Category Archives: illustration tips

How to Draw Fashion Illustration: Fashion Figure 101

fashion sketching 101, how to draw fashion illustrationHow to Draw Fashion Illustration: Fashion Figure 101

People often email me or DM on Instagram with questions about how to draw fashion illustration, fashion figures and drawing techniques. Instead of answering same questions over and over again, I will share some tips and tricks here. As soon as you know the basics, everything will be so much easier. Hope you’ll find it fun and helpful! I also posted some videos of creating a fashion figure on Instagram @dcinstyle

There is no THE RIGHT WAY nor THE ONLY WAY to draw a fashion figure. Every artist has his/her own particular style so don’t be intimidated by the variety of tutorials and different techniques. All you need is to learn the basics and choose the technique that works for you.

It’s important to first understand the human body, how it moves, and how it is shaped so you can create realistic looking sketches.

There is a big difference between real human body proportions and fashion illustration proportions. If you measure a figure in heads, an average female figure will be 8 heads tall (example below). In fashion illustration we change the proportions to make the figure look taller and it can become 8-10 heads. Every illustrator adds their own style. Some artists exaggerate proportions to make their sketches stand up and be recognizable. fashion sketching 101, how to draw fashion illustration, fashion illustration techniques, fashion illustration tutorialfashion sketching 101, how to draw fashion illustration, fashion illustration techniques

Here is a simple formula that I use to draw a fashion illustration


Paper, Pencil, Sharpener, Eraser, Colored pencils or markers

Step 1

Draw 9 inch vertical line -so it’s easy to divide it into 9 parts – it will be the balance line

Step 2:

Divide the line into 9 equal parts (each part will be the size of the head)

At the beginning you can use a ruler but after some practice you will feel pretty confident and will draw without ithow to draw fashion figureStep 3

At the top (part1) draw a head (egg/oval shape)

Step 4

Now lets find the lines for the neck, bust, waist, hips, crotch, knees and ankles.

1 1/3 heads -the neck and shoulder line

2 1/4 heads -bust line

3 heads – waist and elbow line

4 heads- hips line

4 1/4 -crotch line

6 heads-knees

8 heads -ankles

Step 5

Shoulders will be about 1 1/2 -2 heads wide

The waist is 1 head wide

Hips -1 1/4 heads wide

Draw the figure, don’t pay attention to rough lines, when the proportions are correct, make the lines smooth.

Step 6

Draw the legs and leave the last part for the feet.

The thighs (from hips to knee) and the calves (from knee to ankle) are the same length

Step 7

Draw the arms-elbows are at the waist line (3 heads)

Hand starts at the crotch area and ends a little above the mark 5

fashion sketching 101, how to draw fashion illustration, fashion illustration techniques, fashion tutorialHope this tutorial was helpful, please let me know if you have any questions and what would you like to learn in my next post





Coffee Painting Tutorial

Though I’m a tea person, I really enjoy occasional coffee breaks:) The aroma of morning coffee always drives me crazy, I’m sure there are many coffee lovers who can relate. That’s why todays post is all about coffee and how to paint with it.

coffee painting tutorial by Elena Fay

coffee painting tutorial

 I’ve been planning to share this fun tutorial with you since I created my first coffee illustration. I didn’t think you’d be interested but when I started posting Instagram stories, many of you have asked about coffee painting tips, so here it is!

Believe it or not, it’s really easy to paint with coffee, all you need is some coffee mixed with water, watercolor paper, brushes and container with clean water. There is no real difference between instant coffee or freshly brewed coffee, so don’t worry about buying expensive coffee beans.
Use less water for darker hues and more water for light hues. For really strong dark tones mix some instant coffee into a very thick paste.

1. I usually begin with light pencil sketch on a paper, when it’s done, I start adding some color. how to paint with coffee tutorial2. Painting with coffee is pretty much the same as painting with watercolors. Start with lighter shades and then add more layers for darker hues. Wait until the layer is dry before adding another onecoffee art by Elena Fay3. If you added too much dark hues to the area that should be light, just add a few drops of water to the spot or wet the area with clean moist brush, wait for a few seconds and dap with paper towel or a tissue. Some areas of your coffee painting will be shiny and I really love that effect! how to paint with coffee step by stepunique coffee artwork by Elena Fay

how to paint with coffee tips and tricks by Elena FayDon’t be afraid to experiment, leave some light areas and make dark rich spots, add big pretty coffee splatters and have fun during the process!
Just a few tips: coffee can be hard on your brushes so take care of them and wash them well when you are done painting.
So if you find yourself without your favorite watercolors but your really really want to paint, coffee will be the best alternative!
Hope you like this tutorial and if you have any questions leave a comment, I’ll be happy to chat!

