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  • Writer's pictureFrancesco Lo Iacono


If you have ever wondered about my creative process then I hope you are going to enjoy this post as I am going to give you an insight into my practice, a step-by-step guide to creating a watercolour fashion illustration.

Watercolour has been by far my favourite medium to use and the one that informs my work the most, along with other materials that you are going to discover later.

In my book, Watercolor Fashion Illustration, I present twenty tutorials, starting with easier subjects into more complex projects; the tutorial I am going to show you here mirrors my practice and what I effectively present in my book.

To create this illustration, you are going to need the following materials: a pencil, an eraser, a set of watercolours, a small round brush, a few coloured pencils and some skin tones markers.

STEP 1: My starting point is always a rough pencil sketch of the whole illustration. You can use any light pencil,

these lines are landmarks for when I use watercolour.

Before starting to add watercolour, I make sure to rub out all lines that I don't consider useful so that I can keep the sketch as clean as possible.

STEP 2: Once my sketch is ready, I start adding watercolour. Most of the time I start painting the skin, beginning with the darker tones (under the chin, for example), so that I can blend them with water if needed.

STEP 3: Since this is a head-to-toe illustration, I try to prioritize the areas I would like the viewer to look at.

In this instance, I add a lot of detail to the jacket, as I feel like this can be the focus of the whole illustration.

I keep using watercolour painting to have at least a first layer on the whole figure.

When I am done with the first layer of watercolour, I let the painting dry. Once the painting has dried, I rub out the pencil lines left as I don't need them anymore, I can now use the first watercolour layer as my landmarks.

STEP 4: It is now time to work a bit on the details. You could use a small brush for the details, but since this is a head-to-toe illustration (on A4 paper), I feel like the best way to draw the details on the face is by using some pencils.

In a very similar way, I add some details on the peculiar structure of the jacket using some pencils. You may also use a marker to add darker tones on the skin, in this case in the neck for example.

STEP 5: When I am happy with the whole illustration, the last step is to scan it and using Adobe Photoshop you can slightly edit the contrast and clean it if needed.

Watercolour is an amazing medium, but it is also one that may require a lot of patience.

The best way to master it is to keep practising and make beautiful sketches along the way!

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