July 1, 2010

Drawing for Figure Skating Costumes

As discussed in my previous post on colour for costumes, I love drawing my outfit ideas. The lovely IceMom is also a professed sketcher and carries a notebook with her at all times, as she mentions in her great sewing post that you can read here.

Do you have a love for art, and wish you had more time or simply more ideas to doodle skating outfits? Or are you a klutz with a pencil but need decent sketches to convey your costume ideas? Here we're going to have a look at a few ways to get you off to a flying start. Once you're imagination is flowing you'll be unstoppable!!

1) Get inspired. Watch recordings of events or take in everything you see at a local event you attend. When you see a special colour or interes
ting cut make a note of it (but be careful, this is for inspirational purposes, don't go copying someone else's style).

2) A notebook or sketchpad (click here to see a selection being sold on eBay by PowerSellers - you can bid with confidence). You'll need some basic pencils too. 2 is enough. One hard (I use a 3H) and one soft (I use a 3B). Hard is for basic lines, soft is for shading.

3) Start by sketching a basic human form. You don't need to be Da Vinci. It can be boxes. In fact, it should be boxes to start off with. A rectangular box for the torso with a smaller box for the hips, and 4 cylinders for the arms and legs is all you need to make a basic human figure. Now soften off those lines (round off the shoulders, give the hips a womanly bulge, insert some boobies and you're off!). Of
course failing that go freestyle!

4) Now, go forth and more importantly, go nuts! This is the fun part. Add the general silhouette of the style you have in mind. Pencil in the shoulder line (Spaghetti straps? Off the shoulder? Princess bust line?). Draw the skirt length and the waist seam (do you want a deep V or a straight line seam? The deeper the V the slimmer the skater will look as this elongates the body).

5) Colour it in! This step isn't obligatory. It's just fun and if you're showing the design to your SkateKid or coach, it will probably help them get a better idea of what the final product is going to look like. Use coloured pencils, paints, pastels, whatever floats your boat. I use watercolour penci
ls because on their own they are just coloured pencils, but if I want that nice "colour wash" feel I just add a touch of water with a brush and shazam!

6) (Optional and nothing to do with the actual drawing anymore): Go to your local fabric merchant and try to get some fabric swatches. Stick them with PVA glue to your sketch. Do the same with any crystals or beads you have lying around the house. This will really transform your sketch from a simple idea into a veritable mood board for your next outfit!

Some sketches of mine below:






Westminster Waltz 2006/7 season

Argentine Tango brainstorm

Westminster Waltz 2006/7 brainstorm #2

Random sketches for floaty classical music skating dresses
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