Face facts

by Patsyfox on August 1, 2014


That’s right folks, it’s back.  Due to the popularity and excellent results of this workshop when I held it for the first time in June, I’m running it again! Faces are the number one thing that people tell me they struggle with. Inspired by the fine artists who base their understanding on the cranial structure of the head then work outwards, I created a workshop where we start with the skull then work it into fashion illustration faces, all the way through to stylised faces and features.

It won’t happen overnight but it will happen in this workshop…

It’s good to be Frankie

by Patsyfox on July 28, 2014



It’s incredibly good being my cat, just ask Frankie.  In fact I believe if word got out, I would have all the cats of the street clawing at my front door.

You don’t believe me?  If you’re my cat, and you look too cute curled up on my drawing chair, I’ll draw standing up so you can stay there.  So much so that I am now so used to drawing standing up I prefer it (so much for the expensive and ergonomic fancy chair).  Furthermore I have the heating up so high it’s perpetually like Darwin in my house, and I even think it’s funny when you stick your paw out to try and trip me over.  Need I go on?

Oh yes, and you have your portrait drawn constantly.  These sketches are from my 60-second breaks during a marathon-style drawing deadline this weekend.  Notice please – Frankie does not move from the sleeping position. It’s really good to be Frankie.


by Patsyfox on July 25, 2014


To say Patsyfox been a little slack of late is to make a gross understatement, but still waters run deep and I can assure you behind the scenes is a flurry of  paintbrushes, emails, et al… Last week saw not only the beginning of the RMIT semester but also the new term of classes at The Drawing Salon, and while I was stretched to all my various limits, it occurred to me that I have a really, really good life, because what I do for work is the same as what I do for pleasure (except the drinking). New York saw me not just hanging out with my dear friend, the fabulous Bil Donovan, but also interviewing three incredible illustrators – now I just have to write it all up for you…

In the mean time, above is a quick live drawing of my beautiful muse and ex-design student Emily, and below is The Drawing Salon in action this week for the first advanced fashion illustration class – wait until I get around to posting their work!  (You can be more up to date with this on The Salon Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheDrawingSalon)


Get with the program

by Patsyfox on July 15, 2014


Advanced_fashion_illustration_short_course_MelbourneThere are few finer things to do while it’s cold outside than to sit and draw.   The Introduction to Fashion Illustration classes may be fully booked, but for those who have even a small amount or perhaps a large amount of drawing experience, why not jump into some fun and challenging advanced classes?  They’re the only ones in this fine town.

For those who want to keep up to date with current illustrator techniques, get on board the digital fashion illustration course which features Adobe Photoshop and a touch of Adobe Illustrator.  Working with your hand-drawn illustrations, you’ll become familiar with the tools, processes and effects possible with digital programs, and achieving the results so many art directors are asking for.

More info on the Salon website.

When in Rome…

by Patsyfox on July 2, 2014


I’ve never had a lot of luck getting to the Colosseum in Rome – the first time I was on a work trip, had just one day to shop the entire of Rome, and… slept through my alarm.  Until 2pm.  But that’s another story.  This time my first day, allocated to on-location sketching around the town, was marred by my luggage being left behind in the last of a hundred transit cities – complete with my drawing equipment.

In my jet-lagged cock-eyed optimistic thought process, I thought it a good idea to go the Colosseum anyway – on a scorching hot Roman day - wearing the winter flying outfit I’d been wearing for approximately 3 days.  In case you’re thinking that was an incredibly stupid idea, you’re right!

The pain was soon forgotten – you just can’t be distracted by the beauty of such a city.


The rise of the machines

by Patsyfox on June 15, 2014


The Terminator reference may be a little over-dramatic in relation to the prevalence of digital illustration these days, but what can I say – I love pencils!  The answer for me as always is to meet half way – hand illustration meets photoshop.  So in a first for The Drawing Salon, today I held a full-day intensive workshop on colouring your hand-drawn image using photoshop.

