Red Carpet: Golden Globes 2018

Red Carpet sketching is the next best thing after sketching fashion shows. While my favourite red carpet looks are usually from the MET Gala in May, the Golden Globes this year had some beautiful pieces also with a powerful message behind them.  

Black dresses being the only colour this year to support the Time’s Up movement presents a fun creative challenge for an artist like me who usually focuses on colour first.  Not being able to rely on elements of strong colour or vibrant prints, the dresses this year had me focused more on silhouette and material.  

In an effort to try and represent the different weights of the fabric I experimented a lot with textured brushes, something I rarely do.  I sketch on my iPad with the app Procreate, and usually stick to the same 4 or 5 brushes. But, Procreate offers so many more that I've never found much use for.  Some are organic textures, some shapes with hard lines, and then just some strange things, like gemstones, which acts like a stamp, stamping crystal shaped rocks all over your canvas. A lot of them seemed very literal, until I started layering them and using them in a way that they lose their original obvious shape. To my surprise the gemstone brush ended up being really useful for one piece!  

I'm often find that limitations can produce amazing results because they force you to be more creative.  Experimenting with the brushes has also been a great asset to add to my quick sketching routine.  It's an efficient way to portray the movement of the garments and brings an experience to the viewer that a photo can't represent.  I was starting to be unhappy with a lot of my digital pieces lately because they seemed to flat and static, but now I'm excited to incorporate this new technique in to my work.  I'm so pleased with the results of these new pieces, and am hoping to find the time soon to do a lot more digital pieces!

 

 

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First choice to sketch was Kate Hudson in Valentino.  This was probably a more typical choice for me, being drawn to the pattern and contrast between the sheer and the hard lines.  I hadn't really experimented with the brushes yet for this one, relying more on the shapes and the contrast of her blonde hair against the dark black on the dress.

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Kendall Jenner in Giambattista Valli, one of my favourite designers. Also here it is! The gem stone brush. If you look closely around her foot you can probably see it, but this one was the break through in my brush choices.  The first version looked way too flat, so I flipped back to a few sketches I had done of gowns over the holidays where I was playing around with the brushes, and decided I should push even further and use something I would never normally have.  The lightness of the fabric combined with how dense it is in the feathered areas was proving challenging, but the transparency of the brush combined with the hard outline solved the problem surprisingly easy.  This one took less than half the time to execute as the first version, and I'm much more satisfied with the result.

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Alison Brie in Vasslis Zoulias. This look to me is perfect.  Classic yet modern, simple, feminine and unique still with the incorporation of the pant underneath.  Vassals Zoulias is a Greek designer who is new to me, but a quick look over at his Instagram had me following immediately, because he creates such beautiful pieces.  I also got a repost of this sketch on his account, a nice surprise and the best compliment!  Also experimenting with a textured dry brush here, I wanted it to maintain a spontaneous gestural look to it.  Also since there wasn't any sheer elements like the last two pieces, the contrast of the white background against the flat black seemed too distracting from the dress so I added in the grey to tone it down.

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Millie Bobby Brown in Calvin Klein.  This I think is my favourite sketch of the night, I'm really happy with how the ruffled elements turned out and that there's a simplicity still to the piece.  I started following Millie on Instagram only about a month ago because I had no idea how stylish she was!  I find her wardrobe incredibly sophsiticated for a 13 year old, and yet still age appropriate. There's a bit of an androgyny to her that I love, and her styling comes across both cute and mature at the same time.  

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Zoe Kravitz in Saint Laurent.  So this one maybe I resorted back to my old ways and was instantly drawn to colour.  The emerald earring next to the red lip immediately caught my eye. Anytime you can make red and green work without going "Christmas" is so refreshing visually because it's uncommon.  It also works perfectly with the simple, elegant silhouette of the dress.  Here I didn't play with texture and opted just for a simple flat black to keep the simplicity of shape.  Again, a grey background to not distract, because that contrast of the green and red is everything!

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Finally, Jessica Biel in Dior.  The movment in the dress is what drew me to this one.  I love the classic silhouette mixed in with a bit of asymmetry.  It's another example to me of a simultaneously classic and modern gown. Similar to the Alison Brie sketch, I used a dry brush texture, but a bit more transparency with this one to keep it reading as a light fabric.  

 

Overall I'm really happy with having such success with an all black palette.  It has me looking forward to sketching Oscars looks, but also doing some new black and white pieces in watercolour to see if I can translate some of these new ideas into a different medium.

2017 Year in Review

New Year's is my favourite time of year. Which sounds strange, but I'm a little nerdy and love the idea of a party celebrating getting back to routine! December is my busiest month of the year, this year especially, my schedule was completely filled with live sketch events and commission work, I usually finish off exhausted, adrenaline filled and ready for some time off. 

However, those who know me well know that the exhaustion only lasts for a couple of days before boredom sets in quickly and I'm eager to get back to work. I'm a bit of a workaholic... but I genuinely love the feeling of creating. Nothing makes me happier than the process of my work so too much time off and I get restless. I believe the key to me feeling happy and fulfilled is constant growth.  I'm not a complacent person, I'm at my best when I have a goal and something to do.

