As much as I appreciate life drawing, and it’s importance, I expected to get into “character design” a bit earlier in my graduate school level character design course. Week 4’s assignment felt like we were on that track, and week 5’s is kind of on that track, but the assignment I’m working on today? Meh.
Anyway, week 5 was a challenging one, taking a model’s pose, and then gathering different references to turn it into some kind of specific alternative drawing. The real effort was in trying to get the folds of the clothing correct. It required a lot of reliance on general fold drawing knowledge, but also in not getting wrapped up in the model’s wardrobe. Below you’ll find the models, the rough sketches, and the final submission. The prompts were to draw a vagabond (or tramp / hobo for those unfamiliar with the term), 12-13th century knight (no full suit of armor), or an early 1900’s woman / “Gibson Girl”.
I was really eager to do the Knight, but I was going to make it female, just to add interest. However, when I started gathering my resources, I found myself drawn more to the hobo. By the time I was done with the rough sketches, I wanted to draw the Gibson Girl the most. The instructor picked from my roughs for me. Here is what she had to say at that point:
“I think that the first sketch has the most potential, but all three have random wobbly lines and “squashed” areas where they should be straight or clearer and more defined. Really think about the fabric thickness, weight, if it’s hanging, pulled, folded, rolled, draped, etc. How does the body and pose effect the clothing? There’s an extra tutorial on our class blog, and please check out as many examples by J. C. Leyendecker as you can.”
This also marks the first time I’ve broken through the glass ceiling in this course. Five weeks in, that’s about average for me and the more “illustrator” bent courses. Here’s what the teacher had to say during the final critique:
“A- Nice work John! The coat is getting a bit “busy” with too many folds and too much volume on the left of the page (being held back by his hand), but the rest of the costuming works quite well! You’ve captured fabric weight, keeping the anatomy underneath defined without overdoing it, and the clothing is reacting appropriately to the pose. The economy of line in the folds is also well controlled. Nicely done!”
She’s certainly right about the pipe folds on his right hand side. They’re just too many, too complicated, but you can’t win them all.