anatomy of a fashion illustration

Continuing on the topic of watercolor technique I thought it would be fun to show the evolution of a fashion illustration – my technique, anyway! My illustrations are more realistic than the typical stylized fashion illustrations you will see designers use. Fashion illustrators are trained to use a “croquis” which is an elongated template representing the fashion model.


I start with an outline of the model in flesh colored watercolor pencil then I wash over it to leave just the faintest pigment.


I add layers of color and more detail…it is possible to “erase” some lines by washing over them with water. For example, I like to draw in the eyes, nose, mouth, then wash over the face in water. This leaves the appearance of shadows which gives the face bone structure. Facial features requires a very light touch!


The final step is to sketch over everything in pencil to define shapes and show movement. This illustration is inspired by the Miu Miu Fall 2013 Runway Collection.

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