Mixed media runway illustration

Dries Van Noten – Fall 2019

The Dries Van Noten show was one of my absolute favourites from the Fall 2019 runway shows. I am a bit of a sucker for a floral print especially when it’s not a sickly sweet one; “Flowers can be romantic, but this I wanted to take out, because the times are tougher than in the past. So you see the diseases, the black spot, the imperfections.”

Rub ‘n Buff Gold Leaf

Like a Bower Bird, I am attracted to all things sparkly. I picked up a tube of Rub’n Buff in my local art store a few months ago not really knowing what I would use it for. It comes in a 15ml tube in 12 metallic colours (Gold Leaf, Antique Gold, European Gold, Grecian Gold, Autumn Gold, Silver Leaf, Antique White, Pewter, Spanish Copper, Ebony, Ruby, Patina – which looks like it would be an amazing colour!). I have the colour “Gold Leaf”. I think technically it’s supposed to be used to add gold leaf to hard surfaces like timber. There are no real instructions of the tube just; ‘apply to most surfaces, polish with cloth. Clean with mineral spirits.’ ??????

Rub 'n Buff Gold Leaf

So, after basically ignoring the instructions, I thought it was the perfect thing to use to recreate one of the Dries Van Noten gold floral looks. I started with a watercolour base for the skin and the shoes. I then applied the Rub ‘n Buff with a small stiff brush to create the gold flowers. In larger areas you can buff it a bit with the brush, however, in small, more detailed areas, it is not so easy to use as it is very thick and not particularly fluid. Consequently, I had to apply it quite thickly to get a crisp edges. I am no alchemist (or even chemist for that matter) but perhaps you could thin it with a little mineral spirits and that would make it more spreadable? Just a thought.

Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic

Another product that I purchase on a whim but have never used; Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic Artists Ink. This has a little bit of a sheen to it which complemented the gold quite well. Something that surprised me (but obviously wouldn’t have if I bothered to actually test things out before I committed to the final piece) was that this ink can be painted over the gold. For some reason I thought the Rub ‘n Buff being wax based would repel the water based acrylic. It doesn’t. So all my efforts to get a crisp edge with the gold were slightly unnecessary as I could just create the edges with the black ink.

Finishing Touches

For her bag I used another shiny buy; a ‘Wink of Stella’ glitter brush pen. They are, as the name suggests, a glitter pen that has a brush tip. There are loads of different colours and the finish is sensational. You will be seeing them a lot more in my art work. I am in love.

At this point everything was looking far more “unrealistic” than I was comfortable with so I used my colour pencils to enhance her face and feet. Her hands were also really bugging me. I could live with the one dimensional nature of her pants and coat but they hands just looked too weird. I took to them with a 6B pencil to add a bit of shading and hopefully they look a bit better.

So here she is. Unfortunately Run ‘n Buff and glitter pens, like a lot of metallic mediums, don’t scan particularly well. They need reflected light to really shine and a scanner just doesn’t do them justice.

“Dries Van Noten – Fall 2019” – mixed media runway illustration


New York Fashion week – top 5

I am a bit behind the eight ball and London fashion week is underway but I thought I’d share my top five from New York fashion week.  Top five being things I’d buy if I was loaded 💰💰💰 and in need of a high fashion wardrobe or (more likely) things I’d like to draw (and then pretend I own!)

Here goes….

Tom Ford Spring 2018
Tom Ford Spring 2018

1. Who doesn’t need an orange leather coat!


Naeem Khan Spring 2018

2. Face jewellery. … this is more of a want-to-draw


3. Victoria Beckham shoes…. all of them!


Cynthia Rowley Spring 2018
Cynthia Rowley Spring 2018

4. Girls on swings would make such a pretty illustration


Photo credit: Vogue

Sabina Karlsson
Sabina Karlsson – image http://www.jag models.com

5. So this was a toss-up between the whole Jason Wu collection and the appearance of Sabina Karlsson on the runways of Chromat, Michael Kors, and Christian Siriano.  This girl has the most amazing face not to mention HAIR!

Since this is a top 5 list, the solution was to combine the two; Sabina Karlsson on my own Jason Wu runway!  I wonder if Jason Wu would approve of me messing with his line up!?

Sabina - Jason Wu mashup
Sabina – Jason Wu model mashup


The details 

Arches Drawing Paper 185gsm smooth A3 

Tombow mono drawing pencils (6B, 2B, HB, 2H and 4H)

Prismacolor Premier color pencils

Spring time in New York – ‘Assembly’ fashion illustration 

fashion illustration assembly spring 2018

I love, love, love fashion week! I am always so excited to see what’s on the runway.  New York has not disappointed so far and there is still a day to go!

Image credit: Vogue and The impression

Last fashion week (Fall 2017) I set myself the task of producing one look from each city (New York – Jenny Packham; London – Anya Hindmarch; Milan- Gabriele Colangelo; Paris – Saint Laurent).  My focus was on capturing as much detail as I could and pushing myself to draw different textures (leather, plaid, satin, fur, sheepskin!).  You can view the final images in my Instagram feed.

This time round I wanted to be a little less literal and, rather than capture all the detail of the clothing, get more the ‘essence’ of it (that sounds so arty!).  I also wanted to work quick and have the final illustration completed within a couple of the days of the show.

The Assembly runway show really said “New York summer” to me.  A very cool, effortless, individual New Yorker.  Exactly the kind of girl I image is wandering the streets of New York in a Carrie Bradshaw – 2017 – kind of way. (Clearly I have only ever spent 48 hours in New York and know nothing of what New York women are really like).

Anyway for details and photos of the process keep reading below!

img_1270Image Credit: Vogue

Continue reading