Fashion Illustration Courses and Classes

Training in fashion illustration can lead to numerous fashion-related careers. Learn more about this class, and read descriptions of courses commonly included in a training program.

Essential Information

Fashion illustration courses are often required in fashion design, illustration or photography degree and certificate programs. There are generally no prerequisites for these courses when taken within a formal program. In rare instances, individuals can learn fashion illustration through continuing education programs at a fashion school or university.

Here is an outline of common concepts taught in fashion illustration courses:

  • Drawing methods
  • Figure drawing
  • Human anatomy
  • Garment rendering
  • Textile movement
  • Digital illustration
  • Fashion for the male form
  • Portfolio development

Fashion illustration courses teach students to create images of apparel, shoes and accessories for fashion advertising campaigns, pattern books, catalogs, magazines and other fashion media. Coursework emphasizes drawing methods, such as proportion, color, texture and composition. Students may need to purchase a variety of supplies, such as a sketchbook, colored pencils, design markers, colored paper, glue or tape, and more.

List of Classes

Fashion Illustration I

This introductory course introduces basic illustration styles and techniques to aspiring fashion illustrators. Students work on the drawing, sketching and textile rendering skills needed to create illustrations on both male and female figures. The emphasis of introductory courses is on basic anatomy, drawing proportion and composition. Most beginning courses also introduce students to the computer software used by professional illustrators.

Fashion Illustration II

Students in advanced fashion illustration courses build off the foundational skills they acquired in basic courses to create more complex illustrations. After mastering basic composition and proportion, advanced students pay more attention to detail and texture. Advanced students also study body movement and how it affects garments on the models. Higher-level illustration courses often cover computer-aided design in greater depth than introductory courses.

Digital Fashion Illustration

Oftentimes, fashion degree programs offer a separate fashion illustration course focusing solely on digital illustration. In this case, students mix the composition and proportion skills they developed in introductory classes with new computer-aided fashion illustration skills. Instructors guide students in computer software programs, like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, to manipulate fashion photographs and create new images.

Menswear Fashion Illustration

Since fashion illustration courses tend to devote a disproportionate amount of time to the female figure, women's clothing, accessories and jewelry, some schools offer menswear illustration courses for students who aspire to work for a menswear or mixed clothing line. Students study the male form in great detail, paying particular attention to the way clothing is affected by muscle movement.

Fashion Illustration III

This advanced fashion illustration course typically requires development of a professional portfolio. Students can hone their individual styles or explore the most current fashion trends. The work of famous fashion illustrators may also be examined.

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