It Girl | Skillshare Projects

Esther Van der Drift

Fashion & Beauty Illustrator



It Girl

This project is part two of a 3-course session From Pattern to Portfolio: Build Your Own Pattern & Portfolio!Be sure to also check out part one and part three.


As a fashion illustrator, I wanted my first collection to be something I could very much relate to. I spend a lot of time drawing beautiful women in expensive clothes and I always love trying to capture the atmosphere of exclusivity and luxury. In my It Girl collection, I wanted to convey these emotions. The first image I pinned to my moodboard was a photo that I took of my stack of fashion books. The other images I found on Weheartit and Pinterest. I looked for things that matched with my idea of a rich pretty girl and took it from there.



The color palette I decided upon consisted of only 6 colors (7 if you include white). They were referenced mostly from the first photo on my moodboard. While I realized this was a very limited color palette, I thought I'd try to challenge myself a little and see what I could come up with. I figured I could always add colors later if they were truly needed. In the end these 6 colors sufficed.



I spent several days sketching everything from purses to shoes, from make-up to bikinis. In total I probably drew over 50 different motifs, most of which I used in Shopping Spree and Paris. While it's too much to include all of them here, I'd like to share some of the first sketches that I digitized. I sketched the items on paper, scanned them, and then traced over them with the pen tool, which I was fairly comfortable with using because of my experience with Photoshop's pen tool. For some patterns I also used the blob tool (Wild Thing and Coffee to Go) and the roughen effect (Wild Thing).



The first three patterns were relatively easy to finish (Shopping Spree, Dazzling Diamonds and Paris). I had plenty of elements to work with from my sketches and I was easily able to fill my canvas. But then the struggle for more simple patterns began... I designed several geometric patterns but none of them seemed to fit in with the rest. I somehow ended up making all of my designs scatter patterns where you can't easily see the repeat. Not exactly what I intended when I started this collection, but I kind of like the end result.






I immediately envisioned my patterns on stationery and fabric. I found some great Photoshop mockups online that helped bring my products to life. I'll keep my eyes open for other products my patterns could be applied to and maybe even get a few printed in real life to inspire me for future collections!





For my second colorway I picked some girlish pinks and a deep blue. I like the result, but I still prefer my first color palette over this one.


Thank you Bonnie for the amazing class! I look forward to getting started on the third and final class and design my own portfolio.


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