Fashion Commercial Illustration: Create a Vintage Inspired Artwork in Gouache and Photoshop | Anna Sokolova | Skillshare

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Fashion Commercial Illustration: Create a Vintage Inspired Artwork in Gouache and Photoshop

teacher avatar Anna Sokolova, Berlin-based Artist

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

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Analog: Painting a Dress


    • 5.

      Painting a Coat


    • 6.

      Paper masking


    • 7.

      Sketching and Image Tracing


    • 8.

      Digital: Scanning and Inking


    • 9.

      Digital watercoloring


    • 10.

      Your Task


    • 11.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class I'll show you how to create a Fashion Illustration using common principles of visual arts. We’ll start with traditional techniques using paints and paper masking, we’ll also explore image-tracing options. Then I’ll show you super fast digital watercoloring technique in Photoshop. This class focuses on techniques used in fashion commercial illustration but can be applied to any creative area. 

Both advanced and beginner creative can find valuable insights in this class.

 Lessons include:

  • Materials
  • Inspiration
  • Traditional Techniques
  • Image tracing
  • Digital inking
  • Digital watercoloring

Meet Your Teacher

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Anna Sokolova

Berlin-based Artist

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Anna Sokolova is an award-winning illustrator and artist based in Berlin, Germany.

Anna works with mixed media and is inspired by merging the traditional and innovative approaches in arts. A member of the NYC Society of Illustrators, Anna often collaborates with other international and local pro... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, my name is Ana Sakalava and I'm a Berlin-based artist and illustrator. I was very happy to get you encouragement feedback on my previous classes. Originally, I'm from Saint Petersburg. I was always inspired by palaces, ballet and of course by costumes created by legendary artists like Leon box [inaudible]. Today we're in a very special place in Germany, in Potsdam, I wanted to show is this beautiful castle of Wilkin. Its abundance vert mountain and displaces fascinating. Today's class topic is fashion illustration. In this class, we'll work with common principles of fashion illustration. In the first part of the class, we'll work with traditional techniques using paints, negative space and real paper masking. In the second part of the class, I'll show you super-helpful digital water coloring technique. Honestly, I kind of measure working without it because it's a real life saver for commercial artists. It's really easy to perform and it saves huge amount of time. Of course, fashion changes constantly, but the principles and tricks stages the same. You can apply them in any area of illustration, like I did for this single color for linen grab band. Of course there is a super giveaway for you, create your project and post it in the project gallery before January 25th, for a chance to get this limited edition paper block from German manufacturer Hannon Molly, and some more surprises for me. Is getting really cold, let's go back to the studio and start creating our projects. 2. Materials: Welcome to the studio. Here are the materials I'm going to use. First of all, it's the white paper, the usual sketch papers with a smooth surface. It can be any print. Then I'll use colored paper. I bought it in the stationary shop where they sell this beautiful envelopes and anything for mail. Then I'll use transparent paper. I'll also be using gouache paints. I prefer using paints in case, but of course you can use tubes or you can use watercolors paints. We will need brushes. Here's the big brush and the small brush, number 1 and number 3. For a special technique, I'll be using old toothbrush and a cutting knife. Well, obviously we will need a pencil HB and I'll use some white pencil for sketching on the colored paper so it will be seen. That's it. As usually, there's a totally optional and you can use anything you have at home. Let's move forward. 3. Inspiration: Before we start creating our projects, I wanted to share with you my inspiration. I am sure you love books as much as I do. Here's the first one. It's called fashion illustration, and here are the magical artworks from the beginning of the 20th century. Very beautiful, authentic illustrations by such iconic artists like George Barbier. You can see they're almost like theatrical costumes, and is a very special time in the history of fashion art. It's the very fruitful collaboration between [inaudible] and artists and designers, so this era is very special. I like to special touch and I think you can feel this tender lines and it's more natural but very beautiful. The second book is called Paris Mode. Actually, it's a black and white photography. But it depicts the beginning of the street fashion photography. I