After having so much fun with my first fashion illustration page, I was totally hooked on “making Paper Dolls”. So I went looking for an interesting geometric chart to serve as the background for my next “paper doll”, and I found this great chart:
I loved the colors and the “pixel-y” feel of it, and I thought it would be so cool if the colors showed through the girls dress, etc! So I found a fashion illustration the right shape and size. Another one of the vintage fashion illustrations from: Practical Fashion Sketches By, Charlotte H. Young. I knew with just a normal printed image I was not going to get the translucence I wanted, so I took it downstairs to our copier/printer and copied it onto a piece of tracing paper, which worked much better than I thought it would. This is the first time I used this techniques of copying onto tracing paper, and I instantly fell in love with it. It is now one of my favorite techniques which I use every other page in my art journal. I love the depth and texture that it instantly creates! Here is what it looked like printed on the tracing paper:
Here is the raw printed image, while I was checking placement. The way the color shows through is just what I wanted:
Here is how it looked after I glued it down:
After I glued her down I went over all of the lines with my black brush pen and added the red “kick pleats” on her skirt. I also added the red to her flower as well as modified her hair slightly. In the original illustration she was wearing a hat which I eliminated.
I am really happy with how the color blocking from the chart comes through the fashion illustration. Detail of her face:
I was working on this on page on one of the days this winter I was stuck in my room in the semidarkness with a stupid light sensitive headache. So as art therapy I decided to do another page alone the same lines, tracing paper on interesting color chart background. Sadly I forgot to take a photo of what the page looked like before I started. 😦 For the left hand page I chose an illustration from: Drawing Smart Fashions By Charlotte H. Young (1948):
I actually chose the same image that was used on the cover:
I positioned her on the page so it looked like she was sitting on the blue bar of the chart. I also used my trusty brush pen and bolded out all the lines, as well as drew in the purple and green details on her dress. I drew in her features with a grey brush pen instead of using the black so it would have a softer look.
Since the left page was more detailed and on the frilly side, for the opposing page I wanted to use a fashion illustration that was larger scale, but also simpler and more graphic. I really did not find what I was looking for in my vintage fashion illustration books, so I started looking through my collection of Vogue Magazines, where I found this ad:
The simple graphic nature of the silhouette definitely had the drama I was looking for, and the scale of the figure on the right fit my page. I put a piece of tracing paper over the page and traced the outline of the figure. I knew I wanted her to be placed farther in on my page than she is in this ad, so she would need her other arm. Once I had my figure traced I just flipped the tracing paper over, lined up her (now backwards) left traced shoulder with her right shoulder in the image and traced her arm again. And voila, she has both arms! Here is the finished girl on the page with the original source image:
When I put just the outline on the page I felt it was a bit to simple, so I gave her a simple face and some hair, along with the black color blocking on the right side of her dress.
Here is the full finished spread:
I like the flow that the different scale of the two figures creates. Because the larger scale figure is simpler but the other has more detail, I think it helps to give them equal “visual weight”. I decided not to put anything else on the page, except for the swirly line down the side of the left page. I felt with the three colors and text in the chart it was already a lot going on and I did not want to make it too busy. I wanted the focus to be on the ladies on the pages and anything more would just fight for attention. Sometimes the key to a successful piece is knowing when to stop. 😉