Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Blog Banner, step by step

As this is my first blog post about my journey into fashion illustration I thought it would make sense to show you how I made my blog banner. I am by no means a pro at this! Maybe it will be even more interesting for you to come along on my journey as I learn, try and err…
The specific requirements of a fashion illustration often leads artists to using mixed techniques. On one hand, you want to show a general mood, you want to leave away unnecessary lines, while on the other hand you need to show very specific details. Sure, every good fashion illustrator has his/her own, personal style and technique. I wish I was at that point already, but until then, I just have to experiment with different styles and media. I used this Blog banner to try my hand at mixing techniques and media... Here are the steps I took to get from this
over this
to this

 This is somewhat embarrassing. I sketched this out of one of my figure drawing books, just to get a first idea and creative juices going.

The idea became more specific...

Here it was basically already there, just very poorly drawn... I then took a picture of myself in this position to help me with the proportions :-)

This is the rough sketch of the final. As it was all done on scrap paper, I outlined it with a marker, held it up to the window with a good quality drawing paper on top and re-drew the lines with a pencil. Using a good quality paper is just as important as making your garments with the right kind of fabric!

 Try out your pens, pencils etc. on the same kind of paper you are using for your illustration... Here I checked how my markers behave when "watered over", to decide what steps to take first...
 I was using water-soluble color pencils. They are great, I absolutely love them. The yellow is already "watered" down, the green not yet. You can play around a lot with using more or less color, but also more or less water. And you can wash it away almost completely with a tissue while it is still wet.

I used a felt marker for the orange, to make it bolder, stronger in color. Then a fine liner for the writing, a white marker to make the highlights even stronger.

Not everything was planned that way, I just decided things as I went along, like the dark green between the leaves...

A bit of a detail here... I went back to add more shadows, oh I could have gone on doing that forever! I originally didn't plan to leave her skin without color, but I liked the "bare" paper so much that I left it.


It seemed a bit too bright for my banner, so I played around with my photo program, after scanning it in. I actually really like this sepia version

This is the final version, the colors muted a little with my iPhoto program.

 Voilá, this is how my blog banner came to life! I hope you like it!


  1. Your banner looks really nice in full color. The yellow is so vibrant! Water color pencils are nice because you have more control than plain watercolors, but they're much softer than colored pencils. Nice job!

    (I found your blog through BurdaStyle! Your jean top is great!)

  2. I like the sepia one. Good to see the process of making your banner.