The Galway Girl

The process of drawing the Best Dressed winner Lisa Mc Gowan

Oh such a delay in getting this posted!…….As you know, I love watching the style at the races and it doesn’t get much bigger than the Galway Race Festival. I was delighted to see Lisa Mc Gowan winning the Best Dressed at the festival, in a dress which she designed with the help of Shauna Fay for her clothes collection beautifully named “Strawberry & Lime.” Her hat was designed by the Marie Claire Millinery.

Lisa Lust List, Galway Races, Bes Dressed
Lisa Lust List at the Galway Races

Many of you have seen a lot of my work and I often get questions about how I create them, so I thought I would share a glimpse of how I create all my illustrations. Everything I draw starts out with my trusted pencil, they are all drawn by hand. Looking at photographs, I usually sketch some rough posture drawings to decide what pose I am going to use, but sometimes I jump straight in and it works out first time. These are rare occasions but thats exactly how this illustration came to life! I have added a photo of an example of roughs from my sketchbook from another client.

Sketchbook, fashion illustration, example, quick sketch
Sketchbook Rough Work

Choosing the posture can depend on what features of the outfit I want to emphasis. In this case I wanted to show off the full flowing skirt. Once I have an idea of what posture I am going to draw, I just start sketching. The looser the drawing the more life and character in it, this is exactly what I look to achieve.

Rough sketch, fashion illustration, sketchbook, Lisa Lust List, Galway Ladies Day 2016, work in progress
Rough Sketch

When I am happy with the rough sketch I then create another clean-up drawing of the rough sketch. This is generally done using a light box (like a classical animators table). The more detail you add here and the cleaner the lines the better!!! The challenge is to keep the character of the rough drawing and not to stiffen the lines.

Lisa Lust List, Ladies Day, Galway Races, Fashion Illustration, Fashion Sketch
Clean up drawing of Lisa Lust List

When the clean up drawing is complete I than scan it on to my computer. I then edit the lines, add, take away, fill in or rub out certain elements in Adobe Photoshop. I have a Wacom graphic tablet, which I use for all my digital elements. When I am happy with the outline, I then transfer the image over the Adobe Illustrator, where I start the painting process.

Lisa Lust List, Galway Races, Best Dressed, Linda Byrne, Fashion sketch, Fashion Illustration , Drawing.
Clean outline after using Adobe Photoshop

The digital painting process is the same as hand painting, work from dark colours to light, from broad to particular. The hardest aspect can be choosing a colour palette that will work in harmony together. The image below has the basic colour added.

Lisa Lust List, Drawing, Process, Galway Races, Best Dressed, 2016
Basic colour layer in Adobe Illustrator

Next is the most time consuming step which is adding the details of eyes, texture, light and shade. It’s important to choose a light source and stick to that direction when drawing the shadows. This really makes a difference and adds the personality to the piece.

Lisa Lust List, Drawing , Fashion illustration, Galway races, Best Dressed, Linda Byrne,
Adding shadow, texture and details

Final touches are next, which includes background, text and the all important shadow to ground the figure.

Lisa Lust List, Best Dressed, 2016, Galway Races, Fashion sketch, Fashion illustration, sketchbook, Linda Byrne,
Final illustration of Lisa Lust List

That’s it, the final illustration is complete. I use the process when creating all my illustrations. The only difference with the hand painted illustrations are that I use acrylic paints, adding the outline detail after the full colour is complete.

Linda X

Lisa Lust List, Drawing process, sketchbook, fashion sketch, fashion illustration, linda byrne, Galway races, Best Dressed, 2016
The Drawing Process

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