So the task of deciding a good month for Nagranowrimo is not easy as no month is going to be good for everyone. I posted a survey and got a few response but there’s wasn’t a overwhelming favorite month. However people were leaning towards April, May, and June, so let’s decide which of these three months is best! Please leave a response or send an ask saying with month you’d prefer (you can also name two months that work for you, or write that any of these three months are fine!) Please response and hopefully a month will be set shortly!
Okay … really not sure if this is serious. I did link to the image in question once upon a time in this post but I’m not sure how anyone would find from this blog searching for “how to draw an owl”. Also that image is pretty widely distributed and clearly meant to be a joke.
I’ve posted hundreds of pictures and links of (hopefully) useful tutorials and resources and I’m sorry you found one of the 3 or so that were meant to provide a little humor to the whole drawing process.
Anyway, here’s a non-snarky profanity free Owl anatomy tutorial.
So my historical costuming resources list from 2011 was less than a page long- I’m not saying that I’ve learned a lot in the past three years, but this list is now sitting pretty at a solid nine pages. Whew. And people wonder why I want to redo this damn series.
This list is by no means an exhaustive one- it’s a list of (primarily western) historical fashion resources, both online and offline, that is limited to what I know, own, or use! It’s a work in progress, and I’m definitely hoping to expand on it as my knowledge base grows. First things first, how about a little:
ADVICE FOR RESEARCHING HISTORICAL FASHION
- Read, and read about more than just costuming. Allowing yourself to understand the cultural and historical context surrounding the clothing of a particular region/period can be invaluable in sussing out good costume design. Looking at pictures is all well and good, but reading about societal pressures, about construction techniques, daily routines, local symbolism, whatever else will really help you understand the rhyme and reason behind costuming from any given context.
- Expand your costume vocabulary. When you’re delving into a new topic, costuming or otherwise, picking up new terminology is essential to proper understanding and furthering your research. Write down or take note of terms as you come across them- google them, look up synonyms, and use those words as a jumping off point for more research. What’s a wire rebato? How does it differ from a supportasse? Inquiring minds want to know.
- Double-check your sources. Especially on the internet, and double especially on tumblr. I love it, but it’s ground zero for rapidly spreading misinformation. Books are usually your safest bet, but also take into account their date of publication, who’s writing them- an author’s biases can severely mangle their original source material.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do everything you can to find out information on your own, but feel free to reach out to people with more specialized areas of knowledge for help! Be considerate about it- the people you’re asking are busy as well- but a specific line of questioning that proves you’re passionate and that you respect their subject matter expertise can work wonders.
Okay, onto the links!
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of getting off the internet and looking into books! God bless the internet, but books are (generally, this isn’t a rule) better-researched and better-sourced. Bibliographies also mean each individual books can be a jumping off point for further research, which is always a fantastic thing.
Remember- owning books is awesome and you should absolutely assemble your own library of resources, but LIBRARIES. Libraries. You’ll be surprised to find what books are available to you at your local library.
GENERAL / SURVEYS
- British Costume from Earliest Times to 1820
Fine book with lots of first hand sources, but be wary of the photography in the book- reproduction costumes and thus somewhat less reliable. Though hilarious.
- Corsets and Crinolines
Norah Waugh’s invaluable survey of corsetry and corset patterns- used the world ‘round by modern corsetieres.
- Costume in Detail: Women’s Dress 1730-1930
Elaborate line drawings/diagrams of extant period garments! A fantastic survey.
- Cut of Men’s Clothes
PDF available online! Patterns for men’s period garments.
- Cut of Women’s Clothes
Patterns for women’s period garments.
- Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History
This is a library find, unless you have a pretty three hundred bucks lying around- a great, general resource.
- A History of Costume
A lot of good text and info, to be taken with a grain of salt. Be wary of any reconstructions and or “supposed” patterns that aren’t directly based on extant garments or firsthand accounts.
- Fashion (Taschen 25th Anniversary)
A survey of the Kyoto Costume Institute’s fashion collection- broad but beautiful. On every fashion student’s bookcase.
- Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style
Great overview of fashion history from the Smithsonian and DK publishing.
- The History of Costume: From the Ancient Mesopotamians Through the Twentieth Century
Broad costume survey, second edition.
- What People Wore: 1,800 Illustrations from Ancient Times to the Early Twentieth Century
this is one of those “I am putting this here because I used it a ton when I was younger” but man, mixed bag. Really cool survey to browse through, but also work that is a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy in most instances and thus not necessarily trustworthy as a resource.
- What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of Costume from Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century for Every Level of Society
A collection of Racinet and Hottentoth’s costume plates from the 19th century. A beautiful survey but, since these are later illustrations, to be taken with a grain of salt.
Patterns fo Fashion books
Detailed, hand-drawn diagrams of historical fashion, inside and out. Pretty amazing stuff.
- Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women, C.1560-1620
- Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction C. 1660-1860
- Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction C. 1860-1940
- Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660
Fashion in Detail books
Not what you want if you’re looking for photos of entire costumes- note the “in detail” bit up there. Just a beautiful series, and great reference for all the little things you might miss otherwise. The V&A has an amazing fashion collection, and it’s great to see them share it with the world.
- Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail
- Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail
- Underwear: Fashion in Detail
- World Dress: Fashion in Detail
The one non-western entry in the series.
- Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700 - 1915
LACMA’s response to the V&A’s series mentioned above, also an invaluable resource for historical fashion detail.
Hey! Sorry for the late reply, I haven’t really had time to do the tutorial for you! But, I did one today. It’s kinda messy and not 100% anatomically perfect (I do several flaws myself) but I think I made some good points!
Arms cannot be done without shoulders, so that’s why I will include them here. To know how one body part works, you need to understand the other parts too. I suggest drawing a stick figure, as shown above. Do it with shoulders and everything - don’t care about anatomy. Really, don’t - go mad! You can figure out how to deal with the anatomy AFTER you have figured how to draw the body freely.
I imagine most body parts to be shaped as tear drops, as shown above; especially the arms and legs. Draw them above the stick figure - don’t be afraid to overlap the teardrops. In fact, I suggest it! The best way to understand anatomy is to think of it as shapes and doll-parts.
After you’ve figured that out, do several, VERY tiny, small doodles like these. Go crazy - don’t bother with anatomy just yet. Do them also very quickly and so small you can’t think of the details. Just keep doing this until you sorta understand how arms work.
Here is a doodle of a “real” arm, and as you can see, how it’s shaped it resembles the teardrops above. A general rule is to constantly draw the body in curves - male AND female. NEVER draw a single line straight.
I mentioned before I thought it was important to include shoulders/other body parts to understand another. This is why. The body basically has a “flow” when you move. The red lines clearly shows the flow. This is also how you can create a dynamic pose: think of the flow. The muscles are formed that way to be able to function. Which reminds me, buy some good anatomy books. And I’m talking about more or less MEDICAL anatomy books - you think you won’t need it - but trust me, it’s more useful than you can imagine. I do NOT suggest buying “stylistic” anatomy books, like Christopher Hart (ugh NO), for example, as these can mislead you. Medical anatomy books CANNOT because they MUST be right.
And for the last part, here’s some “do’s” and “don’ts”. It’s important to remember the muscles between the neck and shoulders. Many, especially when drawing females, forget this. It’s true the most visible it is - the more muscular you will look. But even the most petite people have these. Your neck literally would not function if you didn’t have these supporters. Then, the arms below is just to show why it’s important to draw the body with curves. Many have probably heard “straight lines for males” which is a complete lie. They will look stiff and unnatural. Curves can both empathize muscles AND fat. Heck, even your bones aren’t straight.
Legs certainly are the hardest. There’s a good reason for this; because they’re one of our most strongest muscles, and they are more or less dominating when it comes to poses (together with the spine). However, just like with the arms, draw a stick figure. I won’t suggest drawing them completely straight, as you can see here, as it will add weight. Do teardrops shapes. As for the hips - think of them as panties or briefs. This is not a MUST; but it will help; I think!
And just like the arms, do small doodles. Don’t be serious, play around until you get the idea.
As you can see, these legs easily can be turned into teardrops even when they’re detailed like this.
Now, what makes legs/hips interesting is that the way fat gathers there. Although not a must, seeing as we’re all different, females tend to get more fat there than men. Usually, however, it’s not at the SIDE of the hops, but at the thighs, calves and the “love handles”. (Excuse my english, aaah…) Women also tend to have bigger hips, but again, it’s not a must. It’s not uncommon to have small hips, either; or big hips for men, etc.
Of course, the legs too follow the “flow”!
Something worth noting is the “Standing point” The standing point is basically a straight line, and the further away you are from the line; the more unbalanced you are. To create a dynamic pose you should avoid that line as much as possible. However, if you want to look balanced/realistic, have the one leg stand there for support. The leg to the left is balanced, as you can see one of the legs is taking all the weight; with other words, it’s the support leg-making it balanced. The legs to the right, however, are likely to fall over if she keeps standing like that!
Now for some more do’s and don’ts. I already mentioned the barbie legs, invisible heels and micro-mini crotch in my previous tutorial, but these two are different. I see this mistake a lot; when you sit down, your thighs will become wider because you’re pressing all the fat to the sides. Now, this also depends on how you’re positioning your legs. How much it widens depends on how much fat you have in the first place; but it will always be there.
And then there’s this awkward “thigh gap”. Before I get any haters telling me how I “thin shame”, please, take a seat and read this. Good? Good. How much space you actually have between your thighs depends fully on how you’re standing, bending, angle, body type and everything else. However, the one to the right? Not likely.
Okay, I’m getting really lazy now; so I’ll be quick. Draw a rectangle. Sorta like this; it doesn’t have to be exactly like this - since hands can be shaped VERY differently. Just compare to your friends.
Draw a little triangle attached to it.
Now, the fingers! How long they should be and etc doesn’t really matter either. But if you’re unsure, draw them as tear drops, too.
Now, draw the fingers! Starting to look like a hand, sort of.
Then draw the details and fix things you didn’t like. I really don’t like the way this is drawn but I’m just tired right now.
Just like the legs/arms, practice by doing that simple figure really quickly.
Guess what? Hands also follow “the flow”!
Okay, I’m getting really lazy. Plus, feet are SUPER HARD- I’m just going to say this: think of them as triangles. Overlap them; think of it as 3D!
Practice practice practice! And medical anatomy books. And photo references. And real-life references!
Hope this helped! \o/ As I said, I’m nowhere near perfect but, ahh, I tried.
Some great drawing anatomy tips.