Paper Fashion: Telling a Story through Fashion Illustration | Katie Rodgers | Skillshare

Paper Fashion: Telling a Story through Fashion Illustration

Katie Rodgers, Fashion Illustrator, Artist

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9 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. Initial Sketch

    • 4. Background Sketch

    • 5. Adding Detail and Shading

    • 6. Painting: First Layer Watercolor

    • 7. Painting: Second Layer Details

    • 8. Painting: Final Touches

    • 9. More Creative Classes on Skillshare

19 students are watching this class

Project Description

Illustrate a fashion composition telling a story of a couture gown

Download the PDF below for detailed tips, examples, and guidance!

Project Assignment

You assignment is to illustrate a fashion composition that tells the story of a couture gown. Your goal is not only to illustrate the gown in a way that captures its artfulness and beauty, but to put it in a scene that shares a human emotion and experience.

This kind of scene gives you a chance to practice and hone your illustration skills in depth, color, and detail. Even more importantly, it gives life to your drawing, helping viewers' place themselves in a scene and experience your illustration in a truly human, inspiring way.


The final deliverable for this assignment is one illustrated fashion composition. A finished illustration will have at least 1 figure wearing a couture gown, and that figure should surrounded by at least 2-3 architectural or prop details to convey a time period and place.

Optionally: You may add additional background figures, final accents like metallic paint, and use Photoshop to remove blemishes.

Here are the things to share in the class project gallery so I can see the full evolution of your composition:

  • a photo of the couture gown you've chosen
  • sketches of your main figure in the gown
  • sketches of your background (architecture, props, and other figures)
  • an illustration with the first layer of watercolor
  • an illustration with the second layer of watercolor
  • a final illustration (final touches added and blemishes removed)


To complete this project, you'll need paper, watercolors, gouache, and a 6B pencil. See the downloadable resources for more details and links to specific materials.

Steps At-a-Glance

You'll select your couture gown. Then, you'll sketch your composition, background figures, and background setting. You'll finalize your sketch with shadowing and details, then add two layers of watercolor to your piece. You'll add any desired final touches, and then (if you'd like) scan and clean up your illustration in Photoshop. See below for more detailed instructions and tips!


You're welcome to dive into this class directly, but if you're new to illustration, feel free to explore my previous 2 Skillshare classes on fashion illustration: Basic Watercolors and PaperFashion: Illustrate Your Favorite Runway Looks with Watercolors


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