Monday, May 27, 2019

How to Learn Costumes

Sael Art asks: I have problems with clothing. Can you suggest me a practice or something to help me with that?
Drapery study by Frederic Leighton
1. Draw cloth in different kinds of folds.
2. Then draw (or paint) models in costumes.
3. Bring your sketchbook to costume collections whenever you can.

Studies of Costumed Figures by Fritz Roeber
From an earlier post:
  • You can find costumes at thrift stores or junk shops. Almost every garage sale has a Halloween costume or an unusual hat that you may want to use later.
  • Many smaller communites have a local theater company with costume collections. They are sometimes willing to loan their costumes to illustrators.
  • Renaissance festivals have vendors with an assortment of hats, cloaks, corsets, gowns, breeches, and doublets. Example: Moresca Clothing and Costume. That’s where the blue and red jacket came from, and I’ve used it in many Dinotopia pictures.
  • People who work in living history museums wear very authentic costumes. I've found they're glad to model for a sketchbook study. They may also be willing to pose for photo reference, but be sure to get their written permission first. Examples: Plimouth Plantation, Old Sturbridge Village, Colonial Williamsburg.
  • Big cities like New York, London, or Los Angeles have rental agencies serving theatrical or movie productions. Sometimes they will sell off their older, worn-out costumes. That’s where the doublet with the slashed sleeves above came from. Examples: Palace Costumes, Adele's Costumes.
  • Large museums, like the Metropolitan Museum or the Victoria and Albert in London have costume collections which can usually be sketched or photographed. Examples: Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


Mateus Souto said...
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Mateus Souto said...

Hi James
Can you recommend anything on drawing the different types of folds and materials?