What Is A Xerox Machine In Fashion Illustration

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Fashion Illustration Templates


Paints are available in many forms. Here are tubes of oil and gouache, a palette of watercolours and cans of spray paint.

Opposite, below

Watercolour and fineliner are used on a coloured paper to create this vivid, printed dress. The briqht translucency of watercolour paint is perfect for conveying the patterned fabric, with detail added using the fineliner. The face is unimportant in this fashion illustration so has been left out to place emphasis on the dress.

Fashion Illustration With Markers


There are all sorts of markers, including a variety of felt- and fibre-t ip pens. High-quality markers can be costly but give good, non-blotchy results. They are usually supplied in packs of toning colours or sold singly. The best types have a variety of nibs—wide, medium and fine. Wider nibs are useful for blocking in areas of colour evenly. Skin-tone markers are invaluable for fashion illustration, giving a realistic flesh colour. However, while using markers is a quick, convenient way of adding colour, it takes a confident illustrator to apply them with conviction.

Ballpoints, although not always considered an art material, arc worth experimenting with. Working in a single colour with a line quality that does not alter can produce interesting results, A ballpoint is often easily at hand and doodling in a relaxed atmosphere provides a perfect creative environment.

Finelinerpens arc wonderful for emphasizing fine details, such as intricate embroidery or knitted textures, in fashion illustrations. A non-permanent type can also be watered down to create a flowing line.

embroidery threads

Hand embroidery threads offer a vast choice of colour. Stranded cotton is the most popular type, and the strands can be separated to give you the thickness you want. Silk, wool, linen, synthetic and metallic threads are also available, giving you a variety of options ranging from smooth, shiny stitches to textural, matt ones.

Machine embroidery threads are presented on reels and also vary in colour, thickness and finish. Usually made of rayon or cotton, they come in a wide range of single colours or variegated shades, matt, shiny and metallic.

To embroider, use the needle as a drawing tool on the fabric. There is a great variety of different embroidery stitches you can use to create patterns on the fabric, demonstrating creative flair in your fashion illustration.


The sewing machine is an important piece of equipment for many fashion illustrators. If possible, yours should offer a number of embroidery stitches. Many now have computer-software programs that link the sewing machine to your computer, allowing you to stitch a design created on screen.

To cut out mount boards and papers, the steel ruler in useful as both a measuring and a cutting tool. It is preferable to a wooden or plastic ruler, as it is more difficult to slice into steel and create unwanted irregularities along the cut edge. A cutting mat provides a safe, steady surface for cutting with a sharp scalpel or knife. The most useful blades are those with an angled top over a straight cutting edge.

A light box is a handy tool for the illustrator. It is simply a screen lit from below that allows you to see through paper placed over photographs and magazine cuttings, so that you can trace figures or other elements. As light boxes are fairly expensive, you might prefer to use a window for the same purpose. However, if you can afford a light box, you will own it forever. They are also useful for looking at details in photographs or transparencies.

Spray adhesive is an essential lor the illustrator. It should be applied evenly to one surface in a well-ventilated room. Be careful to protect areas you want to remain free from glue, as spray adhesive can be messy. It does, however, provide the most professional results when producing presentation boards, collages and illustrations.

Masking tape is essential for fixing paper to a drawing board, and it peels easily off the board and your artwork when you have finished.

A photocopier, or Xerox machine, can save you time by enlarging and reducing images or by providing you with repeated copies for collage. You can experiment with colour in your illustrations by altering the tones on the copier to, say, make a red garment green. You can also set the copier to "reverse" so that it copies all dark lines and areas light, and vice versa, allowing you to create, for example, a white line drawing on a black background. Some copiers are more sophisticated than others, but be creative with what is available to you, and experiment with the results.

A computer is becoming increasingly popular for fashion illustration, Many creative software programs are on the market to help you draw, manipulate images and alter photographs, the best-known being Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. There are tutorials in Chapter Six that will inspire you to create fashion illustrations using these programs.

Best Fashion Illustrators

Opposite, from top

This line drawing has been completed in black and pink ballpoint pens, Although not always seen as an art material, ballpoint pens are easily available and allow you to sketch freely.

Opposite, from top

This line drawing has been completed in black and pink ballpoint pens, Although not always seen as an art material, ballpoint pens are easily available and allow you to sketch freely.

Fashion Illustraion Using Photoshop

A selection of pens, ranging from markers and ballpoints to fineliners.

A computerized sewing machine with different embroidery options is a useful tool for the illustrator. This illustration was first drawn and scanned. The scanned image was then embroidered in red thread onto a linen fabric using a sewing machine.

Embroidery threads are bought on a spool for use on a sewing machine or as individual skeins for hand embroidery.


A light box, cutting equipment and adhesive-valuable tools for any artist.


Using a black background gives dramatic effect to this mixed-media illustration, Photocopied images and coloured-pencil drawing are combined with some digital manipulation.

the colour wheel

Understanding the basic principles of colour theory, and knowing how to apply colours, will help boost your confidence as a fashion illustrator. The simplest way to learn about the theory is to study the colour wheel, When the sun shines on a rainy day, a rainbow often forms. The basic colours in a rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The colour wheel is a simplified version of this spectrum (excluding indigo) and arranges six colours into a circle. The wheel is then made up of colours that fit into the following categories: primary, secondary, tertiary, warm, cool and complementary.

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