Fashion Illustration Tips & Tricks for Beginners | Sarah Van Evera | Skillshare

Fashion Illustration Tips & Tricks for Beginners

Sarah Van Evera, Fashion Designer and Watercolor Artist

Fashion Illustration Tips & Tricks for Beginners

Sarah Van Evera, Fashion Designer and Watercolor Artist

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12 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. 1 Introduction

    • 2. 2 Why be a Fashion Illustrator

    • 3. 3 What is Fashion Illustration

    • 4. 4 Page Layout

    • 5. 5 Which Medium to Use

    • 6. 6 Exaggerate Everything!

    • 7. 7 Marker Demo

    • 8. 8 Watercolor Demo

    • 9. 9 Marker & Watercolor Demo

    • 10. 10 Digital Demo

    • 11. 11 How Long Will it Take?

    • 12. 12 Where to Find Inspiration

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About This Class

In this class I've condensed all my fashion illustration learnings from college and a decade working in the fashion industry.  You will learn about the unique details that make fashion illustration it's own art form.  I'll show you multiple ways to make fashion illustrations, and talk about some shortcuts to help you begin making your own illustrations.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sarah Van Evera

Fashion Designer and Watercolor Artist


Sarah grew up in Minnesota, where she began painting at an early age.  After high school, she moved to New York City to study Fashion Design at Parsons.  Since graduating, Sarah has been busy working in the fashion industry.  She has designed for Coach and Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Michael Kors & Judith Leiber.  She is a fine artist in her spare time.  She enjoys painting watercolor landscapes and pet portraits.

