How relevant is fashion illustration in today’s design industry? Fans and media love to see a fashion designer’s sketch, but is it really used in the process of putting together a collection? Renaldo Barnette is the answer to that question.
Renaldo has been a professional fashion illustrator hired by brands like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Nicole Miller. While some designers sketch for themselves, others rely on more experienced artists like Renaldo Barnette to specifically express their collection ideas in detail.
Take a look at his illustrations above. Do you see the difference between these and the fanciful images you see in the media? Fashion sketching for the purpose of clothing design is much more detailed. If you ever studied fashion design at a reputable school, these principles are drilled into you for your entire portfolio development.
Your proportions need to be accurate. Even if the typical fashion figure is not realistic to the average human being, your rendering of the clothing needs to be correct to the proportions of the figure you have drawn. An advertising illustration can have a 10” waist with a gigantic ballgown skirt that defies gravity made of mystery space fabric. In the process of design, the drawing of the fabric texture needs to be clear. The movement and weight of the fabrics intended must be accurate. Could a technical designer, draper or pattern maker recreate your look from viewing the sketch?
Almost every “designer” job posting I come across asks for Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or InDesign experience. Tech packs to factories at most major companies require detailed technical flat sketches drawn with mathematical precision (and no personality). Even when I first graduated Parsons School of Design, being a full-time fashion artist was not a career path many could hope to aspire to as the industry made it clear that CAD would be standard. The artistic prints that once were hand-painted in gouache are now completely cut from patterns with “brushstroke” functions in a computer program.
I am so happy to know that classic artistic talent can still result in a successful fashion career in the form of people like RenaldoBarnette. While this may not be a priority in modern fashion programs anymore, the artist is teaching three workshops in fashion drawing starting with the upcoming Saturday. Learn to sketch a collection like a professional.
So are you ready to draw with Renaldo Barnette? Register for his workshop today!