Like all areas of my life, I jammed in at least four-times what the average content would be, and sure, when we got to the bit about creating your own patterns to use with the pattern stamp people’s brains did start exploding onto the walls like a Tarantino movie, but eh – it’s how I roll.  Everyone left with smoking hot images and I’m pretty sure they will have forgiven me by Monday morning.  They just may not have come down from the sugar high from all the chocolate.

That’s my demo image above, a little rough but cute.  I’ll hold this workshop again in August, but over 2 days, so less blood is shed.

This or that…or this…or that?

by Patsyfox on June 5, 2014


I wish I could say that these fancy animations I do were something to do with being at one with the endless possibilities that technology offers us. Sadly, it has more to do with crippling indecisiveness – when do I stop? With colour? Without? Sigh. Answer? Animation!

This is the strikingly beautiful Emily, drawn this week during The Drawing Salon’s advanced fashion illustration class – this week with a live model.  Thanks Emily for bringing your beauty to The Salon. X

I see red

by Patsyfox on May 31, 2014


An exercise in gouache paint, minimalism, and negative space.

One of the things I love most about teaching fashion illustration is that it forces me to use every variety of media in existence.  It also forces me to be ok with whipping up drawings in a matter of minutes while surrounded by a group of people.  What never ceases to surprise me is that the drawings of mine that seem to be the most popular are those quickly whipped-up demos – never mind the drawings I’ve thought long and hard about and spent time producing.  Sheesh!  It’s enough to make me see red.

Stencils and sponges

by Patsyfox on May 31, 2014


Ink, graphite pencil, stencil paper, kitchen sponge, toothbrush

I’m currently in the middle of the first Advanced course of fashion illustration I’ve put together for The Drawing Salon.  And I like it.  My wonderful talented students require me to rise to the challenge each week, providing them with new techniques, styles, and ideas.  Last week I laid out a pile of stencil paper, old toothbrushes, and kitchen sponges – voila, this was my demonstration drawing, you should see what they did!  I love humble equipment, and not relying on a computer to create effects…


Technology advances at an ever-increasing speed and in the world of Fashion Illustration it’s essential to stay relevant and up-to-date with techniques as many art directors look for artists who are able to combine hand drawn and digital elements.  As a trainer and illustrator I’m passionate about hand-created illustration and techniques, but when this is combined with digital illustration, I get very excited!

Starting with scanned hand-drawn illustrations, this full-day intensive will take you from step 1 through to rendering your figures digitally, working in layers, applying effects, patterns, backgrounds, using brushes, plus more, then combining multiple figures into one final composition.

You will be amazed at how much you can learn in one day – it’s not as hard as you think, if you learn how!

Suitable for complete beginners or those with some knowledge of Photoshop. (You will need a laptop with Photoshop, preferably CS5 or CS6)

Held in the beautiful Frankie and Swiss studio, Sth Yarra.

Class size: Maximum 10-12 people – at The Drawing Salon, size does matter.  Cost: $145 includes notes.



In all my time teaching and practicing fashion illustration, the comment I hear more than any other is “I can’t draw faces!”  Poorly drawn faces ruin more otherwise fantastic and professional illustrations than anything else.

Faces feature in each of The Drawing Salon courses, but there can never be too much time spent on this, and regardless of what level a person is at, faces always need and benefit from further study and practice.  This workshop gives you to opportunity to focus purely on this topic.

This one-day intensive will begin by examining the cranial structure of the face as studied by the classical fine artists, so we can all understand exactly what and why we’re drawing when we’re creating our expressive fashion images.  We take this new information through a series of illustrations exploring a variety of views, and finish by looking at stylised fashion faces – how can you draw that face in a few lines and make it look fabulous?

At the end of the day you can moonwalk out the door with a booty of killer illustrations under your arm – what’s not to love?

Held in the beautiful Frankie and Swiss studio, Sth Yarra.

Class size: Maximum 12 people – at The Drawing Salon, quantity means quality.  Cost: $135 includes materials and notes