Fashion Illustration- How to Paint Fabric Prints in 3D | Chris V | Skillshare

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Fashion Illustration- How to Paint Fabric Prints in 3D

teacher avatar Chris V, Artist, Designer, Maker

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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.

      What You'll Need


    • 3.

      Getting Inspired


    • 4.

      Tweed Suit


    • 5.

      Checked Suit


    • 6.

      Knit Cape and Skirt (2)


    • 7.

      Text Print Dress


    • 8.

      Thank You!


    • 9.

      Bonus Video


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About This Class

Welcome to Fashion Illustration-How to Paint 3D Fabric Prints, a class focusing on how to paint fabric prints on the fashion figure.  I'll paint four head to toe runway looks by Chanel, Stella McCartney, Akris and MiuMiu.  I will do a quick overview of how I sketch my looks, then I'll be showcasing my tips and tricks to save you time and create special textile effects and textures with watercolors.  There may be a bonus video at the end as a treat for having watched the entire class, so don't miss that!  ; )

As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions about the class, or if you need help with navigating Skillshare.  I'm here for you!!!  

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Chris V

Artist, Designer, Maker


Struggling with your watercolor painting, drawing, fashion illustration, or having a hard time getting a watercolor or drawing project done to your liking?

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Ready? Click the Book Now link in the purple image above, and schedule a session with me today!

Chris V. :-)


