I’m very grateful to be working in such a creative industry, from the writing process and filming, to photographing flatlays and other bloggers, but I’ve had an inkling for a while to get back into other media as a hobby, to reignite the ‘art’ flame so to say. At college, I enjoyed illustration and graphic design, printing and those odd occasions I could just go a bit abstract with drawing or painting, but over time I’ve discontinued it and left all my materials in a dark drawer ‘just in case’.
This month I wanted to try a new activity, and had been pondering watercolours as a little recreational fun, so when Paperchase’s Project Craft workshops with Fashionary came up on my Twitter feed I thought ‘why not?’ and booked myself a spot on two of the Fashion Illustration sessions on Saturday (it was £30 for two, bloody bargain!).
I’ve been to a few Paperchase events before, and I’ve always enjoyed crafting and getting creative each time with something new, plus drawing the female form in textiles was always my weak point so was excited to give it a go and dip my brush in some colour again. As usual, it was a lovely small group of us who wanted to pick up skills in illustrating textures and fabrics (timely for LFW) and our teacher Connie was fabulous – her illustrations are simply stunning, and has worked with various designers including Bulgari and Guerlain whilst also lecturing at LCF. Personally, if she did private lessons and workshops I’d definitely be attending as her method is so relaxing yet informative!
Connie and Fashionary combined worked a treat – Fashionary offers a range of sketchbooks and organisers among other products to help with fashion drawing at any level or department, thanks to the delicately dotted outlines to guide drawings and allow imagination to run wild without constant erasing to get it ‘just right’ – like me and my whole drawing process! With that, it was easier to add in facial details and get the shape of the fabric to flow as close to the photograph as possible, and then to let our personal styles flourish.
The sessions were an hour long (although we overran slightly as everyone was thoroughly enjoying adding layers of wash and texture, I could have fixed mine for hours!) which is perfect for either starting out or dipping back into the practise, and I really wanted to take the knit and leather workshop which ran yesterday but, hey, another opportunity to try in the future 😉
There were so many techniques I’d never thought of before or practised, and even though so simple they made a huge difference – by building up light washes of colour it was easier to create tone, and by following and outline and then adding flicks and dots after for texture or to suggest materials present made it look more realistic and loose rather than brushstroke on brushstroke. I personally loved the outcome of my pink chiffon layers, and I loved that everyone followed a different technique after learning the basics – I preferred washes of colour, in varied shades and then the darker colours I clumped in the middle and then stood the paper up to allow the paint to naturally run down the drawing for unique shape and movement.
I’m so glad I went and tried something new (despite being in the midst of post-holiday cold, as I type this I’m surrounded by tissues which is most attractive) and it’s really got me wanting to improve my drawing and illustration skills, even if just for relaxation and fun rather than projects. I’d highly recommend keeping an eye here for Paperchase’s various upcoming events (including scrapbooking and making cards) and if you want to dabble in fashion illustration or have some beautiful illustration grace your feed then definitely check out Fashionary and Connie!
I really hope there are some more illustration classes in the future, and seeing as the Christmas collection has already come into store (squuee!) you can guarantee there will be some fun festive holiday themed projects to look out for!
Have you tried Paperchase’s Project Craft workshops? Are you a fan of illustration? What have you tried new recently?
Lots of Love,
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