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Learn Digital Fashion Illustration in Adobe Illustrator for FREE!
We’ve had so much love online and so many requests in response to our existing fashion illustration tutorials that we thought we’d expand the range! We’ve now created a whole series of in-depth video tutorials that showcase the various methods used to create detailed professional fashion illustrations using Adobe Illustrator. Like all our tutorials, they’re completely free to watch. We don’t ask you to subscribe or sign up- just click the video to watch!
Fashion illustration is a highly subjective matter. There are hundreds of different illustration styles out there and most are based on a person’s experience and ability to draw freehand. With this in mind, we’ve attempted to take the pain out of digital fashion illustration by creating a series of tutorials that demonstrate fashion illustration techniques in Adobe Illustrator. You don’t need any prior experience of Adobe Illustrator and you certainly don’t need to be a talented free-hand or fashion specific illustrator. We source, copy/paste and trace face and body images found on the internet using the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator. When tracing real imagery, it produces fantastic realistic results in a fraction of the time, leaving you more time to perfect your actual garment designs.
First, we demonstrate how to illustrate the face, we then add skin tone, makeup, hairstyles and then illustrate a series of body poses. Finally, we show you how to piece all of these separate elements together, giving you the potential to create hundreds of different fashion templates, ready for your garment designs. Once again, you don’t need any prior experience using either Adobe Illustrator or freehand drawing and the course is completely free to watch.
This digital fashion illustration course is designed to fill in the blanks of our existing courses and answer some of the questions that our followers have asked over recent months. We hope you enjoy the content and learn something truly valuable.
We love hearing from you! If you enjoy our content, please share it with your friends and leave us a comment. Likewise, if you have any issues with the techniques taught or you have time-saving tricks that could help our followers then once again, please leave a comment- we can always create a new tutorial to showcase the concept and we’ll also tag you in to say thanks!
Download the Fully-Editable Fashion Illustration Template Pack!
If you love the fashion illustrations and elements that we’ve created, you can now purchase the fully-editable fashion illustration template pack from our sister site, DesignLab.London. Click below to view the product on the DesignLab.London site. This fashion Illustration template pack gives you access to all our fully-editable illustrations, templates, and content that we’ve created whilst producing these tutorials. The pack took weeks to produce and will save you weeks of work, allowing you to concentrate on what’s important-your fashion designs. Click the image for an overview or click the button to purchase the pack.
FREE Digital Fashion Illustration Tutorials
Part 1 – Face & Portrait Illustration
Create detailed illustrations of the face without any prior experience of free-hand drawing or Adobe Illustrator. Learn how to copy, paste and accurately trace the outline and details of the face from portrait imagery found online. Learn how to transform or mirror image the finished illustration to speed up the process and create symmetrical face illustrations. Finally, learn how to stylise the finished illustration using line widths, skin tones and colour fills.
Part 2 – Adding Makeup Concepts
Design and apply your own makeup concepts to your existing portrait illustrations. Learn how to add blocks or colour, experiment with transparency, and apply a range of filters to create soft subtle layers of colour that complement and enhance the skin tone. A compact, fun tutorial that showcases a very powerful and useful set of tools. It’s a firm favourite of ours!
Part 3 – Illustrating Hair Styles
Create hair templates from scratch to radically transform the look and identity of your portrait illustrations. Learn how to map the initial hair outline, add hair strands with stylised line art, create colour layers, and finally adapt each hairstyle to suit each portrait illustration or face shape. It’s a long process, but once you have a range of hairstyle it dramatically increases the number of different portrait styles that can be created.
Part 4 – Illustrating the Body
Learn how to create a range of beautiful body illustrations, poses or fashion templates to go with your portraits, makeup and hairstyles. This is the final piece in the puzzle when it comes to creating your own professional fashion templates. Similar to Part 1, we demonstrate how to copy/paste and accurately trace the outline and details of the body from high-resolution swimwear or lingerie imagery found online. Next, you will learn how to add depth and texture to the illustration using line widths, and skin tone. Finally, we demonstrate how to add a simple garment layer such as a swimsuit or activewear.
Part 5 – Creating Model Templates & Digitising Hand-Drawn Fashion Illustrations
In this tutorial, we demonstrate how to create and print transparent model templates from your existing face, hair and body illustrations. These model templates are then printed on to A4 and used as templates to sketch a range of designs. Once the designs are finalised, we scan them back into Adobe Illustrator and once more trace or transform them into beautiful digital fashion Illustrations.
Part 6 – Adding Colour, Print & Texture to your Digital Fashion Illustrations
The moment you’ve all been waiting for! In this tutorial, we demonstrate how bring your black and white digital fashion illustrations to life by adding colour, print and texture using the eyedropper, clipping mask and swatch tools. It’s possibly the most interesting and fun tutorial out of the whole range… Enjoy!
More FREE Fashion Illustration Courses & Tutorials
Why not check out our other FREE fashion illustration tutorials. We’ve got a whole series of courses that will help improve your skills and knowledge about digital fashion illustration in Adobe Illustrator. Take your pick from the course outlined below!
Technical drawing – Fashion Illustration
Learn how to create professional technical drawings to accompany your fashion illustrations. Watch this 5 part FREE fashion illustration course. It’s a must-see!
Legging Design – Fashion Illustration
Learn how to design a collection of leggings in Adobe Illustrator, using pre-made fashion templates from Pret-a-Template.
Hi! Thank you so much for the tutorials!