Although, everyone needs a rest, myself included, so to keep my spirits up during this time and avoid those dark freelancer/artist thoughts that creep in telling you that you haven't accomplished enough, I wanted to reflect on how far I've come this past year.  I think gratitude for what has already come my helps me maintain a positive perspective that will help my maintain this career path long term. 

As you would always hope for your career, this past year was the biggest one yet. Working chronologically, the first big highlight was at New York Fashion Week in February and getting to sketch backstage at Delpozo.  Delpozo is absolutely one of my favourite designers. I admire  Josep Font's creativity immensely, the colour, shapes and patterns he uses are balanced so perfectly. To be able to meet him and sketch his work so closely is something I'll never forget. 

 

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Of course one of the most exciting things this year was the launch of my Jergens Limited Edition Bottle Designs.  This was something that I had been working on for over a year and was such a surreal experience to see the bottles in stores.  The commission was definitely an inspiration for me to expand my work into other directions, I'm planning on getting into pattern design in addition to my illustration work this coming year.

 

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Finally, my last huge highlight of 2017 was sketching at São Paulo Fashion Week.  I love live sketching fashion shows, but to be able to do it in Brazil, where the fashion is so colourful and bold made the experience that much better.  I'll be back in São Paulo a couple of times in 2018 so if I don't make it in time for Fashion Week again I'll definitely be on the look out for street style. 

 

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These of course are just the big moments, but 2017 also marked a lot of growth in my work.  New clients and opportunities, but also new directions for me to take my work.   I'm closing out this year with what feels like an endless supply of inspiration and ideas. The goal for 2018 is to find this time to execute them all... not a bad problem to have!  

Happy New Year!!

How to Commission Custom Artwork

Commissioning art is the perfect way to get a unique original piece that's fits your style. Whether it's for yourself or for a personalized gift, it allows you to partake in the creation of the work with the assistance of a professional artist.  If you've never commissioned an artist before it can be intimidating the first time so I've created this guide to walk you through my typical commissioning process.

The key to a successful commission is communication.  The difference between commissioning a piece and buying an existing artwork is that you are part of the creative process.  You are able to choose the subject matter, colours and style, while I execute the work.   

To communicate your vision you will send me photo references of your chosen subject matter as well as any specifics for the colours you'd like to see in the piece.  You can also reference other finished pieces of mine you like for style and colour.  You can think of this part of the process as creating a mood board for the piece.

The amount of creative decisions you'd like to have is up to you, some clients are very specific, and other's would prefer to leave most things up for the artist to decide.  Either is fine, just make sure if you have a very specific requests that the reference you provide clearly communicates this! The more I can visualize what you have in your head the better.

For the sake of this post, we will use the Custom Fashion Illustrations and Custom Fashion Sketches I have listed in my shop.  We will review the differences between Watercolour and Digital, as well as the difference between an Illustration and a Sketch. If you're commissioning a piece that doesn't fit these product specifications you can read on still, as the process is very similar.

We will start with the Watercolour Fashion Illustration.  This is a full body watercolour illustration of one figure, with the options to add a second figure, a specific background (other than the abstract one shown in the samples), or a pet.  The difference between the watercolour illustrations and the digital is that the watercolour illustrations will have an original, meaning the physical painting. It is done on a  9"x12" piece of 140 lb acid free watercolour paper and is mailed to you once complete.  Digital illustrations, which I will discuss later in this post, are a digital image file that will be emailed to you. Keep in mind it is possible for me to create a digital file of a watercolour piece or have a print made of a digital piece at an additional charge. Just ask at any time during the creation process!

Here is the photo reference provided for this piece,

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A single photo reference is typical for these commissions as the listing is already specific on what the style is.  In this case, the subject matter and colour are what is in the photo.  The outfit she choose for the piece was a great choice, lots of colour and pattern.  When selecting a photo it's best to consider one element that will make the piece interesting.  If colour or pattern aren't your style, consider texture, or an interesting pose (ex. looking over your shoulder to feature the back of a dress, resting your weight on one leg to create movement through the body).  A pose can have a dynamic appearance while still being subtle.  Simple outfits with a statement piece accessory also turn out great. 

You can also send a photo of the subject and a separate photo of the outfit if it's not possible to have both together in the photo.  Just make sure to specify this is what you'd like.

I will first send you a photo of the drawing of the piece, done in pencil.  Watercolour is not a material that can be painted over or changed easily, so this is the time to ask for any major adjustments to be made. Small corrections may still be possible at the end but it's best to speak up at this point while everything is still changeable.

Here is the finished product for the Watercolour Illustration,

 

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For comparison, I also have the same piece done in the Watercolour Fashion Sketch version.  The major difference between the two is the level of detail put into the piece.  The Illustrations are more detailed, with more accurate proportions, and facial features put in.    Sketches are loose and gestural,  a style I've developed from live sketching.  If you've ever had me sketch you at an event before, this is similar to that!  Here is an example below.

