I know; this isn’t fiction, but it is something I think you guys might enjoy. At the very least, it’s something I enjoy, so I’m going to do it. Basically, Sketch Saturday is where I’m going to show you guys how I drew a certain piece and why I made it the way I did.
I’m fairly old fashioned in that I prefer to sketch on paper rather than digitally. When I draw outfits, I start with the shoulders and torso before moving onto the legs. If I’m doing a long dress or skirt, like in this instance, I skip sketching the legs because I also like to color outfits in traditionally, and unnecessary pencil marks can get in the way. Because I don’t draw patterns all that often, I tend to create layered outfits, so I can utilize different colors to create variety.
After I sketch it on paper, either I scan it, or if that’s not an option, I take a picture of it. I’m not too worried about quality of the image, because my main use of it is just as a base for the line art. The line art is hard as I’m still fairly new to using a tablet, and a bit of a perfectionist. I have trouble deciding when I’m satisfied with the line art or when I should keep trying to make it better. After the line art is done, I put down the base colors on the different sections, with a separate layer for each color. Once I’m satisfied with the first few layers, I create more for the shadows. I prefer to blend the shadows as opposed to leaving a distinct line between them, mostly because I like it better aesthetically. Then, once I’ve finished with everything else, I go into the layers and erase any stray marks that ended up outside the line art. After that, the outfit is officially finished.
In regards to my color schemes, more often than not, I start with black. I may or may not use black far too often in outfits, but I think I have a good reason. Black is one of the colors that works with nearly everything, so I use it first so I don’t have to worry about it matching the rest of the colors. If I don’t start with black, then I typically color the largest area first. With this dress, I went with a black, light blue, and purple color scheme. I tend to favor three colors in a scheme. Sometimes, I’ll use more or less than three on occasion, but only if I think the outfit really needs it. I feel like there are definitely other color schemes that can work with this dress; I thought about using red or orange, but went with blue and purple because I wanted this dress to convey a more royal presence as well as a melancholy mood.
Aesthetically, there are several things I’m pleased with. While the blue and purple cloth doesn’t serve a practical purpose, for some reason I really like it. I’m not even sure if there’s a proper name for it, but I have always been a fan of trains and cloth that overlaps. I’m also rather fond of one shouldered dresses, but I also enjoy longer sleeves, because they feel more royal to me than shorter sleeves. Because I prefer to draw outfits that would be found in the fantasy genre, one of my favorite things to use are corsets. The skirt is not as full as a ball gown, but it does have some body which I think works for the royal presence I wanted.
There are a few things I’m not thrilled about with this outfit; one of which was the long sleeves. I liked the idea of having long sleeves as well as the shoulder piece, but the way it ends on the hands is what I’m not too happy about. If I had changed the sleeves either to make them looser and longer or did away with them as sleeves and made them gloves, I feel like I would have been more pleased with the outcome. The reason I didn’t change the sleeves early one was because of my struggle with drawing the hands. Generally, hands do give many artists a hard time. I am not an exception. When I draw outfits, I draw them as if on a mannequin, so I focus more on the outfit as opposed to the hands and head. In the future, I would like to improve so I could draw character sheets for my stories, more for my purposes, but there might be some people who would like to see them. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
When it comes to outfits, typically, I create them with a character already in mind, but other times I create the outfit first, and then a story idea comes along with character that is perfect for the outfit. At the moment, this outfit does not have a character for it yet, but maybe in the future I’ll write a short story perfect for this dress. I could definitely see this dress being for a princess or queen in mourning, or maybe a princess being held for ransom. Hopefully, I’ll revisit this outfit with the perfect character for it!
As always, don’t be afraid to tell me how you guys feel about Sketch Saturday. If you loved it or hated it, leave a comment. If any of you guys are artists as well and have any feedback or tips, tell me. I would love to know how you guys feel and if you would like to see more of this, and if you do, tell me if you have any specific requests for the type of piece you’d like me to talk about next. I hope you enjoyed the first Sketch Saturday, and I hope you guys continue to enjoy them, so I can continue making them.