Which one is the best coloring material for drawing fashion sketches? I have spent so much time and finances trying to answer this question for myself. I wanted to achieve this flat, clean color you see in my illustrations and I would love to save you the struggle if you are looking for similar results. I this post I will share more about the way I color my fashion illustrations and if you like how they look it will hopefully help you with your drawings too.
There are several brands that offer markers of good quality for illustrating fashion. You could try Tombow, Prismacolor or Copics.
Eventhought Copic markers are the most expensive ones I have decided to invest in them, because the quality of the color they offer is phenomenal. There is a huge range of colors, as you can see from the chart below and each year the manufacturer keeps adding new tones.
These markers won’t bleed and maintaining the color even and flowing is so easy.
Note: Before Copics came into my life I was literally fighting with other medias to achieve a nice, solid color. This included tempera paint, aquarelle, acrylics, pencils, watercolor pencils, pastels…I even bought an airbrush and a huge compressor to supply it with air. How crazy is that All these drawing medias stay untouched from the moment I got Copic markers in my hands.
Drawing fashion sketches with markers is a great idea, because it saves you so much time- it’s 2 times faster than anything else. The colors are gorgeous without you trying to mix the perfect shade. Your desk stays perfectly clean – no water splashes on your sketch, not ink spots, no broken tips of the pencils. They are easy to carry around. And the best part: when a marker runs off – you can easily refill it and keep using it!
If you are interested in trying Copic markers for your fashion sketches I would recommend you to start with those 3:
E51 – a gorgeous skintone color. Slightly warmer than E00
C4 – medium gray shade to add nice looking shadows to almost any other color
B100– A nice, solid color black color is always handy.
You can find good offers in Amazon.com , Ebay.com or if you are lucky enough to have a Copic dealer in your town –you can buy it directly from there.
The Prismacolor color pencils give my illustrations this extra depth and color variation that I like. They are not like the ordinary color pencil you can get from anywhere. They are very oily and blend lovely with the markers. They also offer a wide range of colors – the pack that I have is 175 colors box that looks like this:
You can also try some smaller ones. Prismacolors are a great investment – I have these pencils for over 5 years and the only color I needed to replace is a skintone color that I use all the time for on my models.
In general I don’t recommend outlining your fashion sketch with a black pen from the top to the bottom. Black can be too harsh for this. However I do own and use few COPIC pens . I use my 0.3 mm for drawing the eyelashes and the 0.5 mm is perfect for outlining design elements colored in black, brown or gray.
I use a white gel pen to add highlights in the eyes and sometimes sparckles in the hair of my girls.
This is a must-have in your artist’s toolbox.
I also use pens in different shades to outline my drawings. You can learn more about outlining and what it does for a fashion sketch in this tutorial: Outlines part 1
I hope that this article inspired you and gave you something new to try on your sketches. Please remember that practice is more important than buying the perfect drawing material and is the most certain way to get better. So why don’t go and design something right now?