Introduction to the Basic Fashion Figure for Fashion Illustration
So you want to get started in Fashion Illustration? It looks pretty simple, you think you can do it, but you don’t know where to start? I’ve been doing this and learning a lot. So let’s discuss the five top tricks that have helped me out and can help get you ahead of the game.
Tip Number 1 – Create Movement with your Fashion Illustrations
You want to make sure your fashion figure pose isn’t stiff but has movement and flow. If you draw your fashion figure straight up and down it will come off as cold and robotic. Here are some of my very first fashion illustrations.
I’m kind of embarrassed to show you these, but everyone has a starting point. This was mine. As you can see, they look stiff and the one on the right-hand side even looks like she is falling over slightly.
Here are some more recent sketches I’ve done with better movement:
So how do you create movement? On to tip number 2.
Tip 2 Study Fashion Magazines & Model Poses
You want to create movement. Angles, the body sways as you walk so you want to emulate that in your fashion sketches. Study fashion photos and see how the models are posing. Here are a few to give you an idea.
Follow the angles the model’s body makes and incorporate that into your drawings. Draw fashion illustrations of models walking the runway. The hips will go one way, while the shoulders go the other. I still have trouble getting this perfect, see my latest Instagram post for what I’m talking about.
Tip Number 3 – Have the Correct Materials
Having the correct materials can make your work 100 times easier. This one you can get away with not having the correct materials. However, I highly recommend investing in some good alcohol ink markers. The colors blend well when you are using them and create just the right blends you are wanting to create in clothing, hair, skin, etc. You can blend with watercolors and even the iPad pro. But, alcohol markers make it so easy!
Personally, I switch between the iPad pro procreate app and hand-drawn fashion illustrations with Copic markers. I started out with colored pencils and watercolors and started investing in copic markers. It took me six months to invest in them to get a good variety. The difference is huge. Just scroll through my instagram feed and you can see what a difference the materials seems to make.
Copic Markers, or really any alcohol ink markers, are super easy to blend and use. You don’t have to get a degree to use them. You can layer the lighter colors to make a darker shade or add a slightly different tone to create the folds and shades of the outfit. Yes, you can do this with watercolors but I have found that the watercolors were not as easy as a beginner as the copic markers are.
Tip Number 4 – Practicing, Practice, Practice
As with everything, you need to practice, practice, practice to get better. It still takes me several hours to complete a fashion illustration. You can do different practices to help your speed. I just haven’t invested the time in that yet. Since it takes me several hours to complete one, I usually only manage to do about 2 to 3 fashion illustrations a week. I am wanting to be able to do them quicker so I can do more in a week. I am just not there yet.
Still, doing 2 to 3 a week has gotten me a long way from my first to my latest. This is the difference from, my first, 7 months ago to yesterday:
Tip Number 5 – Study Other Peoples’ work
Studying other fashion illustrators’ works and components has been a huge help for me. Check out my post on my favorite fashion illustrators to follow on Instagram. I study different elements or features that they have in their drawings that I love most and try to recreate them in my own figures and fashion illustrations. Occasionally, the artists’ will even posts tips and tricks on what they do to create their illustrations. I always get excited to learn something new to help improve my work!
When I first started drawing fashion illustrations, I had a lot of difficulties drawing the eyes and other facial features. It took practicing and studying what others did to improve. I still have a long way to go. In the beginning, I loved sunglasses or glasses because I just could not draw the eyes to save my life!
Bonus Tip Number 6 – Take an online Fashion Illustration Class
These are my top tips for learning and perfecting fashion illustration. There are so many other tips and tricks you can utilize. I’d love to hear some of your tips that have helped you the most. Comment on this post or get in touch with me via social media! I look forward to interacting and learning with you!
The Discovery Of Amazing Artists on Instagram
The past six months to a year, I curated a wonderful collection of Instagram artists to follow on modern lettering, calligraphy, and fashion illustration. I have found the artists to follow through hashtags and other shout-outs or mentions from top Instagrams in each respective category. Daily I feel as though I stumble across someone else who inspires me to do better and try a different technique or material. Each artist I look at, I think, “Oh, I want to emulate this style of theirs or try this or that out.”
