Sunday, October 31, 2010

DIY Batman Costume

DIY Batman Costume 

For all the Batman Costume articles, Click Here (You will need to click 'older posts' once you finish the first page to see all of the articles).

This Halloween costume was made over the past few months, and I'm quite happy to have finally (and just in time) finished it.  Each of the individual aspects of the costume have their own blog posts, and are listed below:  
Costume Parts:
-Mask (Part I and Part II)
-Leg Armor

Friday, October 29, 2010

DIY Batman Costume: Cape

(Note: For the rest of the costume, go here, you will need to click 'older posts' once you've seen all the costume posts on the first page)

So finally I needed a cape for the costume.  Fortunately, Amy, who knows sewing, pretty much made it for me.

First we bought the fabric.  We used a black crepe backed satin, which is a nice solid shiny black, and also a good weight for a cape (heavy enough to fall nicely, light enough to move around).  

Next we made the pattern.  To do this, we taped together numerous paper grocery bags, and then drew one side of the cape onto it.  We only drew half of the pattern because we wanted to fold the cape over to cut it out (so the sides would be identical).  We made a basic bell shape, but added a neck hole so that the cape would naturally sit on either side of my neck and not rub against my neck.  We found out shortly that we should have made the bottom turn up on either side rather than be flat (more on this later).  The length of the cape is the distance from the top of my shoulder to about half an inch off the ground (with hemming and wearing boots this should give me a final distance off the ground of a couple inches).  The width of the cape at its widest is the full distance around my chest.  

Once we cut out the pattern we pinned the fabric to it.  This is key because you want to cut both sides of the fabric evenly.  Then we cut out the fabric.  Don't pull the fabric too tight while cutting it or it will cut in strange ways.

Once the fabric was cut, we realized that the way we had made the cape form ended up with the sides of the cape dragging on the floor (Left Photo).  To remedy this, we curved the bottom of the cape, bringing the edges up quite a few inches (Right Photo).  This way the cape now falls flat around the feet.   Because of how the cape falls from the shoulder, the edges of the cape need to actually be shorter than the middle, so that when it is on your shoulders it all falls evenly above the ground

Once the shape was done, Amy (very kindly) hemmed the entire cape about half an inch.  This gives it a much nicer edge, but can be skipped if you are in a hurry.

Finally, we sewed snaps onto the cape.  The corresponding halves of the snaps were Gooped onto the chest plate (allow a full day to dry).  This works very nicely, and allows the cape to snap onto the costume without tugging on your neck!  The duct-tape chest plate has proven more than strong enough to hold up the cape.  

For the rest of the costume go here

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

These are some sketches I did for my Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy class a few years ago. On the left is an anatomical cat skull, and on the right an anatomical lizard skull.  I want to make a series of ink drawings of a variety of vertebrate skulls, so hopefully that will be coming sometime soon.  These drawings were made for studying, so I had to balance realism, universality (in case we were tested on a skull not quite exactly like the one we practiced with) and simplicity (to easily distinguish the different bones of each skull).  I also had to, you know, have time left over to study them.  It was super fun.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DIY Temporary Face Paint Tattoos (using Caran D'Ache Neocolor II water-soluble crayons)

I frequently draw face paint tattoos (you might just call it face painting) for celebrating holidays, sporting events, or just fun parties.  The tattoos range from super simple (a green clover) to fairly absurd (a fully rigged pirate ship sailing into the sunset).  It's a very forgiving medium (just blot out with water if you make a mistake) so it's fun to just go for crazy things and see what you can make.  It's also always interesting to try to draw on a person, which is not a very flat or level medium.   

I use Caran D'Ache Neocolor II water-soluble wax crayons.  They are easy to use and not nearly has messy as actual paint.
My family bought a set of the crayons over two decades ago, and we haven't had to buy another yet.  You can buy smaller sets (10 colors) or ridiculous sets (126 colors).  They are super fun.
To use: Dip one end in water (warm water will make the person happier).  Blot on a paper towel so that you do not drip on the person you are going to paint (the crayon needs to be wet to draw, but not dripping or it will smear the drawing).  Draw on person.  You can easily blend colors by drawing over an area you already colored, and if you make a mistake you can just put a little water on the area and then wipe it off with a paper towel.  Don't forget to remove the drawings from your skin before going to bed!  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nature Does Art: Fall Colors

Fall is back, so I thought I'd do a post (possibly more) on nature doing art.