Sunday, May 26, 2013

Exhibition of vintage wedding dresses

Wedding dresses haven't always been white. They have come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The idea that a wedding dress should be white—and worn only once—got started in the second half of the 19th century, thanks to Queen Victoria.

Here are two vintage dresses that I sketched in watercolor and water-soluble colored pencil. The dresses date from 1889 and 1895. Look at those leg o' mutton sleeves on that one on the right: that young lady has got some excellent attitude.

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York is hosting an exhibition of about 20 original wedding dresses. The show is called "For Better and For Worse: Sixteen Decades of Wedding Wear at Vassar." It will be on view through June 9.
Tools: Schmincke Watercolor Pocket Set, Caran D'Ache watercolor pencils, Moleskine Watercolor Notebook.


Emanuele Sangregorio said...

Mr Gurney, your watercolors are for me of great inspiration and provide a lot of motivation in practicing. these days I am using a moleskine watercolor sketchbook like yours and i find it very practical. the only con i found is that i bends a lot when applying washes, just like it would do unstretched watercolor paper. May it be that i'm using too much water?

James Gurney said...

Emanuele, sometimes it helps to paint the same amount of water on the back of the paper that you put on the front, and hold the book flat as it dries. It should flatten out when the book is closed on the shelf.