Instagram has definitely stepped up Its game, too, with helping you find amazing artists to follow through the following of specific hashtags instead of having to search and then peruse them. Now new posts I wouldn’t normally see are right in my feed! I can like and follow the artist. I can see if their post is the subject of their Instagram or if it was a one-off thing. I have added countless amazing artists to follow through that ability. To save you some time going through those hashtags though, here are my top 5 modern calligraphy and watercolor artists to follow, as well as my top 5 fashion illustration artists to follow on Instagram.
The Best Calligraphy and Modern Lettering Artists to Follow on Instagram
1.Whitney Ruger, @whitneyruger
Her watercolor pieces are just adorable! You are sure to fall in love with her technique and adorable paintings. She tends to paint cute vintage items. I haven’t seen something of hers that I don’t like!
2. Jessica Patterson, @jesslove_designs
Her layout design is excellent. She has nice clean lettering and it is always eye-catching. She hasn’t been posting a lot lately, but I definitely recommend following her for when she starts posting again.
3. Catherine, @letteringbycath
Super cute style and she does a variety of layouts, colors, and designs. Her work is vibrant and just so streamlined. She manages to make her work appear like perfection in every post.
4. Alex Kazakova, @mshelimar
Her work is absolutely stunning. Okay, so she isn’t a calligraphy artist but I couldn’t leave her off my top 5 list. Her focus is watercolor art. Definitely, check out her work. You won’t be disappointed!
5. Cassie, @thepeonyletteress
How can I forget her magnificent work? I love her lettering style! It’s so unique and quirky. The colors she uses are always brilliant and creative. She seems to do it all from normal watercolor lettering to using ink and nib.
The Best Fashion Illustration Artists to Follow on Instagram
1. Holly Nichols, @hnicholsillustration
She is my favorite fashion illustrator. She does a lot of stories with great tips for what materials to use to draw your own fashion illustrations. She also had such a cute style! She is the first I click on anytime I log in to my feed.
2. Rhian Awni, @rhianawni
Her main medium is watercolor. Can you tell I love how watercolor looks? She always has a variety of subject matter in her pieces. One of my favorites is a mom doing yoga while laundry and her children wait for her. Zen in a busy life! Check out some of her other pieces to be inspired!
3. Cassandra Calin, @cassandracalin
Her focus is comic art and using black and white ink. Her work is super fun and light-hearted. Definitely, a must to follow if you love all things girly, everyday life, and comics mixed together.
4. Acelya Bazin, @acelyaillustration
When I first started doing fashion illustrations, I looked at her drawings a lot. I love the way she does the facial features, especially the eyes and freckles! I’ve tried doing freckles a couple of times but they never come out quite right. Probably because I do full body shots and she does more upper body drawings. Either way, her work is fabulous!
5. Leeann Visser, @leeannviser
Fashion Illustrator and Artist. Her work is sophisticated and lifelike. Beautiful portraits of all different types of women and fashion. The colors she uses are vibrant and each piece has eye-catching details! Love her work!
These are my top ten favorite artists to follow on Instagram. I love seeing the pieces they produce and secretly envy their talent. I try to emulate them in my pieces, but of course, nothing is ever as good as the original. Check them out and definitely follow them. You’ll enjoy the enrichment that they add to your stories and feed.
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My Art Haul And The Difference Quality Art Supplies Makes
This is a little late for a Christmas haul, but it’s still January and better late than never to share my favorites art supplies from Christmas. Furthermore, I wanted to show you how it has made a world of difference getting quality art supplies in my final illustrations and art. I’ve been practicing calligraphy since November of 2016 and since July of 2017, I’ve been developing my fashion illustration skills.
For years, I’ve loved the fashion sketches that I’ve run across on Pinterest and then I ran into Holly Nichols’ work. She is among my favorites and in another post I’ll go more into details of my favorite fashion illustrators and calligraphers.
I decided to try my hand at fashion illustration. It seemed easy enough. Boy, was I wrong! Here are two of my first sketches:
They aren’t horrible. However, the illustrations lack movement and are very stiff. One of my problems when I started fashion sketching was my supplies. I have watercolors, which many fashion artists use, but that didn’t seem to work well with the style I wanted to develop. After researching, I started investing in copic markers over the following several months. The first set I got was the skin tone set. It made a world of difference! You can see my progression on Instagram (@sharretteillustrations).
Which brings me to my Christmas haul. I had a growing number of Copic markers, but they were for basic things like skin and hair. For Christmas, I got the Copic Ciao 24 color set and 2 blending trios.
