Drawing Le Femme Fatale


Daniella as Cruella

Cruella de Vil, the fictional character and the primary villain in Dodie Smith‘s 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, is also portrayed in all her evil glory in Disney’s 1961 animated film adaptation and subsequent live-action films.  You can read up on her full history in Wikipedia.

 The eyes, emphasized by extreme eye make up, are the primary expression of evil for most portraits of this kind of character.  Her eyes, half closed and predatory, she usually is shown with a slight smile.  Shown here is a breakdown of the fashion eye and how it works for the stylized eye of the fashion femme fatale.


The illustrations shown here were drawn at The Drawing Club from my favorite model Daniella dressed as Cruella.  They were drawn on 18″ x 24″ heavy white drawing paper with Tombow Pens and waterbrush

 I tried to imagine her as a 1950’s era fashion plate although I am sure Peta would have had a fit over that.  Artists in the entertainment design industry might find the kind of stylization fashion illustrators use helpful in drawing these femme fatales.


About Justine Limpus Parish

Associate Professor - Art Center College of Design apparel design - Product Design Dept. costume design - Entertainment Design Dept Fashion Instructor: Mt San Antonio College Workshop instructor: Disney Consumer Products
This entry was posted in ENTERTAINMENT DESIGN, FASHION & COSTUME ILLUSTRATION and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Drawing Le Femme Fatale

  1. Loretta Phipps says:

    Justine these are just fabulous. Your view toward illustration is wonderful. I personally cannot draw but I wish I could. I can draw just enough to get my idea on paper but it also takes some written notes to explain my idea further. At least I can understand them. Loretta

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