Term: 4 Year: 2009
I was taught to use markers to render products many years ago in my Industrial Design course.
They were used in both a very formal controlled way and also in a much looser, freer fashion. Product design tended
to need the more formal approach; however, I really liked the freedom and looser style much more. Fashion has always
been a big interest and over the years I have created quite a collection of fashion images, mostly drawn images rather
than photographs, as well as a number of fashion illustration books which have pride of place in my library.
When working with students I am always looking for new ways to capture their interest and there are always students, mostly
girls, who have a keen interest in fashion and want to be fashion designers. In an ideal world you would have a VCD
class full of girls, all wanting to be fashion designers, who are happy to learn to create fashion illustrations
so that you, the teacher, can put your love of fashion and markers together and spend a number of very happy hours
showing students fashion rendering using markers. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, where our VCD classes
have boys in them as well, none of whom wish to be fashion designers! Yet I do teach fashion illustration to my Year
10 VCD classes and the current group are already asking when they are going to do the fashion magazines like last
semester’s group, with the boys just as vocal as the girls!
Fashion rendering using copic markers
There are two parts to the task. Firstly, the students are required to
produce 2 or 3 fashion renderings using markers. Their best rendering is then used to create the front cover for
an existing fashion magazine.
Materials and equipment needed
Good quality tracing paper – A4 size
Black fine liners – 0.5
A good range of fashion images*
A range of coloured copic markers
*The books I use are:
‘Figure Drawing for Fashion’
‘Fashion Illustration in Europe’ Isao Yajima
1. Choose an image that you like -this can take a while as it requires most students
to look through the entire collection of images and all the books before making their selection, so set a time limit!
2. Create a simple line drawing of the image, using pencil in your sketchbook. Emphasize here
the need to look for important lines in the image. We don’t want detail. Facial features are not always important.
It is important to get the lines of the clothes and the body. Hands and feet are often not shown. You could allow
students to trace the image, but I prefer not to. You need to gauge the abilities of the students you have. Really
weak students still learn a great deal and more importantly, achieve success even if they trace from images. The
idea is to create an impression of the clothes and the model, rather than a realistic approach. Less is definitely
more with this style of drawing. The student needs to work really quickly, rather than labour over the task. The
looser, quicker drawings work so much better when you start to add the colour with marker.
3. Trace drawn image using a black fine liner onto tracing paper. As the fine liner
does not instantly dry when used on tracing paper, warn students to watch where their hands are at all times, to
ensure there are no smudges in their work. I find that the students are better standing up at this stage as it encourages
them to use their arms more, rather than just the wrist for drawing. It gives a looser more flowing style which is
what we need for this stage and the marker stage. Lines do not have to be perfect. They can cross over rather than
stop at corners. Emphasize the use of curved lines rather than straight. Spend no more than 3 minutes on this stage.
4. Apply colour over the black line drawing using copic markers. Select one or two coloured
markers. If working from a coloured image encourage students to change the colour scheme to one of their own. The
marker is applied very quickly, in sweeping curved strokes of the marker. The marker stays wet, so try not to smudge
it, unless that is the effect you want. A second sweep of copic over the top will make a darker tone. Another colour
over the top will mix to create a new tone. Adding colour on the back of the tracing paper creates darker tones and
more depth. If you don’t want colours to mix, wait for the marker to dry. Spend no more than 5 minutes on this
stage. Less is definitely more. The whole image does not need to be coloured in. The idea is to suggest the colours.
Areas with no colour are allowed, in fact are essential with this technique!
In a 50 minute lesson I
expect my students to complete two renderings that will be presented for marking. Very keen students will complete
at least three. To present, I ask the students to sign the rendering using a black fine liner and then we place a
sheet of A4 cartridge paper behind the image so that it stands out properly on the wall for display. Every student
must have an image on display at the end of the class.
Magazine Cover Design
Students use one of their fashion renderings to create a front cover of an existing fashion
magazine. The idea is to create a cover that looks as close to the original as possible. Look for some interesting,
funky magazines for this task. I used ‘Cream’ and ‘Wonderland ‘. Students choose which cover
they want to design and as the task is a design exercise all stages of the design process are covered in their sketch
books prior to working on the computer.
Materials and equipment needed
1. Scan fashion magazine of choice and fashion rendering into Photoshop. Save both
images as separate files on USB.
2. Create new file the size of the magazine you have chosen.
3. Copy and paste the magazine header and barcode onto the page and place correctly.
4. Import fashion image, crop and change to suit your design.
5. Colour background and add text.
6. Print on glossy photographic paper and display.
Beaconhills College – Village Campus