Picking up from where we left off yesterday, I had my idea and did my sketch. But it wasn’t enough. I had to do some more research on Edwardian clothing because all I had to go on was that photo of Bernard Cribbins.
To start my research, I had to search Google Images for straw boaters and Edwardian striped blazers. Besides Google Images for research, I scoured the web for websites about Edwardian fashion.
I also had to pull out my copy of James Gurney’s renowned book Imaginative Realism (which I will review in the future) for some strategies. Gurney talks a bit about costumes in one part of the book. He says that while good costumes can be hard to get, having a real costume (or a good image thereof) can make a huge difference in finished pictures. It’s obvious that one can tell a costume made up against a costume designed from reference. This does tie into my own training about researching everything even if you think you know how to draw it.
So what did I do? In addition to images, I found a few websites that talked about men’s fashions during the Edwardian era. One of them was “Dressing the Edwardian Man” from Edwardian Promenade. Indeed it was a goldmine of information and gave a nice overview of said fashion, but it wasn’t enough. I found some websites that sold costumes and reproductions based on reference from that era – one was Vintage Costumers and another was Gentlemen’s Emporium. After more studying and making notes, I pulled out my colored pencils, did a line copy of my sketch and made a color study.
Color studies are a must for any sort of painting or color illustrations; it’s better to find out here that the color scheme you chose doesn’t work rather than do your painting and find out it doesn’t work. In the end, I felt the colors were what I wanted and then decided to start the painting.
I got out my round watercolor brushes, a block of 7×10 inch watercolor paper, palettes, a water container and paint tubes. I used acrylic and gouache paints for this project. I have a variety of paint brands here like Holbein, Golden, Winsor & Newton and Liquitex. I can’t recommend any specific brand of paint; you’ll have to do that research on your own. What I will say though is make sure you get something of quality; don’t buy the cheapest paints you can find.
Then came the actual painting process…but that, my friends, is another post for another day.