Tag Archives: fashion illustration

My Favorite Things – The Wonderful Illustrated World of Izak Zenou

I’ve been a fan of Izak Zenou’s illustrations ever since I moved to the Big Apple.  His work is an inspiration to me for its chic, yet cheerful and fun vibe.  The illustrations look effortless and always capture lively movement.  And I love that his girls are often in recognizable New York settings.

Henri Bendel Holidays by Izak Zenou

Lately, I’ve even taken my hero worship a step further and have tried my hand at creating my drawings, a lá Izak, with ink and a bamboo reed pen.

Portrait of Pina Ferlisi Henri Bendel creative director portrait with Izak_LR

The beauty of drawing in ink and with a somewhat unpredictable implement like a bamboo reed is that each illustration is unique.  Furthermore, imperfections can become inspiration for the direction the illustration takes.  (Needless to say, no two illustrators will use the pens the same way!)

Portrait of Pina Ferlisi, Henri Bendel creative director from Retrospective opening night

As a “cyber disciple” of Izak’s, I was super excited to learn that this year’s Henri Bendel holiday windows not only feature Izak’s work – a collaboration that has spanned 20 years – but that the entire store has been fashioned as a retrospective of his work.  Even better, Bendel’s is hosting “A Very Henri Holiday Sweepstakes” this year.  You can enter to win the Grand Prize :

  • Win a trip to NYC for an exclusive portrait session with Izak Zenou, a one-of-a-kind Henri Bendel handbag hand-painted by Izak and a $1,500 shopping spree at Henri Bendel

And Two Runner Up prizes:

  • Two runners up will each win a one-of-a-kind Henri Bendel handbag hand-painted by Izak.

(Maybe Bendel’s will also create a prize specially for me so that I can just be a fly on the wall and watch Izak draw!)  

In any case, if you like Izak’s work as much as I do, you can enter the sweepstakes online at http://tinyurl.com/henriholiday or in-store at any Henri Bendel store. The contest ends at 11:59pm ET on 12/24/15.


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Filed under art, My Favorite Things, support the arts, techniques, Tool Box, Uncategorized

From My Sketchbook – Week 40

I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the Joana Miranda Studio 2016 calendar (look for a posting and link-to-buy on my blog just before Thanksgiving) and although I have the calendar images uploaded and ready to send to the printer, there’s one illustration that I’m still not 100% happy about.  Because I have the luxury of a few free days this week before we depart for Australia, I’m planning to redo that one illustration.

My recent sketches, therefore, have been studies for the illustration.  As you can see, it’s a 3/4 face angle which just happens to be one of the hardest face angles to draw simply and well.

Two three quarter head sketches

So I might just resort to doing a profile view instead!

Girl Smelling Roses quick sketch


Filed under Aquash pen, art, drawing, drawing faces, illustration, ink sketches, New work, pen and ink, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch, sketchbook, Weekly Sketch Project

My Favorite Things – Making Good Progress on an Illustration

Lately I’ve been throwing caution to the wind (or at least trying to!) and have been drawing my illustrations directly in India ink with a bamboo quill sketching pen.  The idea is to go with the flow, literally, and let the pen and its somewhat unpredictable lines direct the outcome of the illustration.

Last night this windswept girl emerged.

Windswept Girl

When I went to bed, I wasn’t quite sure exactly where she was going (or coming from) but today I had a better idea and with my Aquash water brush laid out a suggestion of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline in the background.

Windswept Girl 2

The addition of a lamp post and the darkening of some of the points of interest has now brought the illustration to this point.

Windswept Girl 3

What’s next?  Well, first a Wicked performance tonight, but hopefully when I return to my drafting table tomorrow I’ll be in the right frame of mind to add the appropriate touches of color!  Stay tuned…


Filed under Aquash pen, art, City Girl Designs, drawing, education, fashion illustration, fashion sketches, illustration, ink sketches, inspiration, motivation, My Favorite Things, New work, New York, pen and ink, practicing drawing, techniques, Tool Box

Friday’s Thought – On Imagination

Ta Da Cape Coat for blog

“Imagination is the eye of the soul.”

(Joseph Joubert)


Filed under art, drawing, fashion illustration, Friday's Thought, illustration, Influences, inspiration, marker and ink illustration, New work, wisdom, wise quotes

From My Sketchbook – Week 34

Much as I expected, this past week I had ample opportunities for sketching on my numerous commutes to Lincoln Center and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  I also took the opportunity to explore different techniques of working with my new synthetic Aquash water/ink brush.

These techniques ranged from quick gesture portraits from my imagination, like this…

Happy girl with updo

And quick gesture portraits inspired by some of the riders around me, like this…

Girl with earphones

To more detailed study drawings like this.

Businessman portrait side view

In addition to using the brush pen for outline sketches as above, I also practiced using it to lay in a quick mass of “color” for body shapes.  I then followed by adding in the holding outlines and further details with a ball point pen.

Girl with large tote bag

In case you’re curious, I used the above technique for this illustration (now available in my shop at Etsy) substituting Copic Sketch markers for the “ink wash” and using a fine line paintbrush dipped in India ink for the holding outlines.  No preliminary pencil drawing was used.

Gifted Holiday card mockup


Filed under art, drawing, fashion illustration, From My Sketchbook, greeting card, illustration, Influences, ink sketches, inspiration, marker and ink illustration, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch, subway sketches, techniques, Tool Box, Weekly Sketch Project

Here’s to the Last Hurrah of Summer…

Labor Day Siesta for blog

And a very Happy Labor Day from Joana Miranda Studio!


Filed under art, drawing, fashion illustration, New work, New York, pen and ink, techniques

From My Sketchbook – Week 30

I did about 400 sketches this week (well, maybe not quite that many) but only ONE in my little travel sketchbook.  Here she is…

girl with scarf on the subway2

You can see some of the other sketches from the week’s output on my Instagram account as well as on these products at Society6:

The Boho Chick…

Laptop skin Illustration by Joana Miranda Studio at Society6


iPhone case Zelda illustration by Joana Miranda Studio at Society6

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Filed under art, drawing, fashion illustration, From My Sketchbook, illustration, Joana Miranda Studio, Joana Miranda Studio at Society6, sketchbook, subway sketches, Weekly Sketch Project