Top 20 Illustrations by David Downton

David Downton’s fashion illustrations are one of the most recognizable in the industry. His art easily captures the eye with in colors and shapes that don’t follow rules or trends. Born in London, Downton explores the world of fashion starting at the Paris couture shows. He illustrates Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, many other portraits and all this in his incredible passionate style. His work and life are inspiration for all young fashion designers and I’m happy to share with you some of his best artwork:

Top 20 Fashion Illustrations by David Downton:

Stella Tennant

Here is an example of the power of simplicity he uses in his drawings. With just one line David Downton draws a profile of a face, no shades needed, no colors, no details. A portrait that describes both the artist and the women he illustrates.


Illustration by: David Downton

Iman, 1999

Same here! Elegance, emotions, and style combined in one! Using only three colors and outlining the figure, Downton highlights the eyes with details of an intense look. He adds a light with one line and with this, the illustration is perfectly done!


Illustration by: David Downton


Watercolors! David Downton uses two opposite techniques here-thick, solid black line and blended, smooth technique for the skin.


Illustration by: David Downton


Everyone knows Versace, but no one sees it like David Downton! It seems like David Downton takes advantage of all shades of grey to illustrate this gorgeous Versace dress. The artist is shows a monochromatic illustration that feels alive.


Illustration by: David Downton

Donatella Versace

One of the world’s most stylish women, illustrated by one of the world’s most passionate artists! Thin line for the shape, thick line for the shade. Brilliant!


Illustration by: David Downton

Dior Couture, 2006

White face on black paper is an art approach you can’t help falling in love with. Dior presented by the London artist Downton! Not too much, not too intense.


Illustration by: David Downton

Dior Couture, 2009

Power in black and white, power in silhouette, power of the unfinished work! We have Dior, we have David Downton and we don’t need two eyes to see the majesty of these two!


Illustration by: David Downton


Red is always a good idea! Especially when it’s Valentino, illustrated by David Downton. Notice how light the skintone of the model is. This allows the red dress to be the highlight of the illustration.


Illustration by: David Downton

Valentino Couture, 2005

The position of the body, the design of the dress, the colors, the line, the accessories. It all screams “Wow!”. Dynamic poses like this one can help your fashion designs look exciting, fresh and wild.


Illustration by: David Downton

Valentino Couture, 2018

A gorgeous example of contrast used in fashion illustration. You can notice the contrast between the vivid, solid color of the belt and the soft, muted colors of the rest. The second contrast game we see here is between color and lineart.


Illustration by: David Downton


In fashion illustration you can use the color of the paper for your designs. David Downtown added just a few lines to make this yellow dress gain shape and texture. Notice that thin lines are used for the print while thick lines outline the dress silhuette.


Illustration by: David Downton

Anna Piaggi, 2000

This one is something big! Detailed and expressive fashion illustration that not everyone has the passion to make! A take away from this image is that you can use your brush strokes to create effortless shapes.


Illustration by: David Downton


Black for the shape, black for the eye, red for the shadow. The illustrator lets out imagination finish the details of the face.


Illustration by: David Downton

Love YSL

Composition and balance make this illustration so pure. On the left side, we see a silhouette of a woman’s face in black and white. On the right side, there is “Love”! on hot pink background. We call it a fashion love letter illustration by our favorite David Downton!


Illustration by: David Downton

Lily Cole

David Downtown captured the essence of his muse. When you draw the faces of your models, try to go for emotional state that corresponds to the design you’re illustrating.


Illustration by: David Downton

Lily Cole, 2005

The woman on the left is detailed while the woman in the back is just outlined. Both of them so perfectly placed to create a balanced composition.


Illustration by: David Downton

My Theresa

Half a face, half a body! There is only one color that appears on the upper side of the illustration and nothing more needed. The free line for the clothes, the black, and the grey color are balanced to create an illusion of shadow.


Illustration by: David Downton

Cate Blanchett, 2009

What a look! The black background, the yellow shade in the hair, and even the hair over the face of the model – all is used to bring focus to the gorgeous blue eyes.


Illustration by: David Downton

100 Years

David Downton is just a magician! This stunning artwork is the cover image of the famous book “100 years of Fashion” by Cally Blackman. I want to bring you attention to the way white color was used to create the illusion of luxe and light.


Illustration by: David Downton

Absolut Downton

Another stunning fashion illustration that shows that you don’t need to draw every tiny detail to create an impact. Choose your lines wisely.


Illustration by: David Downton

David Downtown artwork is like a story about the power of contrasts. Line vs color. Thick vs thin lines. Realism vs no details. I hope you will use this in your next fashion illustration.

His skills to draw outstanding faces make the illustrations special. Leaving your sketch with a blank face is not the way to go if you want to create strong, memorable artwork. If drawing beautiful faces is something you need some help check out my online course “How to draw faces” . You will see significant improvement in the first days!

For more inspiration check the other “TOP 20” articles here.

CC-BY-NC 4.0. Share and re-use for non-commercial purposes only.
Always give attribution and a link to I Draw Fashion.

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