I was feeling rather stuck in my attempts at fashion sketches, so in an effort to avoid Blank Page Syndrome, I decided to play design poker. This is basically a modified version of the guild challenge game where everyone draws several cards with colors, fiber types, visual theme, etc. and then creates something based on the cards they drew. I don’t think it’s a great way to design, but the imposed constraints and the pre-seeding of ideas are good for overcoming the terror of a blank page. And generating ideas is good.
So here are the results of the first three rounds of Design Poker. In each round, I drew four photos from a collection of couture photos, and drew a croquis for Phoenix Rising based on ideas or construction elements from all four photos. Some of them didn’t actually involve all the photos, but that’s OK: the objective is to generate good ideas, and if I was happy with the result (I was!), then all is well and good.
I apologize for the poor quality of the original fashion photos. I had printed them out in black and white, to avoid distracting myself with color, but the printouts didn’t photograph well. Still, it gives you a bit of an idea, and if you click through to the full-size version you can probably make out most of it.
Here they are:
Here we have the spiraling diamonds in the top right photo, the “x” construction of the bottom right photo, and the feather skirt of the bottom left photo. I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate the top left photo, and was happy with this sketch, so I left it at that.
And the second round:
I really like this design. It incorporates the flowing feel of the top right photo with the shoulder curlicues of the bottom right photo, and the awesomely cool “feathers” going across the body derive directly from the diagonal lines in bottom left. The top left photo I couldn’t incorporate, so I left it out.
And here is round three:
This incorporates the cutwork from the top left photo, the idea of a billowing cloak/cape from the two right-hand photos, and the neckline of the bottom left photos. The drapes from the back (which I’m not sure if I would combine into a single cape or leave them separate) come up and over the shoulders to meet the front (which is actually held up with a halter top). The dress itself is a mermaid-ish design, with flame cutwork (maybe with orange-red flames on a black-and-red background) and fiery orange ruffles at the bottom.
Anyway, none of these are genius designs, but they’re intriguing ideas, and remarkably good for something based on four photos drawn at semi-random. I think I’m going to play design poker every morning for a couple of days, and see what happens. I may even graduate to colored-pencil sketches!