Choosing a Backdrop for Fashion Illustration

by Helena  - November 21, 2017

In addition to clothing and fashion pose, choosing a backdrop is also an important part of a story you want to tell with your fashion illustration. It isn't necessary to have any backdrop and you can leave it white if you want the focus on your model but sometimes choosing the right contest can tell a wonderful story and compliment your drawing.

The most important thing to have in mind is to avoid having a busy or noisy background (too much of everything) as it can overwhelm your sketch. A simpler background will help your viewers understand the context of the clothing design like for what occasion it is intended  or where is your target customer located (big city, picturesque village).

Most Common Types of Backdrop for Fashion Illustration

1. Solid Color

Plain white or other solid color becomes a part of the design itself. If you decide to use any other color then white then you should choose carefully because you don't want it to collide with your design but rather to emphasize colors and shapes. It is useful to know a lot about color theory, complimentary colors, contrasting and other important things that can help you choose the optimal background color. You can also choose to color entire paper or just block some color around the model.

2. LandScape or CityScape

Illustrating a street behind your model can give your illustration a meaningful context. Viewer will be able to conclude your designs are meant for an urban girl that likes spending her time in a busy street of a big city or if it is a more modest fashion intended for a girl who likes spending time in nature and prefers Eco-friendly materials. You can tell many stories with your background. For example, if you are sketching a dress that would be perfect for an engagement party maybe you will illustrate Eiffel Tower in the background to emphasize the romantic nature of your design.

3. Runway

Sometimes you just want to sketch quickly and show the motion more than details of the design an the ideal way to show that intention is to use a runway backdrop. This will give your viewers that sense of chic style rushing down the runway, bringing the latest trends and colors. It is also perfect for showing your inspiration for a collection because you can sketch a group of figures, just blocking shapes and colors and the viewer will still be able to recognize a theme running through the collection.

4. Abstract 

If you want to show off an innovative and futuristic design, it is nice to choose a geometric or fractal inspired background that will emphasize a design,especially if it is an all-white or monochromatic colored design. Just be careful that you don't over power the design with your abstract pattern and color.

5. Patter or Motif Detail

When you have a design whose most valuable asset is a pattern or a motif you used, you can also use the same detail for the background in a larger size and a more dimmed effect. This is perfect for anyone using digital media for fashion illustration as it is very easy to do it and an effective way to add more interest to your illustration.

6. Magazine Commercial Style

I usually collect interesting photos from fashion and beauty magazines and then draw inspiration from them for my fashion illustrations. You can find amazing ideas looking at photo editorials and different themes that could compliment your illustration.

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