100 thoughts on “Basic Figure Drawing for Costume Designers || My Costume Rendering Process

  1. So enjoyed your video. I don't think people realize how much practice goes into perfect. Well said and illustrated. Thank you!

  2. Thanks so much for this video! I was so curious on your drawing style so this little insight helped me a lot. I have been drawing for my entire life but at this point I’m slightly stuck as I do not like my own style. Might continue. Using references is very clever and I have to be reminded over and over again that that is fine.
    Also on your T word discussion: I think talent is not the key to be able to draw well but it might be that genetics definitely do give a little headstart on building your skill. I myself come out of family where drawing is sort of a traditional hobby. My grandfather did it, then my mother continued and absolutely independent of her I started drawing myself too. I think I had quite a good genetic base to build my skill on. But just as you said, I did need to train. For literally years. And even then you can get stuck.

  3. The T word is my pet peeve too! I hate when someone uses it looking at my architectural sketches as if I have been blessed by the Art Faeries™ when actually it's three years of technical drawing and countless hours of practice that make buildings the one thing I am good at drawing! May have to steal some of Mum's expensive tea for my next watercolour…

  4. Coat your brush with soap if you want to brush on masking fluid. That’s what I’ve always done and it really works. Amazing video!

  5. This is glorious, and really makes me want to design something new… maybe after I finish the 28 current projects 😀

  6. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Skills are learned!!! As an artist, as with many artists, I HATE when people attribute my work to talent.

  7. With gouache, there's actually a difference between Acrylic-based and Water-based gouache, not just pricing! The acrylic ones can not be revived once dry and can be used in situations where the weather and other conditions run the risk of ruining the paint once it's been applied. Most artists however prefer water-based gouache as it is reusable once dried on the palette and only need to be spritzed with water to maintain a fresh consistency throughout the process! The only downside is that any water that gets onto the painting might revitalize the paint and blur your work. It's not a matter necessarily of pricing, but Winsor & Newton as well as Holbein sell water-based gouache while Acryla sells acrylic-based, as noted on the tube. Definitely double check the tube for ANY mention of acrylics if you're looking for water-based paints. If it doesn't mention it, you're probably safe.

  8. I am just a copycat, but I'm okay with that. Sketching is nice if I had the patience for it again. Love your work, it is fantastic.

  9. I'm not sure if someone already mentioned this, because I don't have it in me to read 490+ comments, but the reason the Acryla Gouaches don't reconstitute is because they're acrylic paint, not watercolor. For certain applications (really velvety solid colors) they're amazing, but for the washy way you're using them, water-based gouache is a better bet. W&N is obviously amazing, but Schmincke, Daler-Rowney, and Caran d'Ache are also really great artist-quality gouache. My go-to student grade paint is Turner.

  10. This is marvelous! I took a (too many years) break from drawing, which I once felt I was quite good at, and, you're absolutely right. It's not just a "talent". Since I fell out of the practice, the simplest poses that I used to be perfectly good at rendering have become nearly impossible. I've been practicing more and more, lately, though, so hopefully one day, I'll have that skill back where I want it! I feel like there's no such thing as "talent". There may be some who are more capable when they start than others (due to a more rapid neuromuscular connection, perhaps?), but we all start somewhere with every beautiful thing. Music, art, writing, sewing – all of these are skills which we apply ourselves to.

    Perhaps not all of us will become bestselling novelists or orchestral first chairs, but I strongly believe we can all create beauty, and that act of creation is the most important thing.

  11. I remember back when I was a kid and I couldn't draw to save my life but I pressed my parents to put me in a painting class anyway and the teacher there told my parents that drawing is a learned skill when they told her I have no talent. That simple line is what kept me going and helped me not give up on drawing.

  12. I loath the word talent. My goodness! It feels like the countless hours I've put into my craft are brushed off at that word. I know people mean well. But when they call a learned skill talent, they also do a disservice to themselves, because they often believe they are not capable. I still have an endless distance to go. But I've made vast improvements with my sewing over the years. And anyone who calls my work talent and says they could never do what I do, haven't seen where I began. It was not pretty. 😅 I wish I could show them how atrocious my work was. Then they'd have boundless hope for themselves.

    Thank you for sharing your drawing/painting process. I'm trying to improve in the drawing arena. And it always helps to remember to practice to improve.