Monday Coffee

coffee painting, coffee illustration, fashion illustration, coffee artHappy Monday loves, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Coffee is always a good idea especially on Monday morning, right? Here is another coffee illustration I painted earlier today and I wanted to share step by step of my work process (you can find more coffee paintings in this post).

coffee painting, coffee illustration, fashion illustration, coffee artI usually start with light pencil sketchcoffee painting, coffee illustration, fashion illustration, coffee artThen I start applying coffee-pretty similar to watercolor painting process- always start with light areas step by step painting, how to paint with coffeehow to paint with coffee, how to paint fashion illustration When light areas are painted, I do darker coffee mix in a spoon (you don’t need a lot of it) and do some dark lines for the contrast.
coffee painting, coffee illustration, fashion illustration, coffee artAnd to make the illustration more interesting I add some coffee splatters. I take big brush, dip it in a coffee so there is a large glob and flick my arm until I get nice splatters. coffee painting, coffee illustration, fashion illustration, coffee artThanks a lot for reading and I would love to hear about your work process!



“When in Doubt, Wear Red”/Fashion Illustration & Linkup

fashion illustration, watercolor illustration, red gown painting, gorgeous model painting, art by Elena Fay“When in doubt, wear red.” Bill Blass

  I can’t agree more with this statement! Every time I wear red or paint gorgeous red gowns, I feel a great boost of energy and self esteem. This illustration was inspired by stunning Michael Costello gown (you can find the video of work in progress on my Instagram).

I always post my looks for Monday Bloom linkup, but I’m still in a 4th of July mood and thought that this colorful sketch would be perfect!

fashion illustration, watercolor illustration, red gown painting, gorgeous model painting, art by Elena Fayfashion illustration, watercolor illustration, red gown painting, gorgeous model painting, art by Elena Fayfashion illustration, watercolor illustration, red gown painting, gorgeous model painting, art by Elena Fay

<div align="center"><a href="" title="DCinStyle" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="DCinStyle" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Are you ready for a Monday Bloom LINK-UP party? Rules are very easy:

1. Link to your latest outfit posts, not your blog’s main page.

2. Include a link to DC in Style somewhere in your post.

3 Meet amazing people and have fun!!!

How to Illustrate with Watercolors:: Favorite Art Supplies

watercolor illustrations, fashion illustrations, sketches, art by Elena FayFirst of all, thank you everyone for your lovely comments and emails about my illustrations, your kind words always brighten up my day and make me smile. I know some of you are interested in learning more about watercolor paintings, hope you will like my new illustration series where I’ll be talking about the media I use, things that inspire me and the creative process. The techniques that you will learn are the ones I use on a daily basis for my projects. These posts would be great for anyone who loves to draw pretty things. I hope you’ll enjoy it and will be able to apply these skills to your own projects. Would love to answer all your questions so don’t hesitate to ask anything in the comments!!!

Этот пост я хочу начать со слов благодарности за ваши добрые комментарии и письма.  Спасибо вам огромное за теплые слова из самых разныз уголков земли,  я просто расплываюсь в улыбке от каждого сообщения и хочется создавать все больше и больше иллюстраций. Спасибо что поддерживаете и вдохновляете! Многие из вас неоднократно спрашивали меня о процессе работы и материалах которые я использую для своих иллюстраций, я наконец то решила начать серию постов где я подробнее буду рассказывать о своих рисунках. Надеюсь вам будет интересно и вы сможете применить какие то методы и для своих проектов.  Не стесняйтесь задавать вопросы в комментариях.


It’s very important to get the right tools, otherwise you will be disappointed in the result and will never try again. Here are the art supplies I really like. What I’ve learned is a good watercolor paper is a key to a satisfying work, no matter how hard I’ve tried, cheap paper literally made me cry. I didn’t want to paint again but after trying Arches paper pad (here and here) I can’t go back to smth else. For my fashion illustrations I love using hot press paper because of its smooth surface and for abstract work I prefer cold press paper with rough texture.

  Очень важно подобрать правильные материалы иначе разочарование просто напросто сотрет желание продолжать работать. Эти материалы я использую практически для всех своих проектов. Я на своем опыте выучила что бумага плохого качества может довести до слез, как бы аккуратно я не работала кистью, все время появлялись комочки и катышки,  бумага бугрилась кукожилась и в конце концов рисунок летел в мусорное ведро. Для своих иллюстраций я использую бумагу с гладкой поверхностью Arches paper pad (здесь and здесь) и более грубую для абстрактных работ.watercolor paper, art supplies, favorite art supplies, how to illustrate with watercolorsIt’s great to have brushes in different sizes, I mostly work with 3 brushes, size 0, 3 and 9. // Я в основном использую 3 кисти-размер 0, 3, 9

I really love M. Graham tube watercolor paints, they are a little bit pricy (here on sale) so I switched to these tube paints // Мне очень нравятся M Graham краски но они довольно таки дорогие поэтому я перешла на более доступные по цене краски

watercolor paper, art supplies, favorite art supplies, how to illustrate with watercolorsFaber-Castell Artist Pens & Micron Permanent Pens (whichever size you prefer)favorite supplies for illustrator

Folding palette for tube watercolors is perfect for traveling (you can find it at any art supplies store) favorite illustration supplies

Martha Stewart Craft Glitters

Martha Stewart crafts glue pen

embellished artwork, glitters for painting, how to work with glittersembellished artwork, glitters for painting, how to work with glittersHope you liked the post, have a beautiful day!!!