I got a very interesting illustration project last week. I was approached by an international clothing company (based in DC here in the states) called Siqin that designs high-end clothing lines inspired by East-Asian, specifically Mongolian fashions. They were interested in having me create a watercolor that they could use for the 2014 season in their advertising and catalogs.
Based on a photo of a model riding horseback through a chaparral terrain, they wanted to heighten the sense of adventure and romanticism that their clothing lines express, in addition to putting her on a Gobi desert background. I was happy to take on the project, as it’s a very unique request and it’s always nice to have an excuse to break out the watercolors.
I used the reference photo and followed it pretty literally as far as form and color (well, with some caveats – I don’t like painting with black, so the horse is a blend of dark colors, mostly purple). Only other changes were to make the face a little more Eurasian and have her leaning in, not holding the reigns, so I have her lightly touching the horses neck instead. Having the nature of the clothing be clear was another factor I considered, so was careful to recreate the lines and folds of the fabric.
Here is a quick look at some of my sketches and the reference.
It was a quick project, turned around in just a couple days. Looking forward to seeing the final product in the Washington Post where they’re placing the ad.