  13. You really are so inspiring… I've been re-energised to keep sewing after watching your postings and am now enjoying your drawings and feel I would like to try….
    I love your use of the word "salty"never heard it used that way before. To any person I have ever attempted to compliment by saying "you are so talented" Please accept my humble apologies it was well intentioned.

  14. Yay! Thanks for sharing your process! ❤ my own drawing improved significantly with a few years of ballet lessons! Awareness of my own body and how it moved helped my figure drawing, somehow. ❤ also THANK YOU for squashing the T word. Oy. I read somewhere that it's actually a soothing mechanism for the complimenter to distance themselves from the pain they feel for not having practiced, pursued that art, etc…

  15. Thank you SO DAMN MUCH for pointing out that "talent" isn't worth much without practice. I personally believe in some amount of talent – that is the natural inclination towards observation and the desire to depict things – but it is worth pretty much nothing without practice.
    Sure, there might be the one-in-a-million person, who picks up a pencil for the first time and sketches the Mona Lisa, but that's not worth talking about with a general audience.

    I like to consider myself an artist, and I have about 20 years of practice under my belt – aka drawing, and drawing, and drawing, and observing, and drawing, and learning styles, and drawing, and drawing ever since I learned how to hold a pencil as an infant.

    I gotta say, I adore your art, and your style! Your techniques are kinda far from what I do, but that's perfectly okay, and it only makes me admire your work more, because it makes me re-think what I do.
    I hope other people are inspired as well, and learn from your process!

  16. Who else would love to see an animated feature length film, animated in Bernadette's figure drawing style? That'd be utterly magical!

  17. While I do not discount practicing – talent is usually the foundation. It gives us a clue in what subject we will find enjoyable and puts a focus on what our brains 🧠 would quickly excel at, so to say talent is not genetic or inherited is misguided. Drawing exceptionally well can be gift prior to ever practicing. It’s something you do so well naturally, but not sure how you’re able to do it until you’re taught methods. Can the average person learn to draw better? Yes. A non-singer can improve their singing ability, but gifted singers like Whitney Houston just exist genetically like many drawers and painters. It’s insulting to not recognize exceptional drawing and painting as a natural gift.

  18. It was lovely watching you draw, and listening to your advice. I was particularly taken with the admonition that drawing is a skill, not talent and all it takes is lots (and lots and lots and lots and lots…..) of practice. There is hope for me yet.

  19. You should do a sewing challenge video!! Like try to sew the same thing with a time limit of 10 mins, in 1 hour, in 5 hrs…I’ve seen this trending with drawings but it would be so fun with your sewing!

  20. Thank you for mentioning that drawing is a skill and can be learned! I have stressed this and told so many people this when they say they are talentless when it comes to drawing.

  21. "We shall, from henceforth, no longer utter that loathsome 'T' word" – my heart, Bernadette, you've stolen it with your sweetness!

  22. I haven't drawn anything in months (mostly, because i was frustrated of my bad drawing) but this video inspired me to start drawing again, maybe someday i get to be as good as i wan't to be. I have drawn something everyday since the weekend, thank you for that!

  23. My dad told me when I was a wee thing, “Train your hand to draw what your eye sees, and you can draw anything.” How right you both are— practice, practice, practice.

  24. I truly enjoy your videos and how you approach your projects. I do believe in talent though …. some people from the very start are better at drawing than others, without any practice. Perhaps it would be better referred to as a gift or a natural tendency? Either way, I am so glad that you share your handiwork and adventures through this channel. You are inspiring. 🙂

  25. This is gorgeous but also makes me sad. I have difficulty holding a pencil/pen/brush nowadays due to muscle damage from illness. I miss drawing detailed art pieces. But, dang girl, your paintings are incredible.

  26. Dear Bernadette! Drawing is a skill, true, but it can be a talent. My father, he never went to art school or some kind of lessons, but he draws so perfectly! So, in some cases it can be a talent. Like I never played piano, but apparently I have this skill in my fingers. Recently started piano lessons. Teacher even asked have I ever played. Nop. Never. For me drawing is a skill which I learned over many, MANY years.

  27. I cringe majorly every time you peel off the liquid mask before you clean the paper from all the coffee grounds, thus spreading the grounds all over the clean paper you just protected

  28. Ok this video makes me want to have a flip through vid of all your sketchbooks and/or for you to publish ant art of all these beautiful drawings of yours. Just those few seconds makes me want to beg for more.

