This week, New York City-based fashion illustrator Brooke Hagel shares her bridal illustration process. Enjoy!
Hello, I’m Brooke Hagel, a freelance fashion illustrator with two successful Etsy shops, Brooklit and BrooklitBride, that I run from my home based in New York City. The vast majority of my custom commissions are bridal illustrations that friends and family give as wedding and/or anniversary gifts to brides.
For the past few years my marker of choice has been Copic and I was thrilled when Copic contacted me contribute to their blog. I also author my own blog about fashion illustration called Fabulous Doodles. Here’s a breakdown of how my illustration process and how I use my Copic brush tip markers.
All my artwork starts off with a detailed pencil sketch. Here I decide what the bride will look like, determine the pose that best flatters her gown silhouette and add all of the appropriate details and accessories. The pencil sketch is the ground work that I build upon with my markers. Once the sketch is perfected I take a kneaded eraser and basically erase the whole thing to color. I leave just faint lines so I can see where to apply color. I keep the whole under-sketch light because any dark lines that are there will just be intensified once the marker ink is on top of it.
The next step is my favorite, this is where I take my Copic markers and apply the color and shading. I pretty much solely use the brush tip end of the marker. With this tip you can create a heavy saturated look by pressing hard, pulling the color up and releasing it for a painterly effect. You can also create shadows by adding second coats of the marker. The layers of marker ink work as though it’s a second coat of paint and the color becomes significantly more saturated. Besides multiple coats of the same color, I also use varying shades of a color to create more depth. You can see examples of this in how I rendered the hair and wedding gown. For the hair I used two different browns (E59 and E49), and with the dress I used two different gray values (C1 and C2) to create the folds and shadows.
Once all the color and shadows have been rendered with my Copics, I finish off the illustration with a white charcoal pencil to add some highlights and a cool gray 90% colored pencil to outline.
Now the illustration is finished and ready to ship out to clients, be added to my bridal print shop or framed! I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Have a happy wedding season, and hopefully you can try out some on my illustration techniques on the brides in your life.
For this bridal illustration I used the following Copic markers:
C1 Cool Gray No.1 (dress)
C2 Cool Gray No.2 (dress)
100 Black (sash)
E53 Raw Silk (skin tone)
E59 Walnut (hair)
E49 Dark Bark (hair shadows)
BG93 Green Gray (leaves)
RV000 Pale Purple (flowers)
Find Brooke on the web:
Blog: Fabulous Doodles
Etsy Shops: Brooklit & Brooklit Bride
Facebook: Fan Page