Design Challenges

One of the main issues I had was when I was trying to create my blog. I found it difficult at first to understand how to navigate my way around WordPress. For example I struggled with understanding how to create a post and add photographs etc. However, when I started to use the site more it became more apparent as to how to use this blog site.

I found the process of developing my personal illustration style quite daunting, as I was required to observe and recreate three professional fashion illustrators designs. When I was recreating Lucia Curzi’s illustration I found it difficult as I had never used watercolour paint prior to this. It took time and patience for me to understand how to apply this medium to my illustrations. However, I feel that now I understand the concept of using this type of medium. In addition, I found it difficult to obtain the colours I required when mixing them together. However, this issue could be the result of not having a range of watercolour paints available.

In addition, I think my illustration’s could be improved if I used Photoshop to enhance and develop them more. I will take this into consideration when drawing other illustrations.




Final Illustration: Zoe

The research conducted on three fashion illustrators has allowed me to develop my own personal style. I observed the characteristics which feature in Floyd Grey, Lucia Curzi and Alison Hanson’s illustrations and identified which techniques and mediums would work well together. My personal style was developed and inspired on this basis.

img_1545The thin elongated body was inspired by Curzi’s designs, this acted as the base in which I could build upon. I then added clothing and accessories such as a scarf, sunglasses and handbag. Accessories such as this, often featured in Hanson’s designs. This was one of the main features I loved about her illustrations.


Once I drew the outline of my fashion figure, I added pink and yellow tones using watercolour paints to my illustration. I used a large rounded brush to add the base colours first. I then used a flat square headed brush to apply colour and allow me to build and strengthen certain areas of my design.


I continued to add colour using watercolour paints, using the same technique. Dots featured in both Curzi and Hanson’s illustrations, therefore I added this detail to the handbag of my illustration.


Once I finished painting, I used a black fine art pen to add detail to the garments and figure of my illustration. I used it to define areas where creases would occur in the fabric. This technique was used in both Hanson and Grey’s illustrations. In addition, I used this technique throughout the process of developing my own personal style. I also used the black fine art pen for the hair of my fashion figure. In grey’s illustrations he only applied colour to the garments which featured in his designs and used black pen to define features on the face, neck and legs etc. I chose to use this technique as I wanted to create an illustration which was focused on the clothing. I then added colour to the background of my fashion figure to make it more prominent. The colours I used were consistent with the ones which featured in the garment and accessories of my design. The depiction below illustrates my final design.



I decided to name my illustration Zoe to make it more personal. Naming illustrations was an aspect I loved about Alison Hanson’s artwork.

I am absolutely delighted with the final outcome of my illustration. I feel that the techniques and mediums I combined, complimented each other in my design. In addition, I like how the clothes are more prominent than any other aspect of my illustration. I feel that I have created a fresh, unique and captivating design.



Developing my final illustration: style 2

As I was disappointed with the final outcome of my first style development illustration, I decided to recreate another one.


I decided to use one of Alison Hansen’s illustrations and use various mediums and techniques from my other two chosen illustrators, to help me understand what colours and techniques would work well together.


I did not add colour to the skin tone of my figure as I wanted to create a focus on the garments illustrated and obtain an impactful depiction.  I painted the lips of my illustration bright red as this is an ongoing characteristic of Grey’s artwork. Grey mainly uses grey, black and red tones in his illustrations. I decided to use a similar colour palette as Grey as I used pastel colours in my previous style development illustration.

img_1530I applied pink and red water colour paint to the skirt of my illustration. In addition, I added small dot detail to the skirt as this is used on occasion in Curzi’s illustrations.

img_1531I then added red strips and black dots to the skirt of my illustration. I feel that the stripe marks were slightly too think. I should have used a thinner brush to apply the stripes.




Curzi applies thick layers of paint to her illustrations and applies water to create a distorted look. I applied this technique to the handbag of my figure. I feel that this technique requires more practice in order to obtain a better result. In addition, I feel that I would have achieved a better result if I had of used a simpler print, when using this technique.


Curzi adds detail to the background of her illustrations using water colour paints, the colours she uses are consistent to the colours she uses on her garments. Therefore, I applied this same effect to this illustration. I love the effect this created as it adds more detail and provides a stronger impact.


I used a fine art pen to outline areas where there was shadow and different features on the illustration e.g. eyes, legs and creases in the garment. I feel that the black pen mark has provided a professional look to the illustration and helps to create a more impactful image.

In conclusion, I am pleased with the final outcome as I feel I have achieved a good quality illustration which combines the techniques and mediums used by all three illustrators. I will use this as guidance to help me create my final illustration.


Developing my final illustration: style 1

Firstly, I looked at how I could use various design and medium aspects from my three chosen illustrators. I was inspired by Alison Hansen to include accessories, namely a hat and handbag in my illustration as they often featured in her artwork. I created a simple outline as the basis of this illustration.

IMG_1521.JPGHansen primarily uses pastel colours in her illustrations and applies it using water colour paint. I wanted to use pastel colours in my illustration as I like how the subtle colours in Hansen’s artwork still created an impactful image. I tried to use Lucia Curzi’s technique of building up various colours. This technique did not provide me with the same effect as I used similar pink and lilac tones. I feel that this technique would have worked better if I were using a range of stronger colours. In addition, I wanted to keep the tones and colours I used in the facial features subtle as this was an ongoing trend throughout my three illustrators. The depiction below represents how my illustration looked after using the various techniques.


