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How to Use Screentones for Fashion Illustrations

Sara Richard | May 8, 2017

Learn how to use IC Screentones to create incredible fashion illustrations. Sara Richard shows how quick and easy screentones are to apply with this simple tutorial. 


I am a huge fan of fashion illustration, sometimes the patterns are a bit much to draw in and you need to get an idea across quickly. Or maybe you have all the time in the world and just want to make something look really cool! I was inspired by the IC Screentones, specifically Y-1601 with all the cityscapes and wanted to incorporate those patterns into my own fashion design.

Materials Used:

  • Acrylic Paints: Liquitex and Golden, Americana and Blick
  • Ink Pens: Faber Castel, Sharpie 
  • Gel Pens: Gelly Roll and Unibal Signo
  • X-Press It Graphite Paper
  • IC Screens: Y1601, Y1654, Y1683

Other Materials:

  • IC Screen Burnishing Tool
  • Copic Multiliner Turquoise
  • Tachikama Pen Holder
  • IC Super Black Ink
  • IC Comic ICP2 Nibs
  • IC Comic ICP1 Nibs
  • Aristo Cutting Mat
  • Aristo Axonograph II Template
  • Aristo Axokombi Template
  • Aristo 5053 Template
  • X-Acto Blade
  • Ruler
  • Spray Fixative
  • Modge Podge (or other paint on clear sealers)


Step 1: Pencil Sketch

I used X-Press It graphite paper on Canson illustration board. I used the Axokombi II template for the necklaces as well as the straight edges. Because I'm learning as well, I did the inking first, which, if you want to paint afterwards, I would hold off on. But if you want to stay with grayscale you can probably still go right into inking at this point. I used IC nibs and ink listed above in the materials.


Step 2: Backdrop

I love the cityscape screens IC has. I felt it would make a good backdrop to make the fashion design stand out and give a real modern feel. First I cut out the section I wanted and gently taped it in place in the areas I wanted the screen to stay permanently later on. Don't push down too hard as it'll be tricky to get it back up; though not impossible! Use an xacto blade to *lightly* trace the areas you want this screen to come up. It really doesn't take much to cut through and you want to leave the underpainting as undamaged as possible. It's important to have a nice fresh blade, otherwise the screen could tear! In this case, I knew I wanted the elbows to be in the foreground so I traced around the contours. Then you can gently pick up the screen from where you don't want it!


Step 3: Peel Up Screen

You can save any unused large screen sections for later projects. Now to make sure that screen doesn't go anywhere, IC makes a great burnishing tool for this. You could use a spoon, but it won’t lay as nice. Use a piece of paper to protect your work while you burnish, or use pressure to run the tool over the area where the screen is; this will get out any trapped air and really stick that screen down. It may be a bit hard to pull up afterward so make sure everything is in the right place.


Step 4: Add Another Screen

Using the same technique as above, I added another screen to act as design balance. If you are careful you can gently use the burnishing tool without a protective sheet to stick the screens to the paper. I used a Copic multiliner in one of my favorite colors to add a bit of totally outrageous color to the outfit and later on in some design embellishments. IC makes really fun screens for darker tones. I thought this light floral pattern, which shows up great on dark backgrounds, would be a nice subtle lace pattern for the bustle. You can also overlay screens on top of each other. With this tone, it shows up cloudy before really getting in there and flattening it with the burnishing tool where it will become more transparent.


Step 5: Touch Up

Now for the touch ups and finesse! You can use acrylic over the tones as I've done on the sleeves to darken that area up a bit. You can also use white acrylic watered down over screens to make smoke! White gel pens work well over the screens to add a bit of your own personal flare. I used Aristo templates to finish off the piece with some geometric patterns. Here is where you can ink back in any mismatched screen edges. 


Do a primary seal with spray fix to make sure the gel pen and graphite bits don't smudge. After the spray is good and dry (give it at least a couple hours in a well ventilated area). Now use Modge Podge to seal the screens in place. There you have it! You can do projects that are more or less involved than this, but have fun!

Have fun experimenting with more IC Products and Screentones


Topics: Illustration

Sara Richard
Sara Richard on May 8, 2017

I love to create and when I’m not making art I’m daydreaming of future pieces. I love to paint strange juxtapositions and sustained, borderline-awkward eye contact. I’m constantly trying to visualize in an illustration what can’t be seen in the real world. Painting wind is my favorite. I feel you can’t ever have enough colors in your art. That is what the Mesiah Lisa Frank taught me when I was a wee-nut.