1955 Fashion Illustration

Fashion figures measure 9 head heights. Many years ago, this was not the style of fashion illustrations. The figures were always too short and did not conform to the tried and tested Rule of Thirds. Working to the 9 head heights, you can easily use the Rule for the figure to ensure you make the correct proportions. Measure: head to waist, waist to knee, knee to foot, so the figure is divided equally in three.

I initially made a pencil sketch of the model and retained the pencil lines for the white gloves. As I work on a fashion drawing, I erase my pencil lines immediately before I paint that part of the illustration. For the face, I basically use the same each time I draw one of these. I make large eyes, with long lashes, a wide mouth shape and small nose. I use pen for the eye colour, pen for the lashes, and often pen for the colour of the lips, much more practical than using paint and a brush in such a small space on the paper.

I mix skin tone using a tube skin tone, but always add some other colour to the mix, depending on the light source and what colours the model is wearing.

This was a classroom exercise for my Fashion Illustration learners and one of the aims of the lesson was to mix up the colour of the dress. Fabrics give a great opportunity to practicing mixing colours that are man made.

For the colour I used an acrylic cerulean blue, a black and a white. I used 80% of the cerulean and mixed in 10% white and 10% black. I used my colour in varying degrees of tone, working from light to dark. I used the colour on the edge of the scarf too. I mixed a red using perylene violet and cadmium red for the handbag and pattern on scarf.

I used a very pale purple wash for the image of the car in the distance.

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