Illustration Master Class with Bil Donovan

Bil Donovan Workshop Poster

How exciting would it be to meet AND work with someone whose work has inspired you for years? I can tell you from personal experience – VERY EXCITING.

This past weekend, veteran fashion illustrator Bil Donovan came to Drexel University and blessed us with three days of lecturing and workshop teaching. The first night, he gave us an overview of his incredible career (Christian Dior and New York’s St. Regis hotel are just a few of his major clients), and for the next two days, he taught an intensive workshop — an illustration bootcamp, as he calls it.

I’ve admired Bil’s work for a long time. He works primarily in brush and ink, giving his illustrations a sense of movement and ephemeral glamour. My friend Jeanne was in awe of his technique. “Look how he controls the water,” she gushed. “The man literally CONTROLS THE ELEMENTS.” (That made me laugh).

 

Still, Bil’s style is quite different from mine. While he works in ink and brush, I work with graphite and markers. And while his illustrations employ selectivity — of color, of line, of everything — mine (at least for now) have a highly rendered style. Suffice it to say, I was worried if I’d be able to make the cut in one of Bil’s classes! Turns out there was no need to be – Bil is a super engaging, incredibly encouraging instructor, and encouraged me to continue working in and developing my own style. “I’m not worried about you, you got it,” he told me.

I might have squealed.

Anyway, here are a few snapshots of my work over the weekend:

Quick gestural drawings in brush and ink. I’ve always loved warming up with gesture drawings, and sometimes they turn into their own work of art. This one is going up on a wall in my apartment.

brush and ink exercises

A new favorite exercise introduced by Bil – continous line drawings. (Don’t take your pencil off the paper. EVER!)

continuous line exercises

The weekend was not without some excitement. Particularly, the inkspill I had on day two. Yikes!

inkspill

No worries, though. My friend pointed out that the spill looks like a shoe, so I’m going to turn it into an illustration of a stiletto bootie. :o)

The last sketch of the weekend. “Just go for it,” Bil told us. So this is me playing around with water, ink and composition.

final drawing

 

I gotta say, I’m kinda in awe that I got the opportunity to learn under someone whose work is so inspiring to me. Many many many thanks to Bil for being a great teacher and cheerleader, and of course, shout-out to Drexel’s Fashion Design Department for making such an awesome weekend happen.

I have more snaphots and some video over on Instagram. Make sure you follow me there. I’m @veronicamarche.

How To Be Curly

How To Be Curly by Veronica Marche

There are few things I love more than illustrated guides. They’re fun, cheeky, and often drawn with a bit of humor too. I was inspired by Lauren Friedman’s “How to Wear Your Scarf,” and started thinking about all the ways I wear my favorite accessory — my hair.

If you’ve seen me, you know about my hair — it’s big and fluffy and has a lot of personality.  ”How To Be Curly” is an homage to the versatility of fluffy coils. I had a lot of fun sketching it, and even posted a quick “making of” video on Instagram.

You can purchase “How To Be Curly” as a glicee art print, greeting card or T-shirt here at RedBubble.

Wading into Watercolor

legs and heels

Flirty skirt and pumps, in watercolor, colored pencil and graphite.

Most — actually — ALL of my commercial work is done in markers, and for good reason: I LOVE THEM. Markers have been my best friends since I was small and only had those bright, chubby Crayola markers at my disposal.

Obviously, I’ve upgraded since then (Copic/Prismacolor = grown), and I’ve gotten super comfortable with my medium of choice. But there’s always room to learn something new, right?

So I’ve been dipping my toe in watercolors, playing with color mixing and technique and layering. They definitely have a different touch from my marker work, and I kinda like that. The challenge with watercolor is to let the hue and the layering do work, without over-working your image. (Otherwise it gets muddy and gross, and who wants that?)

Here are some of of my watercolor sketches. Whaddya think?!

Ralph_lauren

Ralph Lauren, FW14, in watercolor and graphite.

lupita_oscar

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o in watercolor and colored pencil.

Lupita’s Animated Oscar Gown

Animated Lupita gown by Veronica MarcheSo life got in the way and I didn’t get to paint all 5 of my fave Lupita Nyong’o looks like I had planned. C’est la vie. But I did watch the Oscar’s telecast and what a fun night it was! Ellen, Pharrell, the pizza, and of course Lupita’s win and amazing speech.

That dress though?! That sky blue slice of heaven by Prada? Gorgeous. I sketched it over and over again and realized — it’s the perfect material for an animation experiment!

I’ve been wanting to try animated sketches for a while, and Lupita’s look at the Academy Awards turned out to be great inspiration. Five quick watercolor sketching and some fiddling in Photoshop helped me create my first animation. Definitely will be trying more of these soon.

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