Fashion Illustrators: Using Tinted Papers

It’s so exciting. Fashion illustration, Fashion Illustrators.  ( more examples below)
From traditional to experimental, from “analog” (paper and pencils, watercolors) to digital, to the range of voices out there, fashion illustration is a powerful voice in the world. I feel fashion illustration is a story of people. It says so much!

Here is my recent digital fashion illustration of a Stella McCartney ensemble.

Stella Mccartney ensemble by Laura Volpintesta, Fashion Illustrators, on intagram.

In my definition, fashion illustration even includes doll-making and such.

Whenever we take fashion, humans and the human body, and adornment– and express it through art, that’s fashion illustration to me!

Today I’d like to focus on the use of TINTED PAPERS in fashion art, fashion illustration, (and any other arts for that matter)!

Tinted paper is an AWESOME way to get a fresh approach to your art, which is why I’m mentioning it.

We can all get stuck in that “‘white paper, black line” mindset that I’m convinced comes from learning our ABCs as kids.

This can put us in a rut. Suddenly using white pastel on black paper, or a wash of white gouache on grey paper, you start to draw with “light” instead of dark.

Another great way to experiment is to give yourself a midtone paper like grey or a similar tone, then use black AND white on it.

The black lines and tones will recede visually, while the light or white ones will appear to “float” or move forward… that’s the big TIP!!! But again…. I would save the black for the end, to avoid relying on it too heavily at first.

Below you’ll see how I used tinted and textured  “PAPER”  ( I was actually sketching on my iPad mini) and peach colored pencil tool in Tayasui Sketches App to sketch out a fashion illustration.

As usual, I  sketched lightly before filling in with digital “watercolor”, “marker” and “brush pen” tools.

Here’s a behind -the-scenes sneak peek at how the digital fashion sketch began. Learn more in my courses too!

fashion Illustrators Laura Volpintesta, Stella McCartney dress

Fashion Illustrators have used tinted papers forever

VG Waymer is one of my favorite fashion illustrators. Look how she uses tinted papers.

She’s contemporary.  See how the light tones float and “pop” visually?

Also notice how some are opaque, like the background, and some are sheer.

Her background is very smooth, while the one in my sketch is textured and rough.

VG WAYMER fashion Illustrators

In this fashion sketch I used a grey paper and then used lines, shapes and crayon/ paint tools for highlights and dark tones.

The paper became the skintone “foreground”  while the”  background ” was added after, in blue!

Cool change in perception, right?

digital fashion illustrators Laura Volpintesta

The late, legendary, great fashion illustrator Kenneth Paul Block did a ton of work on grey paper.

See below how he used white and black and got flat , sharp yet loose silhouette shapes.

fashion illustrators: kenneth paul block

Finally,  let’s go all the way back to Erté. His was the first book of fashion illustrations I ever owned. I love his body-positive beauties and the flow and movement so immediately obvious in pieces like this one.

Again, there’s a mid- tone background, sprinklings of light and white, and then black for depth. And this is PRE-DIGITAL, even though it’s so incredibly smooth-looking!

.Fashion Illustrators: Erté

Join me in exploring these concepts in a unique 4 week experience.

through 24o minutes of video lessons, resources, links, cozy community and instruction.

You can learn to draw faces and express yourself in  fashion illustration using your iPad or tablet and elegant, easy digital art apps.

For more info click here.

TINTED PAPER RESOURCES for all budgets that I love:

  1. newsprint paper
  2. brown paper bag or mailing paper
  3. ‘Mi-teintes” textured pastel paper (takes watercolor and other media well!)
  4. “fashion sketch pad” by Bee is richly textured, recycled, toned paper.
  5. Strathmore Toned Tan or Toned Grey recycled paper (it’s SMOOTH though- I like texture)
  6. Tayasui Sketches app  for Mac  or for Windows offers textures and colors for paper choices.
  7. take any white paper, slightly color on it with graphite, then smudge the whole thing :0) Then you can use an ERASER for whites and highlights on the grey ground!!

HAVE FUN, fashion illustrators!



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