There are fashion magazine clippings which I have kept in a binder over the years… [And I do try to keep impulsive clipping at a reasonable binder management level. To “try”, being relative.] My most recent muse came by way of W Magazine and, more to the point, photographer Willy Vanderperre. His photograph offered me two elements I could not resist: lovely hand gesturing and challenging shadows. And I title this as Shear over Sheer because most challenging for me was in knowing when and what to omit.
Shear Blue Gloves
From a Rossettiesque photo by Peter Lindbergh, a Galliano gown is featured. I liked the near weariness in the model’s pose. And while the original photo [featured in Vogue, I believe] had her set against dark greens and what looked like ivy growing from the ground, I chose to add a bed of Iris instead. As my own Iris is now in bloom, will I follow them?
There is an adorable model who is not entirely depicted in this piece. And when I searched on photographer Marc de Groot’s online portfolio to look for her name, it couldn’t be found… But it was her hands that I loved most. Me, being me, I took some liberties with both her hair and the corset she wore. Maybe I should be calling her “Little Peacock”?
*Also, a thanks to the inspired work of Mr Barry Blitt!
“I’m so cold!” Even though Winter had transitioned finally to Spring, those three words had incessantly repeated in my mind. Half of my apartment is below ground – with little to insulate me from the rock it is built upon. My hands remained rigid, posing a problem in carrying out detailed paintings. So, the cold became a muse of sorts. Colored pencils occupied me until a new heater arrived. And my sanity, somewhat restored!
No one will identify über-model Karlie Kloss in this color pencil sketch – but then the same could be said in Tim Walker’s photograph of her, taken for a British Vogue fashion editorial back in 2010. That’s alright, as that wasn’t my aim.
And when I returned to using my own hand in my art, I hadn’t intended to focus a whole lot on mastering figure drawing. [Nor did I intend to use color pencils all that much!] Yet between this extraordinary pose and vibrant greens, I just couldn’t resist the challenge.
Right before posting I have a great temptation to change the title of this painting to “The Three Muses” – or, “The Three Graces”. Truthfully? I haven’t got the whole “Gods and Goddesses” background to pull it off. Not to mention that the costume designs were inspired by an era when The Flapper was all the rage…
This gouache painting measures approximately 10.5” x 8.5”.
The gown. That hair! Solange, that is. And with such an already musical name like that, why call this anything else? The source of it all can be seen on Elle.
I used some metallic watercolors for this 9″ x 12″ painting – a size which exceeds my scanning bed. The glint of the metallic gets lost on a monitor but I’m happy enough with the outcome here.
I went crazy for some coiled hair. The coiled hair and the model’s silhouettes. Both, I found in Chanel’s Spring 2017 campaign. [I found out later that the model’s name appears to be Arizona Muse and she was photographed by Karl Lagerfeld.] As for calling this piece “Tarmac”, all I can say on that is that it felt like the right fit.
In this painting, I have photographer Jorge Badura to thank. Harper’s Bazaar, in their November 2016 issue, called in Badura to photograph an editorial that had featured a group of fantastic, skyscraper scaling, aerialists who took to the skies while dressed in haut coutures.
Hence the title: Diaphanous Scaling [“Gelato” painting, 14″ x 10″]
Rita Ora is featured within “Paper” magazine’s October issue, wearing a Roberto Cavalli dress – which in reality is what I would call a peacock-blue color. While Rita is a sensation, that Cavalli dress just had to taken for my Diaphanous series. And whatever the blue that it is, I rendered it instead in orange. The two alien objects depicted were taken from the same editorial [photographed by Nicolas Moore – no relation] are tracings from Rita’s zig zag bobby pinned crown.
Many people without any artistic skills might view classic fashion illustrations as seemingly effortless to pull off. [When I say “classic”, David Downton comes to mind.] Those people would be so wrong. The key to creating a striking piece, I would say, has more to do with just the right amount of restraint. In this Gelatos medium image, which I call “Les Autres Femmes” [The Other Women], I’d be the first to say I didn’t nail it. And there is a story behind it – but that will remain my secret.
Les Autres Femmes
In 1956, a photographer [without credit] from the Press Association caught Brigitte Bardot while she was in Cannes. To me, the dress that Bardot was wearing in this image appeared as joyous as the look on her face:
Brigitte Bardot, 1956
Below, is my own spin – which I painted using water colors: