- As I said before, we've done a couple of these - most from print rather
than film. One of the biggest challenges is to guess the fabric (fiber,
weight, drape, etc.) from a non-moving two-dimensional source. Also, what
do the parts you can't see look like? There have been at least 4 Whelan's
"Summer Queen" versions I've seen at major cons (including mine) and all
had a different take on the dress. If you don't know the painting, all
that's visible is head and shoulders, and a small part of one sleeve. The
shoulders are covered by a cape. No clues as to what the dress looks
like. Granted, the headdress is the challenge (flowers don't EXIST in
those shapes!!), but....
Also, most of the time the articles aren't in proportion - if you measure
one part and scale it up, then another part doesn't fit when made to the
same scale. And complex 3-d shapes are not intuitive to translate to flat
patterns. I agree - re-creations are more difficult, because if it's your
original design, and something doesn't work, you can CHANGE THE DESIGN.
P & S
>When in certain ways, recreation is technically a more difficult artform.
>(Witness anyone who has tried to do a recreation of an Erte Print, most
>bodies arent shaped like that.) I actually give more kudos to an extremely
>well done recreation than an equally well done freeform costume, as the
>former is working under a very rigid set of parameters,whereas the latter has
>no such restrictions.
> John Syms
- Michael Whelan paintings are a dream to work from, compared with some
artists -- he paints his human characters in proportion with real human
beings! Also, he knows that clothes have to have seams.
When I did the recreation of "Judith" by James Christensen (CC13), I
quickly discovered that the painted figure had impossibly long arms, and
what appeared to be two elbows on one of them! There are 9
"elements" or layers of different technique on one sleeve, and 11 on the
other, and she has them pushed up her forearms; I'd either have to
crush them horribly, or wear them to my wrists (which is what I
When Eileen Capes and I did the Whelan Queens (ConAdian), Eileen did the
masks (although I did make some of the impossible flowers :)) and I was
left with the fun part of inventing everything below the shoulders.
I agree that recreation is a more exacting form of our art; my problem
doing "originals" is figuring out when to stop fiddling and say, "Done!"
Pierre & Sandy Pettinger wrote:
> Also, what
> do the parts you can't see look like? There have been at least 4 Whelan's
> "Summer Queen" versions I've seen at major cons (including mine) and all
> had a different take on the dress. If you don't know the painting, all
> that's visible is head and shoulders, and a small part of one sleeve. The
> shoulders are covered by a cape. No clues as to what the dress looks
> like. Granted, the headdress is the challenge (flowers don't EXIST in
> those shapes!!), but....
> Also, most of the time the articles aren't in proportion - if you measure
> one part and scale it up, then another part doesn't fit when made to the
> same scale.
- Assuming that we can all work on getting the documentation to the judges,
I always write up notes explaining why I used a certain fabric, texture,
The point about costuming from a book cover is right on. When I did
"Hawkmistress" from the Darkover series, the cover is a close upof her
from the waist up. It was an interesting coincidence that I happened to
know the artist (from before she did the cover), and she made some
colored-pencil sketches for me of details (the exact plaid of the cape,
the trim on the tunic), and what the trousers and boots would look like,
etc. I put those sketches in my documentation (having followed them
pretty closely). I even included the artist's "signature" design on the
cape where it showed in the picture. If you get a knowledgaeable
workmanship judge, they do enjoy things like that.
Obviously with a recreation, if you can't see the bottom, or the back, or
the hairstyle under a hood, for example, that's where your judgment and
knowledge of the character in the book comes in. As with a historical,
as long as you can justify your creative decisions, it should all work
Recreations are blasted difficult to get right, most of the time.
Yours in costuming, Lisa A.
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- In a message dated 12/6/00 7:56:08 AM US Mountain Standard Time,
> Michael Whelan paintings are a dream to work from, compared with someAssuming he's painting humans that is.
> artists -- he paints his human characters in proportion with real human
> beings! Also, he knows that clothes have to have seams.
I received an e-mail last year asking me to reproduce an elven magician from
one of his paintings. Since the character is obviously in the middle of
casting a powerful spell, his clothes are lofted every which-way and of
course the figure is impossibly thin.
That's one of the incidents that convinced me to stop doing custom work.
Unrealistic expectations on the part of clients had gotten out of hand. I
turned down the commission, but stopped short of pointing out that the
requestor had violated copyright by e-mailing me a scan of the painting.
- Guilty, at least once.
>>> lisa58@... 11/30/00 03:32PM >>>you can count on
having a judge that hasn't ever seen any particular movie.
Yours in costuming, Lisa A.