Fashion Illustration: Inspiration And Technique by Anna Kiper (book review).

December 8, 2017 | By | Reply More

When I can fit them in, I try to fit in some art technique books. As I’m focusing on improving how I draw clothes, it’s inevitable I will look at artbooks that focus on fashion and picked this one up in the summer, flicked the pages and was immensely impressed with Anna Kiper’s art technique in her book, ‘Fashion Illustration: Inspiration And Technique’.

Fashion design is different to standard drawing. Instead of the usual 8 head length for the human figure, it is stretched to 10 heads, much of this is extending the legs. There is also a lot more emphasis on the balance line, that is an invisible line that you draw and then erase from the centre of the head down to the floor as the foundation for figure drawing. Fashion models are not designed to be off-balance although Kiper throws in a little more on bending at the waist. She also addresses the anatomy of not only women and men but also with children. Interestingly with these, the legs are normal length.

Don’t under-estimate the knowledge needed. Kiper shows the need to understand regular art techniques as well and points out seven particular skin tones and then demonstrates that it’s not a bland colour applied to the drawing. If you want to get feet right in high heels, the lessons here are a marvellous learning curve although I don’t think I would like to wear them myself.

However, the key emphasis of this book is the variety of clothing shown, together with all the terms gives you a better frame of reference as to what you are drawing and if you later goggle, then you will have the right terms to look up.

Probably the biggest learning curve here is when Kiper explores how to create texture for clothing which is often a sore point for a lot of artists. She covers the complete range of fabrics and how to apply across folds and creases when they are patterned as well. Whenever I get stuck now, I will be looking back to this book to make sure I get it right. The fact that she applies this with a variety of painting tools also looks like an asset that you can also apply to digital painting as well.

If you want to improve your art techniques then this book should definitely be on your purchase list. Kiper doesn’t preach, she just shows and does it very well. As I commented above, the strength of this book comes from her texture knowledge and definitely goes beyond what you find in the standard artbook.

GF Willmetts

December 2017

(pub: David & Charles/F&W Media, 2011. 144 page large softcover. Price: about £ 8.00 (UK) if you know where to look. ISBN: 978-0-7153-3618-2)

check out website: www.fwcommunity.com/uk

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Category: Books, Illustration

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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