This illustration was created for the stunning model and blogger from Vanity Afro. She contacted me to help her create a new blog cover where she would pose in a beautiful designer dress. She wanted the portrait to communicate both power and tenderness and I couldn’t resist the challenge of drawing this.
Here is the first draft I made. I always start with a very rough pencil sketch and most of the times I even feel that I need to explain the client that the final product will look noting like this. I just need to get a confirmation that the pose and clothing choice are in line with their idea.
My lovely client had just one small correction. The approval to go forward was given and I started inking the artwork. Everything of course was done in my favorite program “Clip Studio Paint”(a.k.a. Manga Studio 5)
I knew that I wanted the dress to be partially transparent so I had to color the skin and the dress separately to achieve the effect. My muse has a wonderful skin complexion with cold undertones so I decided to keep the whole illustration on the cold side – more blue and purple & less orange and red.
The skin was completed with a gentle rim light around the edges. I find this to bring my illustrations to the next level giving them a modern and luxury feel. I darkened the background and added some effects that I wasn’t very sure I will keep.
Next I focused on the jewelry and the hair. The latter took at least 1 hour to complete. Many people like drawing black hair because you can get away without working on the highlights and the shadows as much. Yet my client signed up for a detailed illustration with attention to every little thing and I intended to give her exactly that.
The last step was to get this goddess dressed. I worked on each and every little fold and wrinkle with the same love and attention as I worked on the face. A teacher of mine used to say “The difference between mediocre and great is the attention to detail”. Even though I have not always listened to this advice it helps me tremendously when I want to create something I’ll be proud of later.
Oh…the text! No matter how experienced you are you can always learn a new trick. The glass effect of the lettering was actually a coincidence, a mistake. Yet I loved it so much that I decided to add some sparkles to emphasize it. My last step was to make the ground reflective – another way to make any illustration look more expensive and polished.
Blog covers are something very special – it can make the visitor love or hate the place from the first sight. They are the welcome sign to a blog and the more inviting they are the better. I feel like the visitors of Vanity Afro blog now have one more reason to love this place.
If you’d like to commission me to create an unique fashion illustration for your blog you don’t have to look like a model. Just come with a good idea and a smile :)