find it very inspiring. The ciliates composition and the overall atmosphere is just beautiful. It's really funny how this superficial characters and sometimes very plain backgrounds can look so natural and stylish and of course, I think it's because it's a Paris, and it's a city of dreams, and they just come true. Very inspiring book. Not anything, of course. Another book is, it is called the Chronicle of Western Costume. Well, maybe it's not very interesting in artistic science, but as a reference book it can be really handy. For example, if I have a project of say about Ancient Greece, I don't know what can happen, any project can come your way, I can just take a quick look and check if it's inspirational, what types of clothing it is, long some dresses just to have the first impression. I just keep it in my library and I bought it, I think in Amazon for several box, just to have it. I think you've got the idea. So what's lacking? [inaudible]. The last but not least, is one of my favorite books about Leon Bakst. It's called the Magic World of Theater, and it's actually the ontology of the works of Leon Bakst for his ballet costumes and for his just fine art works. I find they're very beautiful and they're full of emotions and actions. Of course, it's always connected with a story, but somehow even the separate illustrations, they are very special. I want to find one of my favorites. I can browse through this book. I don't even read it. As you can see, it's in German, and this one is very famous. I'm sure you got the impression. We are ready. This is the Russian ballet. Beautiful, and we're ready to start creating our projects. 4. Analog: Painting a Dress: Welcome back. Let's start creating. The first project is very interesting. We'll use classic approach and use the negative space, the color of the paper as a part of our fashion illustration. As a reference image, I'm going to be using this photo I took in the Arts Museum in Berlin, of course. There's a big fashion department and it's just iPhone picture, so not a high-quality one. It doesn't matter and I'll keep this inspirational image here too. The first thing I did is I created this case using the light pencil, so it be more comfortable to work with. Let's see, the color of the dress almost matches the color of the paper. Which means to create this special effect, we just need to draw some shadows and these bright spots. Let's begin. I already put here some white gouache and now I'm going to mix the nice colors of red, maybe a bit more and we need to darken them a bit, so I'm using the paper towels. I think it's dark enough. We are working on the shadows. Of course, they will be lighter when they dry so don't worry that you see them a bit too dark at the beginning. They won't be. I will work with the shadows looking at our reference image and working our way through beautiful illustration. Where we're tender with the edges and we're happy with this stationary paper, is super cheap and very comfortable to use for paints, which was really surprising. I found out by chance, absolutely. We can use some tips here. Of course, you have shade some bow. You see it's dry and it changes the intensity. We may feel to add even more tumbled strokes. We're not afraid of anything and some imperfections, beautiful and fashion art. I guess we'll several layers while we work. I will add more red, not that much. Let's see how it looks like when it dries. We add in some black. Here's the bow part. We want to create this medium the darkest part. We want to empathize the darkest parts with almost black. We want to use more water gouache because it's not water color paper and I'm afraid that despite its so good, it can leave unpleasant traces and we don't want that. I think we may only add some red. Here's some orders, and what I'm going to do now is to draw the flowers, which make it very beautiful accents. So you can create as many layers as you want. [inaudible] is comfortable and it won't take much of your time. Now I'm going to take the smaller brush and to define these flowers. You can see there are three layers, the black one, the white one, and the light blue. This is how we going to do it, it's our order. I don't want to be super perfect with the shapes but just to some hints. Of course, you can erase the pencil afterwards if you want, but I'm using a watercolor pencil, which is quite comfortable because you may not erase it, is so susceptible and you can just put a water on it and that's all. If you want to be super picky, you can draw the face of the model too and I think I will do that. Because even the fashion illustration is all very often without any character, but I prefer to have one. So, it's all about selling the clothes, it's about some idea, and some motion. Which is why I think I want to make a hint of the face here. Now look at my impression was here. So semantically, maybe with the [inaudible] I'll use a bigger brush for that afterwards. I always want to show contrast because it's really good. So even if I won't call the skin, which