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4095Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Digest Number 844

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  • Curtis Kidd
    Jan 1, 2004
      > Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 13:14:59 -0000
      > From: "showcostumes" <showcostumes@...>
      > Subject: Sketches
      > One of my "things I want to accomplish this year" is
      > learning to
      > sketch my ideas before I put them together. Right now I
      > just have an
      > idea in my head and my costumes come together as I sew.
      > I want to be
      > able to convey my ideas to directors I am working with.
      > I have very little drawing skill. I usually trace a
      > figure from a
      > sillohutte (sp) I found in a competition costume book and
      > use colored
      > pencils to try and convey my vision of what the costume
      > will look
      > like. I have no formal education, as far as costume
      > design goes and
      > I know there are classes to teach just this thing,
      > however, not near
      > me or not available during the middle of the night when
      > most of my
      > free time is!!!
      > Can anyone suggest a good book or resource I can use to
      > teach myself?

      I started out as an art major in college, and basic drawing
      (or the lack thereof) was universally lamented as the most
      lacking skill in our age of increasing computer graphics.
      A lot of design firms would prefer to hire someone who
      knows nothing about computers but can draw really well,
      because it is a lot easier to teach someone how to use a
      computer than to draw well...I still don't draw as well as
      I would like to. Practice is everything...which demands a
      lot of patience on your part, because you will not enjoy
      your early results (I still have several of my early
      projects around that I pull out when I'm feeling
      frustrated, just to remind myself how much I've improved).

      Draw EVERYTHING you can think of. Any drawing book will
      help; but don't stick to one religiously. Take one, learn
      what it has to teach, get comfortable with it, and move on
      to another one. The more different voices you have, the
      more you will develop your own specific style, instead of
      copying someone else's.

      The most important things I recall from costume sketching
      classes, off the top of my head--

      --Do renderings of characters in action. A lot of people
      do static poses, which is easier to draw but does not
      convey the feel of the costume as well (even models don't
      just stand in one position, and actors/performers almost
      never stay still for more than a couple of seconds in

      --Learn how to convey different weights and textures of
      material. This will be even more important that getting
      colors accurate, because you can always attach fabric
      swatches to your renderings to show exactly what colors you
      want to use. Wools drape differently than silks--all
      fabrics fold and float differently. Observe and learn.

      --Renderings do not need to be photo-perfect
      representations. They are to convey the ideas. You want
      them to be accurate in depicting the overall look and mood
      you want a costume to show...but it's an idea, it can be a
      little rough.

      A lot of school districts in this area provide adult
      education programs, and several of the colleges have
      distance-learning programs that include some basic art
      classes. Critiques from other eyes will tell you when
      you're getting things to the point that you can really use
      them to sell an idea...which is difficult for a lot of
      people to handle. A critique is not an attack on your
      work; it is feedback on what works and what doesn't. That
      was the single most important thing I learned in art

      Best of luck!!!

      Curtis Kidd
      "Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel could be you!"

      "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft promo ad
      "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer" - Adolf Hitler

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