Digital Fashion Illustration in Procreate | CardwellandInk Design | Skillshare

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Digital Fashion Illustration in Procreate

teacher avatar CardwellandInk Design, B.Sc, B.A, M.Teach

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. The Canvas Setup

    • 4. Rendering the Skin

    • 5. Rendering the Underlay

    • 6. Rendering the Sheer Overlay

    • 7. Patterns and Details

    • 8. Hair and Background

    • 9. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


Have you ever read a glamorous magazine like Vogue or INSTYLE and wondered how to create one of the beautiful fashion illustrations that grace their pages? Well, this is the class for you.

In this class you will learn how to create a digital fashion illustration in Procreate on the iPad. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned artist this class is for you. This class will take you step by step through the process of rendering each clothing layer to create a fashion figure in a sheer multilayered dress. 



In this class, you will learn:

  • The differences between a fashion croquis dimensions vs the dimensions of a normal illustration.
  • How to find inspiration for your fashion illustrations
  • The basics of working in layers in Procreate to simplify your workflow
  • Techniques of how to draw clothing onto a fashion template in a way that wraps around the figure in a realistic way
  • How to render skin
  • How to render a dress with a sheer overlay
  • How to add shadows and highlights to make your illustration pop
  • How to create a simple background for your illustration.

In addition, you will receive all of the resources I use along the way from custom Procreate canvas, a Pinterest board of reference images and Procreate brushes to make the process as seamless and fun as possible.

If you'd like to join me and learn how to create a dynamic and contemporary fashion illustration...Lets get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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CardwellandInk Design

B.Sc, B.A, M.Teach

Top Teacher

Hi, I'm Priscilla and I am a Surface pattern designer, Freelance illustrator, Biologist and Teacher. I am the owner of Cardwell and ink, a boutique design studio in Australia. About 6 years ago , I transitioned from being a traditional artist to a predominantly digital artist with my ipad pro and apple pencil being my tools of choice and I have never looked back. The versatility that using a digital medium affords has taken my creativity in painting, fashion illustration and textile design to new levels and I am so excited to share the things I have learned along the way. 

