Fashion illustration

Basics of fashion illustration, Yves Saint Laurent inspiration


4 days/3 nights

His way to glory and worldwide recognition Yves Saint Laurent began with sketches and fashion illustrations. Once in 1954  Saint Laurent presented his sketch of a cocktail dress to a contest organized by the Chambre syndicale de la Haute couture. He received the Grand prix of the contest that boosted his artistic career and brought him in the future the world fame and recognition. He won this competition because he believed in his strength, he believed in himself, in his dream and was totally passionned about what he was doing.

“Fashion Illustration” course by Paris Fashion Academy is designed for those who have never taken a pencil in their hands, as well for those artists who want to refine their skills and bring them to a new level.

During the course you will discover the life and the work of the incomparable designer  Yves Saint-Laurent, visiting the museum that once was his haute couture house. You will visit his studio and you will admire the exceptional pieces of garments and sketches created by the talented artist.

During 6 workshops of the program you will get acquainted with a variety of modern techniques of fashion illustration (graphic, watercolor, collage, pastel, markers, pen & ink…) and learn how to combine them. The course covers a wide temporal spectrum: you will draw a lot of illustrations of costumes from YSL, seen with your own eyes, but also you will learn how to draw modern images, either a fashion portrait or an illustration of a model on the runway.

Express yourself and give a boost to your artistic career by creating a professional, interesting and vibrant portfolio of fashion illustrations inspired by the greatest outfits YSL.

Want to use your drawing skills to create your own fashion collection? Visit our Fashion Design program.


Day 1

Arrival, check-in in the hotel

Discovery of Paris, walk through historical districts

Free time


Day 2

Breakfast at the hotel

11.00  Visit of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, quick sketching of garments. Yves Saint Laurent Museum, located in the legendary hôtel particulier at 5 avenue Marceau was once the headquarters of the haute couture house where the great couturier was designing his collections and receiving his clients for nearly thirty years. With a vast collection of a 5000 garments and 15 000 accessoires, the museum recreates the original atmosphere of the haute couture house, not forgetting the studio which perfectly draws the creative process behind the collections. You will find there the personal belongings of the designer, such as sketches, coloured pencils, art books, boxes of brooches or textile samples.

13.30 Lunch

15.00 – 18.00 Fashion illustration : introduction. Choice of art supplies, essentials in fashion illustration (general). Proportions in fashion figures.  Steps of creation of a illustration in mixed media. Watercolor techniques: “wet on wet” and “wet on dry”. How to apply color washes to paper:  flat wash, graded wash or multicolor. Result: you will master different watercolor techniques and you will learn how to combine it with other media. You will discover the malleability, the transparence and the lightness of the created silhouette.


Free time


Day 3

09.00 Breakfast at the hotel

10.00  Fashion illustration of YSL evening gown, pen and ink technique. Unlike on the previous workshop, where the model was static, we will learn to draw the model on the runway. Based on our example we will analyse the rhythm of the proportions and the effect of chiaroscuro.

13.00 Lunch

15.00 – 18.00 Fashion portrait with dry pastel.  Choice of art supplies (types of pastel, type of paper etc). Basics of working with dry pastel. Layering and smudging with pastels. Effect of drastically different textures achieved with soft and hard pastel.


Free time


Day 4

09.00 Breakfast at the hotel

10.00 Fashion illustration mixed media – oil pastel and permanent markers. Work on a transparent plastic medium.  

13.00 Lunch

15.00 – 18.00 Fashion illustration in media of your choice. Drawing of a dress with water-soluble pencils GRAPHITE AQUARELLE (HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B) combined with color pencils or silhouette watercolor illustration on tissue craft paper.  

Presentation of certificates to participants of the course.


Free time



Tuition fees include :

  • Transfer to the hotel from the airport
  • Stay at the hotel in the historical center of the city in a TWIN room
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Yves Saint Laurent Museum visit
  • Courses and workshops listed in the program
  • Art supplies: pencils, color pencils, pastel pencils, water-soluble graphite pencils, A3 paper, tissue craft paper, plastic medium, dry pastel, oil pastel, India ink black and color, watercolor reservoir brushes, watercolor, brushes, liners, permanent markers.  
  • Group accompaniment
  • Certificate of completion of the course


Tuition fees do not include:

  • Tickets to Paris (airplane, bus, train etc).
  • Visa (if needed)
  • Health insurance – is OBLIGATORY
  • Meals (lunch, dinner)
  • Public transportation in Paris (up to 25 EUR)



Enroll now!

Fashion Design
Textile Management

More Portfolios