Fashion Illustration Tips for Beginner: Choosing Your Materials

Article and illustrations by @emily.wijaya

Choosing the right medium (material to be used) to create the artwork, can be overwhelming for beginners. The common mediums used in fashion illustration are color pencils, markers, and watercolor. Most of fashion illustrators combine two or more of these mediums to create richly rendered illustrations. Which one is the best for a beginner? Consider the options:

Budget vs Quality

Art material can be very costly for its finest quality. Luckily, most of the brands sell affordable student grade quality. So, do some research and read reviews about the product to decide which one to buy.

Markers vs Watercolor

Some artist preferred to use marker, others use watercolor. Which one is for you? Of course, both have different characteristic and style, thus it goes back to what type of work you want to achieved. Beginners might want to consider the following as a starting point:

Marker: it dries fast and though there are specific paper for marker, it can work on various type of paper. Since it dries fast, it is actually great for sketching and quick drawing. However, you need to invest more in getting the variety of colors.

Watercolor: it takes time to dry and it does not work well with regular paper, you need to use watercolor paper and it’s not cheap. The benefit of using watercolor though, you can start with few primary colors to have wide range of colors.

Overall, it’s best to try each one of the medium and see which one suits your style. You don’t have to buy everything all at once, but you must have color pencil. It’s good for coloring and works wonderfully for rendering, to add details and to give finishing touch to your final drawing. Set of 24 color pencil is enough to start with.

As for marker, you can start with these colors: light and dark grey, black, lighter and darker shade of skin color, lighter and darker shade of hair color, and any choice of colors for clothes that you want to draw. You can keep adding the color as you need, instead of buying the complete set. It works best if you are on limited budget.

If you prefer watercolor instead of marker, you can buy the primary color first, with both warm and cool shade for each color. You will be surprised how many different range of colors you can have from mixing those colors.

Illustration using watercolor and color pencil on #myskizze.

Skin tone using marker and the rest were using color pencils on #myskizze.