Basic Figure Drawing for Costume Designers || My Costume Rendering Process

Basic Figure Drawing for Costume Designers || My Costume Rendering Process

(gentle piano music) – [Bernadette] So I’ve
gotten a lot of requests to do an in-depth walkthrough
of my sketching process, so hereforth lies that. I must disclaim that there
are so many different ways to draw and produce
effective costume renderings, and everyone has different favorites and different mediums they
excel particularly well in. Personally, I do most of my work in watercolor, ink, and gouache, so this is the particular process I will be focusing on today. First, I start with some watercolor paper. I like to work no bigger
than standard letter size. Some people enjoy working
big to really spread out, but that’s not really my jam. I like to do the initial pencil sketch right onto the watercolor paper, but some people prefer to
do the sketch separately and then trace or transfer it on. This could be useful if
you don’t quite yet know what the costume is going to look like and want to play around a bit with the design on some scrap paper, or if you’re not yet super comfortable with your figure drawing and want to get all of your
messy, half-erased alterations out of the way on separate paper before committing to the final rendering. I like to start with the basic figure, and find pose extremely
important in conveying character, and even potentially
giving you the opportunity to show how a garment will move. So, for pose references, references are indeed hugely important, you shouldn’t rely on
your memory or imagination to recreate the truly accurate figure. I often look to dancers, or for historical things,
contemporary portraiture. I’m particularly fond
of referencing the poses of those Dresden figurines, especially for whimsical
18th century things, since those poses are just so light and whimsically delightful
and floaty and wonderful, and I just love them a lot. Oh, and it is also, in
my own biased opinion, very important to learn how to draw faces. The human brain has
this remarkable ability to fill in a human face at
the mere suggestion of one, so it actually works out
that the harder you try to draw every detail of a face, the less realistic and more cartoonish it can end up looking. A mere suggestion of
lines in the right places will actually prompt the brain to fill in where all the rest of the
structure and shadows should be. Just like put the eyes
about halfway down the head and leave enough room for a chin. It took me a while to figure out those basic proportional things. Faces give your character
so much more personality and so much more life and reality than what is basically
otherwise a mannequin, so I do always highly
encourage a good face. Maybe I’m just biased. I love doing faces, and will spend a stupid
amount of time on them instead of doing the actual clothes. But anyway, personally I don’t worry about how many heads there are
in a height, or whatever, I just sort of sketch out the
basic structure of a person, making particular note
of where the ribcage is, how the spine is positioned,
where the pelvis is, and how long the legs are. I realize this is vague, but this comes with lots and
lots and lots of repetition. A lot of daily doodles on subways. I’m not kidding, this
is one of the best ways to learn how to draw. Regular, daily practice
drawing normal people doing normal things, especially
when they aren’t posed. You need to work quickly
before they change position, which forces you to
capture the basic frame and the movement of the figure
quickly and instinctually. Then you can worry about the details of how the hands are positioned and how the collar folds over. When I have the basic outline of a human, I then pull up some more
references for the clothes. If you’re drawing historical, absolutely under no circumstances should you draw without
primary references, or your proportions and silhouettes will almost certainly be off. I’m doing 1890s evening wear today, so I’ve pulled up a couple
of inspiring Worth gowns and sundry such 1890s evening
things on the old Pinterest, things with a vaguely similar silhouette, so I’m not Frankensteining
elements of different garments that would’ve been worn
for different purposes. It’s super important to keep in mind the under structures that
go underneath the clothes, which parts of the body are accentuated, reduced, concealed, repositioned. Some particularly important
distinctions to look out for are the position of the waist, whether it’s raised, lowered, or natural, the position of the bust,
whether it’s pushed up, left natural, accentuated, or flattened, the position of the armscyes, whether they’re dropped down onto the arm or sit up on the shoulder, and of course the length of hems, and those are just the absolute basics. The more detail you can replicate, the more attention you can pay to where seams hit the
exact points of the body, the better you can understand
the layers of dress, the more convincing your
historical figure is going to be. Whilst I was designing for theatre, I didn’t ever do these elaborate, flowery background detail bits. I only do them now because
I no longer have to finish four dozen renderings in a fortnight, and I can have a bit of fun with them, but I do recommend putting
in some sort of background, however simple, just
to give your character a bit of setting. For painting, I tend
only to need two brushes, one large number 10 for for backgrounds and larger skirt areas, and a smaller number
four for everything else. When working with watercolor or gouache, it’s better to use brushes
made from pure sable, not blended with synthetic, since the plastic fibers repel moisture, but sable retains the paint better, so you can keep painting
for longer intervals without having to keep re-dipping. I’m also going to mask out my figure with some masking fluid, which basically dries like a
rubbery film that repels paint, but can also be peeled off later. A lot of people really hate this stuff, but I’m quite fond of it. Just be sure to spread
it on with a cotton swab or something disposable, since this will ruin
your nice sable brushes after one single use. I’m only doing this because I plan to do the actual figure in watercolor, which is translucent, and I don’t want the background
layers to show through. If you’re planning to
do your entire figure in something more opaque, like gouache, then you don’t need to worry about this. You can just but your
background wash over the figure and it won’t really matter. The watercolors I use are mostly just from this standard palette, but I do have a few stray
tubes of additional watercolor for colors not available here. These tubes tend to be more expensive, which is why I don’t buy
all of my colors in tubes, but a few supplements are fine. I’m then just covering my entire
paper with a layer of water so that the colors flow more softly. It’s important to note
that for watercolor, there is a significant textural difference between using the paints on
wet paper versus dry paper. Dry gives more fine detail, while wet gives softer, runnier colors, so you’ll need to do
a lot of experimenting with different moisture levels to understand how the paints behave if you’ve never done watercolor before. Personally, for my backgrounds, I prefer to do a wet on
wet wash for subtlety, then go in and spatter some paint over either the damp or mostly
dry paper for added texture. I also use tea leaves. A quick sprinkling of
these gives the paper a nice agéd, spotty texture, which I’m personally very fond of, but I know it’s probably not the best idea for archival purposes, as I imagine the acids in the tea leaves don’t collaborate with paper longterm. Oh well, good thing we
can document these things on the Internet, right? But, the point is, you can experiment with non-paint materials
for additional texture. Salt will absorb the water and pigment for some interesting
effects, as will sand, so, have some fun. Once everything is dry, I
can peel off my masking layer and brush away the tea leaves. And now to actually paint the figure. This is done mostly with watercolors, in addition to some gouache
for any necessary opacity. By the way, gouache is basically
just opaque watercolor, and it’s awesome. Unfortunately, gouache
doesn’t come in nice palettes, and you have to buy
each tube individually, and the tubes are expensive. The good quality stuff at
least does last forever, and really there’s absolutely no point in buying the not-good quality stuff. Winsor & Newton I’ve found to be the best. All the other brands that I’ve tried dry plasticy and don’t re-wet, whereas a decent quality gouache will be able to be rewetted
and used indefinitely. You can use gouache entirely, or, as I’ve become fond of doing, to provide some added bits of texture to a watercolor painting, or where you need to layer
one color on top of another without the previous layer coming through, such as with stripes or tartans. Once again, I always like
to start with the face. I find giving the figure some life helps me to figure out
the clothes somehow. Once again, I’m doing this wet on wet, so wetting the entire face and neck area, then just dabbing the
smallest bits of pigment in areas that need deeper
shadow or bits of red. The cool thing is, while the paper is wet, the paper is very malleable, so if you’re not happy with a color or the density of a shade, you can always just lift it back off with a bit of clean water. Then I just paint the clothes. I try and work in long, determined strokes rather than short, sketchy strokes so that the paint coverage
looks even and not overworked. And in terms of maintaining
neat lines and edges, don’t be afraid to turn your paper. The tip of the paintbrush
produces the cleanest line, so running this along the
outer lines of the figure, rather than using the
underside of the brush that you can’t see, will give you much cleaner edges. Here is an example of using
drier paint on a dry surface. You can get very crisp texture detail while the paint isn’t
spreading out on a wet surface. Once all my paint is thoroughly dry, I then like to go over
with some fine ink pens to define the outlines. This is something I’ve only
started doing as an illustrator rather than as a costume designer, as I was always told never
to outline costume sketches, since it makes them less realistic and not a good representation
of what the clothes will look like on a human in reality, but I have spent my
entire life longing to be the 21st century embodiment
of Arthur Rackham, and since I am primarily
an illustrator now and don’t do costume renderings
for anyone but myself, no one can stop me. I should probably now
take a moment to state that drawing is not a talent. It is not a divinely bestowed gift or genetically inherited trait. It is a skill that is learnt
through lots of practice. That being said, we shall from
henceforth no longer utter that loathsome T word. It’s all to do with the
observations of your brain connecting with and developing
the muscles in your hand, and that’s only something
that can be achieved through, like any muscular
development, regular training. It can be done! Just draw lots of stuff. Draw all of the people,
all of the body types, all of the clothing. Quick sketches, detail sketches, study the skeleton and
the muscular structure, and hey, practice by tracing photographs, that really does help, too. Observe reality and proportion, and don’t just rely on memory. That’s my advice, good old hard work. And with that, our lady is complete. I hope that was informative somewhat, and maybe inspires you to do some drawing. But for now, back to sewing.


