The weekend-10/21/11

I hope everyone enjoys the weekend. As the rainy NW weather kicks in full gear I am looking forward to a cozy weekend at home. A bowl of buttery popcorn and  movie night or a giant mug of hot choclate will fit the bill. Until next week.

Weekend reading list:

Todays listening pleasure is Leslie Feist’s 1234. Watch her Sesame Street Version here.

Image: note to self

Fashion Plate-Flutter

Here’s the first of many Fashion Illustrations to come. I plan to make regular Friday Fashion Plate posts.  

Today’s fashion plate Flutter is named for her butterfly jewelry. But I couldn’t resist adding other butterfly inspiration below. If you haven’t already, check out my post Metamorphosis.


Part Four: Time and Eternity by Emily Dickinson

MY cocoon tightens, colors tease,

I ’m feeling for the air;

A dim capacity for wings

Degrades the dress I wear.


A power of butterfly must be


The aptitude to fly,

Meadows of majesty concedes

And easy sweeps of sky.


So I must baffle at the hint

And cipher at the sign,


And make much blunder, if at last

I take the clew divine.


This is the butterfly scene from Bright Star.  I would have loved a room like this as a girl.

Who am I kidding…….even now.


Fashion Illustration by DCTdesigns, quote from

DCToolbox-Color Stories

“Perhaps no other design element has as much influence on how we feel in a space (a website, a home, etc.) as color. Colors can instantaneously change our moods and alter our opinions. They can make us comfortable, put us in a state of awe, or get us excited. The right color combinations can distinguish, guide, engage and inspire.” ~article by Luke Wroblewski


So do you need a color scheme, color palette? Perhaps you’re updating the look of your logo or launching your website. Where do you begin? Where do you go for inspiration?

When I work with my students on the color story for their fashion lines I tell them to stick to 5-7 colors. Every designer’s style is made up of numerous factors. But Color plays a large role.



Inspiration can be found anywhere these days. A quick google search or photos on flickr can give you a number of choices. One of my favorite websites is Design Seeds. This gal puts together color stories that have offered me endless inspiration. As you can see.


Color Aesthetics can be approached from vaious directions: Impression (visually), Expression (emotionally) or construction (symbolically) and there are various methods out there to developing color each with its own pros and cons.

Technical approach-choosing one or two dominant colors on the color wheel to be paired with a small set of complementary colors. Applying various Basic colour theory concepts like split complimentary, triadic, or analogous. I find this approach a good basic start but ultimately too clinical.

Matching Approach-starting with an image or perhaps a fashion sketch you choose various colors from within to generate a color scheme. As a visual person I find this approach a great way to develop stories from season to season. I like to import a photo into photoshop and convert it to a mosaic. From here it is very simple to pick out individual colors and play with their relationships (hue,value,chroma) to one another.

Intuitive Approach– Beginning with a blank canvas you use whatever colors seem appropriate.  This can give you a fresh creative palette. But without a strong knowledge of color theory can lead to trouble. I tend to use my intuition to guide my choices from the first two methods. This gives me the creative freedom I need in the process.


Here is another example from What I wore a personal style blog by Jessica Quirk.


When creating a color story whether from scratch or photo I like to use Adobe Lab’s color palette generator and explorer Kuler. You can search through existing color schemes or create your own by setting the hex values. Once established they can be downloaded into Adobe Swatch Exchange (.ASE) format for use in any of the Adobe Creative Suite applications. Or use the HEX/RGB/CMYK values to transfer into any other design program you are working in.

Here are a few more Color palette apps.

Color Hunter –uses flickr photos to create a palette. You can search by tag or hex code. You can even upload your own images.

Color Palette Generator– this app located on allows you to use photos from the web as inspiration. It is a more basic app. You enter the photo’s URL and it generates a color scheme based on the photo.

ColorJack– This online generator allows you to hover over a particular color and see theme’s associated with it. Then you can choose to see your color scheme in (hsv, rgb, or hex) in order to export it into Illustrator, Photoshop or any other graphics program you use.

And some more articles on color:

Setting the Mood with Color by Sean Glithero

Color My World by Molly E. Holzschlag

Color Design for the Web by Vaishali Singh


**Look for regular color story posts to be added to my site.**

Image:(1) colorineverydaylife (2)  mezzoblue. (3-5) Designseeds (6) What I wore

Wooden Mannequins

Live models aren’t always available to the artist. So a wooden mannequin comes in handy as a reference for proportion. They are available in different sizes and forms, male and female figures, hands, even horses. They can be posed in various positions helping focus in on the figures ratios. Mine sits on my desk unused.

I originally purchased it as a student to aid in sketching the human figure. But with fashion design sketches I am distorting the figure. So it’s become a decorative knickknack. Perhaps if I bought a 9 ½ head figure I might use it more often. Truthfully,  I still probably wouldn’t.

I came across these and thought they would make better desk art then my lonely figure.


So what was there left to do but dress my gal up with a little Halloween inspired couture.

Images (1) Habit of Art (2-3) Caixa de Badulaques (4) DCTdesigns