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  • Writer's pictureTeam DesignerShala


Are you interested in fashion illustrations but have no idea how to go ahead with it? Or have you been doing fashion illustrations for quite a while now, but still don’t see the desired results? Hmmm, looks like the first thing you need to focus on is using the right stationary.

Using the right products, even if you are an amateur or a professional, is the key to making a stunning fashion illustration. This process can be quite overwhelming especially if you are a beginner, since you might think it is “too soon” to invest in good art supplies. But guess what? If you really want to be proficient in making fashion illustrations and if you have that burning desire in your heart, then nothing is “too soon” to invest in!

While there are no such rules when it comes to using a particular brand or a product, you bet I am going to tell you some of my preferences!

So without any further delay, let’s get down to business right now.

Mechanical pencils

Using pencils, especially mechanical pencils makes your illustrations so much better. Using pencils has various advantages, the first thing being - easily erasable. But no, we are not using pencils just because it is “erasable” but because it helps us develop a skill of drawing lightly before doing the actual sketch. This way, you can easily plan your sketch and it also pushes you to think out of the box. And apart from other mediums like colour pencils or paints, using pencils doesn’t require much skill as it is one of the basic things taught in the first grade.

Did you know that in a research conducted about student’s preferences when it comes to mechanical or wooden pencils, more than 57% of the students chose mechanical over wooden pencils because of the hassle-free characteristic of mechanical pencils! So if I had to recommend a few brands, then I’d go ahead with:

  • Staedler

  • Camlin

  • Carlin

  • Faber Castell

Source: Pexels


Not just any eraser but Tombow Mono Eraser! If you are doing fashion illustrations then better get your hands on these erasers ASAP! This eraser has been a game changer for not just me, but also for thousands of designers, including our Designer didi. The main USP of this product is that it allows you to make precise and crisp illustrations. The eraser is small, slim and portable which makes this eraser your best friend. And just because it is of premium quality and offers a lot of benefits, don’t come to the conclusion that this eraser will cost you thousands, it is very inexpensive.

You can buy this product from platforms like Amazon and Flipkart or even your local stationary shop. Happy erasing!

Source: Amazon

Paper stumps

This is also one of the most useful products I have ever come across. Using paper stumps makes blending and shading colours much easier. Since it also comes in the form of a pencil, it is easier when working with smaller areas of the illustration, for example, if you need to add some depth in the bust area, it might be difficult for you to use your fingers or a tissue. So this is where paper stumps come in handy. It is reusable as you can sharpen it like a pencil and is also very inexpensive. Again, you can buy these from platforms like Amazon and Flipkart or even your local stationary shop.

Source: Amazon

Water based pencil colours

One of the best brands when it comes to watercolour pencils is the Staedler Luna water based pencils. This set is definitely a game changer and it is a must if you are a fashion illustrator, be it a beginner or a professional.

These pencils have very rich and vibrant colours and when you use it on your illustration, let me warn you, people are going to bombard you with compliments!

The leads are made in Germany which explains why the lead is soft and sturdy. The colours are fade resistant and it offers excellent coverage. The main USP of this product is that it can either be used as normal colour pencils or with water and brush to create an extraordinary watercolour effect. Isn’t that simply amazing? It of course is!

Get your hands on these from Amazon, Flipkart or any other local stationary shop!

Source: Amazon

Micron pens

These micron pens are the best when it comes to giving outlines for my illustrations. A lot of brands make micron pens, however, my personal favourites are the Sakura Pigma micron pens and the Artline micron pens.

These pens come in various sizes ranging from thick to thin tips, which I think is the best feature of these pens. The ink is so bright and it is extremely long lasting - which is another important feature to consider when buying micron pens. You can use these pens to give outlines, draw intricate details in your illustrations and so much more.

Source: Amazon

Alcohol based markers

Alcohol based markers are your soulmate if you are interested in fashion illustrations. Creating a base for your fashion illustration can be quite chaotic and that is when Alcohol based markers come to the rescue. Ohuhu’s alcohol based markers are the best when it comes to this niche. The markers have broad and fine twin tips which helps in precise drawings. The colours are highly pigmented, vivid and blend harmoniously with each other. And do not worry, these markers also help you with layering! The price of this product varies from the number of colours you require. Nevertheless, this product is a must!

Source: Amazon

Wet mediums

Wet mediums like watercolours and gouache are the best when it comes to making fashion illustrations. These mediums add a lively and flowy feel to your fashion illustrations which makes the clothes look very realistic. One of my personal favourites is gouache and this is because of the easy to use formula. The texture of gouache is amazing and not only this, it is easy to set up and clean, unlike any other medium. Using wet mediums definitely adds a realistic touch to your illustrations and that’s what truly matters right?

A few of my favourite watercolour brands are: Faber Castell, Camlin, Brustro and my favourite gouache brand is Brustro!

Source: Amazon

Sketchbook or loose papers?

Now we have covered all the basic tools one must have when doing fashion illustrations. But the most important thing is where are we going to use these tools? A sketchbook or loose papers? To be really honest, it does not matter. Both have their own advantages and what matters is what YOU want to use. If you want a portfolio of all your sketches then a sketchbook is a wise option as everything is in one place. When it comes to using papers, make sure you use the right paper. If you use watercolours or markers on a normal paper, then your illustration will turn all grainy and untidy. Insead, use watercolour sheets or papers which have a high GSM as this will make your illustration look dazzling!

A few of my favourite sketchbook / loose paper brands are:

  • Brustro

  • Strathmore

  • Menorah

Source: Amazon

To conclude

Now if you are a beginner then starting your fashion illustration journey can be quite intimidating and overwhelming. There are common misconceptions that you need to have expensive items all the time, but that really does not matter. What matters is how much you are making use of the products that you have despite it being cheap or expensive. Apart from all of this, a few other essentials are the right mindset and the desire to learn more and explore with different mediums. Hope you found this blog helpful.

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