I am currently teaching Visual Merchandising and Display at Mt San Antonio College in Walnut, CA.  We are using Sketch UP Pro to design the displays but I believe it is important for students to learn to SKETCH THEIR IDEAS MANUALLY.  so they are required to carry a 5.5 x 8.5 spiral bound sketchbook with them at all times to sketch their ideas and take notes.  Here is a sample of a sketchbook spread from a trip I took to San Francisco last Christmas.  I was looking at some Macy’s store windows and thinking about how else this idea could be used at another season, other merchandise or another context.  Here is my sketchbook page.   I have also put a SKETCH UP PRO Notes pdf on the Student Resources page here with links to great tutorials.


Sketchbook for Display Design Ideas

If you are like me, you have a number of these pens that seem to be full but don’t work because the tips are clogged.  Well I finally got fed up and decided to try to take one of the tips apart…and yes, I fix my sewing machines too.   So after a bit of trial and error I found the solFixBicPenution….ENJOY.

  1. Unscrew the tip – take a pliers and turn the chrome tip to the left.  As my husband taught me –“righty tighty, lefty loosey”. It will come out.
  2. Pull the clogged part carefully out of the outer tip cover (A)
  3. These parts are VERY small so be careful not to lose any.
  4. Soak in nail polish remover – it will soften the white ink and make it easier to remove.
  5. Carefully pull the interior TIP (B) out of the coil spring (C). 
  6. Use a pin or needle to clean out all the parts. 


Carefully reinsert the pin tip (B) into the spring (C) and push into the outer tip cover (A).

Screw the assembled tip back into the pen – be sure to clean off the top of the pen before reinserting.

Screw all the way in until the pin tip (B) emerges from the chrome tip cover.  Press down on the tip while squeezing the pen to get the ink to flow again through the tip.


Check my other pages on this blog for fashion drawing templates, e-books, and videos resources.

PVAC SignaturesFrontNov13PostcardMy designs will be part of a Gatsby themed Fashion Show this Sunday – Nov 3, 2013

SIGNATURES FASHION SHOW this Sunday at the Palos Verdes Art Center – Tickets still available -$45

Gatsby themed show, dancers, models, Fashion Show, Champagne Luncheon, Boutique – 12:30 – 3pm

FOR TICKETS You may charge tickets by phone by calling The Artists’ Studio Gallery, 424-206-9902,


SheersMarkerPencilProgressionDetailHeadIllustrating Sheers is the same manually as it is using Photoshop.  You still need to think of the layers the way the fabric is put together in the outfit.

  1. Preliminary drawing on tracing paper or temp. layer if using Photoshop.
  2. Skin tone first – all shading complete using marker.
  3. Bottom sheer layer first – use marker and colorless blender.  In Photoshop, use airbrush, and  set opacity from 20% – 30% depending on transparency of fabric.
  4. Pink slip in this illustration is silk charmeuse and so is rather opaque.  the yellow jacket is organza and is sheer.  The light pink skirt added to bottom of slip is chiffon.
  5. White pencil is used to add subtle highlights to layers.  Also to create a gauzy, barrier effect between layers.  In Photoshop set opacity of white layer to 30% and use airbrush.
  6. Work from light to dark adding layers in the order they are on the actual outfit.SheersMarkerPencilProgressionDetailLace
  7. At the end use white gel pen to create white or light color lace, black fine point marker to create black lace.
  8. Use black pencil to indicate seams, fine details, and to hold edges of shapes,

The illustration below shows the complete progression from first sketch to final rendering.




Trying to get some R & R, husband having knee surgery,…maybe dancing soon.  Hope you are all having a great summer.  Here is something to make you happy.  This was done when I was at the Antonio Lopez workshop in the Dominican Republic many years ago.   To get a feel of it, watch the video and listen to the music while drinking a Rum & Coke.   If you close your eyes and let a fan blow on you, you can almost feel the sea breeze.   ENJOY https://vimeo.com/album/2032497/video/46783440


Pastel & charcoal - drawn from live models

Pastel & charcoal – drawn from live models

IMG_2206SmallFileSuccess in drawing high heels depends on the template you are using and your understanding of how the leg and foot work together as the heel height raises.  To help my students understand this, I made this “puppet” style template that you can build yourself.  Notice how the angle of the legs changes as the heel height increases.  The tilt of the pelvis, rib cage and head also changes with the higher heel.

It is important in drawing shoe models to show the leg to the knee to see this relationship.  This template by nature is rather general, so you will have to fine tune the anatomy of the foot drawing for the higher heel.

For more high heel drawing lessons also see my other blog post on the topic


IMG_2207SMallFileFor more “body part” templates also see my E-book – DRAWING FASHION: BODY TEMPLATES.  Sold through my LULU STORE  IMG_2208SMallFile IMG_2210



Just got back from attending the CSA (Costume Society of America) Annual Symposium.

Stayed with some cousins outside of downtown.  Fabulous view of the hills and the Vegas Strip.

The one to the  left is a  view off the Strip from the Tropicana Hotel.

These sketches are with Tombow Pen and Waterbrush on a small sketchpad.



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