Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Fashion Illustration Course

Hello dear friends!

  This week I have completed my Fashion Illustration course, which I started in February.
It has been an enjoyable & useful journey! Right now I will try to describe you my trip with the help of my illustrations!

 No, this was not what I achieved in the illustration class! This was a little task our instructor Kristina has given us in the very first session- to draw any kind of outfit in order to see at what level of "drawing" we all were. I have chosen to sketch my latest sewing project, inspired by a Retro dress from an Arabic TV Series Al Shahrourah, starring my dear Carole Samaha!
  I have taken drawing classes in my life, but somehow when it came to sketching "full-body" people and clothes, I had big problems with proportions!
  So the first thing we studied were the proportions and the construction of an "ideal" model figure. It all began with a stick-like figurine, explanations about measurements, rotating parts of the body, as well as appropriate directions in which the body can move.

Construction, Figurine, Figurine in a pose

 With the use of tracing paper, we would then sketch a rough outline of the body, using the stick-construction as the basis. Several adjustments and corrections would follow to make the figure look real and woman-like.
  In the next classes we learned how to move our figures. That involved moving the construction first in preferable poses and then again sketching the outline on a tracing paper.

 We then continued to the smaller details of the body- the face and its components, and hands & feet from all possible perspectives...

  After we completed our study of figure drawing, we moved on to clothes. We had to start with little but important details, such as, pleats, pockets, collars, ruffles, cuts, zippers, seams, neck-lines, and all variations an outfit may have.

  We then moved on to drawing whole clothing items, with all the different details we have learned, adding our own design ideas or something we have seen in magazines, or elsewhere! I have taken a lot of inspiration from the clothes that I had previously sewed or from the latest Movies & Shows I have watched (especially the hot new REVENGE!).
  And then finally we reached the colouring of the body and, eventually, clothes! As Kristina explained to us, there were 4 main colouring media used in Fashion Illustration: Wooden pencils, which could be either normal or watercolour, watercolour paints, pastels and markers. The latter is considered the most professional colouring media.

Watercolour Honey Paints from my home-country

  Kristina started with colouring the body and, firstly, showed how to use each method (type of paper, brushes, strokes, etc). I must note that when it came to markers, I was surprised to see such PALE shades- all skin colour and more! I have gotten used to luminous highlighters & children's markers, so never imagined that such variations existed!

Professional Markers by COPIC & outlining pens by Staedtler

  Eventually, we were left to ourselves to try everything and determine which was the best way for each of us. Only a few liked pastels due to the screeching sound of the Paper torchons, or blending instrument, the need to use a special eraser and of course the final step- coating the painting with a stinky spray fixative! A lot of risk of spoiling your work, not to mention the extra effort and hassle! However, in support of pastels, I will say that those who manage to master them achieve great final results.

Body colouring with Marker & Watercolour, respectively

  After trying everything, I decided that I was best at watercolour (may be due to my 2-year experience with Silk-Painting) and watercolour pencils. I enjoyed markers as well, but they needed more practice. Above you can see and compare my work.

  Finally, we arrived at the finale- colouring the figurine and the outfit she would be wearing. We have quietly watched as Kristina showed us the colouring & rendering of 2 dresses, which you can see below.
Design Illustrations by Kristina
  I got so excited that I went & purchased the full list of materials I needed straight after class. And that included a 60-shade watercolour pencils box! (I could not resist when I saw all these shades!)

Watercolour pencils by Faber Castell

  In the 1-week gap between the classes, I painted 3 models using either water paint & pencils or markers & pencils. The more I worked, the better I became at small details, such as face and feet. I decided to ignore the hands- that will need a separate practice program! In the last class, Kristina checked our "homework" and told us what we needed to correct in our drawings. You can see the "Before & After" below.

Sample design taken from class. The Flower Lady

Illustration based on another Maxi dress I made.

Flamenco Dancer

  I will conclude my post by showcasing my latest work, which is by "no-coincidence" an illustration of the same Polka Dress that I have showed you in the beginning! You may notice that I have definitely benefited from this amazing course! :D

Myself posing in my Retro inspired dress, followed by the primitive sketch, and concluded by a better version "post-illustration-class" sketch! 

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