Rue Magazine Blogger Side-by-Side

About a year ago I was thrilled to be contacted by the Rue crew to sketch fashion illustrations for the Rue Magazine blogger side-by-side column. I was sent a bunch of photo's of the two lovely bloggers they were featuring that month and I created these fashion illustrations, reflecting them and their style. Sarah Klassen of Haute Design (shown above) was a fun one with her bright red hair and chic accessorie styling (don't you love those shoes!) and blogger Daniella Marie (shown below) of Dress Design Decor and Daniella Marie Blog was a lovely and more girl-next-door look.
Unfortunately the sketches were pulled at the very last minute and never ran in Rue, but in going through some old project files I found them and thought would share.

(Illustrations by Brooke Hagel)

Happy 3rd Birthday Fabulous Doodles

Today marks the 3 year anniversary of Fabulous Doodles, this little fashion illustration blog I started to share my projects, sketches and fashion illustrations that inspire me. Its been an exciting 3rd year of career highs so for this "blogiversary" I thought I'd take a look back and spotlight some of the 3rd years best moments:
  • Being commissioned by Barbie to create sketches for New York Fashion Week was certainly a dream project! Attending a slew of Fashion Week shows and events for the Fall 2012 collections was pretty great as well.
  • In April my sketches appeared as giant wall decals on VH1's latest fashion focused reality show, House of Consignment. The illustrations continued to make cameo's on every single episode of the season.
  • Months after sketching Kate Middleton wedding dress predictions for the Nate Berkus Show, I added a Kate Middleton bridal illustration to my bridal print shop, Brooklit Bride and she quickly became the most popular print in the shop.
  • This year I met lots of VIPS and added them to my photo album. It was a thrill to see which illustration(s) of mine they chose to snap a pic with. (VIP post 1 & VIP post 2)
  • Working on custom bridal illustrations is something I really enjoy, especially when I get to sketch gowns as stunning as this and ladies as pretty as these beautiful brides. 
  • Attending a "Talk with Tom Ford" was something I will not soon forget. 
  • And last but not least, this year I brought back two of Fabulous Doodles most popular series, Secret Weapons and Tuesday Tips
I drew the sketch shown above especially for this 3 year blogiversary post and since I like how she turned I think I'll print up some birthday cards featuring her and add them to my Brooklit Shop. Thank you Fabulous Doodles readers for following me, commenting and encouraging me and my work. 

Head Scarf Sketches for Remington at Target

A little while back I was commissioned by Remington Products for this fun little project sketching hair styles that showed the five different ways to style their newest hair accessory, a sequined head scarf. They requested the sketches be simple line drawings with only the product drawn in color, so it would stand out. I was also asked to keep the face consistent on each illustration, so the focus was only on the different hair styles.
Once the tags were in production they said I'd get samples for my portfolio but nothing ever came and I almost forgot about it. Then a few weeks ago while on a trip down in Florida I decided to swing down the hair accessory aisle of a Target just to check out the Remington line and see what was there. To my pleasant surprise I found my sketches right there, in store, on hang tags in Target! Needless to say I bought one and am excited to share the illustrations here with you.
(Illustrations by Brooke Hagel for Remington Products)

Mad Men Fashion Illustration Portraits

How stunning are these David Downton illustrations inspired by Mad Men characters? I'm so in love with them that even though they're not my own I had to share them and their fabulousness here on Fabulous Doodles. Mad Men has been one of my favorite television shows since its premiere episode. In addition to the allure of the main characters, such as Don Draper, Joan Harris and Roger Sterling, the costumes are always a sight to see and in my opinion costume designer Janie Bryant is a genius. (Who also happens to have one of my dream jobs!)
It always amazes me when an artist, like Downton who works in a very stylized way can really a capture a person, feeling or mood without being overly literal. His illustration of Roger Sterling played by John Slattery (whom I actually spent a day working with when I was a wardrobe intern for Sex and the City!) in particular is so dead on in looks and attitude, it truly amazes me.
In the not so distant future I'm hoping to feature some more Mad Men illustrations, both by costume designer Janie Bryant (fingers crossed) and myself. (I'm thinking a "Women of Mad Men" series could be a fabulous addition to my print shop. What do you think?) In the mean time I'll certainly enjoy these three fabulous Downton Mad Men sketches.

(Illustrations by David Downton)

Tuesday Tip: Illustrating Zebra

This week I have another animal print illustration tutorial, zebra print. Similar to leopard print, which I wrote about here last tuesday, its organic, fluid and always different, therefore pretty difficult to mess up. 
The key to a successful zebra print rendering is having a brush tip marker for the stripes. A brush tip is essential because you have to really "work" the marker tip. By pressing down hard for the thick areas then releasing up to the thin tip, you can achieve sharp points that create those fluid zebra stripes. Something else to keep in mind is the zebra stripe needs to be darker that the base color you choose. Here I chose black and white, but even in the examples below, with the more contrasting combinations, I rendered the stripes always darker than the background. It is possible to reverse them and render the stripes light with a charcoal pencil or gauche, but its not something I practice or recommend.
1- Color the base coat color and fabric shadows. For my example here since I went with a classic black and white print, I skipped putting in a base coat and only drew in shadows, which you can see in faint gray on the left side of the bathing suit, beneath the bust, and into the shoulder gathers. 

