morning, I did some more of my self-directed fashion illustration course.
Today I went through section 3.5 of Bil Donovan’s Advanced Fashion Drawing: Lifestyle Illustration, and drew 2 figures.
3.5 One large shape
As always, this lesson built on all the previous sections of Bil Donovan’s book. This lesson considered the usefulness of having a single large shape within the figure to provide contrast to the other shapes.
The first of my illustrations is of Rike from Draped in Cloudlets.
Here is her original photo that I used as the source, as featured in this post from last July. (c) Rike from Draped in Cloudlets
The second of my illustrations is of the Fashion Huntress.
Her original photo, as featured in her latest post. (c) The Fashion Huntress
Onward and upward
This was my 6th fashion illustration lesson, but I’ve only covered the first 3 weeks of material in my original scheduling for the course. I have covered a lot of ground, learning how to break down the fashion figure into lines and shapes, and applying various techniques to produce interesting stylised fashion illustrations.
I am very pleased with how the course is going so far – except for my haphazard scheduling! I’ve learnt a lot. In the next lesson, I will be taking my drawings to another level by adding solid areas!