GUEST DOODLEWASH: Jimmy Illustrated

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of mens shoes

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of botanticalsMy name is James Skarbek and I grew up in Pennsylvania and currently reside in Astoria, New York City (follow me on Instagram and visit my website!). 

I became interested in art as a potential career path when I started high school. I’d been artistic and drawing all my life, but this is when I started seriously taking classes at local colleges and learning a wide range of media from charcoal and pastels, to oil and watercolor painting.

For a while I thought I’d like to be a fashion designer, but I realized that I was only interested in illustrating clothing, and people in general, rather then actually creating and sewing designs.

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of menswear and woman's dress

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of man walking pinkI discovered Fashion Illustration as an art form and moved to NYC to study it at the Fashion Institute of Technology! Seven years later, I currently work as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator in the Apparel Industry, focusing mostly on Womens and Mens graphic tees.

I’ve previously worked in Home Décor creating watercolor designs for packaging. I’m also a part of Fashion Art NYC, a fashion art collective started with a friend and former classmate.

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of woman's portrait

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of women's fashionI’m extremely inspired by all the people around me. Mainly strangers I encounter on my daily commute as well as close friends. Their energies and personal fashion choices (shoes + hair especially!) provide me with a ton of inspiration.

It’s so hard to grab sneaky photos of everyone’s amazing hair, many times I’ve settled for the shoes but those are always great too. I also routinely keep up with what designers are showing each Fashion Week and draw runway looks that I find inspiring. 

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of hairstyles

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of butterflies / mothsI particularly love looking at the close up shots of model’s makeup and hairstyling. Sometimes I will draw them verbatim, but many times it is only a starting point for a more surreal piece. When not drawing people, I love to illustrate flowers and moths especially (I find moths fascinating!)

One of my absolute favorite materials are the Dr. PH. Martin’s Concentrated Radiant watercolors. They’re great because once completely dry, they are no longer water soluble. So you can create a great intense color wash, and then later work on top with more watercolor without fear of ruining/muddying the initial color and tone. 

Doodlewash - Watercolor Illustration - Fashion - by James Skarbeck of faces

I usually set down a base color using this method and then build up my painting with normal watercolors as well as opaque white ink. These inks are also great for fast life drawing, creating vibrant lines that you can either leave as is or work into later, adding subtler tones. 

James Skarbek

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Featured Artists
  1. Apeksha Rai 7 years ago

    GREAT post!!!!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    I’m glad to read this!

  2. […] Source : GUEST DOODLEWASH: Jimmy Illustrated […]

  3. Michele 7 years ago

    Wonderful work…so luminous! Thank you for the tip about the Dr. PH Martin’s watercolor!

  4. Margriet Bierens 7 years ago

    Very good! When I was a teenager I always wanted to be a fashion illustrator but my Life had another destiny. Also beautiful but it stays always in my mind; fashion has still my interest and all above ART!
    Wonderfull work and perfect Jimmy!

  5. creatingincolors 7 years ago

    I especially love the shoes, and the fascinating details of the model close-ups!

  6. YesterdayAfter 7 years ago

    Thank you Charlie for another amazing pick! Hi James I love your work very much your illustration is beautiful! I can relate with you for the love to illustrate Fashion. In the beginning it was my aim and great inspiration that led me to many other things and evolved my Art in many different directions! I have read that you worked for Urban Outfitters I did work for the big sister Anthropologie 😉 I follow you on Instagram and I visited your beautiful website keep up with you great work! From a doodlewashed to another best wishes <3 Carolina

  7. memadtwo 7 years ago

    Love the life in your feet! Keep dancing. (K)

  8. Laura (PA Pict) 7 years ago

    Fabulous artwork! I love the use of colour and the use of puddles and bleeds and blooms. Inspirational!

  9. M. L. Kappa 7 years ago

    Lovely work! And thanks for the tips! Will definitely try those colors

  10. anniedrawsthings 7 years ago

    WOW, these are incredible! I love seeing how watercolor bends to different art styles, and James uses watercolor so beautifully in his fashion illustrations. Thanks James and Charlie for sharing!

  11. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 7 years ago

    Love the way you define negative space, Jimmy. At first glance, your work seems simple (and beautiful) but a closer look reveals a fine tuned eye, much experience, and masterful painting. Well done.

  12. Anita 7 years ago

    Great work!! Love it!! 🙂 Well done for following your heart and your art dreams!!

  13. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Wonderful line work on your illustrations.

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