Dressin’ Up

One of the parts about the Candy Girls painting I recently finished, that I both loved and hated, was the detailing of the dresses they wear. Making fabric look like silk or cotton is challenging and involves techniques that I haven’t quite mastered yet.

The fashion images below display all kinds of fun details I’d like to include in illustrations or paintings in the future.

© J.Baxter 2009 (via for-redheads on tumblr)

© J.Baxter 2009 (via for-redheads on tumblr)

Where to begin with this one! First of all it’s got loads of pink, a beautiful vanity fan, a gorgeous chair, a cute model with curly hair… it’d be both fun and maddening to translate this to canvas. It’s fairly monotone in terms of palette but sometimes this is a good thing. Despite all of the detail in this image (look at that crazy wallpaper!), it’s not overwhelming because of the simple palette.

(via Wander World Wonderlust on tumblr)

(via Wander World Wonderlust on tumblr)

The multi-layered beaded necklace frames this model’s face beautifully. Additionally, the teal-white color really pops against her red hair. Her makeup (more pink!) helps to bring out her eyes and cheek bones. This would be an interesting photo to paint since the lighting is a bit more complex, coming from different sources and different colors.

(via fckyeah ANTM on tumblr)

(via fckyeah ANTM on tumblr)

Tattoos and texture! I’ll be honest… I haven’t had the pleasure of painting or drawing a person of color yet. It’s not that I’ve purposely chosen not to, I just haven’t made a specific effort to. It’s something I look forward to trying very soon, as I have so much fun with colors, and variety is the spice of life! Her rich lips and bouncy hair frame her face, with bold eyes and brows, spectacularly. Her dress really jumps, with shiny gold paired against layers of transparent silk.

(via localshop on tumblr)

(via localshop on tumblr)

Floral patterns on folded fabric is the hardest thing to master! It’s really a matter of drawing what you see, and not what you think you see, since the folded shapes don’t look much like flowers. The colored floral jumps off the black silk and is complemented nicely by her crown and earrings.

So far art school is going amazingly well, but more on that later. 😉

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Surreal Dreaming & a Glimpse of the Future

Whether it’s through the mashing up of texture or through beautiful photo composition, fashion continues to inspire me on a level far beyond what I can wear. Now when I look at clothing, I’m not only thinking of how it would look on me, but how it would feel to draw and paint. Who would wear this outfit? What would he/she be doing in it?

Vogue Korea June 2012 (via Trendland)

Vogue Korea June 2012 (via Trendland)

The oranges and blues give this composition a surreal feeling. The model’s dreamy expression and silvery outfit reflect this as well, coupled with the strange netting covering everything, and the bubbles. It’s like she’s in that state of sleep where she’s still slightly awake, but just fading off into dream land. The netting actually helps draw all these different elements together, where otherwise they might just look cluttered.

Abbey Kee Kershaw photographed by Tom Munro (via Localshop)

Abbey Kee Kershaw photographed by Tom Munro (via Localshop)

Rather than her outfit, this model’s pose caught my eye first. It’s a pose of strength and defiance, like she’s standing up to something. With a black and white photo, the viewer’s eyes will be drawn to tiny details, without color to distract them, which is perfect for this stringy dress. The dress itself is pretty, but the accessories and hairstyle of this model really make it edgy.

dolce gabbana 2006 (via Monsieur J)

dolce gabbana 2006 (via Monsieur J)

The element that makes a piece of art, design, outfit or dress stand out to me the most is contrasting and lining different textures next to each other. It’s hard to explain why this appeals to me so much; perhaps it’s because to do it successfully, you have to be very careful to include one similar element or color in each piece for them to work in harmony. In the gorgeous dress above, we have flowers and sheer ruffles divided by a lace-like ribbon. This works for me because the colors on either side are nice together, and having the black between them really gives the combination a clean-cut look.

Flaire September 2012 (via WanderWorldLust)

Flaire September 2012 (via WanderWorldLust)

So futuristic! Seeing each generation’s version of what futuristic should look like is hilarious and inspiring. Lately it seems to be about mirror-like or reflective surfaces, like the girls’ glasses above. The background is really blown out to draw attention to them, and the pure white has a very clean and modern feel to it as well. Their simple bowl-type haircuts against their layers of clothes and accessories provide an interesting comparison of styles. I like how even though the background looks kind of dated, their fashion screams bleeding-edge.

