Fashion Face: Marker & Colored Pencil

Finished drawing with Black & white accents added

These images are from a class demo I recently did for my Fashion Illustration/Design class at Mt San Antonio College in Walnut, California.

The trick is to have a light touch and build up from light to dark.  Each images is labeled with the materials used.  I always start with a tracing paper “under-drawing” that shows more information than I actually need including all guidelines. The time spent with the underdrawing is essential to solve all the problems BEFORE you start the final rendering stage. Using marker requires you to work fairly fast so the marker remains wet in order to blend it.   I also put a sheet of tracing paper between the underdrawing and the top marker paper as a barrier so the marker does not bleed into the pencil below.  

Supplies used: Bienfang 360 Graphics marker pad, Copic brush tip markers, Prismacolor pencils, Colorless blender. (Note: for the black lines, if you have a “heavy hand” use the Verithin pencils rather than the standard Prismacolor pencils.  They are harder and thinner.)

  1. Copic Markers used in this demo

I use marker first to render as much as possible.  For skin tones I use the same color each time.  As I add additional coats it gets darker.   For darker skintones I start with a medium value brown and build up to the dark darks in the shadows only.   If the color is too dark all over you will not be able to see the black detail lines.

I build up the hair starting from light to dark leaving the white of the paper for highlights. 

I only add pencil after most of the shading is done with the marker. 

I also build up the pencil starting from lightest colors first and adding darker ones for accents.

Black prismacolor pencil is last to make it sparkle

The final touch is white highlights.  These are possible options: white gel pen, white gouache and fine brush, white out pen for larger opaque whites – good for sequins.

UNDER-DRAWING: hard pencil on tracing paper

On marker paper – one color only, build up layers of same color to make darker

Marker Only-Add rendering for hair

Add colored pencil - work from light to dark colors first Add Black pencil & opaque white for "sparkle"


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 FASHION & COSTUME ILLUSTRATION, TEACHING and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fashion Face: Marker & Colored Pencil

  1. Catherine says:


  2. yoantaway says:

    thanks for sharing it! 😀 sooo helpful…. can you upload how to drawing 3 layer clothes? like pants + shirt / blouse + jacket/ vest? i always get confused how to draw 3 layers like that for fashion :S

    • thanks. glad this helps. I am slowly working my way through illustration tips. I will probably continue to post class demos as I do them. Just a note on drawing layered clothing – WORK FROM THE INSIDE OUT. Build the body first, then the understructures like shoulder pads, then depending on how thick the other layers are just add on. Building the body first and getting a good gesture is the key.

  3. This is a really good tutorial.

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