Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Artists at the Design Museum

Georges Lepape


Bernard Blossac


Francois Berthoud

Mats Gustafson

Here are a few images by the artists that I have mentioned during my trip to the Design Museum.

'Drawing Fashion.'

Way back in January, I visited the Design Museum in London.
I had heard that there was an exhibition on, named 'Drawing Fashion.'
Of course, I immediatley wanted to go so booked a train ticket and went down for my birthday.
It is such a lovely building, that is the first thing you notice... so white and clean.
Sadly, I couldn't take any photographs of the work there, but I did purchase the book which is full of the works there.
When I went up to the exhibition, I felt so excited as I havn't been able to find many exhibitions that are purley fashion illustration based, so was full of joy as I entered the white gallery which had frames upon frames of wonderful illustrations.
The first fashion illustrations that were on display, were by the artists in the Art Decco period.
Georges Lepape was the first.
Truth be told, I am not a great admirer of his work, but once infront of the framed work, one cannot but admirer the line and brush strokes that Lapape used.
His images are so busy, full of life and colour that one has to find the beauty in them.
One of the other artists from that same period, is Erte.
The images that were there, were very simple and just consentrating on the figure.
If I had to pick my favourites, it would be the sinple images of a figure, in the centre of the page, done on plain paper. They are very detailed so he doesn't need anything occuping the space around them.
Moving through the exhibition, one comes to the 1930s/1940s section.
I was looking forward to this bit as the 1940s are one of my favourite eras. I adore the shape and style of the clothes in this decade and one cannot forget the Second World War that was happening at the time, so it made women 'make do and ment' their clothes, and they certainly came up with some lovely outfits.
My favourite artist from this decade is Bernard Blossac.
To see his works up infront of you takes your breath away! He uses rather simple, sketchy lines and finishes the figures off by adding a wash of watercolour.
Even though the forties was a dark time, Blossac makes that era look elegant and rich, just by his figures of women.
The images are so elegant and delicate that I could not take my eyes away from them. I think I was at his part of the exhibition for about half an hour!
The next part was the 1960s.
(The 1950s artists were still Blossac and others that I have mentioned.)
The main artist/illustrator that occupied this era was Antonio. His style changes with time.
The first images were done in charcoal, just black and white, as well as using the smudges by working it into the clothing. I have to say that these were my favourite of his as there is a lot of elegance and grace within them...
His work through the sixties was wonderful... whether he uses charcoal, watercolour or pen. But as it got to the 1980s, that is when Antonio didn't suit my taste.
The women are very 'boxy.' A sudden change to his slim and delicate sixties figures. I do suppose that he changed with time and of course that is what everyone wore during that time.
Coming to my 2 favourite fashion artists now.
I stood with my eyes wide open at the works of Mats Gustafson and Francois Berthoud.
These two illustrators have been in my mind since this visit and have, and will continue to be, a very big inspiration to me and my work.
Mats Gustafson uses watercolour. He uses it in simple ways, with limited colour and uses shape quite remarkably.
(I have written a post on him if anyone wants to see a few selections of work.)
Francois Berthoud is a little different. He works on enamel and creates monotype.
I do prefer his enamel works, just by how he uses the black. It looks like drips of paint and is a wonderful way to create hair on his figures.

All in all, I am so very glad that I had the opportunity to visit this exhibition. The timing came at a great time for me as I was in need to be inspired!

I was definitely inspired!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Clients, Network List etc...

Just a note to say all my PDP infomation are in a book, not on this blog as I want to respect the confidentiality of the people and companies that I have spoken to.

Looking Back...

With only a few days left until I come to the end of my degree, it has got me in a thoughtful mood, (hense why I have chosen my idol, Marilyn, in a thoughtful pose!)
In another post, Hopes, Fears and Oppotunities, I feel like I have come a long way from when I last wrote it.
Things have changed about me and my work, and I hope for the better!
The first thing that I have noticed in myself, is my growing confidence. I seem to believe in myself and what I can do.
At one time, not too long ago, I wasn't feeling very good about one part of the brief we had to answer. This was the part we had to arrange meetings, e-mail and speak to potential clients and fellow artists/illustrators.
A lot of it was silly nerves and quite frankly, I wasn't very confident about some of my work... but the day came when I got in touch with one of my favourite illustrators and that meeting alone with her, gave me such a boost and my confidence started to soar!
Having such a talented illustrator look through my work, complimenting pieces, giving great advice etc, was so inspiring and made me look at my work in a very different light.
Since then, my work has taken a turn for the best...
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have been experimenting yet again with different materials and papers. My favourite at the moment, is water colour on lining paper. It suits my style so well, and gives such an elegance to my drawings that they didn't have not so long ago.
I don't really know how I started to work this way. I suppose it was accidental... I bought new paints, didn't have any sketchbooks at hand, the only paper near me was lining paper- that accident happened to work out for the best!
I am much less 'precious' about my drawings now. There was a time when I would spend so much time on one drawing, making sure all details were correct, i.e the facial features, and then become so uptight when it didn't go right, I would start again.
But this degree has changed that, especially this last month or so.
Yes, it has been a bit of a struggle trying to loosen up, but it has been worth while sticking to it. I do have some illustrators to thank for that. They inspired me so much that I wanted to try and have that 'lose' and confident feel to my own work.
Tina Berning, yet again, has been such a huge inspiration to me. I just adore her portraits of girls/women in her book. They are so beautiful and elegant, even if they are done in a harsh black colour, they always have such delicate qualities about them.
Alice Tait... what a fabulous artist!
Her work is so beautiful, whether she creates a page full of pigeons or figures in elegant clothes, they are each as delicate and wonderful as eachother.
She has been very inspiring to me...
There are numerous other artists/illustrators that I could mention, and most of them are on this blog anyway!

