Menswear Illustration: Walter Van Beirendonck

Walter Van Beirendonck has been designing menswear since the 1980′s.

As a part of the ‘Antwerp Six‘ from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp Walter launched onto the London fashion scene in 1987.

Walter does not shy away from color or spectacle in his collections. His eclectic personality has carried his work throughout the last 26 years. 

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I don't quite remember how I first heard the name Walter Van Beirendonck. I believe I became aware of the menswear designer while researching notable people menswear leaders.

The name and the beard and the eclectic life of this man was just too neat. 

For this menswear fashion illustration I gathered some resources including several images of the man himself, a design of his that was 'striking,' and all of the proper references for posture.

One of the designs from the Fall 2012 collection was particularly pleasing- it featured a shirt tie and jacket combo that perfectly compliment each other. They were like a jigsaw puzzle ensemble, each piece needing the other to be complete and the image was a striking lightning bolt. 

As always, I began the illustration with my Pentel GraphGear 500 mechanical pencil (shameless love-of-the-tool plug).

My disdain of drawing from grids consistently leaves me with proportion problems. Walter did not spare me from drawing and revising and drawing and revising.

That is why it is important to draw with a 'light-hand'- all of the revisions go smoothly. 

When the rendering is completed to my satisfaction I pray. I pray that I do not destroy hours of preparation with a careless painting.

After a deep breath and with a steady hand I lay in a wash of watercolor over the entire figure. This serves to bring an overall sense of continuity to the painting before I really begin.

Layers of watercolor start to cover the page as the figure is being molded and brought to life. The shadows push the paper back and the high-lights bring the figure forward.

It is a constant push and pull to rend Walter from the page and breathe life into the painting. It all ends with the most minute of details- a speck of a highlight here and a touch of a shadow there- and the painting is complete. 

see the Slideshare presentation and download the pdf of the illustration process at the link below. 

 
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