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1. 1 Introduction: Hi. Thank you for joining me in my skill share class today. I will be teaching you some tips and tricks to be a great fashion illustrator. I went to Parsons School Design for four years. I graduated with a B F A and fashion design, and I'm going to combine all of that information. Everything I learned from that and working 10 years in the industry into this. The sculpture class. My name is Sarah Veneva. Here are some of the companies that I've designed for. As you can see, it's a long list. You might be thinking. She doesn't look like it old. How could she possibly have designed so many places? Um, my first tips is not all fashion companies design everything that they sell. A lot of them go to what's called a licensing company, which is a company that I currently designed for. And they would license out things like I wear shoes, outerwear, swimwear, belts, sometimes handbags, and they have another company to sign it for them through licensing agreements. So I have a luxury of working a lot of different fashion brands. I see how different people will straight. I'm going to tell you all of the secrets that I know to make you a great illustrator. During my time in the industry, I have had to show my sketches to people like Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch Re Krakoff and I can tell you a lot of pressure when you have to show someone like that your work, it could be intimidating with something I've learned along the way is not. Every first sketch is your best sketch. I've been doing this a long time. I still make a lot of stinkers. And if you have to scrap it and move on and try again, that's great. That's the best way to learn. That's what you should be doing. It might take you, you know, two tries and might take you 10. But I have every confidence that you will keep practicing and get Teoh a great illustration And fashion sketches are supposed to be fun. That's why we're here during this class. We're going to go over. Why? Why be an illustrator? What? What exactly is fashion illustration? How is it different from any other sort of illustration? Um how What are the different mediums? What will they cost me? Where do I find inspiration to draw from. Lastly, how long is it going to take me? Thank you again for being here, and I think you'll learn a lot. 2. 2 Why be a Fashion Illustrator: So let's start with why? Why be a fashion illustrator? Why do it? There are a lot of great reasons. So maybe you want to go into design and you need to sketch of your ideas. Maybe you want to get into college and you need a portfolio to submit, Um, your application to a lot of fashion or our colleges. So you need to have a little learning all ready to go and learn more. And then maybe you want Teoh sell some illustrations. Maybe you put them on a T shirt. Maybe you frame them for your own home, put them on the wall, make a little gallery wall of fashion illustrations. Maybe you want to put them on your social media, make it more engaging and fun for your viewers. Last but not least, maybe you want to sketch up your wardrobe so you know what you're gonna wear every day. It's a fun thing you could dio, who knows whatever you want to do. This. It's a great thing, Teoh. Um, look to learn and I am here to help you 3. 3 What is Fashion Illustration: So what is fashion illustration? Why is it different? I'm going to show you as simply as possible. What nine heads beans. So nine heads is a style of drawing. That is exactly what it sounds like. You have a figure. It's proportioned out so that it has nine dimensions of measurement that are equal to the head. Around your 3.5 head mark is your waist around your 6.5 line is your knees, and then your ankles come between eight and nine. If you're going to draw flat shoes, then chop off half ahead. If you want to draw heels, then you have all nine heads. You might notice this is a little more stretched than a regular figure. We should also talk about what fashion illustration is not. It is not photo realism. We're going to walk through a lot of ways to make your sketches a little more dynamic and expressive. The key here is to make it fun and quick. Fashion sketches were typically quick photo realistic sketches. You're in every detail. You're drawing every line in shading mark. That's not really necessary for what we're going to do today, because What you want to make this about is the clothes. The other thing it is not is cartoon, so cartoons are really fun. But that's about the character, usually about the expression on the character's face. So there are a lot of ways you can play around in this realm. I'm going to show you some examples. Um, although nine heads is the standard, there are also these other illustrations that are options for you. So starting on the far left, there is this super skinny model. She's very stretched out proportionately next. This model has a very long neck. Maybe that's a style of illustrating that you want to make your own the next one. This this fashion sketch has a very large head, and then the last one has very long legs, so we've really lengthened the proportions there. I would say to you, it's important to find your own voice, but for the purposes of you starting to sketch and you finding your own style work from a more realistic figure, meaning nine heads in proportion, and then you can branch off when you kind of have a good base of knowledge and you can start playing with? Well, maybe I do like Teoh sketch my next really long. Maybe I do like to have, like, tiny little ankles. So that's something that will come with practice in time. Obviously, we're looking at these examples because maybe you could pick something you really like and adapt it right away. I'm sure you've noticed as well have fashion models are thin. I'm going to show you why we usually in the fashion ist reeling towards a thinner or long legged fashion model. This is over simplifying it. But as easily as I can show you is this If you have ah square shape that is proportionate around the edges, you are going to place an X in the center and have four even sites on an elongated shape. It would look like this now when you start to move around where the lines stop and start on a square figure you could some variants, but it's not as dynamic as the variance you get on elongated shape. See, however, this teeny tiny little edge and this wide area when you're designing clothes that will help you to make a more impactful shape and proportionate design on the figure What's unfortunate about this is very definitely modeling agencies and fashion companies who perpetuate an overly thin, gone looking, um, image that promotes anorexia. And that's an unfortunate side of the industry that, um, has done a lot of harm. So you will notice in my fashion sketches the models or curvy, they have a little meat on their bones. I don't think a bone thin look is sexy, Um, and I don't think we needed to sell clothes. So also keep in mind as an illustrator, what's the image you're presenting as the norm? I think we could improve a little bit on how healthier models look. 4. 