Tag Archives: fashion illustration

From My Sketchbook – Week 10

This past week I did more viola playing than sketching (you can read some of the nice reviews of New York City Ballet‘s performances at the Kennedy Center here and here); but on the 3+ hour train ride home yesterday evening I did quite a bit of catching up.  In fact, I filled up the rest of the pages in my little Moleskin sketch book!

If you look carefully, you’ll even see more of my various head studies showing through the pages…

young woman three quarter view sketch

cute fashionista sketch

And, when I ran out of pages in my sketch book, I grabbed the next thing handy – the envelopes from my paychecks – and did these sketches with ink and my French Grey Prismacolor marker.

African American lady sketch

Halle Berri sketch on envelope(Meanwhile, my husband completed half a book’s worth of mind teaser puzzles and games.)

Each to his own, I guess!

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Filed under art, drawing, education, fashion illustration, From My Sketchbook

From Stick Figures to….?

Last week I posted a photo of some of my newest pen and ink fashion illustrations along with a YouTube video by Yelen Ayé.  I referred to the same techniques for the series of illustrations below, which I’m calling “Leaping Dancer”: dancing girl attempts   (Incidentally, the sketches above were done in my hotel room in Washington, D.C. with just paper and the two pens I brought with me – a black ultra fine point Sharpie marker and a Prismacolor Premier Marker in French Grey 20%.) Sketching in pen brings a whole new dimension to illustrating.  Accidental lines and strokes become opportunities for expression and movement, not to mention that each artist will have his or her own style.  For me, the hardest part is working through an illustration when I’ve made a mark that I think may have already “ruined” it.  But it’s amazing what adding even just simple shading does for a seemingly rough sketch.  Case in point, take a look at this video also by Yelen Ayé:

Happy sketching!

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Getting Inked…

No, I’m not contemplating getting a tattoo; but judging from the ink stains on my fingers these days, it does appear that I’m getting inked!

The reason?  

I’ve been practicing my pen and ink drawing.  Though, to be honest, at this point I feel like I’m taking two steps forward and three back.  This YouTube video has provided the inspiration:


Amazing how easy Yelen makes it seem, right?  But in each of MY attempts, something has gone wrong…

Punk Girl drafts (Oh, except for the “practice” drawing I did on scratch paper – see figure at bottom left – which of course came out great.)  Grrr!  Such is life.  But if I haven’t learned anything else in my years of working as a musician and artist, it’s that you don’t get anywhere without a hell of a lot of practice!  So, if you don’t hear from me in a while, don’t worry.  I’m practicing.


Filed under art, illustration, industry news, Influences, ink sketches, Jo's Journey, materials, motivation, New work, Pen Sketch, photography, Quick Sketch, resources, wisdom

From My Sketchbook – Week 8

I did a lot of sketches this past week in New Orleans.  However, since my mom and I were out gallivanting in the French Quarter almost every day, my sketches were mainly confined to the quiet periods sitting in the airport, or the few times when I went down to the hotel lobby to see if I could capture some of the comings and goings.  (One such fun sighting was Project Runway’s Tim Gunn.  If I hadn’t been so shy, I would have told him that I’m a fan!)

My favorite sketch from the lobby (and no, it’s not Tim Gunn) is this one:

Lady in Omni lobby

Last night when I got home, I did two more sketches.  These were invented faces and were done with my beloved Carter’s flexible nib fountain pen:

Curly hair girl sketch

Punk pixie sketch

Although I was working from my imagination, the inspiration for the two face sketches was this “how-to” YouTube video for rendering fashion faces:

P.S. YouTube is one of my favorite resources for “how-to” videos…and not just for drawing.  My husband and I once learned a dance routine off of YouTube for a showcase dance at a symphony gala.  How good were we?  Well, that’s material for another post!


Filed under art, drawing, education, fashion illustration, illustration, Influences, Pen Sketch, Quick Sketch, techniques, Weekly Sketch Project

My Latest Illustration is Definitely Posh…

And a little spicy?

Posh Final for blog

Coming soon to my shop at Etsy!

(And in case you need proof that practice makes perfect – ok, I’ll admit I’m more comfortable saying “progress” – take a look at my earlier attempt.)


Filed under A Talent for Design Shop, art, drawing, fashion illustration, greeting card, illustration, Influences, Joana Miranda Studio, marker and ink illustration

Walk Like An Egyptian…A New Illustration Goes Slightly Awry

I was pretty pleased with my latest illustration when I left it this afternoon.  However, spending a few hours away gave me “new eyes”, and I realized that the way I’d positioned my model’s feet was slightly reminiscent of an Egyptian hieroglyph!  So I plan to give the illustration another shot tomorrow.

Who knows, maybe she doesn’t even need the legs?



Filed under art, drawing, fashion illustration, illustration, Influences, Joana Miranda Studio, marker and ink illustration, motivation, New work

The Power of Persistence – My Latest Fashion Illustration Gets a Dose of Attitude and Movement

Recently I became obsessed with one particular illustration.  My end goal – pretty much the same as usual – was to create a vibrantly stylish illustration that not only told its own story but expressed dynamic movement as well.  I won’t embarrass myself by posting the 6 initial attempts I made, but will say that my process went first from drawing in pen to eventually going back to blocking out the illustration in pencil.  However, along the way, I figured out which lines I really didn’t need and which were even more intriguing when left out.

My 6th attempt, posted a few days ago…

Blonde ambition

does have some lovely qualities and a sense of freedom in the lines.  However, I felt that the figure seemed somehow frozen in space…not dynamically striding across the page as I had intended.  So it was back to the drawing board, so to speak, this morning for another go.

I’m happy to report that the 7th attempt was the charm.  And here she is…

Blonde Ambition final watermarked

(She just happened to stride on over to my shop at Etsy, and you’ll find her on a greeting card here.)


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