Friday, December 6, 2013

Angelys Balek Fashion Sketch Session

Yet another great evening at the Society of Illustrators here in NYC. Brandon Graham of Would You Rock This? hosted the evening with clothes by fashion designer Angelys Balek. "The urban chic energy of New York combined with the playful sensuality of Thailand is executed in an exquisite blend of exotic European and Thai fabrications," says Graham. I certainly enjoyed playing with some of the prints. Here are two of my sketches from the evening, finished off digitally later on. Travel writer and blogger Monica Suma was one of our three fabulous models.

Clothes by Angelys Balek

Photos courtesy of Brandon Graham

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Monday, November 25, 2013

SWGNT Los Angeles

Blending high fashion with the streetwear culture of it's base, Los Angeles, SWGNT's website spotlights inspirations from sports, music and entertainment. Here are my illustrations for SWGNT based on some products from their online boutique.

Archival digital prints available on quality paper. Contact me for information.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bold, Beautiful, and Damned

One of a number of events that took place at Fifth Avenue's Bergdorf Goodman department store as they unveiled their Holiday windows, was a book signing by Dean Rhys Morgan as he launched his new book Bold, Beautiful, and Damned about the hugely talented fashion illustrator in the 70s and 80s, Tony Viramontes. I first discovered Viramontes's work when I was in college and am still influenced by him. How wonderful to have a substantial number of his illustrations, sketches, polaroid photos, quotes and interviews with his friends and associates collected in this comprehensive book. I am in awe of his creative and commercial achievement by the age of 28. Sadly he passed away much too young in 1988. Amy Fine Collins writes Viramontes's drawings "….streak like hot cinders across the page, where they continue to glow and smoulder." Bravo to fashion illustration enthusiast, writer and buddy Dean!

Dean Rhys Morgan at Bergdorf Goodman

Viramontes at work

Recent window display at Bergdorf Goodman featuring Viramontes's Illustrations
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Fantastic Models

We are blessed at the Society of Illustrators to have fabulous models who pose either nude or costumed. Sometimes they raunch it up with some sexy lingerie or other skimpy outfits. There was much merriment amid the food, wine and music on this particular evening as the models clearly enjoyed posing in their own creative costumes. My 10 and 20 minute sketches below are in lead and ink and finished digitally after the event.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thistle & Clover of Brooklyn

The stylish boutique Thistle & Clover based in Brooklyn's fashionable Fort Greene neighborhood is a delightful treasure trove of fashionable clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, other accessories as well as gift items for bath, body and home. Currently exhibited in the boutique is a selection of fashion illustrations inspired by the creations of fashion designers Lauren Moffatt, Clare Vivier and Shana Luther. The illustrations are the winners of a juried sketch session organized by Brandon Graham of Would You Rock This.

Prints of my work below are for sale in the store or you can contact me directly. $185 each including frames.

(photo courtesy of Brandon Graham)
(photo courtesy of Brandon Graham)

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good Company, Wine and Sketching!

Another terrific sketch night at the Society of Illustrators. Good company, wine, nibbles and another terrific event hosted by Bil Donovan with guest Izak Zenou demonstrating and talking about his style and the way he works. Inspiring stuff! Here is one of my sketches from the evening.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

From the Sketchbook

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Critic's Choice!

After making the decision earlier this year to follow my passion for fashion illustration and see where it leads, I confess I felt a spring in my step last Friday when my work was selected as 'critic's choice' in the Juried Fashion Session hosted by Thistle & Clover. Thanks to Camilla Gale and Rand Niederhoffer of Thistle & Clover for their vote of confidence and participation in the event and to Brandon Graham  of Would You Rock This for his excellent fashion sketching events. Thank you all for the generous prizes! The winners illustrations will be on display in the boutique for three months and prints of my illustrations are for sale. Please contact me directly for information:

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The E Train

I am forever drawing while traveling on the subway. I scribble very quick sketches of people standing on the platform or sitting across from me. I try to be discreet of course! I like this little sketch of a lady waiting for the E train. She got on the train mid sketch so I made a mental note and finished the bottom half of her from my head. 

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Fashion Illustration is Like Being in LOVE....

Last week I attended an event at the Society of Illustrators in which guest speakers talked about the careers and style development of past fashion illustrator greats including George Stavrinos, an exhibition of which is currently displayed at the Society. A conversation ensued about the state of fashion illustration today and it's potential for the future. I came away feeling very positive and hopeful! One of the guest speakers Carlos Aponte suggested in his smooth romantic accent, "Illustration makes you dream like when you are in photography is like you are already married - you know what to expect!" The other excellent guests were Robert Richards, Laird Borelli-Persson, Anja Kroencke, Stephanie Pesakoff, Brad Hamann and the wonderful host, Bil Donovan.

