Custom Bridal Illustration: My Process

Here on Fabulous Doodles I've shared many "photo to sketch" examples. However its been quite a while since detailing my whole custom bridal illustration process. I figured it was time to share the steps again, and what better bride to feature than my friend Jackie, whose wedding I was in this past summer. (Remember my hunt for a yellow bridesmaid dress? And details from her wedding, here.) This custom bridal illustration was my wedding gift to Jackie, but I worked with her the same way, and took the same steps, I do with clients.
(Brian Tropiano Photography, Dress; Amsale)
Once the custom illustration order has been placed (and the deposit has been made) through my etsy shop, Brooklit Bride, the first step is to email me wedding photos. Ideally a whole online album works best, if possible from the wedding photographer. Seeing an array of photos helps me capture the design and all the details of the dress in motion, from different angles, and in different lighting. The photos also give me a sense of the brides personality, like Jackie here who you can clearly see through her pictures is a casual and playful girl, as opposed to say, the fancy and more traditional bride.
After studying the wedding photos, for step 2, I come up with 3-6 very rough pencil sketches. From these roughs the client picks which pose he or she likes best and conveys any important details that they want to make sure I feature. They can also add or remove elements, by saying something like "I love the profile pose but nix the bouquet."
After the pose and details are clear I get to work on step 3, the polished line drawing. This will be the under-drawing for the final artwork. I again share it with the client and make sure every detail is there and the client is happy with the final design before color is added and it becomes extremely difficult to modify. This is the time for any final tweaks and balance payment is due.
Step 4 is the final color rendering, primarily done with markers and pencils but occasionally if the design calls for it I use a fine tip pen or one of my secret weapons. And after another hour (sometimes two or three!) the custom fashion illustration is complete. I then ship and pack the original artwork and its off to its new home.

Jackie was trilled with her illustration and has already framed and hung it in her living room! Again, if you're interested in a custom sketch of your own or would like to buy one as a gift, you can check out my custom illustration listings in BrooklitBride or email me with any questions.

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Tonya said...

I hope I'm as good as you someday!

nancy {COZAMIA} said...

You're work is just beautiful, this is such a great gift idea!

Sophie Elizabeth Illustrations said...

I absolutely love your work and hope to work towards your standards through my work!!