Here are the links if you are interested in getting some too:
Copic Ciao Markers 24pc Basic Set
Copic Sketch Blending Trio Markers 3/Pkg-Set 1
Copic Marker Sketch Blending Trio Markers, SBT 4, 3-Pack
As a result, I can finally add some color to my fashion illustrations without wondering how I’m going to blend my watercolors to be the exact color I need. It’s been great and I feel like it has really elevated my abilities.
Pentel Brush Pen
This has been my absolute favorite calligraphy brush pen. Most of all, it creates such a rich mark and the brush tip is easy to handle. Best of all, It is cost effective!
In conclusion, what are some of your favorite art supplies you got for Christmas?
If you are needing inspiration for some supplies, I definitely recommend the copic ciao set, Or really anything copic, and the pentel brush pen! This post contains affiliate links for the aforementioned products.
My Bucket List/Goals for the Coming Year
2017 was an exciting year for me. My Etsy shop picked up traction, my Instagram accounts have grown dramatically, and I went through a lot of personal growth both artistically and personally. As I look forward to 2018, I want to make a plan to grow this year but not be unrealistic. So I am making a top 5 bucket list of what I want to achieve.
Top 5 List
Followers aren’t everything because I’ve noticed that the more followers I have, the less engagement I get. However, there would be a lot I could do in connection with this blog. That’s why I am putting that on my 2018 bucket list.
2. I’d like to see consistent growth in both my calligraphy and fashion illustrations skills.
At the end of the year, I’m going to redo one of the pieces I’ve done this month to compare the style and development. There is nothing like rewarding yourself for small things, and I feel like this would be a pleasant reward for the end of the year.
3. I’d like to be consistently posting to this blog.
My goal is to have at least 2 to 3 posts a week. It doesn’t seem like a lot, however, I have started blogs before and I quickly lose traction. I feel like with this blog I have a more focused topic to write about. That should help keep me motivated and writing consistently.
4. I want to overhaul my Etsy store.(You can see my shop here) Revamp some of my listings and add graphic design and fashion illustrations to the mix.
My Etsy store consists of calligraphy pieces and pieces targeted toward marketing and Senegence products. I want to, in essence, grow my line by diversifying. This isn’t challenging. The challenge would be to make the products marketable. Setting prices and getting people to buy isn’t as easy as listing and hoping someone stumbles upon it.
5. I want to put profit as my number five. However, instead, I feel like I should put something along the lines of generating meaningful content instead.
Everyone wants to profit from their work, and some do. I’d like to be one of those people. To do that, though, I want people to genuinely enjoy the content I’m producing; for the art to be pleasant and relevant and the content of the blog to be impactful instead of just words on the page.
So, that’s what my number five is: meaningful content.
This is my top 5 bucket list for 2018. I hope to look back at this throughout the year and see development as I go. I’d love to hear what your bucket list is for 2018. Share it with me on social media or in the comment section.
I always knew that I wanted to do something creative and fun, and wanted something versatile for when I had children. So, after exploring things like writing and illustration, I set my sites on Graphic Design as a career path.
Flash forward to graduating college with a BS in Graphic Design, I hit the work place right as the economy took a tank in 2009. With scarcity in my job outlook, I decided to reinvent and balance out my education with a Masters in Marketing. I finished my degree while working full time first as a Graphic Designer then as a Project Manager, always maintaining a creative outlet in my work and personal life.
I finished my schooling and worked for a company handling their website advertising sales planning, i.e. media planning. I got married just over 4 years ago. My husband and I have a wonderful, bright-eyed and smiley baby boy.
What Lead Me Here
All that schooling and life experience has led me to where I am today. I have my Etsy shop – Dream is A Wish, Freelance Graphic Design, calligraphy, fashion illustration, and now this blog.
Taking care of my son and staying home is my main job. However, I try to create every day so that I can share with you and grow as an artist. In addition to this, I started taking part in monthly calligraphy challenges on Instagram and drawing fashion illustrations. This has allowed me to learn and develop new skills to incorporate into each design that is commissioned.
I also have a huge passion for makeup. I started selling SeneGence products last year, and before that spent two years curating my make up style and collection with subscription boxes like Ipsy, Birchbox, and Sephora play.
I couldn’t be happier. I am challenged by my work, challenged by my personal life and I have large dreams to achieve on the horizon. So, be prepared! Join me on my glamorous journey through fashion, makeup, and art.
Here’s to the future and to the Glory of God! Feel free to contact me via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or email.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.