How to Join
the Fashion Spot / Visualizing Fashion / Art & Design
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Rules Links Mobile How to Join
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
26-12-2005
  1
backstage pass
 
Hana_N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Gender: femme
Posts: 762
David Downton - Illustrator
I can't believe this thread hasn't been done yet.

I adore his very elegant style. Here are some pictures.








(art-dept.com)

__________________
Your right to wear a mint-green polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eye - Fran Lebowitz
  Reply With Quote
 
26-12-2005
  2
backstage pass
 
Hana_N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Gender: femme
Posts: 762
Some more.










__________________
Your right to wear a mint-green polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eye - Fran Lebowitz
  Reply With Quote
26-12-2005
  3
backstage pass
 
Hana_N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Gender: femme
Posts: 762
An interview from his site www.daviddowntown.com, where the pictures above also are from.

Quote:
DAVID DOWNTON INTERVIEWED BY TONY GLENVILLE

How did you become a fashion illustrator?
I am not really sure. I didn't set out to become one. It happened very gradually. I spent about 15 years as a freelance illustrator taking on whatever came in - and enjoying it too. Sometimes, because of my style of drawing I was asked to produce fashion images- but I think during that time I covered almost every subject matter. From children's books to a sex manual. My first job was a cover for Which Computer magazine in the early 80's.
Were you interested in fashion?
Not particularly - but I loved the work of the great fashion illustrators, Gruau, Antonio and Eric and always appreciated them as artists.
What drew you to illustration in the first place?
I was always drawing. As a child, my idea of a treat was a big sheet of white paper. I didn't realise, until much later, that you could make a living from drawing.
What triggered your move into fashion illustration - was there something specific? Absolutely. In 1996 I was sent to draw at the Paris haute couture shows for a magazine. Like most illustrators I sit listening to Radio 4 with an angle poise for company, so I was very excited to get out of the studio - and a paid trip to Paris sounded good to me.
What was your reaction to that first trip to couture?
It blew me away! I was totally unprepared for it. Couture really is a parallel universe - I've heard it described as the kingdom of indulgence, which is true, but it is also extremely inspiring for an artist or illustrator; the worlds most beautiful women, designers working without constraint - the sheer theatricality of it all - there is a lot to draw!
What makes an interesting fashion subject?
I think the most important thing is the sense of the body in the clothes. After that, proportion, colour, a detail. Anything can catch the eye - but what is interesting in fashion terms isn't necessarily what makes a good drawing and vice versa.
Lets talk about your work methods. How do you arrive at the elimination of detail?
For me this is the hardest and the most interesting thing. In order to leave something out, first you have to put it in, or at least understand how every thing works. I do dozens of drawings on to layout paper taking the best from each one as I go. When the drawing looks right I start to eliminate, to de-construct if you like. I keep working until it looks spontaneous.
What methods do you use to apply colour?
It depends on the result I want to achieve and what is most appropriate to the subject. I use watercolour or gouache for small scale pieces. If I need flat saturated colour I use cut paper collage and then apply line using an acetate overlay.
What about the pure line drawing?
I use black Indian ink on acetate or paper.
So how do you draw on location, say at the Paris shows?
I don't actually draw during the catwalk shows anymore, I find it impossible. I take photographs or I just watch - I draw whenever there is a chance that the model will stay still, backstage or at fittings sometimes even in the car between shows. When I first started I thought it was my responsibility to draw the clothes as they came down the catwalk. The first show I ever saw was Versace couture, I just about managed to draw Kate Moss' arm before she disappeared!
What for you makes a successful fashion illustration?
Fluidity, mastery of the medium - capturing a sense of the moment, layout and use of space and most important of all, strong drawing. You can't be too good at drawing.
Which fashion illustrators do you admire?
Gruau for his graphic genius, Vertes for his humour, Bouché for his lightness of touch and Eric for his draughtsmanship.
What about the illustrators of today?
That's harder but there are probably half a dozen strong, individual fashion illustrators in the world today who have anything like the panache of those I have mentioned, not many.
What is your attitude to the computer?
Well, I have one, I think its probably a necessary evil, but nothing can compare with that first flash of black ink on white paper.
What prompted you to start painting portraits?
Again it wasn't planned. I met Marie Helvin when she came to an exhibition of mine in London. I asked if I could draw her and was delighted when she agreed. The drawing turned out well and I began to plan a book of drawings of the world's most amazing women.
Are you still planning a book?
Absolutely, I've just given up worrying about when it will be finished.
So would you call yourself a portrait painter?
No! Absolutely not. Lucien Freud, Graham Sutherland and Jenny Saville are portrait painters.
Does your approach for the portraits differ from the fashion work?
The aims are the same, simplicity, a fluid line, the illusion of effortlessness, of course there is the added dimension of having to capture a likeness.
Is that important to you? Do you find it difficult to achieve?
It is very important and strangely I don't find it difficult. It is more a knack than anything else. Some great artists don't have the knack some mediocre ones do...
You have worked with some very famous women - why do you think they agree to sit for you?
You'd better ask them!
And why women by the way?
The illustrators I mentioned earlier Gruau, Bouché and Antonio always drew the most beautiful women of the era. Also, I like women, it's a great job.
Tell me something about the sittings themselves
They normally take about two hours and usually I go to the sitters' house or a hotel suite. I drew Anna Piagggi between couture shows in Paris while they were taking the chairs away around us. Marisa Berenson was drawn on a boiling hot October day in New York on a roof terrace. You have to be flexible.
Are you trying to say something new about your famous sitters?
No, I draw what I see - I wouldn't presume to know someone after two hours. I am dealing with the public person not trying to expose the person behind it or get at some inner truth - but the best drawings are true collaborations.
So, you do a complete drawing in two hours?
No, I complete the work at home in my studio - a safe environment - and I never let the sitter see what I am doing, I don't have the confidence. I have to have time to evaluate it myself first.
Who would you like to have drawn?
Staying with women, from the 20th century - I'd say Sylvaana Mangano, Lee Miller, Audrey Hepburn, Josephine Baker, Ava Gardner, Edith Sitwell… it's a long list.
How do you escape from the world of style?
By not living in it. I escape to it from time to time which is great also. I have two children who couldn't care less about who I am drawing - which probably helps.
TONY GLENVILLE IS A FASHION WRITER, LECTURER AND HISTORIAN



