Lady of June has gone slowly while I’ve been taking a few days off celebrating my own marriage! I’m back at work with a vengeance, however. In my first mockup of Lady of June (which you can see below the mood board) shows my first attempt at drawing her attire without worrying about reference and focusing more on where I wanted the drapery to lead the eye.
I wasn’t keen on this original look in the end. It was too generic like a cheap Halloween costume. I wanted to bring some originality and visual interest to my designs, so I started gathering references for unique dresses that still had a period vibe.
Fashion Mood Board
I tapped my Smithsonian Fashion book for reference and found a lot of inspiration in the depictions of the ‘fantasy’ fashion of Saints during , which were an amalgamation of high fashion of the time with oriental and other foreign influences.
You can see this in the frogging I used on the front of the 2nd design mixed with Italian and English inspired dress shapes and sleeves. I also included an English inspired headdress to bring more interest to her head than the standard ‘lady with flower head garland’, which I’ve used in past Ladies.
I also kept in mind the theme of the rose, especially in the 2nd design, where I was inspired to give the dress a ‘rosebud’ shape in the bustle.
Next, I played with the window designs for the background with the Amaziograph ipad app. You can see a little video of how I made the first one here. I went with a shape evocative of the Sun Wheel from my earlier research, as well as the rose window shapes inspired by the shape of the rose flower. In a straight read, I liked the one on the right best, but once I put the window designs in the composition mockups below, I changed my preference back to the first window again because the shapes were clearer.
You can see my original mockup on the left before I did any research. The two mockups on the middle and right show my experimentation with fashions, changing the value structure, and also testing out which window design I liked best. I ended up going with my first window design since its simpler and doesn’t distract from the many details of this composition.
If I used the 2nd design, I feel that the composition would be too busy. Also, the design with the bigger roses on the edges had more diagonals that lead the eye to the central focus of the piece (the Lady), instead of being more chaotic like the first window’s design. I’ve also pushed the figure’s head up past the border a bit more so the rectangle of the frame is broken up even more, creating an interesting overall framing shape.
I’ve also made a monumental decision to add a title bar to the text! I’m not sure this one is final yet, but I always felt like the titles for this series were too bare and boring. I’m happy to find a solution that fills that space with something more unique and that I can easily alter on my past original paintings!
Do you like the new dress I chose? How about the new title bar style? Let me know in comments!
I’m running a little behind since I’ve been away for wedding celebration and business, so I may end up having to post a placeholder for this month. I have no doubt she’ll be done soon, however! I’d rather not rush this Lady out since she’s turning out to be very detailed.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from prior Ladies, they refused to be rushed!
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