O'Reilly logo

The Art of Fashion Illustration by Somer Flaherty Tejwani

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Job: 10-42056 Title: RP - Art of Fashion Illustration
DTP: LY Page: 10
42056 - Art of Fashion Illustration_int.indd 10 10/31/14 4:23 PM 42056 - Art
Text
London, England
Box Taylor Ånds it diٻcult to describe her technique. ¹It eventually emerges instinctively for
everyone if you do enough drawing,º she says. Taylor’s work can be identiÅed by her frequent
use of pastels—she prefers chalky ones such as charcoal and uses them to create contrast,
incorporating the duality of very light strokes and stronger lines throughout an image—and by
her detailed background drawings. These two characteristics are not often seen in fashion il-
lustration. Unlike other illustrators who create their fashion silhouettes on a blank background,
Taylor’s work always sets a scene. She attributes this to the fact that she didn’t train as a fashion
illustrator. Her illustrations have a sense of drama and narrative and capture a scene the way
fashion photographs do. The setting suggests something beyond the clothing, and the models
in her illustrations become characters. ¹I sketch out the whole composition and then focus on
the person’s face, building the elements of the drawing together—a mark on the dress here, a
shadow on the tree there—like a painter, I guess.º
DEVELOPING HER OWN VISUAL
LANGUAGE: ZOË TAYLOR
Pastels An illustration
of a Louis Vuitton SS12
outÅt for an article in the
column ¹In the Cutº for
Anothermag.com.
Fashion illustration has somehow
become this distinct category, but I just
see it as another form of illustration.
Zoë Taylor’s work has appeared in various publications including the New Guardian, the
Independent, Dazed and Confused, and Le Gun. She has been commissioned to design a series
of images to be printed on T-shirts, tote bags, and dresses for the Marc 2acobs fashion
line, and has collaborated on a number of projects with fashion designer Luella Bartley.
Job: 10-42056 Title: RP - Art of Fashion Illustration
DTP: LY Page: 10
42056 - Art of Fashion Illustration_int.indd 10 10/31/14 3:26 PM 42056 - Art
stration
age: 10
/14 4:23 PM
Job: 10-42056 Title: RP - Art of Fashion Illustration
DTP: LY Page: 11
42056 - Art of Fashion Illustration_int.indd 11 10/31/14 4:23 PM
stration
age: 10
/14 3:26 PM
11
THE ART OF FASHION ILLUSTRATION | PART 1: THE EMERGING MASTERS
Text
Job: 10-42056 Title: RP - Art of Fashion Illustration
DTP: LY Page: 11
42056 - Art of Fashion Illustration_int.indd 11 10/31/14 3:26 PM
Job: 10-42056 Title: RP - Art of Fashion Illustration
DTP: LY Page: 12
42056 - Art of Fashion Illustration_int.indd 12 10/31/14 4:23 PM 42056 - Art
Text
¹I draw full scenes and the drawings
are tonal so the eٺect is a bit like look-
ing at photos or Ålm stills.º
She says the hardest part is to make
the drawings look spontaneous after
all the planning and the stress of a
deadline. ¹I sometimes draw things
thirty times over to try to get it right,
and I usually start with the eyes.º
She believes spontaneity is important
in an illustration because if you can
see where an artist has struggled or
labored with a drawing it brings atten-
tion to that and takes away from the
overall eٺect of the image.
Over the years Taylor’s work has
evolved to include more color, and
often the clothing dictates her color
choices—although she likes using very
bright, intense colors in small patches.
¹When I’m constructing scenes, I
think about the colors I want in the
background and how that would
contrast with and complement the
colors of the clothes; occasionally
that’s given me ideas about the kind
of landscape or interior I choose for
the illustration.º
Taylor’s home studio space, where she often works late into the night.
Job: 10-42056 Title: RP - Art of Fashion Illustration
DTP: LY Page: 12
42056 - Art of Fashion Illustration_int.indd 12 10/31/14 3:26 PM 42056 - Art

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required