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Lately I’ve been really drawn to fashion illustration. As surprising as it may be with being a lifelong artist, fashion lover, and seamstress – I’ve never done much fashion illustration.
I’ve never needed to put my ideas for sewing down on paper before creatings something – I have excellent visualization skills, so I can just make what I see in my head.
However, I’ve come to realize that there is a difference between fashion design sketching and technical illustration and fashion illustration.
Fashion illustrators capture a beautiful and expressive side to designs from street style to runway – not just putting down an exact replica of what they see, but adding a story and a stylization to the image. And that expression really speaks to me.
I’ve decided to put together a fashion illustration portfolio – you can see some of the drawings I’ve been working on this week below.
Although I’m a very accomplished artist, having been sketching, drawing and painting my whole life, I am always ready to learn something new. There is a vast array of knowledge to be gained from studying other’s work. I love being immersed in a new artistic pursuit, so I’ve been watching a lot of Skillshare classes on the subject.
Even if it’s just for your own fun, fashion illustration is very creative and rewarding. You don’t have to be a master artist – you can have fun with it. The skill comes with time and repetition. Below is a list of Skillshare classes that I think are really well done and great for beginners to start with too.
A very well put together and detailed course centered around drawing an elegant figure in a setting. It might sound daunting but it is presented in a very approachable way. This one might be a little more advanced, so attempt it after you’ve had some practice.
This class is great for beginners. The artist shows exactly how to create a loose and beautiful watercolor portrait from a reference photo. The emphasis is on expressive style and not creating an exact replica – and the techniques used are very easy to master.
I love the bubbly personality of the artist – she gives a really nice overview of working from a client brief or request – this class could be very useful for planning and creating friend gifts as well, if you aren’t planning to be a professional illustrator.
This class is so fun if you love beautiful products. A great step by step guide to painting a variety of makeup, perfume and beauty products in watercolor. I think even a beginner could get a really nice result as the class is a “follow as you go” where you can see her painting every step of the way.
This artist gives several good explanations and exercises for getting started sketching poses and the fashion figure. She has a really good teaching method that makes it easy to get started. If you’re just starting out, this class will teach you some very useful tips to use when figure drawing.
When gaining a new skill, it’s important to start with the basics and try a lot of different techniques. I started a new sketchbook specifically for exploring fashion illustration. If you’re interested in getting started learning fashion illustration, I suggest you start one too! Practicing a little every day will get you further along than you might think.
There is a very wide variety in style, technique and subject matter within the fashion illustration community! From very detailed and rendered drawings to almost abstract expressionism – I love looking at it all.
I’m collecting my inspirations on this Pinterest board – you can use it to get some ideas for your own experiments too!
I’d love to see your work if you do some fashion illustrations – tag me @sparklepriestess on Instagram so I can check them out!
Cheers – Rachel