As the weeks continue before school starts, I find myself settling into the blogger lifestyle pretty happily. 🙂 I’ll have to keep this in mind when I start to make serious decisions about my career down the road.

Until Friday!

The Cool & Sexy Illustrations of Babs Tarr

Babs Tarr’s style is a funky mix of fashion and cartoons, with lots of sharp lines and curves to bring her subjects to life. I love how animated her figures are and all the bright color she uses, along with line-work and splotches of texture that look traditional, even though most of her work is digital.

toothpick by Babs Tarr

toothpick by Babs Tarr

The limited color palette in this image helps draw attention to the figure, grey/green among the pink and blue. Tarr’s grasp of anatomy is excellent, allowing her figures to almost strut across the frame. I love how many little details she includes, like the girl above chewing away on a toothpick, the script tattoo on her arm and the tooth through her ear lobe.

RAD Girl by Babs Tarr

RAD Girl by Babs Tarr

This screams 80’s and rather than being cheesy, it really pops! Unlike the first drawing, this one doesn’t any thick black outlines, allowing the neon colors to really show through and sort of burn your eyes the way neons did back then. The pink cheetah-skin skateboard with bright green wheels is just hilarious! She uses white in subtle ways to brighten the area around the subject, through the cheetah pattern and finger prints.

July 4th 2012 Outfit by Babs Tarr

July 4th 2012 Outfit by Babs Tarr

The chunky brush textures here remind me of a pastel or pencil crayon drawing, though this is digital. It becomes obvious pretty quickly that Tarr puts a lot of effort into the fashion aspect of her work. In fact, in the above drawing of her very own outfit from the 4th of July, she lists off each piece of clothing and and where you can buy them, on her deviantart page! I thought this a really nice touch and love that she shares her style with everyone.

Spy Girl by Babs Tarr

Spy Girl by Babs Tarr

This gets me excited for the new James Bond movie coming in November! Tarr’s subjects are beautiful and flowing but she’s also able to create breath-taking and narrative backgrounds. I struggle with making my subjects really fit into the background, but here the flow is effortless. I love the way the bright pink explosion lays a pink light on everything. I’ll be honest, I just love that there’s a bright pink explosion.

At the Moma by Babs Tarr

At the Moma by Babs Tarr

Though she does a lot of illustration and more cartoon-y work, she has a background in oil painting techniques as well. The above is an oil self-portrait, from a photograph her sister took of her at the MoMa in NYC. I particularly like the way she painted the windows in the buildings across the street. Her shapes are well blended and shaded in a very life-like manner.

The Noise by Babs Tarr

The Noise by Babs Tarr

The symmetry of the subjects here is really cool. This work is another one of her oil paintings. The clouds are vibrant and flow in such a way to draw your focus around the two subjects. The girls’ black clothing really stands out against the richness of the colors in the sky and clouds. It’s impressive that she painted the individual bits of zipper in the jackets, and links in the chains they’re wearing. The texture in the jeans is very nice as well. Her deviantart page for this drawing mentions that the shoes are inspired by Alexander McQueen.

Rolling Bulls by Babs Tarr

Rolling Bulls by Babs Tarr

Drawings on their own are one thing, but making the illustrations appropriately spaced for text and information is another skill all together. The figures above flow in such a way to draw your eyes to the text at the bottom. I love the sketchy-feel of this piece.

To be a successful illustrator, I think you have to have the fundamentals of art down: be awesome with a pencil, know your lighting, be comfortable with anatomy and know how to make a great composition. She has all of these skills in spades and it really shows. Great work, Babs!

Ideas for Black Clothing in your Wardrobe

I have a lot of black in my wardrobe and used to get teased a lot about it in school (goth jokes, funeral jokes, etc) but there are tons of ways to wear black. It’s extremely versatile; of course it’s formal and can be worn at serious occasions, but it can also be paired with pops of color or with white for a party outfit. And, band tees with jeans never go out of style! (You heard me!)

frank ocean sweet life outfit (via College Fashion)

frank ocean sweet life outfit (via College Fashion)

College Fashion is a website I stumbled on to while looking for fun things to add to my closet for school this fall. They list all kinds of sales, create outfits based on trends, interview fashionable people on campus and loads more. They’re totally worth a visit! I love the 3/4 length leather jacket above paired with the heels, with a touch of silver to top it off. Studded-collared shirts are starting to trend, but I’m still undecided on them. Regardless, you could pair the jacket with a lighter (or brighter) tank or dress to tone down the black.