I love teaching and  breaking down concepts in easily understandable ways.  You can see examples of my work on my website ( linked in sidebar) and my prints on fabric and ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Priscilla. and welcome to my Skillshare class. I'm a teacher, surface pattern designer, fashion illustrator, and owner of Cardwell and Ink, a boutique design studio in Australia. Fashion illustration is one of my favorite things to create because it ties in so many aspects of my creative business from creating custom illustrations for clients, to displaying my surface pattern designs in a stylistic quantity. It's a delight to be able to create an illustration to help someone celebrate a special event in their lives. I'm so excited to be able to share the process of something I love so much with you. Fashion illustration is a beautiful expression of the figure and the wardrobe that can be used to communicate a clothing design, but also captures a feeling, emotion, and movement of the subject. The loose, sketchy gestural style allows you to capture the essence of the figure. The aim is not photo accuracy or perfect detail, but rather a loose, expressive take on the subject. A great accessory to fashion photography, contemporary fashion illustration is unique to each illustrator and allows him to infuse their illustration with their own artistic style and perspective. Many contemporary designers and brands use fashion illustration in their physical and digital campaigns. Its applications include engaging social media posts, magazine ads, images for product design, stationery, or standalone pieces of artwork. Fashion illustration is not just a hobby or a skill to have in your toolbox. Many of my favorite fashion illustrators who have inspired me, like Jessica Durrant, Megan Hass, and Holly Nichols have launched full-time careers through freelancing and working with designers and brands. It's a great vehicle to kick-start your creativity and to create a body of work for your illustration portfolio. In this class, I will show you my techniques to render a sheer dress in a fashion illustration style digitally in Procreate. Because I want this to be beginner friendly, this is not a technical drawing class, and, we are going to get straight into the good stuff. I have pre-prepared a Procreate Canvas, including a fashion figure template and clothing guides for you to use already sized to fashion dimensions. Accustomed Procreate brush set of all the brushes we use, and a custom color palette and Pinterest board with images for inspiration. I will take you through a brief overview of the key features of a fashion figure, and then we will dive straight into how to create three-dimensional skin tones for our illustration. Then we will work through how to illustrate each layer of clothing, starting with an opaque layer and then a sheer shimmery overlaid to the dress. We will talk through how to use shadows and highlights to really make the clothing look more 3D. Finally, we will add details like a pattern to our fabric, hair and a simple background to bring our illustration together. All you will need to take this class is an iPad, a stylus, and the app Procreate. If you have about 40 minutes and would like to try your hand at a new illustration style. Come and join me. I hope that you finished this class having had a whole lot of fun, having more confidence in using the Procreate Interface and being able to apply these techniques to your illustration style. Enough talking. Let's get started. 2. Class Project: Your class project is to create a fashion illustration to share as an image. It could be the image that I take you through, or you can use the figure template provided to create a fashion illustration of a totally different outfit using some of the skills you learn in the class. I love seeing people make the technique their own. The class resources can be found just below this video in the class resources tab. Just tap on each resource and then save it to your file storage. From there, you can open or export it to Procreate. The links to the Pinterest board will also be linked in the class description. You can save the reference image to your camera roll ready for the class. Then join me in the next lesson for an overview of the Canvas setup and how you use it. 3. The Canvas Setup: In this lesson, I'll take you through setting up our canvas for our illustration. By now, you should have exported your Canvas and brushes to Procreate. Tapping on the Canvas will open it and there you will see our fashion figure and the outlines of the different layers we will be rendering. If you tap on the layers icon on the right, you'll see that each of the clothing outlines for our illustration will be located on a new layer. You can turn these layers on and off by tapping on the tick on the right-hand side. To add a new layer, you just tap the plus icon at the top right, and a new layer will activate above any blue highlighted layout. You can also delete or duplicate a layer by swiping to the left and tapping delete or duplicate. On the right-hand side, if you have imported your brush set from the class resources, you'll find your brush pack, including all the brushes that we will use for this illustration at the top of the brush panel underneath your recent brushes. When you tap on the brush that you want to select, it will highlight in blue. Then on the left of the screen, you can adjust the size and opacity of the brushes using the sliders on the left. A two-finger tap on your screen, will undo and a three-finger tap, will redo a stroke or you can use the arrows located underneath the sliders. Finally, the color palette from the class resources can be exported to Procreate and will load in your color palette menu at the bottom of your palettes. You can use the three dots