Monday, 6 November 2017

Peacock Princess

 The ‘peacock princess’ is a minor character from a book I tried to write a few years back. I might pick up the story again at some point, but no promises. Her green over skirt with its lace detail is supposed to reference a peacock’s tail, which is also why the underskirt is blue.

This illustration is actually the work of several years.

I made the original sketch a few years ago. I don’t know how long exactly, because it was before I started recording dates on my work. I think that at the time I thought it gave them a 'timeless’ quality?

Anyway, I scanned it into the computer, enlarged it, lightened the lines, and printed it to 'clean up’ the lace pattern in ink. At some point after this, I coloured the ball gown and the lady wearing it, and then left the picture in a drawer and forgot about it until I found it a couple of months ago.

When I found it, I realized her legs were out of proportion for a standing figure, so I put her in a chair. Then I decided she should be reaching for something, since she wasn’t curtsying, and added the side table and book.

That made the other side of the picture look empty, so I sketched the fireplace and the joint of the wall and floor - and then decided to go whole-hog and put a bookshelf recessed into the wall behind her, framed in wrought iron.

I’m pleased with the overall look, particularly with how the books, marble bookends, and geodes turned out. I think that not inking the books’ outlines helps them recede into the background, in contrast to the chair, the table and book on it, the brickwork inlaid in front of the fireplace, and the fire grille.

Colours are a combination of pencil crayon, brush pen, and coloured pen. The princess was inked in a standard blue ballpoint pen; if I were to ink this image again, I would probably keep that for her dress, flower, and jewellery, but change pens for outlining her skin and hair. On the other hand, it does make her the unquestionable focus point of the image.

Here is the original sketch, for comparison:

(This post has been cross-posted [link] on my tumblr account.)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Sewing Measurement Chart

I made a chart of which body parts to measure for fitted clothing, complete with a visual aid of where those spots are.

A tip I learned in sewing class is, instead of measuring all the way across the body for, say, torso or waist measurements, start in the centre and measure to the side.

If you’re drafting a shirt or pants pattern, you probably only need half measurements for the torso/waist in any case, because most patterns are made to fit half to torso or only one leg, with the expectation that it will be the same or “close enough” on both sides.

(It saves on materials to only use half the amount of tissue paper or canvas before making the ‘real’ garment.)

Another tip is to add at least 10 centimetres to the wrist measurement when drafting sleeves and 12 centimetres to the ankle measurement when drafting pants. This extra looseness or 'ease’ makes it easier to get clothing on or off and more comfortable to wear.

You can add the ease right away when recording your measurements, but I like to save that for the drafting stage so that, if I need to retake a measurement, I don’t have to remember how much I changed it and apply that to the new note.

In other news, because I do want this blog to be mostly tutorial-based, I've started a tumblr account to share my fashion illustrations on social media. [link] We'll see if I'm more diligent about updating that than I have been here! Every once in a while there will probably be overlap.