When drawing with ink, the first aspect to consider is whether or not it is waterproof. Black waterproof Indian ink is the first choice of most illustrators as washes can be applied over a shiny line drawing, A monochrome illustration is then created using a dip pen, brush or bamboo stick, By varying your drawing tool, you can achieve a range of wonderful effects.
Non-waterproof ink sinks into the paper and dries with a matt finish. Diluting it produces a wide range of lighter tones. You can enjoy experimenting with non-waterproof inks by dropping them onto paper soaked in water. The ink disperses in the water, creating beautiful patterns and textures on the paper surface. Painted lines will be fuzzy rather than sharp as the ink spreads.
Inks are available in a wide range of colours, not just black, so the more you experiment, the more diverse the effects you can create for your illustrations.
Many illustrators favour a particular paint, but it is sometimes difficult to decide which type will most suit the style of your work. Qualities of the different paints available are described below to help you make a selection.
Watercolour is often the most popular choicc as it is so convenient. You only need a paint box, brush, paper and water to get started, while being so portable makes it ideal for location work. Watercolour paint is sold in tubes or pans. Tubes are available in many sizes and are recommended because you can mix stronger colours in larger quantities. Pans are small slabs of solid paint that fit into easy-to-carry boxes, the box lid usually acting as a palette for mixing colours. Applying watercolour to your illustrations is not as easy as it looks, however. Using the correct watercolour paper and quality brushes is important, but you must also know when an illustration is finished. Overworking can lead to mistakes that are difficult to correct,
Watercolour is the perfect medium for adding subtle colour to pencil fashion illustrations. It is also excellent for applying washes to pen-and-ink drawings and for adding coloured details to sketches. You can exploit its natural properties by allowing a thin wash to run and drip over your fashion figure, adding a sense of movement to the illustration,
Acrylics are incredibly versatile as they can be applied straight from the tube, or diluted, using a brush or knife—the latter creating a dense texture. Producing sirong colours, acrylics dry with a tough, plastic waterproof skin. Try painting fashion figures onto fabric in acrylics. Once dry, use a sewing machine to add decorative stitching.
Oils are historically the professional painter's medium. The buttery consistency of the paint arises from a high concentration of pigment mixed with the finest-quality oil. Although rarely used in fashion illustration today, oil paint is not as difficult to handle as you may think. You can buy water-mixable oil paint that can be thinned with water rather than turpentine. Alternatively, oil sticks give you the same control as with pastels and charcoal but also the rich, vibrant colours of oil paint. The advantage of oil paint is that you can model it on the canvas, moulding the textures you want in your fashion illustration and even creating a three-dimensional effect by applying the paint with a knife.
Gouache is a type of watercolour that has been mixed with white to make ii opaque. It is excellent for laying flat, solid colour as it dries without streaks, and is popular for illustration because its strong, matt colours are suited to reproduction, lb use the paint creatively, apply the colours boldly in undiluted form. Imagine your illustrations as poster art, making them powerful and eye-catching.
Spray paint gives unexpected results, and is therefore the medium to have fun with. You can buy fairly cheap cans of spray paint for artistic use in a wide range of colours. It is excellent for stencilling and adding finishing touches to your fashion illustrations.
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