Book Review: Fashion Illustration for Designers

For some time I had this idea for a fashion illustration book review in my head but was wondering where to begin from. So many fashion books in the library and at least half of them are great ones! Finally, I decided to start from the very beginning – the book that changed my life and fashion drawing in the most significant way. Enjoy reading the review for the amazing book by Kathryn Hagen- “Fashion Illustration for Designers”


Book Review: Fashion Illustration for Designers 1 Fashion Croquis and Drawing Tutorials
Book Review: Fashion Illustration for Designers 2 Fashion Croquis and Drawing Tutorials


When you first see this book you’re like: “Wow! It’s huge!”.

With its over 600 pages this book is definitely one of the heaviest fashion books I own.
From the first sight, you notice how rich of illustrations this book is – at least 4-5 per page.


The book covers pretty much everything you need to know. Covers not only a wide range of fashion drawing tips but also explains how to collect layouts and picture references talks about managing the composition and how to work with Photoshop. How to pick the best pose to present the garment you’re drawing and how to organize a fashion portfolio. There are also many exercises to help you practice your new skills.


• Hand tools
Talks about the advantages and disadvantages of different drawing medias such as: Crayons, Markers, Watercolors, Gouache…..

Fashion Heads
Step by step guides on how to draw fashion heads in different positions and from different races. How to draw eyes, hair, noses, and mouth.

Fashion Hands and Fashion Legs
Covers the structure of the arms and hand; explains how to draw feet from the back, side, front and ¾ view

Fashion poses
Shows an excellent technique to develop every possible pose you can ever have in mind.

How to draw clothes
Chapters on how to draw swimsuit, dresses and skirts, tops, trousers, tailoring, gowns, and layers of clothing. Lace, ruffles, prints, folds, stripes, transparent fabrics, sequins….it’s a long list

How to draw a male fashion figure, face, and clothing.

Kids and Teens
How to draw kids of different ages. Specifics in choosing the pose and attitude for kidswear and how to draw teens –proportions and tricks.

Understanding of designing:
Insider’s tips on the fashion business and managing the workflow. How to define your customer and design for her/him. How to create a stunning portfolio layout.

Valuable basic tips on how to use the computer to improve the look of your sketches. Shows also some digital effects and tricks

This is the book I learned a lot about coloring. Actually my whole coloring technique is based on the rules shown here. You can read more about the coloring materials that I use in this post.


Apart from the precious step by step tips that can really guide you through the process I need to mention that every time I open this book a huge wave of inspiration gets onto my head. The illustrations are so beautiful that you can’t just stand like this – you feel an urge to grab a pencil and improve your skills like immediately!


I was obsessed with this book for a long time before buying it. More than 5 years after I bought it I still look into and find something I haven’t seen. It’s just full of precious gems. See by yourself how talented the author is in creating breathtaking fashion illustrations:



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  2. Hey Sally,
    You won’t regret if you’re buying this book. It’s really great. I am 100% sure that the DVD comes with the 2004 edition, but look at the description of the book in Amazon (or wherever you decided to purchase from). They should have mentioned that there’s a DVD included…

  3. thank you for the review. i was loooking up the book and it looked really good. hoping on buying it. :lol: :lol: 8) ;-) :-*

    and does it come with a dvd?

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