    Edit: and maybe a list of music you like, the piece/s you used for this video are beautiful.

  29. Ms Banner – You could not be more right if you stood on your head. Drawing is a SKILL that can be developed through PRACTICE.

    Banner Fans – Like the sketches she showed us, drawing people you see on the subway (or wherever) are great subjects. A tree you see in a park. A car in a parking lot. A house at the end of the block. Draw your face from a mirror. Hey, draw your own feet and hands! Use a sketchbook; start at page 1; draw frequently. By the time you finished that book, you WILL see an improvement on the last page. The same thing will happen when you get to the end of the next sketchbook, etc, etc, etc.

    Experiment with pencils (try the sharpened tip, try the broad side), charcoals, chalk, pens, watercolors, pastels, markers. You can even sketch with acrylic paint on sketchbook paper (it dries very quickly).

    We all know what watercolors are from elementary school. We all probably used tempera paints, from those really big bottles, as kids, too. Gauche is kinda like a cross between tempera and watercolor. However it's a much finer texture than little-kid-tempera and comes in many more colors. You use regular watercolor brushes with it. Even if you don't want to try gauche, a tube of the white will sometimes be very useful to use over top of watercolors for fine lines, etc.

    The better the paint brand, the more pigment is ground up and added to the paint binders. This means that better quality paints will cover much better than cheap, thin paints. As Ms Banner says, buy the good stuff.

    Treat your brushes with great care (and right away!) and they will last a very long time. You will need separate brushes for the water-based paints vs oil or acrylics. Here are the Windsor & Newton company's brush-cleaning instructions – http://www.winsornewton.com/na/discover/tips-and-techniques/other-tips-and-techniques/care-and-cleaning-of-brushes-us

    Draw, draw, draw.

  30. Honestly its always disheartening to hear when I'm working on sketches "you have a god-given talent" becaise I've been drawing and trying to get things the way I like them since I was like 10. I'm nowhere near where I would like to be but I've worked so hard to get where I am. Writing off my hard work as a gift from someone/something out of my control makes me sad. I wish I kept all of my sketchbooks from my beginnings as an artist, one time in school a bunch of kids ruined a few of my early sketchbooks and it really hurt to see them all disappear like that. I know I would be sad later on not being able to look back on my first works and see how far I've come. But even looking sketchbook to sketchbook I see myself improving.

    Note to both my previous self and anyone who cares to read this far: when you find yourself hiding hands when you draw, or feet, or if you can't seem to draw a face to save your life… Draw those things you can't, for like a month, every day draw hands in different poses, feet with different shoes or faces with a million expressions, eventually you will start hating drawing them less and less until you find yourself loving these things

  31. Aw, I was so disappointed when the video ended. 😢 I was so pleased with your drawing and watercolor painting that I found myself engrossed and realized it ended too soon, lol The music was lovely and calming as was your voice over. I love your videos and appreciate your hard work. Thank you. 💖

  32. I liked your suggestions for how one might develop their own artistic skillset, and also the way the details of the background really did give your piece more life. The leaves and the candles made your figure stand out even more.

  33. I think is not entirely bad to say the "T" word as you say, but I guess it depends on how, when, why and to whom… In my family we always say to my little sister that she has an amazing talent for math and for dancing, the arts in general, but I believe everyone has a multitude of talents, it's only when you work and study and prepare that you can change that raw material, the "T" talent into an skill or ability. Talent was not what made Da Vinci do such amazing paintings, it was his skill, I think talent was what gave him the desire to work his ass off to learn how to do amazing paintings… And so my little sister is sweating buckets to open an opportunity for herself in the world of professional dancing while pushing math books as far as she can.

  34. Beautiful! My mind is blown by the whole thing but then I saw the candles in the corner, love the sketchiness(?) with adding the black outlines!

  35. Thank you for these tips!!!💟👍🎶I also like to sketch what I want to sew⏩💙BUT they are not so great- mainly they look deformed! haha! This really helped me, espically the facial features!! 💙 I LOVED THIS VIDEO🎥🌼🌸🌻🌷🎀How long have you lived in New York? You mentioned England!! Would love to go to England because of the historical !!