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The other difference between the two is the size of the original artwork.  The sketches are slightly smaller, at an 8"x10" finished size.

The other medium of choice is Digital.  I create the artwork digitally on my tablet and you are sent a .jpg digital file of the finished piece.  The advantages to digital is that the wait time is a little faster since there is no need for shipping, and that you are able to make any edits at the end since alterations are much easier to do digitally. 

Here is the photo reference we will be working from for this example

 

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A photo taken in a mirror is fine for a piece like this, just specify you don't want the phone in the shot! (Unless you do).  This is a great reference again for the pattern and texture in the sweater.  Also the volume in her hair gives a lot of movement, and the weight being on her left leg creates a nicer composition then if she was standing straight and rigid.

Similar to the Watercolour pieces, the Digital pieces have both the option of a full Illustration or a simpler sketch version.  Here is both below,

The Digital Fashion Illustration

 

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These full body fashion pieces are available for purchase in my store because they are my most popular type of commission. You are of course not limited to this type of piece or subject matter. If you like the style of my artwork you can reach out to me at anytime for a free quote on what you have in mind!  You can e-mail me at stephanie@stephanieanne.ca or fill out this commission form here .

Jergens 100th Anniversary Bottle Designs

This summer marked the release of my collaboration with Jergens Lotion, to celebrate their 100th Anniversary! They approached me early last year with the project, and I was thrilled to take it on. This would be my first opportunity to design artwork for packaging, something I was curious to explore.  Fast forward to now, and seeing my bottles on the shelves in drug stores is incredibly exciting every time.

The idea behind these designs was to take the fluid watercolours and vibrant colour palettes of my fashion work and translate it into print.  I wanted to keep my signature style, without using figures or fashion elements, two things that are normally a huge part of my work.   

Here's the final four designs that are available in Canada

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If you haven't already, you can read my full interview about the collection here

The experience from this has sparked an interest for me to further explore pattern and print creation using my watercolour aesthetic.  I'll be spending the next few months creating my first collection of textile prints so stay tuned!

SPFW N°44

Last month I had the amazing opportunity to live sketch at São Paulo Fashion Week. It was a lucky coincidence while planning a personal trip to Brazil that it was happening while I was there, so I knew I had to make the effort to at least get one day to sketch!

São Paulo Fashion Week is considered the fifth largest fashion week in the world, after New York, London, Milan and Paris.  I've just begun exploring the Brazilian fashion industry and the local designers there, but so far it has proven to be a perfect source of inspiration for me. I find the design to be full of colour, print and femininity. I've never been a huge fan of androgenous or minimalistic trends so you can imagine my excitement in discovering this Brazilian aesthetic.

I attended three shows; ViX Paula Hermanny, Lilly Sarti, and Fabiana Milazzo.  Click the images to open my SPFW sketches gallery.

ViX Paula Hermanny was my first show, also my first time sketching swimwear, which felt very appropriate for my Brazilian experience.  I enjoyed swim more then I expected, it gives a feeling for how the pieces work with the body. There was a certain dynamic quality to the presentation that I don't get from other shows. There's also great contrast between the fitted swimsuit and the lightness of the coverups, the movement was mesmerizing.  Here's the sketches from the show;

 

My next show was Lilly Sarti, a sportswear brand.  The show had a casual, relaxed, 70's vibe, but still chic.  They used a great orange in a few pieces of the collection, a sort of yellow-mustard-orange that I was able to capture in one of my sketches. 

My final show was Fabiana Milazzo, a perfect way to end. I was excited to attend this show, having seen some of pieces from the designer in their showroom when picking up my tickets the week before. Everything was light and feminine, with lots of beading and sequin, in gold, blush and blues. It all had an ethereal quality and was basically my dream wardrobe. The show did not disappoint, lots of embellishment and a gorgeous colour palette!

Of course I had to sketch my favourite part of SPFW, the street style. My love for sketching street style has developed over the past year.  There's an individuality and character to street style that I find makes such an interesting subject.  Bold, saturated colours where very popular at SPFW so naturally I jumped on sketching the trend.  I love this collection of sketches the most, I feel like it really captured the feeling of São Paulo Fashion Week.

 

Click here to open the gallery of the images!

Stephanie

New Blog

I'm starting a blog as a new way to share with all of you more about me as an artist and what I do behind the scenes of my job. 

As a fairly introverted person I've been reluctant for a long time to start one, worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with the content or be comfortable putting myself out there. Social media in general has always been a laborious task to me, some people seem to take to it so naturally, but I can't get past the anxiety of exposing myself for an audience. That being said, I do love finding other like-minded individuals who share the same passions I do, and having followers who admire and support your work is wonderful and essential for when things have you feeling down.  

I can't ever describe how much my work means to me, and how much I love my job. It is a dream come true and is constantly giving me new goals to strive for. I find inspiration and motivation plentiful and hope to share that enthusiasm and passion with all of you through this blog!

Enjoy!

Stephanie

 

 

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