I added tonal effects to the skin of my figure like the illustrations of Floyd Grey. In addition, I continued to build up various colour tones on the dress and gilet of my illustration. Finally, I used a fine art pen to depict various aspects of my illustration such as facial features and shadows. The image below represents the final outcome.

img_1523I am disappointed with the end result, as I feel that I created a poor quality illustration. I feel that the colour tones I chose to use did not work will with Curzi’s technique. In addition, I feel that I should have made the head of my figure larger as it would have made it easier for me to add detail. I have always struggled with drawing eyes on fashion figures. Therefore, it would be advisable for me to use accessories like Hanson e.g. sunglasses. I believe that this would provide me with a better quality image.


Alison Hansen

Alison Hansen is a fashion illustrator and textile designer. Hansen has previously worked in the fashion industry in the USA and is now based in the UK.

Alison Hansen uses a variety of techniques to obtain her fresh illustrations. Her work consists of using hand drawing, painting and digital effects to achieve her unique illustrations.

Hansen (2017).


Alison Hansen 2017, available at

I love the blue and grey tones Hansen has used in this illustration. I feel that her depiction is captivating because of the minimalistic approach she used in her designs. In addition, I like how the illustrator has named her fashion figures, as it adds personality to her depictions.


The first step was to lightly sketch around the figure. I feel that I used the wrong pencil when tracing as the lines of my illustration were quite harsh.


I used water colour paints to add colour to the depiction.


When I finished adding colour to the illustration, I used black pen to add detail to the fashion figure.

Overall, I am pleased with the final outcome of my recreation of Hansen’s fashion illustration. If I were to repeat this process I would focus more on building up the colour using watercolour paints. I believe that my attempt is similar and represents Hansen’s style well.

Lucia Emanuela Curzi

Lucia Emanuela Curzi is a fashion and beauty focused illustrator based in London. She specialises in this form of illustration and works for editorial, advertising and textile clients. Curzi worked as an illustrator for advertising for four years before winning her first award of Company High Street Edit Fashion Illustration Competition. Since then, Curzi has been commissioned by a wide number of fashion publications around the world and exhibited her work in leading London Museums e.g. Victoria and Albert. Lucia has obtained a BA in Media Design and continued her learning by successfully completing courses at the London College of Fashion. Mold, (1997)

Lucia creates a collage using photographic images before beginning her illustrations to help influence her work. Lucia prefers to work firstly on paper using a variety of different mediums e.g. watercolour, pastels, pens or acrylics on paper. The illustrator uses Photoshop to perfect her work. Mold (1997)

Lucia’s client list includes Vogue, Selfridges, Kurt Geiger, Boots and The Sunday Times Style Magazine.

Lucia’s illustration style features ladies with elongated legs, elegant lines strong black ink marks and splashes of colour.

The illustration below is one of Lucia’s more detailed depictions. It would appear that Lucia has drawn her figure and added grey and black shadows, using watercolour paints. In addition, she has added splashes of colour to the garment of her illustration, using watercolour. The illustrator uses black pen to add detail to her depiction. elle61    I have attempted to recreate the dress of this illustration as I love the detail and techniques used. I have documented each stage of the process to complete my illustration.

Using a HP pencil I traced around the dress and added grey watercolour detail. I continued to build up the base colours of mustard, browns and blacks.


When I was finished using watercolours to build up the base of the dress, I added detail using colouring pencils. This added to the illustration as it provided more detail and strengthened the colour. I then used a 0.3 fine art pen to outline the figure and add detail to complete my illustration.


I am disappointed with the end result as I feel that it does not capture the precise detail as the original illustration. I have never used watercolour paints before and I feel that if I had of practiced more the end result would have been better. In addition, I feel that the illustration I was attempting to recreate was too detailed for me. I found it difficult to control the paint and obtain the colours Lucia used in her illustration. If I were to repeat this process I would attempt to use a less detailed depiction of the illustrators.




Floyd Grey

According to Rolnik (2012), “Floyd Grey is a fashion illustrator from Kuala Lumar.”

Grey’s style is distinctive due to the simplicity and minimalistic approach he used in his illustrations. Hoek uses black lines to outline the figure and adds blocks of bright colour to the garments of his illustrations. This block of colour makes his illustrations unique and eye-catching.

Grey begins his illustrations by sketching and using a range of mediums e.g. pen, ink, watercolour. Using Photoshop he edits his illustrations to provide a cleaner image.

I love how Grey’s illustration below captivates onlookers as the bright red dress draws the eye towards the image. It appears that the illustrator uses fine art pencils to outline the details of the fashion figure. It is unclear as to what technique Grey used to add colour to


both the dress and hat. In my opinion, the illustrator has used acrylic paints and fine art pencils to achieve this completed depiction.

floyd-grey-tumblr_m2xnlceogm1qd9lgao1_1280-565x7911Below I have attempted to recreate this illustration. I have documented the process using photographs. I did not focus on a particular area of this illustration, as I feel that in order to achieve a similar simplistic and unique fashion figure,  I needed to recreate the depiction as a whole.


Firstly, I roughly sketched the outline of the fashion figure using pencil. I then used HP, 2B and 6B pencils to add tone to the flesh of the figure. The tones highlighted the shadows and facial features on the figure.


I then applied several layers of acrylic paint to both the dress, boots and hat of the figure. Once the paint dried, I applied white acrylic paint to highlight areas where light would fall on the garment and hat. I then used a fountain pen to define shadowed areas.


Overall, I am please with the final outcome. This process has made me aware of how various medium techniques such as pencil, paint and pens can be used to achieve a unique and simplistic illustration. If I were to repeat this process, I would use a different approach to painting the garments which feature in the illustration, as I feel I did not obtain the same effect Grey had. Furthermore, I feel that my illustration could have been improved if I had of used a thinner fine art pen. If I were to repeat this process I would use Photoshop to sharpen my illustration.