__________________
Your right to wear a mint-green polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eye - Fran Lebowitz
  Reply With Quote
26-12-2005
  4
backstage pass
 
Hana_N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Gender: femme
Posts: 762
And some more from the designer sketches thread.




__________________
Your right to wear a mint-green polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eye - Fran Lebowitz
  Reply With Quote
26-12-2005
  5
V.I.P.
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Gender: homme
Posts: 15,925
great thread Hana N, I find the interview inspirational...i too adore his style...

  Reply With Quote
29-12-2005
  6
backstage pass
 
Hana_N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Gender: femme
Posts: 762
You're welcome.

Here are some images from a book he illustrated about fairy fashion?





from http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/bibli...63614130:28.00#

__________________
Your right to wear a mint-green polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eye - Fran Lebowitz
  Reply With Quote
29-12-2005
  7
backstage pass
 
Hana_N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Gender: femme
Posts: 762
Some more pictures from art-dept.com




__________________
Your right to wear a mint-green polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eye - Fran Lebowitz
  Reply With Quote
01-01-2006
  8
rising star
 
tinkyme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bangkok
Gender: femme
Posts: 153
i like him too!!!




  Reply With Quote
05-01-2006
  9
front row
 
svsk_sk2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London
Gender: homme
Posts: 359
wow... he is amazing...

  Reply With Quote
06-01-2006
  10
V.I.P.
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Gender: homme
Posts: 15,925
I want to try some illustrations in his style, does anyone know what he uses? I think its watercolours...

  Reply With Quote
06-01-2006
  11
backstage pass
 
Hana_N's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Gender: femme
Posts: 762
Yes, I think it's mainly watercolours, it does say a little about his methods in the interview posted further up..

__________________
Your right to wear a mint-green polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eye - Fran Lebowitz
  Reply With Quote
06-01-2006
  12
V.I.P.
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Gender: homme
Posts: 15,925
^ thanks

  Reply With Quote
08-01-2006
  13
a dim capacity for wings
 
Estella*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: la rue
Gender: femme
Posts: 7,651
thanks for the thread, hana, it was indeed long overdue. he's so good at what he does. personall i find his style almost a little too pleasing and sweet on the surface. some of the lightest examples you posted speak to me, though, like this :

__________________
mode schoepfung
estella mare
  Reply With Quote
09-01-2006
  14
rising star
 
blackrose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Manila, Philippines
Gender: femme
Posts: 118
I Love David Downtown ! His drawing style is my favorite!

  Reply With Quote
09-01-2006
  15
Of a bastard line.
 
Multitudes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: London(& Copenhagen)
Gender: homme
Posts: 9,329
Fantastic... I adore his drawing... I work as an artist, with drawings also... so this thread is a treat... thanks Hana N for setting up such a great thread... Karma for you.. By the way does anybody know any great book publication of his work?... I would be greatful if anybody knows...

__________________
We say too much in front of paintings ...
www.becomingmads.com
  Reply With Quote
Reply
Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Tags
david, downton, illustrator
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"


 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:10 AM.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
TheFashionSpot.com is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media LLC company. 2014 All rights reserved.