Today I’m very proud to present this post by my friend Anneke who blogs over at Annette Tirette (you’ll probalby now her already: she’s also known as mistress of crazy gifs.)
Anneke is a trained illustrator and does beautiful work so when I thought about this series, I knew I had to convince her to help me out with some advice! Since she is also a nice person, she said yes. Hurray!
So Anneke, take it away!
Hello everyone! Over the past few days, Hanne has been giving some technical explanations about how to draw figures and clothes. Today I’ll be giving you some tips on how to make these little sketches so nice looking you could frame them!
For technology lovers
The first trick I want to show you is actually pretty useful as well. I often use it to imagine what a certain garment looks like in a certain print. All you need is Photoshop (or a similar program, this is just what I’m used to working with) and a line drawing (if you’re really insecure about your drawing skills you can even use the line drawing from your pattern!)
The first thing you do is clean up your drawing and maybe play with the levels a bit so the lines are nice and dark. Next you create a new layer and use the polygonal lasso tool to click around the area you want to have coloured. There probably is an easier and quicker way to do this, but I like the look this tool gives! It’s the closest I’ve gotten to a collage feel in digital media. When the entire area has been selected you can fill it with a preferred colour, paying careful attention that you’re working in the new layer, and not on the background image! After this you can set the layer to ‘multiply’ and watch the magic happen…
You can add a print or scanned texture to your drawing in very much the same way. Just copy and paste a picture of the print onto your drawing, set the layer opacity to 50% and fiddle with the print placement until it looks good. Again, select the area you want coloured in this second layer. Then inverse this selection (so everything but the garment is selected) and select ‘clear’ in the ‘edit’ menu. Again, don’t forget to multiply this layer!
You can use these little tricks to add a little extra to almost any line drawing. But if you want to get really crafty, it’s time to get that paint out!
You’ll need some quality drawing paper (not too light, since we’ll be using water), a few different pencils and brushes, and of course some watercolour or drawing inks. The zebra pig is entirely optional!
I like to start with a very light sketch of my drawing. Once you paint over pencil lines it’s near impossible to erase them, so try to be careful and erase unnecessary things before painting! I’ll use a small brush to fill in certain parts of my sketch, leaving thin white lines between them (unless I’m working with shadows and contrast). It’s a bit fiddly, but you’ll soon get the hang of it! After filling in the necessary bits I take a darker pencil and use a few lines to finish the drawing. Keep it simple, adding too much often takes away from the impact! If you really want to you can add some colour to the background as well. In this example I saturated areas with clear water before dropping ink on them, so the ink would run. Try a few things and see what you like!
The next thing I’ll show seems complicated at first, but it’s really easy once you get the hang of it and it produces a super nice-looking result. I’ve been doing a lot of illustrations in a similar way, so I thought I’d show you how I do them!
We’ll be cutting pieces of the drawing out of separate bits of paper and glue them together. All you need is a self-healing cutting mat, a sharp blade (cheapies are fine, I did my final school projects with 50 cent knives!), some glue and of course a few pieces of paper in different colours. The kind of paper doesn’t really matter, just make sure it’s easy to cut!
The first thing I do is to draw my figure and its pose on the first piece of paper. I didn’t draw her clothes yet because it’s way easier to add them later. Pay attention to the pose and proportions during this step! When you’re satisfied, cut the body out of the paper. Remember that the final result will be mirrored from what you’re drawing (this way you can scribble and mess with the pose all you want, since it’s all on the back of the paper!)
Next you place the body (right side down) on the wrong side of the paper you’ll be using for the dress (or any other garment she might wear). Lightly trace around it. You’ll be using these lines as guidelines for the garment, so be careful or the pieces won’t match up!
Now you can draw the clothing your figure is wearing. I went for a simple dress with a collar, but remember you can do almost anything! Use a printed paper, add details in paint of another colour of paper… When you’re satisfied with the dress, cut it out like you did with the body and glue it on your figure!
Repeat this step for any other things you want to add. Finally, glue the finished figure to a background (again, you’re completely free to choose this!) and add some finishing touches with a pencil or pen. How nice is that!
I hope you found this inspiring or at least interesting, and if you try anything I’ve shown you today I would love to see it!