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1. Intro: I have loved fashion really ever since I can remember. I mean, the design, the illustration. I've been so fortunate in my adult life to work for companies like Armani, Chanel, and Saint John Knits. I've even designed and produced my own pieces. Hi. I'm Chris V, and you might remember my other class called Watercolor Fabric Swatches, where we painted textiles on the flat. In this class, I'm hitting the studio to show you my process for taking those prints and applying them to the human fashion form including perspective, shading and other tips and tricks. I'll show you my tools and materials, how I get inspired, and the sketch, to the painting, to the finish, to produce your own beautiful fashion illustrations. I hope you'll join me. You got this. Fashion Illustration, How to Paint Fabrics in 3D. See you in the next video to get started. 2. What You'll Need: What I use in these project is super basic, like pencil an eraser, paper towels to sop up messes, two sized brushes medium and detail. The medium being a water brush, but you can use whatever brushes you're comfortable with. For paper, I used a Canson water color, 140 pound called press paper that has a lot of texture and holds a lot of water. Then for my workspace, I just made sure my sketchbook is in front of me, my paints and brushes and paper towels are very readily accessible and the water is somewhere nearby for me to switch my brush. Now, I'll meet you in the next video to get inspired. See you there. 3. Getting Inspired: I want to talk to you a little bit about getting inspired. One of my main sources of inspiration is Pinterest. So I have lots of stuff on my board. This is my Pinterest page where I have created a special board for this class. It's loaded with examples of textile swatches with different textures, different patterns, florals, classics, and everything that I've used in my projects in the class are included here in this board. You can refer back to them at some point. Another great resource, of course, is going to be Google, and I just did a search for fabric prints. A lot of things will come up. I have here a shop that sells fabrics. I've pulled up fabric designers. If you hit the images tab, you will have an endless source of prints of all kinds. Of course, you can narrow your search to special types of prints and get lots of examples that way as well. Another resource that I use a lot in my fashion illustration is Because I can at my fingertips pull up prints that are trending right now, new innovations and prints. Right now, stripes are really a big deal. All kinds of color blocking, themed prints. So you can find a lot of really cool stuff on this website. Another way that I find fun prints is to look up my favorite fashion designers, like Diane von Furstenberg has some gorgeous floral print examples on the website, which is another great resource. I'd like to talk to you a little bit about magazines, as well, because between the home decor magazines and fashion magazines, there are so many print examples that you can use as well. If you have some fabrics in your fabric cabinet or even in your closet that inspire you. Definitely feel free to use that as well for this project. Anything goes, and I will see you in the next video to get started on creating your fabric swatches. 4. Tweed Suit: I'm doing this beautiful Chanel look. It's a tweed suit featuring patent leather, and I'm just starting it with my micron right on top of my sketch, which I'm going to feature similarly define lines on this particular piece. I want to go through and just go over all my sketching lines, and this is a good opportunity to fix and sharpen any little issues I had with my sketch, so you will see I'm not going over exactly every single line as it is because I'm improving as I go. Sometimes these pieces need several passes, and you can see I'm doing the detail on the pockets, getting the hands to show like they're coming out of the pockets, a fringe on the bottom of the crop top. Just going over every single part, mostly from top to bottom, but sometimes I'll miss some stuff and backtrack. Now I can show the detail of the wrinkles from the hands, the weight of the hands pulling on the pant, and that patent for shorts, a problem with that being outlined, and now I can just quickly sketch the tweed. The tweed is going to be a much softer look, so I want softer lines to show that. I will be doing a lot more detail with the watercolor to show the folds set up, but I can definitely line them initially, and then the darkness in between the legs inside the sleeves, and then wrapping up with the bottom of the jacket and showing the folds and shadows in there as well. I just want to detail the face a little bit, you don't have to do the detail on the face, but I just like a little bit of a facial detail to give it a little personality, that is not something that is required in this project. The hat, and this hat is clear plastic, so I'm going to be showing you some tricks later on on how to show that it is a see-through material. Just going down outlining the shoes, and I'm going to start right in with this aqua color. Just cover the entire jacket, and then these faux patent shorts. While I have this color on my paintbrush, just dabbing her eye shadow and starting the stripes on the tweed. There will be crisscross lines, and I'm going to let that dry while I start on the pant and we'll be coming back with some more colors. When I'm doing the pants, I want to make sure the tweed follows the line in which her legs are going and following the folds, following the way the fabric is draping. This is going to be really