on the right to make it your default color palettes. Then when you head back to the color disk, it will be at the bottom ready to use. Just tap on any color to activate it to use with your brush. All right. Let's get started with our finger template. Deactivate all of the other layers except for our fashion template or our fashion quirky, as they say. A great tip to do this is to long press on the tick and all the other layers will deactivate. The first thing you'll notice is that the fashion figure has different proportions to a normal figure. As a rule, where the normal body figure is about eight heads in size. A fashion figure is going to be about 9-10 heads, with the legs being the most elongated. This is to make the figure look more stylish and having those elongated proportions allows the clothes and their details to really be the focus of the illustration. Join me in the next lesson, where we will render our skin layer for our illustration. 4. Rendering the Skin: In this lesson, I'm going to walk you through rendering the skin tone of our fashion template. For skin, you will need a dark tone for the shadows, a light tone for the highlights, and a medium tone for the flat color. So first we're going to fill our croqui with the medium brown color from our color palette using a great little tip in Procreate. Head to the layers and make sure that your figure template is activated and then tap on the layer. In the side menu that pops up, select Reference. You'll now see that text in your layer. This function allows you to use the line work in this layer as an outline, but then fill it in a new layer. Now we can create a new layer. With the plus icon select, hold, and drag that below our line work layer. Now place your stylus on the color drop and draw in the color to fill the figure. Repeat this with the head as well. The next thing we're going to do is to create shadows which will make a huge difference in giving your illustration a more realistic look. Whenever I want to find my shadows and highlights easily for custom illustrations, I use a free version of a great app called Magic Puzzle, which allows you to position your figure in a pose and move the light where you want it. I've already placed the model in the pose that I'm illustrating, which is another great feature of this app and taking a screenshot to use as a reference. I've linked it into the class resources so that you can save it to your camera roll. To import it at the top left, tap the Wrench icon, and then tap the Canvas and toggle on the reference function. It will default to show you your Canvas, but just tap the text image and import the image from your camera roll. We'll now use this to place our shadows and highlights. In our brush menu, select the soft brush and then the darker brown from our color palette. In our layers panel, tap the fashion croqui, and turn off the reference function by tapping reference again in the side menu. Next, we are going to create a layer above it and we're going to make this new layer a clipping mask by tapping on the layer and selecting the text in the side menu clipping mask. This means that anything we place on this layer will only show up in the areas that are colored on the layer below. Slide your clipping mask layer to the left and duplicate it to make another clipped layer. Now we can name them by tapping on the layer and selecting rename. The top layer we're going to call highlights and the bottom layer we are going to rename as shadows. It's really important to get into the habit of labeling your layers because it makes it so much easier to adjust aspects of your illustration as you go. Now, we can choose our shadow layer and begin to lay down the shadows whenever we see them in our reference image. This is mainly on the left-hand side, which is away from our light source. The soft edges of this brush means that your shadows will have a smooth gradient into that medium tone. If you have any harsh layers, just long press on the smudge tool and it will automatically convert the brush to a soft brush. Then you can smooth any edges that you think are too harsh. Continue using the reference and lay down shadows wherever you see them, and smudge any areas that the gradient is too sharp until you are happy. Next, we are going to take the light brown from our color palette and go to our highlight layer and we're going to repeat this process with our highlights. Again, following the reference image to place the highlights on the right-hand side of the body where the light hits. Use the smudge tool as well to even out the gradient if you need it and just follow that around the fashion figure. Once you are done, we have one last thing to do with our highlight layer. Head to the layers menu and tap on the N on the right-hand side, and scroll through the blend modes on that layer until you find the text Add. Then using the opacity slider, reduce the opacity to about 30%. I love using this technique with highlights because it just gives that skin a bit of a glow. That's all for the skin layer. Join me in the next lesson to render our first layer of opaque clothing on our fashion figure. 