Tuesday Tip: Sequins



A while back you may remember I wrote about my favorite tools for fashion illustration and I mentioned the whiteout pen. Well to successfully render sequins a whiteout pen is vital. (At least for this fashion illustrator!) It's also best when choosing your marker to pick a very wet and saturated marker, like a Chartpak and a classic black Sharpie marker.
I happen to really enjoy rendering sequins, especially all-over sequins (a-la Diana Ross or Cher.) There are a few specific steps to it, but don't stress, its pretty hard to mess up. And once you complete them the results are stunning.
  1. You begin by coloring the base of your design. Its important to leave white streaks where you want your highlights. Let it dry a little then add a second coat of your color to areas in shadow (see example #1.)
  2. Outline the design, draw any seams, and add any extra shadowing with a dark pencil. I use the Prismacolor cool gray 90% pencil. (#2)
  3. With your black Sharpie stipple dots all over the garment (#3). Load up on dots in areas that are white and are going to be a highlight.
  4. With your whiteout pen place a dot on top of each black one. Get a rhythm going and it will be over before you know it. (#4)
  5. This is not a necessary step, but I like to add a few faint "X's" with my finest tip black pen to create subtle streaks of light. (I use a Micron pen, tip size 005)
The white dots will absorb the color you put down first, especially if you used a very wet marker. The dots will turn into a lighter shade of your color. This is why if you look at my examples, they don't look like white sequins on colored fabrics. It looks as though I've actually painted all these little colored sequins! And the tip of the Sharpie, being almost the same width as the whiteout pen, creates the perfect shadow to make each sequin pop.

Above are illustrations from my Etsy shop of Carrie and Samantha (from the first SATC movie), both sporting fabulous sequin pieces. Carrie is available in a print, magnet or bookmark, and Samantha is on a bookmark.

Leave a Comment

Anonymous said...

this is awesome!!! thanks so much brooke!!!

Cheryl Lynn said...

What a wonderful tutorial. I love the opulence of sequins on dresses and it's good to find someone who knows how to do that.

Great job and beautifully rendered!

Andra said...

good tutorial :)
can you do a tutorial of drawing the skin with all the shades in some different poses. i'm having some trouble with skin and shadows :) thanks and keep up the good work with the tutorials they are really helpful.

Shanessa said...

I cannot wait to try this! Thanks so much for bringing us another fabulous Tuesday Tip!

Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life said...

You are my modern girl entrepreneur hero! I can't believe you're able to draw sequins like that!

Ruscherly said...

Thanks for this tutorial!! <3 Do you mind doing a tuesday tip on illustration portfolios? Tips on layouts, what to include and things like that?

Jenni said...

Thanks for the Tips i will definitely try them..
An old conception of art is that it was supposed to be beautiful or represent something. A lot of art is inaccessible because it requires background knowledge, but many people think that it should be immediately engaging.
Foliofox

pve design said...

bling bling ca-ching! love this sparkly tip!
pve

Anonymous said...

i am currently learning about fashion illustration and the tips on this page on the sequins are amazing

AMY=) said...

thanks! really helpful, will use this tip whenever i draw sequins! it is a really clever and unique way of drawing them, can't wait to try it out! BTW, your drawings at the top are amazingly drawn!!!! :) =) <3

Anonymous said...

I know that Tuesday Tips are time consuming, but could you PLEASE try to fit one in every month or so? They are SO helpful, as everyone agrees!I'm only 14 and I have learned so much about the basics of fashion drawing IN ONE DAY just by looking at your Tuesday Tips! Please just consider it, and if you do go through with it could you please consider the following 'Tuesday Tips':
* Skin tone!
* Fur
* Facial Features (I know lips are covered, but eyes, nose ears etc..)

Thankyou, you inspire me! :-)

Anonymous said...

I love the sequin drawing tips. Do you do all of your illustrations by hand? I do, but I was thinking that was outdated and everyone does them in Illustrator now, which I can't afford...but if you do them by hand and make a living at it, that is great! It makes me think I can, too.

Brooke said...

Yup I draw them all by hand. Not a fan of illustrating with illustrator. :)

Sheena Sreekeessoon said...

I absolutely love this! Being a fashion student, I always try and avoid featuring sequins in my designs purely because of illustration. So thank you sooo much for this, I can't wait to try it!

http://sreekeessoon.blogspot.co.uk/

Sheena Sreekeessoon said...

I absolutely love this! Being a fashion student, I always try and avoid featuring sequins in my designs purely because of illustration. So thank you sooo much for this, I can't wait to try it!

http://sreekeessoon.blogspot.co.uk/