I plan to do, it's good to have the hair defining the neck. I'm going to work with it afterwards. I'm not sure if we need to add some more black here, maybe just a little bit here and there. Just to define, but it's always a personal choice. Yeah. Well, I think our flowers are almost dry and we can put the next layer, which is white wash, and we need a clear water. Yeah, it's pretty clear and I'm using this very comfortable palette. Yeah. I love how contrast works, rather the moment you add the white, the image starts to live its own life. It's so difficult to draw and to talk at the same moment. We don't want to be super precise with it, just couple of strokes here and there. Well, would you like how it looks like? Yeah. Now we need some time, we give it some time to dry before we put the next layer. I think we need to put something here too, and maybe here too, plus like too, yeah. I may want to define the eyes a bit more and maybe an answer for the hair, and while it's drying, we may work with skin a little bit. Well, I'm sure I wanted just a little tiny bit of it. So usually it works good with some mix of white and the tone, maybe something very very subtle not to spoil anything. You may want to add more whites on the cheek. The small details. You're going to have to do that of course. I'm going to have to [inaudible] this. This one too. Some nice impression and then cover it with black. I think we can work further with our blue. We mix it with white a little bit. You see, it's more bright when you mix it with white and apply. Maybe put a little necklace on her neck. I think it will look beautiful just to add some interest. Nothing fancy, but a couple of brush strokes and you will see how easily the couple of whitewash strokes can highlight any jewelry. I'm going to work with the face a little bit more. We're almost done. How about that we have here a couple of black frames we forgot about and the strokes. You see? It appears very interesting right away. Give it some highlights. Well, it can be actually finished, but sometimes it's interesting to add just a hint of background and it should be contrasted with negative space we've chosen. For now, the combination of whitewash and the blue color will suit perfectly for our purpose. What I'm going to do is just to put a couple of strokes here and there just to define the shape of the dress. Depending on your style, you can do more or less of that. I think I'm not touching the face, but for the shape of the dress, I think it's really beautiful to add this effect. You can use interesting shapes of the brush. The contrast is what makes it interesting. We're almost done. We are superheroes. We did a great job and painted along one. You can make it more accurately and everything according to your taste, of course. Well, personally, I would add a couple of such strokes to the hair also because I just like how it looks. The blue is very contrasting to the black and makes the illustration more interesting. It's harder than in Photoshop. You don't have to go and [inaudible] that. You can delete it. You can work with your mistakes, but it's very rewarding. I think that's it. We can say that will work probably. We did a great job, I think. Well, let's move to the next project. 5. Painting a Coat: Welcome back. The previous project was very difficult, but we made it. This one is easy and very interesting also. I'll show you a special traditional technique of paper masking. But at first, we need to create a fashion sketch. As a reference, I'll use this photo from the Bulgarian behind the Hello Shopping [inaudible] Her name is Nina. Nina, thank you. Here's the image for inspiration. So it's a street look I really liked, so I asked her to use this image. Let's start. I'll work with a small brush number one and just a black wash. You can do it with inks or with watercolors. So I already sketched some pencil drawings so you see. Well maybe I will have to add a couple of more lines here, but it's not very important because it can be pretty lousy. Maybe the ground, but maybe I'll edit later. So let's start working. I try to be relaxed and take not lots of water, but it shouldn't the dry either. There is something on the brush, am not sure. Okay. We are working through the silhouettes. I'm not happy with this here. It's okay now. So I'm looking at the reference image. Just work according to your style. If you like lousy, relaxed imagery, just do as you wish, as you feel comfortable. Maybe with inks it would be more. I forgot what I was going to say. It may be easier not to use [inaudible] refill it with water. Here comes the bag. You can delete the pencil sketch afterwards, of course, if you want, but it's not necessary. There is a special term in fashion illustration that, "Not so perfect." I just want to create a character. Some [inaudible] , and here comes jeans and the boots. I won't go much into details, just a rough idea. Then we define her [inaudible] So I think that's it, and now I want to add some color. I'll just sketch. For the color, I think I