Monday, February 23, 2015

Fashion Illustration

About a month ago I started to write a post about what had happened to make me fall off the earth- I never finished it; and it has been long enough that I'm not feeling particularly compelled to finish it today.  So I'm going to move on :D suffice it to say life happened, I'm alive and everyone is ok.  (I got busy with school and reorganizing every room in the house- twice.  I found the library book- but the local library wants my head now)

One of the courses I'm taking this semester is an Advanced Figure Drawing class- what this translates to is a class about abstraction and stylization of the figure.  These are things I need a LOT of work in- so I've been practicing like crazy to get better at my craft.  This is one of those wonderful senior level classes you can take 2 times for credit- this is my second time taking the class; and I wish I could take it a third time.... I just learn so much.

The unit we just completed was on fashion illustration.  I have a kind of love/hate relationship with this particular branch of illustration; I love drawing super idealized/stylized people... but the extreme proportions in most fashion illustration kinda bugs me.  With that said I've completely enjoyed this unit.

I'm typing this from the school so I don't have my setchbook from last year- which is a shame i'd love to show the 'then vs now' improvement.  I'll make do with what I have on my ipad :D

Like with everything we started out with gesture drawings to help us understand the proportions- we were told to make the legs 2 times as long as the torso.  Let me tell you this is harder then you would originally think.   Most artists- myself totally among the- tend to draw legs shorter than they are in reality.  You don't realize how badly you are doing until you try to elongate the figure and the professor comes up and says 'yea- looks like good proportions; but now you need to lengthen the legs' I thought I was.  I had major issues with it the first time I took this class- this time I knew more of what to expect so I had a slightly easier time from the first.

Those are displying backwards- but I'm sick of fighting the ipad for control over my blog... the lower right was the first one I did, lower left second, and the the ones on the top were after a bit of practice.

I definitly found I enjoyed the fashion figure- at least in gesture form.  Now onto some practice drawings.  


It was around this point that I realized I *really* needed to establish my own symbols and proportions- 'cause shooting in the dark was NOT working for me.  

So this is what I did next:

The top half of each page are copies I did from fashion illusrators that I like- the bottom half was me trying to figure out my own interpretations.  

This helped a lot.  

My drawings improved greatly at this point- but I still wasn't satisfied with the way they were looking.  So I decided to do a bunch of head studies from photographs online- I was exploring hair styles and also simplifying features.

Sketches improved again.

The curvy fashion figure below is my favorite by far.  

So with all of that done- I finally felt ready to start working on my project for that unit.  First I established the proportions I'd be using.  

then many thumbnails....

finally a comp of a sort

Honestly I still wasn't 100% happy with it; but I was also out of time.  I wanted to do something original.... so I went to far off the deep end- it's not really a fashion piece but it has fashion figures... so that's something.  

Below is the progress on the watercolor paper from ink to water color.

I don't have a photo of it matted... because I forgot to take one before I turned it in. I learned a LOT not only about fashion but also about using ink and water color.  I'm not the best with either yet... but hey! gotta start somewhere!


(forgive all of the bad shots of my sketchbook- there is pretty terrible lighting where I'm sitting)