I think that the best part for me and my work has been these last 5 months.
As I keep saying, my work has become more professional and I now feel so much more happier with what I can do, and I can now see where my images etc might appear.
I can see my work in fashion magazines, shop displays, on billboards... I feel confident enough that such things may happen.

My degree has kept me extremely busy and that has worked for me. We have been given such tasks that not so long ago, I wouldn't have had the nerve to do, for example, showing my portfolio to professional people or even contemplating talking over the telephone to such companies as Vogue.
As it turns out, I managed to talk to a number of people, and find myself enjoying it, which of course is a good thing as I see this having to happen a lot of the time!

I do consider myself to be an artist/illustrator now, and quite frankly, am ready to go out into the 'real' world...

Monday, 9 May 2011

Figure Walking to Chair

This image has an eerie feel to it, with the type of brush marks I have used and of course the colour that I have chosen.
The figure is quite interesting... I have added slightly more definition to her, for example, the jacket she is wearing, the outline of her face and now added the hands.
I do find it rather hard to draw the hands, but when at one with the brush, I just put it to paper and see what comes up. In this case, I feel the hands are rather good. I really like how only a few brush strokes can create something that looks rather real.
The chair looks like something out of a Tim Burton film (which was not intentional.)
It was a challenge for me to create other objects in the same style as the figures that I so confidently do, and I really had to get other elements correct in the same way, as well as being rather good.
This image doesn't show the elements that I can create to its potential, but, I do think that the simple elements on their own, do have a certain elegance about them.

Hat stand and Corset

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am working with black water colour on lining paper.
I have made quite a few elements and used Photoshop to try and create a decent composition.
The hat stand works quite well, with the blunt colour next to the water coloured bodice.
It was an idea from my tutors to see how flat colour, like a silhouette, works next to my way of working.
After a little experimenting, I came up with a few and put the silhouette clothes hanger above the bodice. It works quite well together, the two textures together.

I think that an image like this would look quite fitting in a fashion boutique, a vintage shop or in fact, a backdrop for a magazine shoot...

For my first proper attempt at putting my images into a composition, it works rather well.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

2 Women inspired by Pierre-Louis Mascia

As I was looking through my work throughout my degree, I came across these figures that I created about 3 years ago in my first year.
We were given a project to try and copy a piece of work that a fellow illustrator had done.
I was given the wonderful fashion illustrator Pierre-Louie Mascia.
It was rather a challenge for me at the time as I had never worked with lace before, but once I started to work, I really enjoyed it. I found myself working with material etc that I would have never worked with before and yet I created something that I was later very proud of.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

A Collection of Vintage Shoes

I love all things Vintage... especially shoes!

One afternoon, I wasn't feeling too well, and I was concerned that I needed to carry on with some work.

I have this fabulous book on all Vintage shoes, starting from the 1800s up to the 1990s. So I decided to look through, find some that I loved and would also be a challenge for me to draw, as I havn't really had the confidence with my own hand to draw shoes!

The above shoes were done with pencil, watercolour and black pen.

For my first proper attempt at creating shoes, I think this is ok. I do like how I have incorporated the slight colours throughout as I think they link eachother on the page.

I admit, when I had completed this image, I was immediately reminded of the piece Andy Warhol did when he was an illustrator.

They need working on, possibly more in the style I normally work, with watercolour etc. But, for my first attempt, they are ok.

3 High Fashion Women

Here are 2 images that I have just completed.

As mentioned in previous posts, I have always been a great fan of David Downton and recently, Mats Gustafson.

These are not 'copied' or anything like that, but after reading a little about the 2 illustrators and looking at their work, I was so inspired that I immediately put brush to paper and came up with these 3 high fashion women.

I infact had about 15 of the figures in this style (black watercolour, with lots of water on the brush) as I just kept on working for about an hour straight. Which, after much experimenting, I work much better this way.

Once infront of the computer, I looked hard at the many images I had, and decided that I should have only 2 or 3 of the figures on one page as it seems much more powerful.

On each of the works above, I have positioned the women in line of 3. I wanted them to look like they were on the catwalk and walking towards you. I do think that I have succeeded.

I am very pleased with the outcome of these figures. I think that the watercolour and the wash have such a lovely texture and movement that I have achieved the effect that I wanted.

I wanted these figures to look 'high fashion' so I looked on the internet and looked for an appropriate background. In this case, I took a Gucci background.

I do quite like how the whole image looks behind the figures, but I do think that it is really busy and quite possibly, distracts from the beauty of the figures.

So I have taken the background off the other piece above.

It does need something else but maybe a small logo at the bottom? I do however think that the figures look better on their own, as one can see the beauty of the brush strokes... I shall keep on experimenting with the layout, taking into consideration the points that I have made along the way of writing about them.

Later on, I shall then chose a suitable frame to put them in for my final exhibition.