Learning Fashion Illustration

you’re in the right place for learning fashion illustration!

I have courses and a full program even for fashion design and fashion illustration with different focuses for each.

And TONS of articles on this site!

So stick around, and subscribe!

First I’d like to break down the categories and uses for fashion illustration. It may be helpful for you to define.

HOW and WHY you are interested in Learning Fashion Illustration.?

Well, here are NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS!!!!!! So don’t worry! YOU are the boss here. So just think about it.

Many fashion students are so eager to be told what to do, and then they end up somewhere else than they wanted to go. So I’m asking YOU!Sincerely!

Okay, so here’s the scoop–fashion Illustration is a broooooooooad term. It can range from dollmaking to ancient Egyptian tomb wall painting, from Antonio Lopez sketches (a fashion illustrator) to Adobe Illustrator technical drawings for the industry to Fashion Design illustrations that are technically detailed, or not.

i’ll break this down for you below, and also discuss the different tools and approaches so you can more clearly think about HOW learning fashion illustration fits into YOUR “big picture” of designing your life and feeling expressed and supported.

As you scroll down, I’ll  include on this page a step -by-step to show you how I built the fashion  illustration that I”m sharing today (focused on face, colors, earrings, and emotion). In it, I want you to notice how a beautiful finished fashion illustration comes out of a process of builting, exploring and layering… it doesn’t just fall off my fingers :0). it’s an ADVENTURE!

Learning fashion illustration

can mean one or more of the following (any just ONE is enough!) You are not required to master everything!

You might try them all, but only to see what is relevant for YOU on your path.

  • drawing essentials: shading, line, contour, composition, quick sketching, cross hatching, smudge,highlight
  • FASHION DESIGN drawing: recognizing details and how to capture them on paper. As Fashion Flats or Full figure design illustrations. This includes looking closely at how clothes are made.
  • (FASHION) MODEL drawing: understanding/learning the mechanics of the figure, balance, capturing a proportion. Faces, hands, hair too.
  • research boards: this could be mood boards or trend research boards, any collages where you bring together curated images to create a mood or tell a story about fashion.
  • analog art supplies: watercolors, gouache, pastels,artist-quality colored pencils, graphite, papers, waterproof design markers, watersoluble markers , collage/ cut paper
  • digital art supplies: digital device freehandpainting and drawing apps, desktop applications, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop
  • print design/ pattern design: creating ideas for motifs and effects to print on fabric singly, as embellisment or as an all-over effect.
  • CREATIVE SKETCHING and illustration: I love this! This is where use your skills above to improvise and journey into a string of sketches. It can become a JOURNAL’s worth pages in your croquis book as well. It begins with a directive, or a mood inspiration or swatch. Then you start to sketch and one sketch evolves into a collection of garment ideas for a theme, brand, time of day or concept.
  • getting to know ways fashion illustration is used “out there”
  • familiarizing yourself with the work of some great fashion illustrator masters throughout time.

Learning Fashion Illustration

FREEDOM FASHION ONLINE PROGRAM covers ALL of this in a lifetime access program based exactly on my 20 years fashion teaching at Parsons and personal practice.

Also, my ABOUT FACES online course teaches JUST the faces, heads and hair, plus the 3 best apps for fashion illustration.

Learning fashion illustration is about… beginning. And it never ends.

But you need to start! This gets the ball rolling, and I promise that the beginning may feel difficult but this does not represent the whole journey!

Your self esteem will soar as you stumble and adventure through practices, techniques and projects.

In this courageous (courage comes from the word HEART) journey, you find yourself in the process!

A truly great program,

in my opinion, will support you in unlearning harmful myths about what art is and how it;s made so that your experience isn’t fearful, but rather, LIBERATING.

In thie series of sketches, I had 3 goals. Sketching on my iPad using Adobe Draw App, I wanted to capture the expression of joy  on this woman’s face, the COLORS from the origital photo, and the EARRINGS design.  It was a post from an accessories designer in Brazil for carnaval.

The growth of this drawing represents YOU , the student learning fashion illustration:

  1. soft, exploration, feeling “around in the dark”, “mapping out ” what I see, capturing movements, feeling out the size of things, deciding where I want to place them on the page. (composition)

Learning Fashion Illustration

2.  Let’s look below, I felt confident because I had that “map” worked out already, so I was able to make more confident lines in a darker tone.  I look at my source photo or model and seek out the “blackest”, darkerst lines and make sure I capture them.

(What do you think of this philosophy?  -whether I’m working digitally or on paper, I know that my gouache or digital painting will cover any lines that I want to disappear, depending how opaque the paint is).

Also, I love that my “development lines” show. For me, the presence of the  human hand is so important!!

Learning Fashion Illustration

3. One amazing fact of today’s technologies is that you can capture photos or screen shots during your process.

And,  have to tell you the truth– in this step, I think I found my favorite screen grab. ADORING the unfinished effect here!!!!! First flat colors laid in were  skin, hair and eye makeup tones, and the white shirt.

Don’t you just love the way that green paper is peeking through?

To sum it up, learning fashion illustration means

Learning Fashion Illustration

4.Finally, I added the colorful fringe to the earrings (one of the details that enchanted me about the photo in the first place)

Learning Fashion Illustration Laura Volpintesta, Fashion Illustration tribe

And so, VOILA!

this illustration is done. For fun, for pleasure, for joy.

I believe that should be primary!



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