2- The zebra stripes are next. As I said, a brush tip marker is vital for these to be really successful. You can start your stripes from the top of the garment in simple horizontal stripes then alternate from side to side. (See example below.) First a thick stripe coming out from the left side of the garment into a thin center line. Then from the right, pressing my marker down on the right side and releasing the marker tip up into the center just below the previous stripe from the left. And so on, covering the whole garment. 
 You can also start with or put somewhere in your print a "V" formation. This will mimic the center of a real zebra hide. (As I did towards the lower half on my bathing suit illustration.) If you'd like to opt for something more stylized or just do not want that center V shape, then you can stick to stripes, as I did with some of the illustrations below. 

3- Highlights. With a white pencil or white charcoal add highlights. This will give the print depth and dimension. I added highlights along both front sides (or princess panel area's for those of you design students) as well as into the gathers at the shoulder. 
Similar again to leopard, zebra can be rendered in any combination of colors to achieve different looks. Shown here (above) are two illustrations I drew with browns and natural tones for a more natural/safari look. While below are two where I went a little nuts with color. The first one on the left is a very 80's vibe with the saturated fuchsia and black combo and the one on the right is something a little sweeter, a pale pink background with coral stripes. 

Zebra is truly one of my favorite prints to illustrate, paint, and have in little bursts around me, like on my umbrella, a clutch or scarf. In college I even had an entire accent wall of my bedroom that I painted in black and white floor-to-ceiling zebra stripes! Its classic and chic and in my book a fashion staple. 

Let me know in the comments section how your zebra stripes turn out and what Tuesday Tip tutorials you'd like to see in the future.

(For this post I used pencil, white charcoal and Copic Sketch double-ended markers, offering both medium broad and super brush tips.) 

Talk with Tom Ford

This past tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending a "Talk with Tom Ford" at the upper east side's renowned 92nd Street Y. As a self proclaimed fashion nerd, it was surreal to sit and watch the Tom Ford talk about everything from being bullied as a child for carrying a briefcase in lieu of a messy backpack, to his unprecedented reign at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, meeting Richard Buckley the love of his life 25 years ago, to his stint at retirement before diving back into womenswear to start his own collection inspired by the 30 most inspiring women in his life. (Including the likes of Julianne Moore, Beyonce, Lauren Hutton and Marisa Berenson.)

Tom talked a lot about the mentors in his life and the advice given to him that he's always valued, such as "only hire people you want to have dinner with" which he learned form Dawn Mello and "you have one decision to make in life, you can either be happy or not be happy" which was his grandma "Duckie's" motto.
Even talking about being an anal Virgo, Tom oozed charisma and charm.  He was entertaining, funny, and seductive in the way he answered questions and played off the audience. Fern Mallis even said how we were quite the lucky crowd because her inbox had been filled for days and her phone ringing off the hook with friends asking for tickets for the event which sold out instantly over four months ago. A second room had to be opened for people to watch a live-stream of the talk on screens. (The only other luminary the Y has ever offered that for was for Woody Allen!)

Ford shared so many wonderful insights into his life and career which I took many notes on but couldn't possibly write about it all. I manage to sneek these two photos, but for a more detailed recap of the event you can check out this Womens Wear Daily article and watch the video montage of highlights (above) that Fern Mallis shared a few days ago. A few of my highlights were:

-The influence of Halston on his designs (especially his early work), and Madame Vionnet on Halstons. Because "the art of creativity is concealing your source." -Coco Chanel

-He talked about the fact that people don't realize how hard people work in fashion, and with such passion. Its not appreciated or understood by those outside of the industry.

-Being at the helm of the Gucci Group and deciding what designers he admired and had potential but didn't conflict with his designs, eventually picking Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Nicolas Ghesquiere.

-Gwyneth Paltrow at this years Oscars was one of his favorite fashion moments. He loved that she was brave enough to wear it and it was a proud moment.

It was a fabulous night and one that I will not soon forget. (Right up there with attending the Vogue fashion show and being commissioned to sketch for Barbie at NYFW.) How often you walk into a Y filled with air kissing fashion folk and sit in audience among such notable industry people as Glenda Bailey, Valerie Steele, Dawn Mello, Cathy Hardwick, Renaldo Barnette (whom I brought as my dapper date), Aaron Potts (another talented friend) and designer Brandon Sun, to name a just few, and get to listen to a fashion design genius talk for nearly 2 hours. I'm still on a fashion high, and it was three nights ago!

