Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sketching in Color

Since Gertie's New Fashion Sketchbook came out, I've been thrilled to have proportional croquis to work with. It's so refreshing to use fashion figures that are of a realistic height and body type! And it's really made me want to step up my sketching game. So I decided to start experimenting with using color in my sketches. I bought some Prismacolor art markers, the kind with the brush tip on one end and and a fine tip on the other.

I haven't been to an art class in decades and I honestly have no idea what I'm doing here, so I decided to just have fun with it. I started by sketching in my design in pencil the way I wrote about last week. (This is the dirndl I'm planning on making.)
I know I plan on using this royal blue and black jacquard (from my new fall fabric collection, more to come on that!) so I had an idea what colors to use. I'm planning on finding a magenta silk for the apron and trim. I started by coloring in the apron and large parts of the dress, using the brush end of the marker. I drew black swirls on the dress to represent the jacquard pattern.


I drew in details and outlines with the fine point of a black marker. Then I experimented with making the blouse black and the lips red. 


I didn't like the black blouse as much, but unfortunately there's no way to go back! (Though that's what sketching is for: now I know to buy white fabric for the blouse rather than black.) And I wasn't sure how to represent details like gathers on a black garment. (Ideas?) Ah well. Also important to note: the markers kind of seep through the paper, so you can only use one side.

Anyway, it's been a fun experiment. I'd love to hear your sketching tips! Do you work in color? What are your favorite techniques? 

26 comments:

  1. Cute! I like the jacquard fabric and the color choices. The black blouse does skew the look a little more goth than seems to suit your overall look, but I don't dislike it totally. Looking forward to more dirndl fun!

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    1. I should probably make a blouse in both white and black so I can switch it up!

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  2. I sometimes scan & print a copy of my sketch without color so I can make multiple sketches with different colors without having to resketch the whole thing

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    1. That's a great idea, thank you!

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    2. Love it! Color placement is the hardest part for me.

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  3. I prefer Prismacolor Colored Pencils instead of markers. I recently discovered their colorless blender, which intensifies the color as well as blending for a more consistent tone..

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    1. This looks super interesting! So the blender is like a marker that you use over the colored pencil?

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    2. It is more like a colored pencil than a marker. You Sharpen It just like a pencil and use it to smudge colored pencils marks together

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    3. It is more like a colored pencil than a marker. You Sharpen It just like a pencil and use it to smudge colored pencils marks together

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  4. I favor using water color pencils. I would really like to find a fashion croquis water color sketch book with larger pear-shaped bodies. Lol. I think I'm going to have to make my own- that's kind of a custom request eh? I honestly have never used marker for this and would like to try. As watercolor can be more of a production sometimes. I really like your fabric choices. Dirndl is the kind of skirt, right? A fuller skirt? Or is it the actual dress style?

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    1. I'll have to try some water color pencils! But you're right, you would need special paper. Maybe you can copy some croquis onto watercolor paper?

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    2. water color pencils are the best.

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    3. Dirndl is the entire package--skirt, blouse, vest, apron. Actually, the "vest" and the skirt are connected. This leaves a little opening in the front that the apron covers quite nicely.

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  5. I love the Jacquard! and the Blue,black and magenta color combo, though I do agree that a white blouse would lighten it up a bit. Can't wait to see the preview of your new fall fabrics. Can I ask what pattern you plan on using for your dirndl?

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    1. Of course! I copied the bodice from the dirndl I bought in Germany since it's such a perfect fit. And then I plan on using Burda 7443 for the skirt and apron. The blouse will be modified from the Burda pattern. At least that's my plan for now--you know how these things go!

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    2. I'll be interested to see how you modify the blouse. I really like the way it looks in your sketch!

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  6. I love sketching in colour! I am totally unable to visualize the design and fabric choice otherwise. I like to use Copic sketch markers.

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  7. I like coloring my sketches in photoshop. I did a little tutorial for it here
    http://www.marniemaclean.com/blog/2008/11/using-photoshop.html

    It doesn't have the same joy of coloring with pencils or markers but I love having the option to undo or adjust colors.

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    1. Oh and to add pleats and gathers to black I'd most likely use white (white out will do in a pinch) to highlight instead of a dark color to add shadows. Alternately, you could use a gray with black shadows which would look less shiny. The gray would be the highlight color.

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  8. I LOVE prismacolor markers! Copics are the best, of course, but you really can't get better quality/versality for a better price than Prisma, so I still use mainly prismas.

    There IS a blending marker, btw, which you can clean/refill with rubbing alcohol. I have a different blending marker for each major color group (skin tones, reds/browns, blues/greens, etc). It really helps for detail!

    My other favorite trick is to use gel pens for details - AND a white gel pen is fantastic for highlights and reclaiming white areas, like the blouse! (having a little pot of white acrylic for larger areas is a good trick as well)

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  9. Markers are transparent and work well layered. If you want to show gathers you'd need to start with gray or grays and even leave some white paper as highlights and working your way to black as the darkest shadow areas. Drape some black fabric as if you were gathering it. Shine a light across it to show up the gathers more clearly and you'll get the idea. It's won't look black in the areas the light hits. I combine markers with colored pencil in landscape drawings. The markers are the base and the colored pencil goes on top. You can also use color other than gray underneath. Black is made of many colors and some cool and some warm. So blue or red or even purple underneath will also work.

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  10. I just thought about something - since no one mentioned it and I am working on my third dirndl.... (I know I am obsessed).... you will need to know one or two words so you can find the proper closures for the dirndl if you choose not to use buttons and want pretty lacing up the front!! You can probably find everything easy enough online - but if you do not have the right words you will never find them...

    Dirndlhaken - are the pewter hooks that are used to hold the ribbon or chain lacing
    Miederkette - is a chain used as lacing up the front of a dirndl
    Charivari - the decorative chain worn over the apron or somewhere in the front of a dirndl or in the front of lederhosen. This is kind of like a charm bracelet for your dirndl where you hang pretty little trinkets or in the case of men, prizes from your successful hunt

    I am sure if you need anything - you can contact me or some of your other followers that are located in dirndl country.




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  11. Hi Gertie - did you see that BurdaStyle has a sale on Dirndl patterns at the moment http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/oktoberfest-pattern-sale :-)?

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  12. White colored pencil also can be used for the gathers on black fabric! Maybe not as crisp as the gel pen though, depends on the look you're going for.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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