2.4 Everyday fashion

The purpose of this exercise was to continue experimenting with reportage by drawing a range of people in different clothes.

Key words from the brief:

  • In some of the drawings try and describe their whole outfit, in others, focus on specific elements
  • Capture something of the wearer’s physical shape, posture and character as well as the clothes they’re wearing
  • Work some of your drawings into illustrations which perhaps exaggerate what you’ve observed

Approach

In my research for 2.3 Fashion illustration I came across the work of Richard Haines, and American fashion illustrator based in New York.

Richard Haines - BRAD
Fig 1 – Richard Haines – Brad

His work captures the person, posture and clothes in a beautiful loose visual style. I used this as my inspiration for this exercise.

Sketchbooks

All of the drawings in this section were made in a 4-week period. Most of them were day-to-day drawings made on my commute into and out of London and in coffee shops. Almost all were very rapid and I tried to focus on capturing posture, clothes and where possible, some idea of narrative.

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London Urban Sketchers Greenwich and at The Wellcome Trust

The next set of drawings were made on London Urban Sketchers meetup in Greenwich and during a visit to The Wellcome Trust.

Greenwich village has lots of interesting architecture, the Cutty Sark, Greenwich Park  and a lively market. The weather was good so it was packed with tourists.

My sole focus was on drawing people. I saw this more as an exercise and didn’t really think too much about image design or composition.

The final three drawings are from a visit to The Wellcome Trust that was the day after my visit to Greenwich.

All the sketches were made in an A5 sketchbook using a fountain pen and coloured pencils.

Development

I developed one illustration that combined a redrawing of Sketch 04 as the foreground and digital repositioning of Sketch 06 to provide background.

Development 01
Greenwich sketches redrawn, coloured and composited together using Photoshop

On reflection the exaggeration I’d given the figures around the table was too much of a caricature and emphasised the people rather than the clothes, which wasn’t what I was trying to achieve.

I added the background as a quick experiment to see if it added anything; I think with a bit more care it would work well. I used colour overlays to add pattern and colour to the man’s shirt and women’s top and skirt.

Reflections

What went well

  • Drawing people has been something I’ve really needed to work on. The Urban Sketching Bootcamp in Prague gave me some tools and techniques to work with and in this exercise I feel like I’ve started to use these.
  • I feel more confident at giving figures posture and attempting more challenging poses.
  • Drawing with the London Urban Sketchers was a supportive way to work on location.

What I would do differently/better

  • I don’t think the approach I took to developing the figures in the final image meets the brief.

References

List of illustrations

Figure 1 – Haines, Richard, Brad At: https://www.instagram.com/richard_haines/?hl=en (Accessed 14.08.19)