will need a bigger brush. Just a pure red. Something like this to have this point of interest, so to speak. Again, it can work freely with just a little hint of color, or work very precisely. Yeah, I think it's enough. Now when we have this sketch, we can finally move to the interesting part. 6. Paper masking: Our sketch is finally dry and now I'm going to show you the technique. It's a very interesting classic approach right before Photoshop. We'll take the piece of transparent paper and put it in our illustration. You may control it with a tape a bit. Then we are creating a paper mask like in Photoshop, but in real life. What I want to do is to create the texture of this full coat. Now, I'm making the lines, just the mask. Well I think it'll go like this. It should be pretty precise. I think it's pretty clear. I got the mask. We won't need it for a while. What I'm going to do now, is I'm going to cut the silat with our new friend the cutting knife. I have a really old one with a broke nib, but it doesn't matter actually. We are cutting the paper. I find this process pretty relaxing and enjoyable, which is rather weird. But somehow I really like it, to follow the old masters technique. The edge is pretty difficult with a broken nib. But I'm very optimistic, and say I have a special cutting nip, it's inexpensive in any art supply shop. Comfortable to use. Here comes the collar. Well, if you have the professional normal knives, you can cut really intricate patterns, and your shapes so won't look so clumsy. A couple of more. Doesn't take much time. It's a wave. Sometimes you need to adjust it. I feel like a craftsman. Yeah, we don't need it anymore, and the return of our illustration, and I think you've already guessed that we are applying our paper mask to the illustration neatly. I think we need a good control. So it will be something like this. Maybe even another piece of paper tape here, I think, and so another hero appears. It's the old toothbrush. What I'm going to do is I'm going to cover my table a little bit cause it can be pretty messy, and I don't want to spoil everything, and what we actually work with this mask. So what I'm going to do. I'm taking the brush and I'm going to add some black, and of course I don't want get dirty hands too, so I'm going to wear a glove. I know most artists don't wear gloves. But I usually have some at home, the nitrile ones, they're not so nasty like usual ones and I think I'm going to use it. Looks pretty scary. Maybe bigger brush would work better for our texturing. Let's try. So by pulling the brush, we'll have our texture. Exactly. So you can see it just looks messy. How it looks like, my secondhand has already damaged. So by changing the distance between the illustration, by changing the power of your finger, you can achieve different results in this affects. Obviously you can create the same effect without toothbrush but with the usual brushes. But I somehow like the old version. It's the oldest version. Too much of water should be more dry. So I'm going to have smaller. You can work with side change the angle. I want it to be covered. I hope our mask protects the rest of the image. Because now we're getting pretty intense. I think it's almost enough. Yeah, I think we got the results we wanted to see who. So hopefully, when we take away all this terrible mess and the scary glove goes away. Let's take away the mask carefully. We did it. Look, it's perfectly textures, and now what I want to do is just add maybe some small parts of interest. May be two, where's my reference image? Maybe to just make shoes a bit bolder. They're made of leather, of course. So you know how to paint a leather, you need to leave the white areas not painted. So you leave them clean and the viewer understand it better. It has the special shine. What else? Maybe a bag. Some type of logo here. I think I don't know. Some type of flowers. I know it's not advertisements or just leave it as it is here, and yeah. So maybe right here big spot and maybe some flat brush. You not how fat brush works is when you take the brush, you make it flat in your hands, and then you push it in such a direction. So it creates such texture. It may be comfortable for the street, and if the precious big it, that's interesting texture. So it was one more tip if you didn't know, but I'm sure you did know. Yeah. Well, this is it. I hope you find this technique interesting, and now we're going to move to the very practical digital water color and technique, which is really helpful for commercial artists. I think I can sign this I like to sign illustrations. Just the feeling of accomplishment. Congratulations, and let's move to the next video. 