Met Ball 2012: Oscar de la Renta

The annual Met Ball aka "Fashion's Oscars" is an event I always look forward to for jaw-dropping fashion, and this years Met red carpet did not disappoint. It was packed with stars, the fashion elite and top models all donning stunning designer creations.

Its always challenging to find designer sketches of red carpet looks so I was thrilled when @OscarPRgirl pinned this Oscar de la Renta illustration made especially for Lauren Santo Domingo. Being the girly girl that I am, I loved this bow filled gown and absolutely adore the sketch of it. Even with facial features, hair, and all color being void, its still a completely readable a lovely fashion illustration. 

The Ball was in celebration of Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute's new exhibition honoring Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli which opens to the public tomorrow. Tom Ford, whom I had the pleasure of actually seeing last night at the 92nd Street Y said the exhibition was "smart" and they way they displayed the work of both designers was like nothing he'd seen before. Tom even said he emailed Miuccia first thing in the morning to send his praises. I'm looking forward to checking out the exhibit myself and fingers crossed next year I'll be walking that carpet opening night! (Don't laugh, its always been a dream!) 

Tuesday Tip: Illustrating Leopard

Have you always wanted to learn how to accurately illustrate leopard print? Well its your lucky day, and you may be surprised to learn that leopard just so happens to be one of the easiest and most foolproof prints to draw and draw well. Being an animal skin, leopard print is organic, some parts are clustered and messy and some are open and spacey. You really can't make a mistake with this one I promise.
1. The first step is to choose your color way, and the three markers you'd like to use for the print. With the lightest one you lay the ground color for the print. I chose a dark tan color, in order to render a more realistic leopard print.

2. Let your base color dry then add a second "coat" in streaky and somewhat rough stripes, one being down the center and then as few or as many as you'd like to each side. This will add depth to the print.

3. Choose a marker that is darker than your ground color and randomly draw comma or kidney shaped "spots" with it, as I've illustrated for you in step three with brown.

4. With your darkest marker (I used black) draw three dashes or kidney shapes of varying lengths surrounding each of the kidney shapes you drew in the step three. Its as though you're messily outlining each spot with three dashes.

5. Add highlights, shadows and any garment design details with your black and white (or white charcoal) pencils. And ta-da! There you will have a classic leopard print.
Its been quite a while since my last Tuesday Tip post, but I figured what better way to get back into the tutorial mode than by showing you how to render this fun and classic print. Since I drew the tutorial in standard leopard colors I thought I should also show how easy it is to use the same steps but with colors that are a little more on-trend. Gray, black and white shown above, is a little more pop and edgy and the purples below are a colorful alternative.
If you're hungry for more you can check out my previous Tuesday Tip here, and come back next week because I'm working on another one for you. (I promise not to wait almost 2 years for another one this time!)

***I'm also taking suggestions so let me know in the comments section if there's a tip you'd like to see to help improve your fashion illustration skills.

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Instagram Addict

As my friends can attest to I'm a bit of a picture taking fanatic, therefore my favorite iPhone app has quickly become Instagram. In the past few months I've become a little obsessed and have been sharing everything from sneak peaks at projects I'm working on and quick sketchbook doodles, to my diy's, glimpses into my apartment and the occasional shot while out and about in the city. Shown here are a bunch of my recent favorites, but you can check out more of my pictures by following me, Brooklit. (I often share my photo's from Instragram through twitter too, which I also go by Brooklit.)
Instagram has many wonderful aspects to it but a favorite of mine is the ease of editing your images with color effects, brightness and adding a blur which you can easily adjust the size and focus of. Its so much quicker and easier than importing to photoshop. Its also fun to see what your friends are up to and "like" and/or comment on images that they post. (Here's a peak of my latest Instagram pic of a new Tuesday Tip I'm working on.)

You can now turn your Instagram photo's into something more; prints, books, magnets, even iphone cases. My friend Holly Becker of Decor8 recently did a wonderful round up of printing options for your Instagram shots, which you can check out here. I'll certainly be placing orders from a site or two from her list soon.

(All images taken by me on Instragram, @Brooklit)

Copic Marker Guest & New Print

As you probably know from reading Fabulous Doodles I love my Copic Markers, so needless to say I was thrilled when they contacted me and asked me to write a guest post of a bridal illustration tutorial for their blog. Instead of featuring one of my custom bridal illustration client projects I decided to create a new, and more stylized, bridal print. If you'd like to read about my process from start to finish you can check out the guest post I wrote on the Copic Marker site.

I like this new sketch so much that I decided to add her to Brooklit Bride, my Etsy bride shop. I rarely alter my sketches once they're completed but I did tweak this print in photoshop so its slightly different than the one Copic featured. I elongating the black sash to just beyond the gown's train. Proportionally it just seems to work better. Hope you like the newest Brooklit Bride print, sultry, sophisticated and sexy Victoria.