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Article: Masters of Fashion Illustration

david downton

Masters of Fashion Illustration

Hello! Today I'd like to share a book with you so nice I got it twice! David Downton's Masters of Fashion Illustration is so inspiring.  The hard cover and paper back versions each have their own unique Downton illustrations - I can't decide which one to keep in the studio and which one to keep at home.

The book covers the work of so many great artists. Downton is very clear to state that the men who came before him were indeed artists, not just illustrators, and that they were champions of "the fluid, reductive line" - something he worked hard to achieve.

Now that is music to my ears.

First of all, "the fluid, reductive line" is everything I have ever dreamed of conquering in my art. I love that he singles this out as what makes fashion illustration so seductive and powerful. I have no idea how or if I'll ever master this but it is the ultimate goal.

And second of all, it comforts my sore fingers, disgruntled ego and overused eraser to know that even Downton worked hard to become the artist he is today.

  here are some examples of the fluid, reductive line at work throughout the book... I actually came face to face with this glowing, pint sized icon of fashion standing in front of his apartment building awaiting his town car one afternoon last fall. And I can confirm, first hand, that Downton has perfectly captured Valentino's expression here.

Inspring, isn't it?

Back in the olden days, when I was a young hopeful just discovering the world of fashion illustration, pinterest and twitter and all this fancy inspirational internet stuff simply didn't exist the way it does now. I also walked up hill both ways to school... barefoot...

anyway, I used to pour of over giant books of illustration like this one. Flipping through it has taken me back to these happy days of falling in love with vintage illustration. If you are learning to sketch, I highly recommend investing in a book like this. I hope you fall in love with the masters the way I did!

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