7. Sketching and Image Tracing: Welcome back. Before we start working on the super helpful digital water coloring technique, I wanted to show something more. I've prepared my illustration. I've created a pencil sketch. As a reference for that, I used this model from the Russian themed photo shoot I did recently. If you don't feel comfortable drawing free hand, it's absolutely okay to trace the image. Of course, it will be seen some how, but anyway, I wanted to show you how it can be done. Of course, if you have strict deadlines, you can work directly in the computer. I often do this. I just wanted to show you the whole cycle of the longer version. There are several ways of tracing an image. I'm going to show you the two most popular. Within these, we need the reference image and the tracing paper. Lots of stuff here. We're putting the tracing paper and it's really nice to use some tape to hold it. Using any liner, or pencil, or anything you have, you just trace the image. You can use well just lose strokes and trace as detailed as you wish. For example, I'm just tracing the parts with the flowers pretty quickly, trying not to scare you with what I'm saying. The layers can be really lose. You can think of something to create yourself, you are on your trace. Anyway, just anything. Of course, the bigger the image is, it's easiest to trace it. I'm just going to trace a little part to show you how it's done. Just a small part. Maybe some servers here. Don't stop. Well, it can be done neatly and precisely. It's just the idea. After you've finished, you turn it. Using chalk or very faint pencil, anything that leaves the signs, of course. You'll cover the surface. It's like a tracing paper. Then we'll take the sheet of paper. Here's our illustration. Fix it. Then using pencil, we'll transfer the lines as we did. Of course it's going to be the same liner or anything that makes pressure. You see? So far it's done. The shapes to lines, everything will be on the sheet of paper underneath. There is one more way. In the previous video, we worked with this reference image. Well, it doesn't look so good, but you can trace right from the picture. You just turn it and you cover the whole shape well. Well, I know what fine art is like. [inaudible] It's very interesting. I'm getting destructed. You need to cover it pretty thick. I think that you can use the same. Let's do shoes for example. It'll be easier to see the results. Using the pencil, we'll just draw the lines over the image we're tracing. If I'm not mistaken, here, exactly. If you see it, you can add some- You can do lose strokes. Wow, these strokes, as I said. Anything. I think you see it clearly. Now you know all secrets or transferring the image. Anyway, I can't wait to move forward with my sketch and to show you the super, super duper technique of digital water coloring. 8. Digital: Scanning and Inking: Welcome back. Now we're inside the machine and here's our pencil sketch from the previous part. I've scanned this using 600 dpi and gray scale mode. It's much better than to use black and white. What I'm going to do is to adjust levels a little bit to make it brighter. That's right. My plan is to digitally in the illustration, but of course you may use pencil sketch, you can draw direct in computer, you can work in illustrator, it doesn't matter where you get your initial image. What I'm going to do is to change opacity a little bit so it'll be more comfortable for me to see through another layer. I have created a new layer and I'm going to choose the standard Photoshop brush. Yes, something like this, by color and just work my way through illustration and of course, the opacity should be 100 percent. Yes. I'm going to draw it [inaudible] my way. Of course I won't [inaudible] you to wash my whole inking process. I think you've got the idea how I do it. Why digital inking? Well, I am keeping the print process in mind and I would love to change the color of the line afterwards so it'll be much easier to do when you have the digital source. As you can see, my plans work with the whole image in this fashion. I think I'll take my time to finish digital drawing and we'll be ready to move to the next part where I'll actually show you that digital water coloring technique. The curve, like this. It's the shaking. Let's move to the next part. 9. Digital watercoloring: Here we are. This is a digitally inked illustration and now we start water coloring. I create a new layer. Let's put it underneath and let's name it color. Our initial layer inks should be set to the multiplier mode. Now, let's color. We need to use a standard brush with round edges and some big sizes I think. Just to use round brush. We just throw the color here and there. I have here my reference image. But I already have some color palette in mind. Well opacity should be 100 percent, of course. Let's put color here. Well I think it's too dark to layer. Skin tone. You can see I'm not disturbed with edges. I'm just putting the color freely and I plan to create some shadows too. Let's get a bit closer. With holding Alt, I can pick up the color, a little lighter, it's almost white here and some shadows, some details, and here, not so bright. Here I have to be very precise, of course. I'm almost missing this to color this bottom. Part and we color too top, and we have some greens here. Some shadows, some yellow flowers, more shape. Over here, I'm want to