Rebecca Minkoff Pre-Fall 2012-Inspired Outfit 1 (via College Fashion)

Rebecca Minkoff Pre-Fall 2012-Inspired Outfit 1 (via College Fashion)

I love those pants! With darker pants you could wear a lighter jacket and accessorize in colors with a purse, earrings, belt or shoes. Those leopard flats are definitely cute but personally, I’d prefer something with a bit of a heel. I think wedges would work well here. If you’ve got some neon accessories left over from the neon craze earlier this year, you can still use them here!

Vogue China (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

Vogue China (via Fashion Gone Rogue)

This is a bit more stylish than practical, but the sports jacket/dress on the left is super sexy and fun! If the cut is a bit low, you could always wear a nice tank underneath or dress it up with a fun scarf. It could also be worn with some leggings and boots in the chillier weather.

anne sofie madsen (via Trendland)

anne sofie madsen (via Trendland)

The dress on the right is a beautiful matte black with gorgeous long sleeves and some texture at the bottom to spice it up. Paired with booties and some layered necklaces, this would be great for a day on the town or in class. A thick brown or tan belt would look great with this as well.

Old Skool Glam (via Super Shardom)

Old Skool Glam (via Super Shardom)

Pink is my favorite color to pair with black. Something about contrasting cute and fluffy with macabre always gets my attention. Flowers and floral patterns/colors look great on black, as shown above in this chic vintage gown. It looks a bit like evening wear, but with a tank underneath or a wrap over top it could easily be worn out during the day.

So don’t be afraid of black clothing, even in the summer! Black tops, bottoms or dresses are a great way to rock colored accessories and shoes that you might not normally get to show off with a more neutral or bright-colored look. Have fun with it!

Pretty In Pink

Sorry I didn’t get this up on Saturday! I’m afraid I can make no promises about timing of posts over the next two weeks. We’re moving on the 27th and have a lot to do before then, so I’ll try and make posts when I can.

One of the great things about fashion is that it has so many different aspects, from practical to artistic. I like to observe trends and keep up with style, but at the same time I love to see completely out-there looks that you’d never find in a store window, bordering on costume. These outfits are the fashion-version of paintings to me.

via acceptable (on tumblr)

via acceptable (on tumblr)

Anything involving strong colors and flowers pulls me in immediately. I’m a big fan of fantasy books and movies and love observing all the different takes on that kind of fashion. The veil over her head adds an interesting texture to the mix and throws the colors into a beautiful chaos. The ambiguity of our subject makes it more interesting still.

via BeforeYouKillUsAll

via BeforeYouKillUsAll

The nose to ear chain here is really intriguing. Paired with the suit, it really stands out. I love how his eyebrows have been reshaped with pink makeup. The palette in this photo is fairly minimalistic, sticking mainly to pink, white and brown, bringing unity to all the different elements of his style.

via localshop (on tumblr)

via localshop (on tumblr)

There are a lot of different textures happening here: silky, furry, smooth, floral, beaded… it’s hard to tell where she ends and the clothing begins. It’s kind of hard to tell what’s going on in this picture, but that makes me want to examine it all the more. There’s a subtle gradient of purple to pink from the bottom up, emphasizing her fur shrug/collar. All the elements of this photo exist in a delicate balance, the composition guiding your eye around in a loop to take it all in.

via Trendland

via Trendland

This model’s larger-than-life hair gives her the appearance of a doll which is definitely what her clothing reminds me of. I wish her expression was more playful, though. The pink and green really work well together; I wouldn’t think much of the belt and the dress apart, but together they make sense.

Atelier Versace Fall 2012 | Paris Haute Couture via FashionGoneRogue

Atelier Versace Fall 2012 | Paris Haute Couture via FashionGoneRogue

Her sandals are gorgeous! I love shoes that have lots of straps, even if they aren’t necessarily practical. There are a lot of contrasting patterns in the design of this dress. I really like the ribbing of the corset against the huge flowing panels of fabric. Layers of floating fabric and patterns give the illusion that she’s floating down the runway.

T-minus one week until I leave work, and two weeks until we move! Here’s hoping I can keep my sanity throughout this adventure. Weeeeeeee!

