A few more fashion week illustrations, this time from London. This first one is from “Pushbutton”. Unfortunately I have no idea who the model is. This was completed on Arches 180gsm smooth paper using a fairly limited pink and yellow skin tone palette. I used all Prismacolour Premier pencils; Cream, Light Peach, Deco Pink, Rosy Beige, Blush Pink, Henna and Tuscan red for the darkest shadows.
My second drawing is from the Margaret Howell show. I think this model is Nathan Westling who has quite an interesting backstory. For this piece I tried to use slightly less conventional colours for the skin. Rather than sticking to a palette of pinks and yellows I used; green (Caran d Ache Luminance – Green Ochre); yellow (Caran d Ache – Raw Sienna); orange (Prismacolour – Spanish Orange); light blue (Prismacolour – Blue Violet Lake) and purples (Caran d Ache – Violet Grey, Violet Brown and Light Aubergine).
This is not to say that I didn’t use any traditional ‘flesh’ colours at all but to be fair I think there is only one flesh (Faber Castell – Light Flesh) and one light pink (Prismacolour – Deco Pink) and a red (Prismacolour – Henna). Oh yeah and Caran d Ache – Anthraquinone Pink which is, on first glance, a fairly offensive pink but somehow seems to work perfectly anywhere you need pink in a portrait … go figure. If you decide to fork out the $4.70 EACH for a Caran d Ache Luminance pencil this is the one to get. (Do you think they’ll send me a free pencil for saying that? 😇)
Anyway on to Milan next week… not literally…. just fashion-weeky-wise.
It’s fashion week again and I have packed up my watercolours and brought out the colour pencils. My first piece is from the R13 collection. I couldn’t resist the combination of camouflage and leopard print. I love this drawing! I never say that but I am actually really pleased with how it turned out in the end. (Leaving part of it “unfinished” IS intentionally in case anyone was wondering 🙄)
I was feeling pretty cocky after my first drawing turned out to be such a masterpiece, I thought Id try out some toned paper. Judging by the amount of toned paper I have in stock I must have had this thought numerous times before but have obviously never followed through! I have three unused pads of the stuff! For this one I chose the Toned Gray from Strathmore. For my first toned paper attempt I am pretty happy although looking at this now I may have got a little carried away with the white pencil highlights in the end.
And just to prove not everything goes to plan here is unfinished drawing number three from the Kate Spade collection. This one just didn’t work for me from the very start. I had so much trouble with her skin. I think I am just not well practiced in drawing dark skin tones. Admittedly it doesnt look totally horrible, I just personally don’t like it and have no appetite to finish it. I think I was trying to do too much and too many things in one drawing and now I feel a bit lost. Maybe I will go back to it one day!
I’ve been practicing my watercolour. I think I am slowly improving. I still find it a very challenging medium to use. The hardest part for me is to let go and allow the watercolours to really do what they want to do. The looser I can let myself be the better the end results.
These two portraits I did straight after one another. They are both of a Russian model called Sofia Steinberg and the reference photos appeared in the Zara online catalogue. She has a really interestesting quirky look about her that I like. I say interesting and quirky my husband says “pissed off and bitchy”. Regardless I am a bit obsessed with her now… not in a weird stalky way … although I have tagged her in everything I put on Instagram (which by the way she NEVER acknowledges.. maybe she is bitchy?)
Since I am still a pretty shitty water-colourist I always go back to my colour pencils to “refine” things a little (okay a lot). For both of these portraits I used colour pencil for the facial features and to refine a few edges. I quite like the end results. I think the colour pencil give it a bit more “pop” than I could achieve with watercolour paints alone.
The Dries Van Noten show was one of my absolute favourites from the Fall 2019 runway shows. I am a bit of a sucker for a floral print especially when it’s not a sickly sweet one; “Flowers can be romantic, but this I wanted to take out, because the times are tougher than in the past. So you see the diseases, the black spot, the imperfections.”
Rub ‘n Buff Gold Leaf
Like a Bower Bird, I am attracted to all things sparkly. I picked up a tube of Rub’n Buff in my local art store a few months ago not really knowing what I would use it for. It comes in a 15ml tube in 12 metallic colours (Gold Leaf, Antique Gold, European Gold, Grecian Gold, Autumn Gold, Silver Leaf, Antique White, Pewter, Spanish Copper, Ebony, Ruby, Patina – which looks like it would be an amazing colour!). I have the colour “Gold Leaf”. I think technically it’s supposed to be used to add gold leaf to hard surfaces like timber. There are no real instructions of the tube just; ‘apply to most surfaces, polish with cloth. Clean with mineral spirits.’ ??????
So, after basically ignoring the instructions, I thought it was the perfect thing to use to recreate one of the Dries Van Noten gold floral looks. I started with a watercolour base for the skin and the shoes. I then applied the Rub ‘n Buff with a small stiff brush to create the gold flowers. In larger areas you can buff it a bit with the brush, however, in small, more detailed areas, it is not so easy to use as it is very thick and not particularly fluid. Consequently, I had to apply it quite thickly to get a crisp edges. I am no alchemist (or even chemist for that matter) but perhaps you could thin it with a little mineral spirits and that would make it more spreadable? Just a thought.
Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic
Another product that I purchase on a whim but have never used; Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic Artists Ink. This has a little bit of a sheen to it which complemented the gold quite well. Something that surprised me (but obviously wouldn’t have if I bothered to actually test things out before I committed to the final piece) was that this ink can be painted over the gold. For some reason I thought the Rub ‘n Buff being wax based would repel the water based acrylic. It doesn’t. So all my efforts to get a crisp edge with the gold were slightly unnecessary as I could just create the edges with the black ink.
For her bag I used another shiny buy; a ‘Wink of Stella’ glitter brush pen. They are, as the name suggests, a glitter pen that has a brush tip. There are loads of different colours and the finish is sensational. You will be seeing them a lot more in my art work. I am in love.
At this point everything was looking far more “unrealistic” than I was comfortable with so I used my colour pencils to enhance her face and feet. Her hands were also really bugging me. I could live with the one dimensional nature of her pants and coat but they hands just looked too weird. I took to them with a 6B pencil to add a bit of shading and hopefully they look a bit better.
So here she is. Unfortunately Run ‘n Buff and glitter pens, like a lot of metallic mediums, don’t scan particularly well. They need reflected light to really shine and a scanner just doesn’t do them justice.