add some tint. Not to confuse the shape, here will be some red, and red here, and maybe some highlights here, and a bit more. Of course, green, we cannot put that there's also these spots. I don't want to get them now, I think. Not a good idea. A bit later. That's it, and some shadows. Skin tone, maybe lighter. You work according to your style. Some red cheeks. But we need to change the opacity. Here and here and some red lips. I think that's enough maybe, maybe it's too much of it. Here and maybe a bit light, touch here. That's it. Next step is we go to filter, blur, Gaussian blur, and we choose the number around 20, I think. With this number, it looks okay. Now the magic begins. We're creating a black mask. Hold it out but look in the mask side, and it has everything. Now we need to release the color. What we need is special brush. We choose brush and we load standard wet watercolor brushes from Photoshop. We go here, and we go here to the Settings, and I know it's very old version, but I'm sure you'll find it. We're loading wet media brushes. Append. We go straight to the end. We need to choose number four from the end. It's called watercolor heavy medium tip. We choose this brush and we change the opacity to medium, something like 37. Using white color, we are revealing the mask and you can already feel the water coloring effect. You can perfectly control which color and how much of it you want to see. If you don't put away the brush, the layer will be even. But the second time you will see the effect exactly. What I'm going to do is to work with the brush a little bit here and there, and choose the result I like best. Maybe I need to add some opacity. Beautiful. Some tender strokes here. If you print this little section on the watercolor paper, it'd be really difficult to tell a difference. Because the color bleeds and it mixes, well depending on your style. Great. Super. What I want also is to change the color of the inks. Let's go here, let's go to blending options and choose color overlay and choose something from here. Yeah. It will look better I think, exactly. I think some lines are too bold for me and I want to delete them just a little bit using also standard brush with a low opacity. But it's my personal preferences, of course, you can leave the things as they are. I'll just work with. What I want to do is I want to add a watercolor paper texture to show you how it looks. Yeah, I'm really happy with the result, and that's at the paper I already prepared the texture. Let's put it here using common T. Let's turn it I think, and make it bigger. The layer mode is multiplied. Let's change the opacity, great. Maybe even more. I really love the effect. You may also want to add background. I'll show you how to do that. We don't need it anymore. Let's create a new layer and choose some color, something like this. Well you may use these spread media brushes indeed, but I have some watercolor brushes uploaded to my Photoshop version also. It's just color splashes, they can be really helpful sometimes. What I'm going to do to make, I'm going to add some splashes to the background here and there, just a couple of yeah, to add more realistic effect. But of course I don't want them to color our initial illustration, so what I'm going do, I'm going create a new mask without Alt. I'm just clicking mask and coloring with black. This time I'm going to use the standard brush with their own colors, and of course, full opacity and paint with black, which means I cover everything I don't need. In this case, it is our background, exactly. Great. That's the effect I wanted to show you. You may always play with brightness, contrast, and color balance, and anything you want. Here it is. Super, I think it is. I forgot to add some points I wanted to add here. I'll use just standard brush maybe. I think it's interesting and important for my illustration. [inaudible] Well, this is it. We did a great job, and now you know the secret of the quick commercial art. What is that? I don't need that, yeah. I really hope you'll try this technique. 10. Your Task: Now, you've seen several ways of creating the fashion illustration. Your task is obviously to create your own fashion artwork using any tips from the class. I encourage you to explore new techniques and try original ways, and of course, to post them in the product gallery, I'm always very excited to see your works. If you want to be featured on one of my social media channels, just tag me in your images so I can find them. 11. Final Thoughts: We did a great job, and I hope you enjoyed working with me. The field of fashion illustration is so diverse. Try to experiment. There's a rule for high degree of creativity and fashion art. With this approach, your work will take on the unique personal quality and be very successful. Thanks again. If you like the class, don't forget to leave a feedback here in the right corner. It's super, super important for a class to trend very well. I can't wait to see your projects; post them in the project gallery. See you very soon.