  36. Hay lovely.. Hope this finds you well… 😁 Would it be possible that you can make more videos of your amazing drawings… They are stunning .. Love, love, love you. And you are so talented xxxx loves and hugs

  37. Bernadette, I absolutely love your drawings! Will you please please please please and if your don't have a problem with it, make a video where you explore some more of your drawings and designs? When I saw all of your sketchbooks, I wanted to raid them and see your other designs. As an artist, I'm intrigued by other artist's works, especially if they can draw figures. PLEASE make another art video where you show off your other drawings! It would be much appreciated and ADORED by me!
    Sincerely, a wonderful artist who loves detail but cannot draw figures free hand if her life depends on it.

  38. This was extremely helpful! I want to become a costume designer so your videos are always greatly appreciated! Thanks, Bernadette!

  39. And now for a quick interlude while I dig out my watercolor tubes, I have paper somewhere….<3 Love your style. Yes the dreaded outlines for designs was a no no but for bits I rather liked them.

  40. The gouache that dries plasticy and non-rewetting isn't low-quality, it's just a different variety! Acryla gouache is a variety of gouache that has the qualities of acrylic paint, with the vibrancy and buttery/creamy consistency of gouache. The brand that you showed (Holbein) makes both regular and acryla and they're both high artist's quality paints.

  41. Me: Should be doing inktober
    Bernadette: exists
    Me: Damn now I wann adraw humans in pretty dresses (my inktober is pokemon xD)

  42. Drawing is DEFINITELY not a talent. Thank you for saying that. It’s just seeing detail and training your hand to do what you want it to.

    I thought I’d lost my ability by neglecting it for a decade, but In only a couple weeks of daily practice I’m doing better than ever.

    And the idea of referencing Dresden figures is brilliant!

  43. As a note on gouache it's not necessarily a quality thing if your gouache won't re-wet, it's likely that those are acrylic gouache tubes you are using and the acrylic kind dries and stays dry. Make sure it doesn't say acrylic if you want to use gouache more like watercolor!

  44. Now this was a really useful video! I am not sure I completely agree about talent and the absence or presence, but you are certainly correct that a huge part is practice. And Technique, which is also learned and practiced. I still mentally pull out the lectures from my fashion illustration classes in school when I have reason to draw. And that's been centuries ago…

  45. I would love to see a design video for different time periods in different parts of the world. Just a couple sketches with explanation of the type of style trends. Might not be your thing, but I think it would be interesting.

  46. That awko taco moment when you want to be this kind of artist but everything you draw looks extremely cartoonish and wacky

  47. I can't draw a straight line, even with a ruler. My mother and brother had the 'skill' (gift) of drawing. My
    brother enjoyed working with charcoals, and my mother with oils. My father and I enjoyed writing.
    He wrote about electrical components, and I write Scriptural workbooks and daily devotionals. No
    amount of trying to draw has ever worked for me! I finally gave up and discovered where I had the
    "T" word, and worked hard to develop that ability.

  48. I agree drawing well does not come all at once it comes with practice and determination. It is something that takes time although it is true that some people may take less time to acquire this ability it still takes hard work and hours of practice. I have been drawing seriously for around 6 years and I have been told that I am talented and although I draw better than the average person I know that the drawings of the people who say I'm talented look like my drawings before I started practicing. I have told many who have called me talented that it is just practice and determination and that I used to draw like them before I got to where I was.

  49. Although to a great degree I concur that most things in life can be achieved through hard work. My brother and I love to draw, both over the years have spent countless hours practicing. IT IS SADLY true that I have a couple years on him however I have been told my art is quite good whilst my brother despite his endeavours lacks the ability to portray what he attempts to draw. His art has improved but is by no means accomplished. He has many gifts and has a heart of pure gold but I think talent even if a minor factor plays some part. Love your videos btw I often feel I was born in the wrong time however my health does benefit from modern medicine. Keep up the lovely videos xxx

  50. Each time I watch one of your videos, I literally want to cry. What you do is beautiful and inspiring that it touches my feelings. You are awesome.
    Am I normal?

  51. I hate it when people say "You're so talented! I wish I could draw." To which I always reply, "Skilled… and it just takes practice… about 30 years worth… and I am still learning and evolving."

  52. Agree with you in that you shouldn't buy cheaper gouache because it lays down super patchy, but that tube of Holbein gouache is in basically the same price-class as the w&n, it just happens to be part of their acrylic-based range (it's real good, just not designed for lifting). Holbein also sells traditional Gouache, and its very nice.
    Excuse the very nitpicky comment, the video was lovely and informative!

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