I am just struggling with the clipping mask. It doesn’t want to work.. throws out an error: “The selection cannot contain objects within different groups unless the entire group is selected” I’m doing everything exactly like in your video..what am I missing?
Thank you again for the great free content!
It sounds like you are trying to create a clipping mask using objects that are within different groups. Use the big selection tool (black arrow) select all of the items that you wish to put inside the clipping mask including the mask itself and hit SHIFT+CMD+G a few times to ungroup all of the elements. Click away off the items to unselect them, then reselect them using the big selection tool. Finally, right click and make clipping mask. This should work. Good luck!
I am appriciate your work in fashion illustration. thanks
Thanks! You’re very welcome.
To get a detailed knowledge of tracing and image copying, go on and practice with tracing facial features by finding portrait images and copying it. To produce symmetrical face drawings, learn how to convert or mirror image the completed picture in order to speed up the process. After all of that, you should know how to finish it off by doing things like differentiating between body lines, colors, and tones.
Well said! That’s pretty much it. Practise makes perfect!
you explain better than my faculty at college
Thank you! That’s really kind of you to say!
Hi Frank, just going over your tutorials in illustrator, wondered did you do a tutorial on setting up a work space for fashion illustration with new tools, etc like you did in Patterncutting? Or do I just need to open from file/ new A4 to get started
Hi Indira, Ralph here…. We do not have a tutorial for setting up a workspace specifically for Fashion illustration in Adobe, however, we use pretty much the same tools as the Pattern making tutorials. Enjoy!
Are you courses suitable for knitwear?
If you’re talking about our fashion illustration courses, then yes absolutely. You can apply the same tools and illustration concepts to knitwear or any other form of garment.
Hi I have an old sell laptop cba I use that laptop to learn
That’s the spirit! 😉
well explained thanks
I have a windows laptop not Mac so will I be able to use ur template on that
Yes absolutely. Adobe Illustrator works on both Mac and Pc.
Great tutorials in video, thanks for sharing.
No problem at all. I’m glad you liked it!
can we download free templates??
Thank You Very Mach, I am even Marvelous great Teacher
It Marvelous Thank u very much, great Teacher, even the way to take your time, step by step.
No worries at all. You’re very welcome, i’m glad you enjoyed the tutorials.
Wowwwww!!!! I’ve just completed my first watch of each tutorial, took me a week but this was really mind-blowing!
to think that I have studied fashion and struggled with my hand-drawn figurines? I cast my passions aside. These tutorials
has actually given me re-knewed hope …if I can learn them fast enough…..
I noticed or did I miss it? The tutorials weren’t set up in a way so as to teach a complete beginner the ‘TOOLS’ like it was in
pattern cutting with the CUTTING TABLE.
Some of the tools I didn’t understand it what it was or where to find it…. Any thoughts? In order to practice I would need to
acquire AI? Is through subscription the best way?
Thank you so much
Thanks for your message! You’re very welcome, I’m glad you like the tutorials! The tutorials are designed for beginners, but sometimes, because I have been using Ai for soo many years I do tend to miss or skip things especially the more basic tools. I would recommend watching the pattern-making in Adobe Illustrator tutorial as a good introduction to more basic tools. The best way to get Adobe is through a monthly subscription which is not too expensive if you use it regularly like me. The more you use Adobe Illustrator the better you will get and the more understanding of the tools they provide. It’s a great journey and you can create some amazing things with their software. Good luck!
These Tutorials are just amazing!
Thank you so much
You’re very welcome!
great guide on Digital Fashion Illustration in Adobe Illustrator
Thank you soo much! We’ve got more tutorials on this topic coming very soon!
Hi, Do you have a pack for mens illustration?
Unfortunately, at this time we don’t, however, once we release our menswear blocks we will create a tutorial for menswear fashion illustration. It’s important to mention that the techniques demonstrated in these tutorials can also be applied to menswear. Just use A man’s face, body, hair etc.
love your videos
please make a video on How to draw denim jacket on Illustrator
Hi Rabez, we’ll add it to the list!
I am broke and can’t afford to download adobe illustrator
There are other free platforms available such as Inkscape which will allow you to edit our digital patterns. Our tutorials are not designed to work with Inkscape, however, the tools are very similar which means with a bit of experimentation you should be able to follow them in Inkscape.
I have been sewing clothes from existing patterns for a long time and every now and then I design something myself. I am ready for the next step. I am learning Illustrator and would like to design my own patterns. In my search I saw your website. What an eye opener. I have already learned so much from your courses. I will now get started with my digital designs and the next step will be to design a digital pattern that I can sew. Keep up the good work. Thank you! Tamara Koster from the Netherlands
Amazing! I didn’t use Illustration for a year and a half as a student of fashion design and now I can recall a lot of them and learn new things with your help. Thank you so much for doing this! Bless your talent!
No Problem at all. You’re very welcome!
I love your tutorials I want to continue learning from you, I am very interested in graphic design I would like to learn to create swimsuits and sportswear for both women and men your ability to teach is and your patience and talent is inspiring thanks for your work . I know I will reach my goal and with your support I am definitely will. I congratulate you on your good work and talent.
Thank you Sergio. I’m glad you are learning so much! There is a lot more to come! We’re about to launch a very in-depth series of fashion illustration tutorials. Hopefully, it’ll be the last ones we need ever create. Keep an eye on social media to see updates.
This is fantastic! Thank you so much!! You are a wonderful teacher!