Saturday, January 14, 2012

Illustration: Adele on a Swing

A bit of relaxation for me, which I can slot into my watercolour illustration portfolio. I felt like drawing an historical dress, because they're always such fun.  
I took a reference screenshot from the 1976 movie The Slipper and the Rose (Which is a cute film, but I bought it pretty much solely for costume reference; 18th century gowns are usually seen on mannequins, and having some shots of them in use is always handy) and used that as my starting point, and I went with Adele, because I'm fond of the characters I designed for my Honours project, and like to bring them out now and again. 

Here's Adele (and Katia and Edmund) in the final spread from my Honours project (so long ago! o.O), which I thought it might be fun to show. I designed two costumes each for Katia and Adele, but the second ones were only used for this spread, so I reused this one for my new painting.  

For your amusement, I'm including the original reference in this post, and also an animated progress, since I haven't posted one of those for a watercolour before.

Adele on a Swing in Winsor & Newton watercolours and Artline Drawing System pens in a Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook.
Honours Spread from 2008, Winsor & Newton watercolours, Prismacolor pencils, sepia ink with dip pen on Bristol Board.


  1. I love the dress! The big bunches of fabric at the back also look a little comical to me, but I love those dresses anyway. What period is this dress from? I know you said it's from the 18 century, but my history isn't good enough to tell me which period that it.

  2. Thanks Imogen! I originally designed Adele for a picture book that wasn't set in any particular time or place, so her costume isn't really accurate. Adele comes from somewhere 'like' France, and the other characters come from somewhere 'like' Russia, but with completely made up costumes stealing things from Turkey and all over eastern Europe, as my project was about the Golden Age of Illustration, when there were a lot of influences from Japan and eastern Europe, which were often reflected in costume choices and architecture in illustrated books. So having one set of characters in completely random costumes, it made sense not to be strictly accurate with my remaining one! =P
    So! about half of her costuming comes from about 1700, and the other half from about 1775. Her dress is based on an exaggerated mantua from the turn of the century, so it has a train, but I made the loops of her skirt much bigger, so it resembles a 1770s Robe a la Polonaise quite a bit as well. In this picture she's wearing a hat that also dates to about 1775, but in her other costume she wears the lace fontange popular around the 1700s. The fitted sleeves and the shoes are also from the latter part of the 18th century, but her hair.... is not accurate at all, to anywhere. =P



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...