5. Rendering the Underlay: In this lesson, we are going to render an opaque underlay to our dress for our fashion illustration. In your procreate Canvas, you can activate the opaque layer by clicking on the tick on the right-hand side. This style of dress was inspired by an image I saw on Pinterest that I have linked in the class resources. I'm going to go to that image to show you the different features of the dress. In the image, you can see that the figure has an underlay and a sheer overlay in her dress. When you're drawing clothing around your subject, remember that it doesn't have to be an exact replica of the pose that you are drawing. But you do need to pay attention to making sure that the fabric wraps around your figure. This means that in areas of the body that curve, you're not using straight lines. The lines of the fabric should really drip around the body. If we head back to our procreate Canvas, you can see this incorporated into the illustration of the underlay that I've drawn, the hemline and the waist have the same angles to them. These will really help your illustration be more realistic, life-like, and have an element of movement to it. The first thing that we're going to do to make the underlay easier to see is to select black as the color from our palette and then tap our underlay layer in our layers panel in the side menu, select Alpha Lock. Then you will see that honeycomb structure. Tap the layer again and this time select Fill Layer. That will turn all of your linework into black so it's easily visible. Now, like we did with the skin, we are going to make our underlay into a reference layer by tapping and activating the text reference in the side menu. Then we can create a new layer above hold and then drag it below our outline layer. In our color palette, select the medium gray color and then drag it from the color into that new layer to fill it. Then you can deactivate the reference function. The same way that we did with the skin. We're now going to create our layers as clipping mask for our shadows and highlights. Create a layer, tap and set it as clipping mask. Then duplicate that layer. You have another clipped layer. Then we can rename the top layer as highlights and the bottom layer as shadows. Starting with our shadow layer like we did before, we're going to select our soft brush and the dark gray color from our palette and start laying our shadows on the left-hand side of our figure. These are going to follow the same shadow pattern as we did with the skin because the light is still coming from the right hand side. If you need to activate or refer to the Canvas reference, please do so. Then just use those shadows just around where the underlay is until you're happy. Now, you can also use the smudge tool like we did before to remove any harsh edges. Then we can move to our highlight layer and select the light gray from our color palette. Then we're going to do the same with our highlight layer on all of the areas that would be in the light. Again, always feel free to use the smudge tool by long pressing to then thin out any harsh edges. Take some time and have a play until you're happy with the tones in that setting underlay. Then join me in the next lesson to create the sheer overlay for our dress. 6. Rendering the Sheer Overlay: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we are going to create the sheer overlay of the dress. We can go to our layers panel and turn on our sheer overlay layer. We're going to select black from our color palette and then head to the layer, tap and Alpha lock it. Then we will tap again and select Fill Layer to fill the linework in black. Now tap one last time to make it a reference layer. Next, we'll create a new layer for our color fill. Hold and drag it below our overlay layer. Head to the color drop on the top right, and just drag it into the area of the overlay and it should fill the whole area in black. Obviously, we don't want this layer to be completely opaque. To make it she, we head to the side of our layer, tap the N, and then reduce the opacity to approximately 30 percent. This will give that sheer look to the fabric. Now we can remove our reference function from our outline layer and tap to rename our sheer fabric layer. We're now going to create two layers for our shadows and highlights using the plus above this sheer fabric layout. Tab and rename the top layer highlights and tap to rename the bottom layer as shadows. Now, because we have reduced the opacity of the sheer layer, if we created the shadows on a clipping mask, the opacity of our shadows would also be reduced, which is not what we want. We're going to use a different technique. Head to the color palette and select the dark gray. Also, make sure that your soft brush is selected from our brush menu. Then, go to the sheer layer, tap it and from the side menu, choose the text, Select. This will select the entire area that we want to place our color into. Now we can activate the reference image we used in the last lesson at the top-left. Select our shadow layer and begin to lay our shadows using this image as our guide. We'll also add shadows around the waistline of the dress, where the fabric is going to gather and pull in above and below the belt, as well as around the hem of the dress where the fabric is going to fold over itself. This gives you a bit more realism and makes the dress feel a bit more three-dimensional. You can still use the smudge tool at any point if you want to smooth the edges of the shadows a bit. Take your time, and you can always adjust the size of the brush using the sliders on the left-hand side, or the opacity of the brush using that bottom side L. Once you are happy with the shadows, you have placed, head back to the Layers Panel and we're going to activate our highlight layer. With our selection is still active, this time we're going to head to our brushes, and select that sequence shimmer brush and a light gray from our color palette. We're going to use this to place our highlights where the light hits the reference image, so mainly on the right-hand side of that sheer overlay. Feel free to adjust the size of your brush as you go, and this will give that glittery sheen to the overlay fabric. As a general rule, add the shimmer to the right of where you placed the shadows to show the areas where the light is going to hit the gathered fabric. You can also repeat this around the hemline of the skirt, where the fabric drapes and folds, and the sides of those folds hit the light. Take