Last week, Monica and I had the opportunity to check something off our bucket list—take a watercolor class with Inslee! Because we had such a fun time at the event, I wanted to write a quick recap post of the class in case you’re considering enrolling in one in the future.
For those of you unfamiliar, Inslee is an artist I’ve loved following for years, known for her fun and flirty style. She painted the flamingos I have in my bedroom and does all sorts of custom work for weddings and large brands, like Kate Spade and Beyonce. My colleague told me Inslee announced on Instagram she was hosting a water color class at Tuckernuck, and I immediately DM’d the post to Monica on Instagram since she’s also a big Inslee fan. Since Inslee is based in New York, most of her watercolor paint classes are hosted there and not in DC—so we decided to splurge and pay the $150 to take her class hosted at Tuckernuck in Georgetown since we knew it might be a while until she hosts another one here.
Admittedly, $150 is a lot to pay on a one-off, two-hour art class, but it was worth every penny. Inslee took us step-by-step in the watercolor process, Tuckernuck provided complimentary wine and snacks, and everyone who took the class was so much fun to mix and mingle with. The class officially went from 6-8pm, but Inslee was so gracious with her time, and Monica and I ended up leaving around 8:45pm. While I’m definitely not quitting my day job anytime soon to become an artist, I thought it’d be fun to show you the process we took to get from concept to completion!
Inslee provided art supplies for everyone—an eraser, a pencil, a paint brush, high-quality paper, and paint. To start, Inslee taught us some basic techniques for drawing fashion figures. Unlike in portraiture, when drawing for fashion, you want to stretch out the limbs—especially the legs!—to unnatural proportions to show off the clothes.
We started with the paper above—Inslee had drawn the figure on the left, and we were to recreate it on the righthand side of the page. It’s been a long time since I’ve even written, let alone drawn, with a pencil so this was a bit of a struggle! Throughout this sketching process, Inslee was walking around the room giving us feedback and pointers, which was super helpful!
Once we mastered the basic proportions of the fashion figure, we moved onto a fresh sheet of paper where we started shifting body parts across the midline to create movement. Since my figure had her had on her left hip, I shifted her right shoulder up to create balance in the body.
I felt pretty confident drawing the body portion of my figure, but did have Inslee help me with the feet and hands. Her advice was to not focus too much on defining those elements—you as the artist can choose what the eye is drawn to, and in this case, it’s the clothes!
Once we were happy with the basic outline of our fashion figure, we started to play with watercolor! So we could get use to how watercolor goes on the paper and layers, we were given a scrap piece of paper to test things out on and start blending skin tones and hair color. After I blended a skin tone I was happy with, I painted it on my fashion figure anywhere her clothes wouldn’t touch.
I then added in some hair, but wasn’t happy with the outcome, so had Inslee help me fix her hair into something more reminiscent of Kate Middleton. Inslee also helped me add in shadows to her skin tone where light would naturally hit to make her a little more realistic.
Here is my painting with Monica’s hanging out while we were waiting for the paint to dry so we could continue layering watercolor without it running and so the color was more vibrant!
Next up, I began erasing many of the guidelines I had drawn on her arms and legs and drew out the shape of where I wanted her dress to be. I also added in a shadow with paint on her dress where light would naturally hit her bust and hip area.
Last step was painting her dress, which I made into a pink polka dot number! To finish her off, Inslee helped me paint on high heels and a cute face, but I forgot to snap a photo of the finished product.
I had the best time at watercolor class, and loved learning and testing out a new-to-me skill. Inslee makes it look so easy in her finished product (and she made it look so easy in her demonstrations in class!), but it was much harder when I tried it myself! I definitely want to look for more classes like this one to try new skills and push my comfort zone—I love getting creative!