4 Page Layout: So I have shown you a couple of examples of how you canel straight your fashion figures. I'm also going to show you you know how you can set up your page, and I will walk you through the steps of how to do these later in the class. But you could do one very expressive silhouette on a page that's more like an editorial sketch, maybe something you see in a magazine. You could also sketch your figures one after another. You'll knows all of these girls have the same hairstyle. They have one foot crossed in front of the other. This is a very static repetition, like soldiers alive. Illustrators or fashion centers draw this way because if you're trying the same thing time after time, you can really nail the details and get it perfect. It's also very systematic. Some people have more mathematical rains and that they prefer Ah, lot of the time I sketch my figures to be laid out more like this so you can see they're all posing a little bit differently. They're kind of leaning, leading your eye towards the centre figure, so each one is different and her arms and legs opposed differently. That works for me because, honestly, I'm not that good at making everything exactly the same every time. All of these are viable options. It's about what you prefer and what you think looks best. 5. 5 Which Medium to Use: so you might hear artists talk about mediums. So what medium to use? What medium is this? If you're not familiar with this term, it just means what type of paint or material did he use to make this? So there are a lot of different ways you could make a fashion illustration. Your cheapest option is pen and ink, combined with some color pencil. Okay, that is a really great way to learn. You could do that on copy paper, scratch paper, whatever you have around and then on. The most expensive end would be digital design, which is where you create your fashion sketch in the computer. The reason that's more expensive is just because of the software involved. Typically, it's an adobe project, my photo shopper illustrator and making it kind of expensive. So it's a really cool look, but is it necessary for you to purchase, you know, um ah, $500 a year subscription to some software to make fashion illustrations? No, it's not in the middle of those two options you have sketching with marker and watercolor or quash, which is very similar to watercolor. I would say markers markers are less expensive as in terms of what paper you use, because again you can use copier paper, anything you have on hand or watercolors union watercolor paper. But the watercolor is over time, less expensive than marker. So I'd say between those two, pick what you like best and in terms of the way the industry of used these things, I'd say digital art, probably the future, as with most industries, and then you have markers that are gaining some traction. I think a lot of younger artists prefer markers. And then the tried and true, most respected way to make a fashion illustration is with wash or watercolor. So I'm going to walk you through each and every one of those options. So your project for this class of the end will be to make one fashion illustrations. So washing Lorne, figure out what you like best 6. 6 Exaggerate Everything!: one trick to fashion illustration is to make sure that you're your fashion figures are very dynamic and very expressive, and also think about making it over the top. You know, amp up the color a little bit, make the details a little more unique and interesting. That's really important embellish reality to improve on it. 7. 7 Marker Demo: In this quick tutorial, I will show you how to make fashion illustration from just using marker. This is a really fun and quick way to make a fashion sketch. I have laid down my silhouettes. You'll notice there is kind of a boxy trap. Is Lloyd shape that makes up her chest area and the bottom part of her torso around her hips that is important in shaping the direction that her legs are going to fall. So if her hip is jutting to the left, then you know her balance needs to correct itself. Basically, her left leg is tilted to the right. Next, I've chosen some outfits for mystery styled log to put on the fashion figures, and I just quickly sketched the outline and kind of the drape and some of the patterns of how those clothes would look next. I will use marker to lay down the base color on all of the garments and handbags and shoes . At this point, I have started to lightly shade with tonal, darker colors just here and there where it's needed, and then the last step is to use a black outline marker. In this case, I'm using a brush pen, and I've gone around the edges, making sure that I don't fill in every single detail. A lot of the time, the color could just be your edge. But I've drawn attention to some of the more interesting details, like the for by leaving the dark black outline kind of thick around some white areas that I've left there to add some interest. 8. 8 Watercolor Demo: in this section, I will walk you through how to paint fashion illustrations with watercolor. I have lightly pencil sketched in 33 years here, each figure is leaning towards the centre figure, which makes sort of an A frame shape beat, mindful off where your viewers eyes drawn. In this case, because of that, a shake I've made with the ladies. It will draw their eyes through to the center of the illustration and hopefully back down around here. I've laid on the base work of my garments onto my fashion figures, so each silhouette is a little bit different, and I tried to pick the type of clothes that would complement each of their poses. And then I am going to start painting. So I've painted just the base color of each of these. Just quick and easy, you'll notice I do not go to the edge off every single garment. It's actually a challenge for me not to. I feel the need to have a perfectionist approach to this, but the beauty of fashion illustration. One of the reasons it's