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 time I even feel that I need to explain to the client that the final product will look nothing like this. I just need to get a confirmation that the pose and clothing choice is 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 a unique fashion illustration for your blog you don’t have to look like a model. Just come with a good idea and a smile :)