Fashion Illustration in Adobe Illustrator – Designing a Range of Leggings

by | Mar 5, 2020 | fashion illustration, Season 2 | 1 comment

Digital Fashion illustration in Adobe Illustrator is a fantastic tool to have and something that can speed up your design process immeasurably. In these tutorials, we explore the use of layers, fashion templates, creating illustration outlines, adding design details and then populating them with colour, texture and print. It’s a long course but we cover all of the basics which will be enough to give you a comprehensive understanding of digital fashion illustration in Adobe Illustrator. If you have used Adobe Illustrator in the past, these tools and tricks should be pretty easy to grasp. If you are new to using Adobe Illustrator it can take a bit of time to familiarise yourself. Don’t worry, simply watch each tutorial in sequence. We explain step-by-step how we build our digital fashion illustrations.

Watching the tutorial and working in Adobe Illustrator on the same computer can be tricky. Switching between screens can be a bit of a nightmare. Instead, why not watch the tutorials on a tablet or iPad, place it next to your laptop or computer, open Adobe Illustrator and follow the tutorial, step-by-step. You can pause the tutorial at any time. We’ve found this technique incredibly useful and it reduces the learning curve dramatically.

Digital Fashion Illustration Tutorials

Below, you will find our list of “Digital Fashion Illustration in Adobe Illustrator” tutorials. It’s very simple- start at the top and work your way down the list! Each tutorial is in order the order you should watch it. It is important that you complete each tutorial in order. This will ensure you don’t miss anything crucial. Once you’ve finished all the tutorials, you should have a firm grasp on the basics of creating fashion illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. You can then go on to learn and develop your own skills with your own designs.

That’s pretty much all you need to know so why not give it a shot? Before you know it you’ll be a pro at fashion illustration in Adobe Illustrator!

PART 1 – Using Fashion Templates & Creating a Fashion Illustration Outline

In this tutorial, we take a look at pre-made fashion templates from companies such as Prêt-à-Template. We demonstrate how to resize, adapt and use them to suit our specific project or design needs. Finally, we create the outline layer and discuss why layers are so important for Fashion Illustration in Adobe Illustrator. Visit the Prêt-à-Template site to view their entire range of fashion templates.

PART 2 – Adding Design Details Technique 1 – Using the Pathfinder Tool

In this tutorial, we start to add our design details. These are the panels that are drawn within the outline of the leggings illustration. They make up the various panels or seams of the legging’s design. Later, these panels can be filled with colour, texture or print. There are numerous techniques to create the panels that form the design details layer, however, this tutorial focuses primarily on one technique – using the pathfinder tool.

PART 3 – Adding Design Details Technique 2 – Creating Fillable Panels

This tutorial also focuses on adding design details, however, this time we use a more simplistic approach. We simply draw our design detail panels side-by-side, without the need for the pathfinder tool. This is the most common way to create design details and fillable panels.

PART 4 – Adding Colour, Texture & Print to the Design Details or Panels

In this tutorial, we look at how to apply colour to the panels within the design details layer. We also explain how to create a texture using the repeating elements and the swatches palette. Finally, we explain how to group panels, within the design details layer, to change colour quickly and consistently. It’s a fantastic process that allows you to create hundreds of designs quickly and easily.

PART 5 – Creating a Line-up of Styles, then Batch Adjusting Colour & Textures

In the final tutorial of this series, we explain how to combine our individual fashion illustrations on one art board to create a gorgeous line-up of designs. We also explain how to batch-change colours across all of the fashion illustrations, making it incredibly fast and easy to experiment with colour, texture and print. This allows you to create hundreds of line-up variations in no time at all. This tutorial really demonstrates the power of digital fashion illustration vs hand-drawn or painted fashion illustrations.

Fashion Illustration in Adobe Illustrator – Full Length Video

This video is the full-length version. It features the exact same content but this time without all of the breaks and pauses. Enjoy!


If you do feel there is something that we have left out or you need specific advice then please feel free to comment or ask us a question. There is a comments section at the bottom of each tutorial. Adding comments or asking questions is a great way for the community to learn together and get answers to similar issues.

1 Comment

  1. Echo

    This is fantastic! Thank you so much!! You are a wonderful teacher!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This