your time until you are happy with the layer. The final thing we need to do for this layer is to adjust the blend mode on the side of the layer to the add blend mode. This will add that real shimmer to the fabric. You can reduce the opacity until you are happy with the level of shine. Next with a sheer fabric, you can see through the dress to the back of the dress, and because you have two layers on top of each other. The color where they overlap is going to be slightly more opaque. To recreate this, head to the color palette and choose black as our color, and then head to the layer labeled sheer shadow. I've created this layer of all the areas that have that double overlap of sheer fabric. Tap on the layer to Alpha Lock it, tap again to fill it in black so that the line work is now black, and finally tap once more to make it a reference layer. To be able to see these smaller areas really clearly, we're going to long press on the tick on the right-hand side, and this is going to isolate this layer. Choose the plus to create a new layer, and then head to the selection menu at the top left. When you tap it in the menu that opens at the bottom of the page, choose automatic selection and color fill. Now you can tap the areas to fill them. Once you're done, go back to your layer and long press on the tick to reactivate the other layers. You can now reduce the opacity of the layer to approximately 30 percent. Turn off the reference layer on your outline, and now you have that added realism of that second overlapping sheer layer. That's all for the overlay. Join me in the next lesson to add the pattern, and the ribbon details to our dress. 7. Patterns and Details: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we are going to add the pattern to the dress, ribbon details, and shoes to our illustration. To start with the dotted pattern on the dress, head to the color palette and select black as a color. Then head to the brushes and choose the dots detail brush. Now in our layers, we can head to the sheer overlay layer and create a new layer above it. Tap the layer and then select "Rename" and rename it as pattern. First we will go to our selection menu. On the top-left, make sure the color fill at the bottom is turned off because we want to stay within the area but we don't want to fill it with a color, we just want to select it. Now we can head to the sheer fabric layer, tap it, and hit "Select" from the side menu, and then head back to our pattern layer. We'll set our brush size to approximately two percent and start to lay our pattern down on the dress. Remember that the same way that the dress wraps around the body, we want our pattern to also follow the curves of the body. Think of how the fabric is curving around the chest and make the pattern follow that curve. At the waist where the fabric pinches the pattern will as well, and where it flares from the waist, the pattern will also flare apart towards the hem of the dress. You can also add a few extra lines of print to show any of the dots coming through from the back layer of the shear fabric. Around the arms, make sure to follow any folds in the fabric especially on the left arm. As the fabric folds, the pattern will as well. Once that is done, we are going to add the ribbon details to the dress. Tap the selection menu to deactivate the selection, and then head to the layers panel to the layer called ribbon detail and activate it. This is going to allow us to add the satin ribbon trim to the dress. Tap and Alpha lock the layer, tap again to fill it with black color, and then tap once more to make it a reference layer. Now we're going to long press on the tick on the right-hand side to isolate the layer and then create a new layer using the plus above it. Now we can head to our selection menu on the left and activate the automatic and the color fill at the bottom. You can zoom in a bit and then tap to fill any of the small areas with color. Now we can head back to our layers and remove the reference function from our outline layer. On the layer we've just filled, we are going to set it on Alpha lock. This will make sure that the color we add is only going to affect this filled part of the layer. Now we can long press on the tick to reactivate the other layers, and head to our brush menu and select a soft brush and white as a color from our palette. Make sure your brush is approximately three percent on the slider. Then we are going to add a gradient on the right-hand side of the ribbon trim where the light would hit. You can activate the Canvas reference as well to help you see these areas more clearly. If you keep your stylus just off the side border of the ribbon, it will give you a gradual gradient. Do this on the right-hand side down that center trim, and where the light hits on the cuff, on the ribbon around the waist, and on the left cuff. Now we're going to repeat this process with the belt and shoe layer. Select black from your color palette and activate the belt and shoe layer. We're going to tap to Alpha lock, tap to fill, and tap to make it a reference layer. Long press on the tick on the right-hand side to isolate the layer, create a new layer above it, and then activate the selection menu. We're going to tap all the areas in the belt and the bottom section of the shoe. Now we can head back to our layers and long press to reactivate all of the layers as well as alpha lock as new fill layer. Grab white again and our soft brush and start to add the gradient highlights to the right-hand side of the sections of the belt and on the right-hand side of the shoe. Although these are small details you can see that because the line work and color fill are on separate layers, you still have the definition in the ribbon details instead of one massive color. Next we are going to add the button details to the center of the dress. Head to our color palette and grab the lightest gray, and then to our brushes and select the shiny button brush. Create a new layer, set the brush size to approximately 16 percent, and then start to lay the buttons down the center ribbon of the dress following the curve and evenly spacing. The last thing that we're going to do is add a little bit of white pen to mimic traditional white gel pen, which will add highlights and a little pop to the illustration. We're going to create a new layer, head to our brush menu and grab our studio brush. Make sure the color is on watch, and then just follow along as I add a few white highlights. [MUSIC] We are done with our dress. Join me in the next lesson to finish the hair and the background to our illustration. 