important to look realistic and showing this French coming out the side. This tweed is very chunky, so it's sticking out. Coming back with a light blue, and hitting the pant with a light blue, and I realize I forgot to go across with the green, so I will come back and do that after I'm done with the blue. Let's make sure I have the blue on my paintbrush. Doing these dashed lines, I didn't do much in the top because it was so short, but the pant is very long and dramatic, so the dashed lines will show how on this tweed, how essentially these colors are weaving in and out of one another, it's like a 3D plaid, if you want to look at it that way. The dashed lines give the effect that it's weaving in and out like it actually is in the photo. Every time I change the color of my brush, I add a little bit of that color to the French, but I want to leave a little white in it because this tweed is very light and airy and it does have white in it, and I want to make sure that it doesn't get too heavy in color. Again, following the line of the way that fabric is draping, there is a fold on the right-hand side of that leg that I want to make sure waves, you can see there's a little bit of a wave on the right-hand side, coming back with that aqua strike going across, dashing it here and there. Now I want to go in with a little bit of light pink because there is a little bit in that tweed, but I don't want to show a lot of it, it's in the background, so I want to show. I'm going to 5. Checked Suit: Opinion, this checked suit by Akris out of Switzerland. Starting out with our completed sketch, I'm going to go ahead and take the micron and start outlining, keeping my eye on the image to make sure I didn't miss anything with the pencil. Just one line at a time, just continually looking at the image. Start to put the final outlines on everything. This process is perfect for starting to take a lot of the work out of the painting. The micron will be my guide as to where I'm laying my brush and also will save me a lot of strokes I think. As I'll be able to like for example, creating the lines on the top just now the stripes, I'll be able to really lay down where those stripes are going to be predominant and I won't have to paint quite as much on this particular sketch. You'll notice I am shaping my stripes according to the direction the body is going, according to the direction that the fabric is twisting. I'm really careful to pay attention to the folds in the fabric and making sure as I'm going down and across that they are matching what's going on. I'm doing the same thing on the left-hand side as well. You can see I've done the larger stripes on the jacket, smaller stripes on the underpinning. Now the stripes are going down the arm. Now across the lapel going almost upward because that part is hanging down. Those lines will be going almost a little bit diagonally and matching that angle with the downward stripe. Then down the other way as the jacket curves and folds, you'll see it shows motion when you curve the stripes or lines or whatever pattern you have going on. On the end you'll see I have curved those lines around an upward a little bit so that it shows going around the shoulder, around the arm. Again these across stripes going slightly downward or diagonal direction to show that they're hanging just a little bit. You'll see the bottom of the top have gone up and around the left leg and up even higher on the right leg to show how the right leg is moving forward in front of the left leg. That upward motion shows that it's going forward. Following the movement of the leg with these stripes, it's really important to do that because that now makes it look very realistic. Being careful that the downward stripes don't look too straight but somewhat between the leg there's this little shadow. I'm almost sketching with my microns so it's got a nice rough feel to it. I do like that organic look, not too perfect. Sketching in some of the falls that I'll be. It's going to help me again to guide my stripes and you'll see I'm careful not to get too perfect with these stripes that they're not too straight. That they're following the folds and going up and over, slightly shifting a little bit around the folds so they don't look too perfect. Now these straight across stripes are molding around the leg. You'll see they're slightly curved upward and changing as they go down, they're getting a little bit straighter because now they're more in line with the eye. I'm starting to show some of that star detail, but I'm not ready to do that yet, so I'm going to be doing more of that with the paint and I'm going to let that go. The left leg is behind the right one and the calf is moving really backward at an angle. The foreleg will show a little straighter line than the calf which is much more bent back. Going back and detailing the hair, some of these details help me stay on track, they just help me feel like the the image is getting more completed. Getting that scarf wrapped around her neck. We're going to just create a lot of folds and bumps to show that texture and chunkiness of that scarf, it's super chunky. You want it to feel very bumpy and loaded with folds. Then this portion, there's just one fold going down the middle, the rest of it's straight except the bottom that's curving to show some movement, almost like a waving effect, like a flag. Then to show that it's a knit, I've drawn some texture lines into it so it doesn't feel too flat. I want to make it just a little bit more around the head. Now the shoes. In full disclosure hands and feet are not my forte, so I have to be careful when I'm working on those parts. The hands are actually in her