so interesting is you're just quickly trying to get it down on the paper. It's really not about exactly sketching and color in every detail. You'll have a much more interesting drawing if you don't after the base layer, I add a secondary layer to show where the shadows are falling. That really is important, because that's how you get the depth and interest in your drawing, and it makes it look more realistic without do with a great deal. More work. The last step is to add ah, black outline. You'll notice that some of the black outlines air darker than others. For example, under the curvy dress of the wear on the left. That's very dark line. That's because it's falling in a shadow. And honestly, that's a really interesting detail that I wanted to highlight. So think about using the black marker to showcase the parts of your illustration and you think, went the best. I haven't paid a great deal of attention to their faces or their hands, for that matter. Again, it is about the clothes. That's the most important part. You can leave the other things up to the viewer's imagination. 9. 9 Marker & Watercolor Demo: I'm going to show you in this segment how you can combine watercolor and marker to get some really interesting effects here. I've sketched out a single fashion figure. Ah, general torso, legs, arm, head, neck. And then I'm going to add in the general shape of her dress. This is a runway look. It's a long gown with a really interesting feather detail on top, which is very dramatic and playful. She also has on long gloves next guest in her face and some shoes. Now I'm going toe overlay marker onto the fashion drawing. Notice how I'm leaving some white areas where the light would hit the dress and I really darkened the back area where you see through to the back of her gown. And now I'm going to use ah black fine tip marker to just outline a few of the edges. Not everywhere, and not everything on Lee here and there, where you're trying to make an impactful line work decision. That figure is mostly filled in with marker. Now we can add some water color details, so I have painted lightly around the edge of the fashion drawing. Here's a fun trick when I touch my wet brush onto the edge of the marker. It gives a soft, faded look. You can see this on the left hand of the feathers there. It's kind of blurred out, and it just adds an interesting detail. This is also happening on the right hand side by her glove and a little bit on the bottom right edge of her gown. I didn't intend for that pink color to bleed, but what's happened is it's made a nice effect. That kind of looks like you can see around her to the train of her dress. 10. 10 Digital Demo: for additional drawing. I am going to start with a hand sketch, so even though we're doing in the computer, it's faster and more organic for me to just get down my ideas on paper. And then I'm going to import it into Adobe Illustrator and start to draw on top. What I'm using here is the pen tool. You can see it. That's the red outline. And what's great about digital art is you can save yourself some time. For example, I've now reflected what I've drawn and joined the edges so that rather than drawing both sides of the body, I only had to do it once. The next step is to join all the tools. I've also outlined this little dinosaur that will make sense later on hand. Uh, now that I have everything drawn, I've taken away my background layer and then I'm going to start to color in each and every one of those shapes. So I have filled in the general colors of each shape, and the next step will be to add some shading so you can see I've shaded the left hand side , almost like the light source is shining from the top right of the page down on her, and I was pretty liberal with the difference in tone ality from, say, her skirt to that shadow because the more of a difference there is from the base color to the shadow that more cut amplifies the dimensionality of your drop. Here I have taken those little dinosaurs, and I've just copied and pasted into a repeat pattern and dropped it over top of skirt. I'm going to take the skirts shape, copy and paste it on top of the dinosaurs and create a clipping mask. There are a couple of ways you could do this. If you're comfortable. And adobe illustrator, you could also make them into a swatch and fill in the shape with your swatch. Now that the drawings done, I'm starting to add some background color, something that kind of looks like soft, wispy shapes. Maybe they're clouds. They're just fun shapes the kind of compliment, the silliness of that dinosaur. And then I've dropped in a bay shadow under her feet, and I think it really makes thes colorful images pop when they have a white or a black border. So I added a border on the edge, and it's done 11. 11 How Long Will it Take?: I'm going to answer the question. How long is going to take me to be good at this? So the trick answer is you can practice forever and keep getting better indefinitely. The short answer is if you sketch three sketches a day, you'll probably be pretty good in a matter of weeks. So keep at it. It's about repetition. It's about practicing. Um, you'll be a better artist. The more you practice, it's just how it works. I will say if you need to be good fast or you need to show your designs fast and it's less about the illustration work to you. I do have a tip. There is a book out there, and it's moderately expensive. But it's called Fashion Eri, and you combine that fashion every dot org's. This book has an unlimited amount of resource. Is it talks about garments, how to pattern them? What they're called it talks about darts and patterns. It's a really good tool, but most of the pages have outlines lightly that you can sketch onto off a fashion figure. So here's an example of something that I have filled in. If it is really difficult for you to be constantly sketching your figures just to get your fashion designs out. This might be a good option. I will say it's not as personal. It's Apria drawn figure. It might not have your stylistic integrity, but it is. It is quick, and there are some great resource is in this book. 12. 12 Where to Find Inspiration: the last tip is sketch from real life. If you could go to the park and you can see how people's figures move and how silhouettes reformed and what proportion and what draped things hang, that will help you the most. Maybe there's a neighborhood sketch glass you could attend and just see the figure and sketch them as a fashion model. That's not cheating. That's just a good trick.