Live Sketching – Cosmo Mag’s Fun Fearless Life with Actually She Can

Live Sketching at Cosmo Mag's Fun Fearless Life

This past weekend I had the opportunity to live-sketch during Cosmopolitan Magazine’s annual Fun Fearless Life conference in Manhattan. I cannot tell a lie — it was a blast! Fun Fearless Life brings together influential female speakers, thinkers, activists and entrepreneurs to teach young women how to live exceptional, exciting lives. I was in the same building at Gabrielle Bernstien, Aliza Licht, Alicia Quarles, Laverne Cox (!!!) and scores of young women hungry to live life in the most fearless, most fun way possible.

I was stationed at the live-sketching booth sponsored by Actually She Can, a new movement to help young women build confidence and positivity. The best part was illustrating alongside my buddy and fellow illustrator Denise El Najjar. We spent the day not only sketching, but also gabbing with guests, sharing supplies and squealing over the amazing outfits we saw throughout the day.

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There’s something so exciting and electrifying about seeing young women at their most confident and stylish. Seeing the way the guests expressed their personal style made me so excited to draw them. There were pleated midi skirts, suede rompers, all-white ensembles and even a pair of gnome shoes! I asked every guest to tell me about the favorite part of their outfit, and made sure the highlight those faves in each sketch.

Also of note: At one point while I was sketching, I felt someone standing over my shoulder, observing, and then heard her exclaim, “Are you drawing her while she’s standing right there? Amazing!” I looked up and it was Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Cosmo and fashion magazine industry legend. NO BIG DEAL OR ANYTHING. I may have had a fan girl moment. Don’t judge me.

It turns out, the illustration booth was the most popular feature of the day! Denise and I were still sketching well after the lights came up and the music went down, wanting to make sure every fun, fearless girl got her very own personal sketch. I mean, how could we say no? Afterward, I created an illustration highlighting one of the most popular looks of the day — cool tights with super-cute ankle booties.

Live sketching for Cosmo Mag's Fun Fearless Life

Trend-spotting at Fun Fearless Life 2015.

I can’t overstate how much fun we had at Fun Fearless Life 2015. Thank you to Cosmo for creating such a fun event, and to Actually She Can for making fashion illustration such a major part of it. You can see more photos from the event below, and also by searching #funfearlesslife and #actuallyshecan on Instagram.

If you’re interested in having me live-sketch for your next conference or fashion event, contact me here.

Illustration Tutorial: Color With Tombow Pens

So I love drawing, but (shhhhh, don’t tell anyone!) I may possibly love teaching even more. So a couple of weeks ago I posted my first Instagram tutorial, showing my process of working with Tombow marker pens, and the technique I use to put color into many of my illustrations. Want to learn? Let’s get started!


STEP 1: I always start with inspiration and a pencil sketch to capture the gesture (pose). This look comes from the super-chic Wendy’s Look Book. Sometimes I ink first, other times I make inking my last step, depending on how jiggy I’m feeling at the moment. This one, I went ink-first, using my Sakura fine brush Pigma pen, which I looooove.


STEP 2: Color! I usually start with skintone, then move on the garment. Here, I’m using my Tombow brush pen to lay down a hot red tone. You could stop here and it would be a perfectly fine way to indicate color in your sketch. (General rule of thumb: use the color in the shadows, and leave the highlights white.) But I’m going to continue withy favorite way of using Tombow pens… with a waterbrush!

STEP 3: Now for my favorite part. After laying down the color with the Tombow pen, I activate the ink with a waterbrush to create a bright, vibrant wash of color. I love this step, and I try to keep the variation in color by keeping the ink more opaque in thr shadows and making it more transparent in the highlight areas. It’s still good to keep some white showing through if you can. But sometimes it’s easy to get excited and let the ink get away from you.


STEP 4: After laying down the base layer of color, I like to add more texture with a little colored pencil, and deepen the shadows with Copic markers.


STEP 5: Last step! Adding a splash of color for the background, using the same marker pen/waterbrush combo that I used to lay color down in the figure. The red-and-leopard print combo made me instinctively choose a vibrant orange for the background.

And here’s the final product. Loads of color, just how I like it.

What do you think? Will you give marker pens and waterbrushes a spin? What other tutorials would you like to see?

Live Sketching for Jade’s Closet

Veronica Marche live sketching

Last Thursday, I had the great opportunity to do some live sketching for Jade’s Closet, a designer boutique just outside of Philly. Jade’s Closet launched a pop-up shop in city as part of this year’s Philadelphia Collection — Philly’s version of Fashion Week.

The event was live! Hors d’ouevres, wine, a DJ, live models and a flipbook photo booth were are part of the party. The very cool crew from Skai Blue Media was in the building, and Jade Okere, owner of Jade’s closet, hosted along with her mom and other relatives, making it truly a family affair.



I got to draw quite a few of Philly’s super-chic fashionistas, some of whom tried on their Jade’s Closet purchases just for their sketches. The showstopper of the night was an incredible black-and-white mesh grid midi skirt, worn by Erica of Casually Styled (pictured right above). It was easily the most coveted item of the event.

My favorite thing about live sketching is learning about the guests’ personal style through their outfits. People definitely wear things that make them feel great, and it’s awesome to capture that in a sketch. From a leopard print scarf, to a leather circle skirt to an amazing cape-like burgundy wool overcoat, these ladies all had something to make stand out in style.

See more photos from the event in the gallery below. And if you’re interesting in having me live sketch at your event or party, email me at illustration [at] veronicamarche [dot] com.



#FBF: “30 Days of Shoes” Commission for Marie Claire

Just a few of the looks I illustrated for Marie Claire. You can see the rest of the slideshow here.

Just a few of the looks I illustrated for Marie Claire. You can see the rest of the slideshow here.

Last week my girl asked me why I hadn’t blogged about the projects I’ve done over the past year. I didn’t have a great reason other than — I just didn’t get the chance to sit down and do it! So today, for Flashback Friday, I’m sharing a commission for Marie Claire online.

This project was an advertorial collaboration between Marie Claire and Nordstrom. I was commissioned to illustrate thirty looks highlighting the Marie Claire editor’s top shoes for the spring — all of which are available at Nordstrom.

This was such a great project to do. I had the opportunity to illustrate a diverse set of fashion figures with all kinds of style — from athletic to glamorous to classic to eclectic. Oh, and the shoes? Seeing the editor’s picks for the spring were the best part! (I may or may not have done a little shopping for myself over the course of this project.)

You can see the entire slideshow here. Let me know what you think and what your favorite looks are!

Click here to see Nordstrom and Marie Claire’s 30 Days of Shoes illustrated by Veronica Marché.

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