pocket, so that made it a little bit easier for me on this one. The feet though are generally exposed and shaping them is a trick, they start out skinny, go a little bit wider and then end at a point. I still manage to batch up that shoe, so I just filled it with black mostly and I'm just be putting a dab of yellow on it just to show that it's supposed to be yellow, but it doesn't. Your sketch does not have to be exactly like your image. Just do your best and let your fortes shine through and let your more challenging parts take a back seat. I have completed her face and now painting that scarf with yellow, I honestly could not wait to get that yellow paint on that scarf. I think it's so gorgeous of a color and I love this combination of black, white, and yellow. I think it's very nice. You can see our micron lines showing through the yellow and feeling like a knit with that texture showing through. I'm just going to paint some flesh tone and let that dry and go ahead and start filling in our torso. I'm going to be leaving some light and creating some dark to show shadow. It's pretty a dark piece, but I want to definitely show some highlights and it's dark under the scarf there, so there's a shadow there. This top is super dark, so I'm going to darken that and make the rest of it gray. We have some nice contrast there. Then on this pant, instead of making that star pattern, I'm going to paint straight stripes. I think that's going to tell enough of the story to look enough like the image that we're not working it to death. Just following the same exact lines that I drew with the micron. I'm just going to go over it with the dark gray paint, almost black. Just be really careful to stay with those micron lines and that is our completed painting. 6. Knit Cape and Skirt (2): So I'm going to be painting this knit cape. It's a Stella McCartney look. I have my sketch all done here. I'm just going to start right, and we're starting to paint these. As you can see in the right-hand side of the picture, the stripes are going diagonally. So I'm going to start with that. It's going to go right across the neck first, and then we're going to start going downward pretty quickly. The knits are very, very heavy, and the way this one is sown, it's going at this angle and just pulling downwards. So we're going to have a lot of weight on it, a lot of curving and rippling. It's a really interesting pattern and, I'm going to be working on some texture, so it's going to be a fun project. So I'm just laying down a lot of the brown striping that I can see, and I'm trying to look at my image often to keep my eye again, it's not going to be perfect, but even if it's very close, it's going to look a lot like this image. Starting in with some blue now, to contrast, the brown, other this brown is dry on the right-hand side, I can add some darker blue. I've sped this up, so in between I am drying my layers so they don't bleed into one another. Here's this really dark, thick, chunky blue stroke going down the side. You can see on the extreme right side, the diagonal goes more extremely down, so that shows the movement of it wrapping around her body as it's hanging down that right side and just filling it with blue. I'm just going to be patiently looking at my image, looking back at my painting, looking at the image, looking back away painting and just painstakingly just jotting, painting where I see this color. Now I'm working on this bottom corner that's wrapping around and down into a point at the bottom, a very dramatic angle down there. You can see we're starting to fill in a lot of these stripes, and there's this light area there that I want to leave blank for now, although too dark. I get it too dark. Just keep filling in, get the bottom, laid out, defined. The shadow going on in there, and I just want to fill in the skirt now because I don't want to get too far along on the top without feeling more balanced on the bottom half. I'm just going to fill in a brown because there's just a lot of it down there on the skirt portion, which is also a knit. It's the same exact knit is just going down instead of across. I'm starting to dot some of these areas where I want to show some texture. The dots create a feel of bumps and knits are all about lights and darks, ins and outs, bombs going up and down and around, especially chunky knit fabrics like this one. There's just a lot of texture. I'll just get this neck portion, all filled in. I'm just trying to use as much brown as I can where I see it while I have it on my brush. When I switch to the next color, I try to keep that going, so it speeds up the painting process when I do that, instead of trying to go one line at a time and switching brush colors, that would take a lot longer than what I'm doing. I got a little too much paint there, so just dabbing it up. I'm just now starting to fill in the richer colors, starting to really sharpen and zero in, on getting the colors a little more accurate. Get some blue right in here. The left side and the right side don't match, so it makes for a very interesting play. Oops I got a little too much gray there. I don't want it too dark. So I can thought, yeah maybe I do want it a little dark. This is something you can play around with as you go. If you don't like the way something looks, you can change it, you can change it back. That's the fun of these projects. It's discovering as you go. I've never done a knit like this, so it's a really interesting to see how it develops. Here I'm dotting that one area that's really, really textured with the little light brown. Creating some lines, and then I'm going to go ahead and just blend them together a little bit so they lighten