The arrival of fashion week usually sees me spending (wasting) hours scrolling through various websites checking out the runway shows for drawing inspiration. Each season I seem to happen upon a model whose face I find particularly captivating for one reason or another. This year I found myself saving pictures of this same girl over and over. Eventually I discovered her name; Alina Bolotina. Isn’t that a name that just rolls of your tongue?! Alina. Bolotina. Alina. Bolotina. Alina. Bolotina. She has an interesting, kinda unusual, face; a bit doll like; a bit duck-face/lips (in a nice way). Disappointingly, Alina Bolotina is Russian, not Italian as I had imagined her to be with that name like that and this being a post about Milan fashion week, featuring an Italian fashion brand. Oh well, you can’t have it all… on to the fashion.
Tod’s is a luxury Italian brand established in the early 1900s. Shoes and leather goods are their thing. Allegedly they are also famous for their iconic Gommino driving shoes. Yes, you read right, a “driving shoe”. In writing this blog, I stumbled across an article which pondered the compelling question; “Are Tod’s driving shoes worth the money?”. I didn’t even need to check out the price of a pair of Gomminos, to answer “no”. A driving shoe?…WTF? Who wears a “driving shoe”? Now I appreciate that you cannot drive a car in six inch heels, but I never knew you needed a specific shoe to be able to drive a car. And at $690 a pair … it is a resounding “no” from me to the Gommino driving shoe. Oh, and in case you were wondering what the real answer was, the ol’ Gommino’s don’t stand up so well to general walking around town so, if you do decide to get a pair, best to keep them just for driving your Maserati to the supermarket and then change in to your UGGs or your thongs for the actual shopping process.
Wow, this blog post went way off on a weird tangent there! Sorry! Lets get back to the actual drawing.
I chose Strathmore Toned Tan 118gsm paper for this drawing. I’ve used the Toned Grey before but this is my first time using the tan. I think I’m in love. This paper is so nice for portraits, it really makes the whites of the eyes pop. I only wish it was a little heavier weight, 118gms feels a little flimsy for my liking.
I used a fairly limited palette of Prismacolor Premier colour pencils and relied a lot on the tan of the paper to form the bulk of her skin tone.
Once I’d finished I was a bit disappointed and felt like the drawing looked a bit lacklustre and unfinished. I decided to add a bit of white background in the hope that it would lift it. White pencil on its own wasn’t giving me quite enough coverage and I couldn’t create the dense white that I wanted. I dove in to the cache of purchased-on-a-whim-and-never-used art materials under the spare bed and emerged with a Derwent Pastel pencil and a Pan Pastel in Titanium white. I’m not a huge fan of working with pastel pencils as I find they are difficult to sharpen with the lead often breaking and crumbling. The pan pastel, although not as easily manipulated into the little nooks and crannies, is much better at covering large areas.
So here it is the final illustration of Alina Bolotina for Tods at Milan Fashion week. I am trying to do two illustrations from each fashion week, so there is another Milan piece in the works. Stay tuned! (I will try not to ramble on about driving shoes next time).