Carlos Aponte (I couldn't resist a quick scribble)!

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Thistle & Clover Fashion Drawing

Last week I attended a fashion drawing session at The Fashion Center organized by Brandon Graham of Would You Rock This. I've been to a few of Brandon's excellent events before but this was my first experience taking part in a juried sketch session. The host was Thistle & Clover voted Brooklyn's Best Women's Boutique 2013 by The L Magazine. Our model Dana posed in three outfits and we did 20 minute sketches of each. As always at these sketching evenings I was awed and inspired by the creative talent around me. Thanks to all those who made the evening possible.

Watercolor & black lead with a bit of digital tweaking!

Dana our lovely model (photo courtesy of Brandon Graham)
Thistle & Clover supplied the fashion
The Fashion Center in Manhattan's Garment District
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rockin' and Rollin' at the Society of Illustrators

I had so much fun last Thursday at the Society of Illustrators, my regular Thursday evening haunt. It was a special fashion evening hosted by the amazingly talented illustrator Bil Donovan. We had three models to choose from, sketching mostly 3, 7 or 9 minute poses. It's funny how sometimes you can really get on a roll, inspired by the models, the clothes, the music and the creative atmosphere and as a fellow illustrator said to me, "You're rockin' and rollin' tonight Ellie!" Yay!

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Vision of George Stavrinos

Oh so long ago when I was at college, I adored the work of a fashion illustrator named George Stavrinos. His work was a mix of representational classical drawing and glamor, mood, drama and perfection. He worked for such clients as Vogue, Bergdorf Goodman, the New York Sunday Times and Barney's to name a few. Sadly he passed away in 1990 at the age of 42.

When I moved to New York in 2007 and started going to the Society of Illustrators I was so excited to see two originals displayed in a corridor! Now the public can see a huge collection of this fantastic work at an exhibition called The Vision of George Stavrinos at the Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street. (The show ends October 19th). Last night I went to the opening reception. Here are some pics from that event which was packed with admirers during New York Fashion Week.

Fabulous shoes worn by a very glamorous guest

I particularly love this drawing


The working process on display

Dont you just love New York?

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hats Off

Along with some sketching buddies, I went along to a Would You Rock This meet up group last Saturday in the heart of NYC's fashion district. It was a fun afternoon sketching the model with particular emphasis on drawing hats. It's not my favorite item of clothing to draw so I was looking forward to the challenge. The sketch below reminded me of the fashion illustrations from the 40s and 50s!

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Addicted to Fashion Sketching!

The Society of Illustrators is closed for two weeks while it renovates and the staff has some respite from  the group of crazy sketchers who frequent the townhouse on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings. I will have to settle for regular life drawing at other venues around town. Meanwhile here are a few sketches from last week. The models were creative and great fun and one even brought her little pooch. I wasn't sure it would sit still, but it did a pretty good job!

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Ascot Hat

The 7 minute sketch below was originally yellow and green but again I changed the colors using the pink to make it a bit more dramatic. She could be on the stage or going to the horse races at Ascot. I'm showing my British roots now!

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Flower Girl

I had so much fun last night at the Society of Illustrators. Models with gigantic flowers, flamboyant clothes, outsized false eyelashes and a big butterfly hairpiece posed for 3, 5 and 7 minutes. I particularly like this little 3 minute sketch. The original is a 3 inch watercolor and pen drawing in blue and black. I decided to change the colors digitally and settle for colors that I don't usually go for. I really like the result. It reminds me of something you might see on a perfume box!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bag Girl

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Laughing Beauty

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Oh Boy....

I can't seem to stay away from men! Fashion Illustration lends itself so well to the curves and beauty of the female form but I just love drawing men. I guess it's the angles and hard edges that I enjoy. Inspired by the Italian fashion house Etro, I have kept the hard edges but softened the look with some curvy ink lines in this sketch.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Using Continuous Line

I enjoy using continuous line as I am sketching. By rarely taking my pen or pencil off the paper, I am forced to weigh up angles and shape and it's fun to create shapes and pattern with the line. In this sketch I particularly liked the combination of line and watercolor on the model's headscarf. The clothed model posed for quick sketches at the Society of Illustrators here in New York.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sketch Night at Society of Illustrators

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Jet Set Style

Last week I attended a fashion illustration sketch session at The Fashion Center, courtesy of Would You Rock This, an online fashion illustration community. The theme was 'Jet Set' and the beautiful model gamely dressed in appropriate clothes with luggage for accessories. It was a fun evening and my first session with this group.

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