and they don't. I'm just going to dab here, it was a little too dark. But as I'm dabbing, you can see a hint of brown, and I'm just going to blend them just a little bit. So it's not all one color, it's a little bit irregular and it shows a little bit of texture right there. I'm going to do the same thing down here. You can see in the image, it's a little chunkier right in there. Now I completing that left side, is blue. Texture coming across and down the right-hand side. Those little dots. Just picking up where it got too dark, I'm blending that one a little more. That one got a little dark for my taste. That's better. Now I want to really define the bottom edge of this piece in this corner going downward. A little bit too much on the top there. I keep my paper towel next to me all the time because with watercolor, there's just a slip of the brush or a flick of the bristle will really send the paint flying, so it's very easy to do that. So I just keep my paper towel right next to me or in my left hand ready to dab at a moments notice before the paint dries. I'm just capturing some of that stripe which going down that little tail thing going on the right-hand side and putting a little shadow underneath the inside of the cape there. Now back at the top. So I'm letting these areas dry and then moving to another area so I don't oversaturate and blend too much paint and lose the effect. You can see how the knit is hanging down this left hand side and pulling downward while the rest of it is going upward around her shoulder, and that shows the weight of that knit and how heavy it is. That just gives the illusion that it's actually the reality of how heavy that knit is in the image. But that's how I do it in the illustration. So now really defining that bottom edge, I got a little too dark right in there, so I'm just sopping that up and checking. Yep. That's dry. So I'm going to go ahead and create my little dabbed textured areas on the left, like I did on the right-hand side. I want to bring in some darker brown. So what I'm doing for this Burgundy as I am putting a really dark brown and then I'm putting just a hint of violet on it, like a dark purple, and it's creating this Burgundy color that is fantastic. It's popping off the page, so I really liking it. I think it's a good fair representation of the image, color. Darkening some of my brown's making them a little richer because this knit is pretty saturated with color. I want it to be pretty colorful. The stripes are much more defined in the skirt, so I've gotten all the brown, Burgundy ones done with that brown and violet paint, now I'm going through with the blue. Just a little easier because you don't have two separate sections of stripes now you have just one going downward in these irregular curly lines. Knit are not generally perfect. They're generally bumpy and this one is particularly irregular. I'm just defining the bottom of that corner, separating it from the skirt. Little tab there, and just cleaning up that corner. Now I want to outline, I don't want to any micron on this illustration. I want this knit to look really soft. A micron tends to really sharpen edges. I don't want sharp edges here, I want soft edges. Because that is the epitome of a knit is soft. That's another tip that you can use in other illustrations, is when you want to softer look, keep the outlines soft. So now the pant leg I'm just finishing up. Now that we've got the knits mostly done, I'm probably going back and do some sharpening up. I'm just filling in that pink color and showing where the folds are going with the darker color, and now filling in her hair. Oops, there was that flip of the brush and I got some brown where I didn't want it. So just quickly wetting dabbing, wetting dabbing and that's pretty good. If that shows up in images, I can always lighten it with some white paint or marker what not. But anyway, just finishing around those folds and the pant and painting the shoes. How the pant in the back is a little darker since it's got some shadow on it. It's going behind the right leg. We're almost there. Just sharpening up some of these colors that the [inaudible] that needed to be. A little more vivid. Some flesh tone on here, color her hairs. I'm just quickly filling in her features something, you don't you don't have to do. I just like a little bit of her face on my illustrations. Sharpening around her neck area, and then once again outlining her pants and shoe, just to give it a little more definition down below. Those are not knit, so I don't mind a little micron there, and it really helps to contrast the softness of the knit too. So a little bit of blush, and we got too much blush. So again, a little dab we'll just fix that, a little bit on her lips, and we're good to go. This is our completed painting. Thanks for watching. I'll see you in the next video. 