8. Hair and Background: In this lesson, we are going to add the hair and the background to our illustration. First the hair. If you head to the brush menu and select the hairbrush, this will allow us to give our illustration a beautiful afro. Select black as the color from our color palette, and then in our layers panel, activate the layer marked Hair. Tap on it and tap the text "Select" to select the area, and then create a new layer above it. Use the brush to fill in the entire area of the hair. This will also fill in the eyelash with black to add a bit of character to your illustration. Once you are done, you can delete that super bright reference layer. Next, we're going to create a new layer with our selection still active and this time we're going to select the light brown color from our color palette. We're going to place this on the areas of the hair where the light would hit those curls on the right-hand side at the top, and also around the face on the left-hand side at the top. This may look pretty bright, but we can now go to the end on our layer, change it to the blend mode Add and reduce the opacity. Now we can long press on the smudge tool, which will convert it into thicker brush as well, and start to blend the edges by tapping gently on any harsh edges of the highlights. That will blend it into the darker portions of the hair and it will give it more of a three-dimensional look. So we are officially finished with the illustration, but we're now going to move into the background. We can head down to the bottom layer and activate our background layer. Once you have done that, Alpha Lock it as well, and we're going to head to our brushes panel and grab a soft brush and the color white from our palette, and set it quite large on our Slido and we're also going to reduce the opacity to about 35 percent. Now, we're going to just run the brush over the top cityscape to create a gentle gradient over the background. Next, remove the Alpha Lock from your background layer and also scroll through and make sure that none of your other layers have that reference function or reference text activated. Otherwise, our color fill in the next step won't work. Back to our background layer and head to our color palette and select a medium-tone gray. Drag the color from the color drop and fill the ground around her feet. Now head to the sliders on the left-hand side and decrease the size of our soft brush and increase our opacity. Create a new layer, set it on the multiply blend mode, and then gently create a shadow on the ground to the left of our figure since our light source is coming from the right-hand side. This makes sure that our illustration doesn't look like she is flooding in air. The final touch is to add a bit of texture and gradient to our background. We're going to head back to our background layer and then to our Adjustments menu on the top left. Scroll down and select Noise in that list and then in the bottom menu, select Clouds with no scale or octaves, and turbulence at about 70 percent. Place your stylus on the screen and then slide to the right until you're happy with the level of texture. This subtle change makes our illustration really stand out from the background layer. Lastly, head back to the Adjustments menu. This time we are going to select Gradient Map. We're going to pick the gradient map of breeze just to tie all the tones in the background together. Feel free to experiment with any of the others, but I just love the way this one looks with the subtle blue tones through it. We are officially done with the illustration. I am so excited that you came along this creative journey into the world of fashion illustration with me. Join me in the next lesson to wrap up and talk about your class project. 9. Final Thoughts: Thanks so much for doing this class with me. It has been a delight to share my techniques of how I complete this style of illustration. I hope that it has expanded your understanding of the varied ways you can create and incorporate fashion illustration into your world and illustration portfolio. I look forward to seeing your illustration, and you can do that by taking a screenshot at any point and uploading it to the class project section just below this video. Feel free to add your own twist to the illustration, maybe a different hairstyle or color of the dress, or apply the technique and create a completely unique fashion illustration. I cannot wait to see where your creativity takes you. Sharing your projects helps inspire others to make these techniques their own. I've already placed an example just below. Also, if you have some time, please leave a review of the class and feel free to add questions or ideas in the class discussion section, if there is a technique that you would like me to expand on a bit further. You can always follow me here on Skillshare @cardwellandinkdesign to be notified of new classes. If you are on social media, you can tag me @cardwellandink, ink with a K. I'd love to see and re-share your projects. Have a great day, people, and happy creating.