Fashion Watercolors by Sara Ligari

Fashion illustration is a specialized kind of art, different than what I’m used to doing. Negative space plays a huge role in drawing your eye around the drawing. The model needs to be attractive enough to show off the clothing without distracting from it. Sara Ligari mixes lush watercolor illustration with the world of fashion for pieces that instantly draw the eye.

by Sara Ligari

by Sara Ligari

by Sara Ligari

by Sara Ligari

I love her combination of vivid colors and flowing lineart! Most of the detail work in her pieces is dedicated to the outfits in question, but occasionally strays to other elements of the work like accessories and makeup. The careful watercolor splashes above her legs give the illusion of fur, contrasting nicely against the pen work of her lace top.

by Sara Ligari

by Sara Ligari

I love those shoes! Drawing shoes, and feet for that matter, has always been challenging for me. When I was younger I would draw people and cut their feet out all together, but now I know better. The detailing on the straps of her sandals is really lovely.

by Sara Ligari

by Sara Ligari

The way the above drawing is composed leads me to believe that it might not be fashion illustration, but rather an ad for a skincare or haircare product. Her greens are very vibrant and refreshing; maybe this was drawn for spa-related?

by Sara Ligari

by Sara Ligari

Her linework varies quite dramatically, leading me to believe that she works with calligraphy pens and brushes. This method takes a lot of patient but definitely pays off, helping the work to pop and giving it lots of character.

by Sara Ligari

by Sara Ligari

The majority of her work uses detailed outlines and contours to form the outfits and models who wear them. I especially like the way she details hair, very believable and flowing. Bodies aren’t fully detailed, with foundation shapes sometimes left in the final drawing. This gives depths to the bodies and faces but at the same time downplays them so they don’t draw away too much attention.

by Sara Ligari

by Sara Ligari

The above piece shows that her style is varied and not centered on pen contour drawings. The blending with watercolors here is expertly done, especially with the eye which is very lifelike. By using a few key paint strokes, she’s able to convey the detail in the hat without drawing 100% of it for us. This style sort of makes me think of what you would see if you glanced at someone on the street as they walked by; getting the main idea and colors of the outfit.

Happy Monday everyone! For the canadians among us, enjoy the rest of the long weekend!

Jackets & Blazers with Summer Outfits

My perfect summer would last all year, with temperatures of 25-30C, refreshing light breezes, and sunshine all the time. Unfortunately, this is not usually what summer is like (in NB anyway). There can be rain, cold spells and stretches of cloudy muggy days. Don’t let that put a damper on your new awesome summer outfits though! Even if it’s a bit chilly or rainy outside, you can still rock your shorts and tee/tank by pairing it up with a light jacket or blazer.

(via 9to5 Chic)

(via 9to5 Chic)

(via Kryzuy.com)

(via Kryzuy.com)

Keep the jacket or blazer fitted, as over-sized ones can become cumbersome or make you sweat faster than you’d like. Cute shorts or skinny jeans and a tank  are nicely complemented by a simple black blazer. Adding a few gold or silver accessories really ties the look together and makes it a bit classier, more appropriate for coffee or dinner.

(via Toyko Fashion)

(via Toyko Fashion)

That leopard dress is adorable and looks great with the trench-coat! A trench-coat just feels right on a rainy day, but looks great in any kind of weather. If you’re nervous about wearing patterns like this, a plain jacket would help tone it down a bit. I can picture wearing this outfit to see a local band at my favorite pub. Those comfy booties reinforce that look and look great for dancing/walking long distances.

(via COTTDS)

(via COTTDS)

Sneakers wtih shorts are super popular this summer and may be more practical if you do a lot of walking. I love sandals and showing off nicely painted toes, but while walking to work in the rain the other day, one of the heels on my prized gladiators came apart, leaving me limping the rest of the way. (Also my umbrella got bird poop on it and then promptly broke, leaving me soaked as well, but that’s beyond the point.) Sneakers may have been a better plan for me. You can still give your look a chic edge via the blazer and jewelry. A sparkly blazer is a really fun way to jazz things up and goes well with most jewlery as long as you don’t overdo it; the jacket already provides a lot of bling.

THE COLORS OF LOVE BY NICOLE L. HILL

THE COLORS OF LOVE BY NICOLE L. HILL

Neons are still in and blazers are available in almost all the colors you could want. If you want to keep things informal or casual, choose your favorite bright color and have fun! Colored blazers go well with shorts, skirts or even skinny jeans. Bright colors look great against most neutrals. Jackets and blazers also help to cover up against the sun, if you’re going to be in it for long periods of time. Don’t forget the sun-screen!

Have a great and sun-filled weekend, everyone! And, for us Canadians, Happy Canada Day!

P.S. And for me happy birthday (tomorrow). 😀