7. Text Print Dress: I'm doing this Miu Miu look now it's a text print dress yellow on black. I'm going to start out just covering my sketch with some dark gray. I don't want it to be black, but I want it to be pretty dark. If I make it gray, I'll be able to add darker gray accent to show folds and shadow and stuff like that. But it'll have that effect of looking black. I'm just covering my entire dress area, being really careful not to cover over the folds too much so I can see them and I can go back and highlight them. I'm just making it another layer of gray and again on the left-hand side is where those folds are bulging out. I want to be careful not to cover over that and miss that detail. While that's drying, I'm just going to color in her red boots, one foot in front of the other. This is the typical runway photo position for these models walking the runway, so almost all of my examples have been in this position. Just adding another layer of red. Now I can go back and start adding the shadow to my black with a little darker, almost black color. Under her neck is going to be darker, under the base line on this sides where the sleeves are crinkling around her shoulder. There's this rolled-up feature on the left, rolled-up sleeve on the left-hand side and just crinkled on the right and then around her waist where the fabric is bunching up as she's taking that step and that right hand leg is going up and pulling down on the bottom of the left, right there. That's where I'm going to pull in all that crinkled detailed down there. Her legs are essentially pulling the dress apart right there and it's crunching up on that bottom left hand side and going upward in the direction that her right leg is going upward. It all makes sense when you know where all the body parts are and what they're doing. Just capturing the hum and I'm pretty happy with that detail. A little bit more on the right, I'm just adding some flesh tone while that paint is drying, because we'll be adding a lot of detail and I need it to be really dry. Adding one initial color, darkening it a little bit where the shadow is, but we'll be going back over, doing a little glazing so that we can add a little more dimension and shadow to her skin tone later on. It's a little bit dry but the top, so I'm going to go ahead and add that second layer of flesh tone. Under this sleeve, beside her there's a shadow under her forearms. With my detailed brush, I've just poured out some bright mustard yellow two paint. I'm just putting it straight on with my detail brush and this looks like a lot of lettering on her dress, but really it's a few letters with a bunch of symbols, it's all gibberish. It doesn't spell anything out or make any sense so it's going to be super easy to replicate and to create our own version. Again, it doesn't have to be exact and now I'm just detailing the folds; the yellows is going to be bumpy right in here. But I am just very carefully making the top row of text look as close as I can to what's in the image just because the eye will go there first and I am going to distort the text on the left going into this rolled sleeve, so it looks like it's disappearing and folding into the actual fold and then continuing at the second row. We won't be doing as many symbols as what's in the image, simply because my brush, it's thin but it's just a little chunkier than it probably should be. My gel pen which I really wanted to use on this, the yellow just didn't show on this block, it was just absorbing into the paint. This was my alternative and it's not ideal but that's okay. I think that's part of art is taking what you can and doing your best with it. I wouldn't be at all concerned if you don't have the exact or perfect tools or paint or why not, just use what you have and do the best you can with it and you'll be surprised at how much fun that is. I'm just working my way down the front. I love these repetitive projects, it's a great opportunity to turn some music on and just get lost in it. I'm just going to start speeding some of this up so that I don't torture you through the whole process. But as I move to the right, I'm going to start encountering some more folds. That's where again, I'm going to start dotting, crimping, altering the way the pattern looks to look like it's wrapping around the folds, getting lost in the folds, getting cut off by the folds, all that stuff makes it look realistic. You'll also notice I'm taking these rows and I'm going upward to show the movement of the right leg going forward. It's wrapping around that leg as it goes around the body and following the line of the fabric movement and I'm just adding some detail to the boots, adding the little gray. It looks like a fur around the top of the boot, lamb law can't really tell exactly but it's curly and textured and I'm just filling in her hair and my crown in her face. On this one I had the luck of sunglasses on this look and sunglasses are so much easier than drawing eyes. Because sunglasses are a regular item that you can just draw with basic lines and fill in, that made this one a little bit easier on me. I'm just drawing in the shape of her face and adding some micron detail to the boots, giving a little definition, little shading as well. Some buckles and bows and things on this boot that are some fun details to add. Just adding some more shading, feeling in the sunglasses, getting a little color to her face, show some shading. Just blending all that in and just going back and doing a little glazing on her skin tone, a little over pour there, just sopping up. That concludes the text print painting of the Miu Miu dress, I hope you enjoyed this one. I'm just fixing one final mistake on her skin tone, and I am done with this one. Look forward to see you in the next video. 8. Thank You!: Thanks for joining me in this class. I really enjoyed sharing my tips and tricks with you. Don't forget, I've created a Pinterest board for you guys, and I hope you find just the right inspiration to create your project. If you do that, you can go into your project page and click the prompts. If you have any questions, go to my community section where I also post continual updates, and I would be so grateful for your review so I can keep improving my classes. For now I hope you grab your tools, find just the right inspiration, and get to sketching and painting to create your own fashion illustration, and how to paint fabric prints in 3D. Stay tuned for the bonus video coming up next. Bye for now. 9. Bonus Video :