Denver Balbaboco is a Preview fave. You've probably seen his work spread across various issues in the magazine, including that expansive sticker book from last year's September issue. This time, he draws our favorite '90s supermodels wearing our top 10 designer picks from the recent Manila Fashion Festival. Virtually styled by Preview Contributing Fashion Editor Andre Chang, we talk to Denver about what it was like drawing iconic faces like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell in local designer garb.
You've done a lot of fashion illustrations for Preview, but was this one any different?
"Yes it was! Here, I was able to draw clothes realistically."
What do you mean by that? Was there a specific instruction to pay close attention to the detail of the clothes?
"No. Not really, it's just that I want it to look realistic and close to the actual clothes because they're so gorgeous!"
Can you take us through your cretive process?
Denver's initial sketch of Linda Evangelista wearing Bengt Enrique
"I sketch and color my illustrations digitally using Adobe Photoshop CS6 which I always use for digital artworks. I don't draw the pictures right away, I analyze the anatomy first, the lighting, color, and other important details. Then I start by gathering all the references I need and put them altogether and study the entire picture—like what should the finished product look like? Should the skirt flow over there? Should I make the legs short? Should I widen the eyes? I do this to make sure everything is accurate and perfect."
Do you draw straight from your imagination or do you print out your pegs?
"What I do is I compile all the references I have and then photo manipulate them before illustrating. But if there are no available references, I draw them from scratch. I really got this idea when I first started illustrating for Preview, like the pose pegs should wear the clothes pegs. (Laughs)"
How was it like drawing these famed supermodels?
"I really made sure their illustrations would look exactly like them 'cause I was thinking of the things they'll say if they were to see these illustrations. Haha!"
What technique did you end up using?
"I've been doing realistic digital illustrations, and so I used that technique for this project."
Who was the hardest to draw?
"It was Linda Evangelista because of the amount of details on her dress."
Who was the easiest?
"Naomi Campbell! I enjoyed doing the dress, really."
Do you have a particular favorite?
Do you really prefer doing portraits or do you like to draw still life and abstract, too?
Yes, I prefer drawing portraits. I want to perfect the art of portraiture. I'm more into drawing outward appearances rather than drawing based on my emotions. I'm so inspired by the classic portraits of John Singer Sargent. He painted flattering society portraits. Aside from doing portraits, I also do concept art or fan art.
Do you accept commmissions? How can people contact you?
Yes, I do. People can contact me through e-mail at balbabocodenver @ gmail.com or message me on Instagram via @denvertakespics.
See the rest of our Manila Fashion Festival fashion editorial in our September issue here.