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A two week adventure with Victorian Whales!

These whales have squeezed themselves into rigidly constraining Victorian dress! I think the idea of whales in fancy dress is quite funny and this concept was really fun to do :)

​It was great to do the research for the concept, I love this period and there is a lot to work with. It started out with me doing some sketching practice with whales as reference and from there things developed to the theme of Victorian Whales! I started thinking about a sperm whale wearing in a top hat, west and wearing an eye glass.

I did a lot of research on aristocrat clothing from the Victorian era and I also looked at illustrations, graphics and print from the time. I wanted to do a kind of poster art for a sperm whale in fancy dress resembling that era's style. It went well designing the gentleman and soon I found he needed a lady. That's when research started to get really fun. All those wonderful dresses and hats! The lady's dress took a while to design. She is wearing the lace blouse, dress, coat, hat and umbrella. All frilled and bowed of course. I had a wonderful time designing the dress, and not going overboard with the frills took some discipline! Its not often one gets to play with making dresses :) The gentleman looks very pompous with his big head in a top hat and looking down at us through his eye glass. The dress is a traditional Victorian dress, with a cravat, vest and coat. I beg your pardon for not putting him in pants. That was a design challenge I must confess I shrunk from :)

For one of my 2017 resolutions I decided to focus on doing more detailed research for projects, looking at references instead of drawing almost purely from memory (although I am pretty good at that :) ) Doing research is a necessary part of getting the essence of what you want to create, the feeling, the history, the nature of it etc. In addition it is really fun and educational!

I have been reacquainting myself with traditional media for the past month which has been rewarding and useful. I did the base illustrations of the Victorian whales in gouache. After that I took them into Photoshop and retouched them, adding contrasts, highlights and background and refining edges etc. I also added a wonderful Victorian style font, "Great Victorian" from, which gives it a great look!

I think I will get these printed out on nice paper and make them available. I would love to hear what you think!

Thanks for looking in and see you next time!


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