  • Pouick says:

    Very pretty. I need to work on my watercolor skills. I wish I had more hours in a day. sigh
    And I still have my Caran d'Ache gouache palette from my middle school years. I still use it and it works perfectly. So… It does exists not in tubes. Check out the brand (it's Swiss), they still sell them.

  • Scullery Maid says:

    Wonderful! I so appte5tour pontification on water colors. My daughter wants to do more watercolors and I'll be buying some higher quality ones in the future. They would make a good Christmas gift.

  • DesertDaisy Marie says:

    That’s exquisite ❤️

  • Camilla Damlund says:

    Oh thank you SO much for pointing out that drawing isn't an inherent skill! "I wish I could draw like you!" is the most infuriating negation of an artist's determination, stubbornness and sheer tenacity. That 'talent' comes from thousands of hours of practice, and isn't just something the artist is born with. Thank youuuu!

  • teri dahlin says:

    Wish I could draw like that. My dad could draw some amazing thing and my uncle Charles could paint like Vincent Van Gogh. Alas I got the sewing gene which isn’t bad. I draw with fabric needle and thread

  • Bonnie Hyden says:

    While I do not consider myself an artist…I can draw decently well enough that others have used the word to describe me. My husband has said, for the past 30 years of our marriage, that if he could draw like I do he'd never work a day in his life! Well…Ms. Bernadette, you are the ONLY other person I've heard say what I've been saying to others for YEARS…."You can draw, too! You have two eyes that work just like mine. You can see the same as I do. The only difference is the 'want to'. It just takes practice." Now, to be sure, I'm not very good at drawing people…but that's because I've not practiced such. Structures, animals…those are my passions. But, I do know that if I put my mind to it and practiced human figures…I could do them as decently as everything else. Color scares the wits out of me! …there are so many! But I have recently taken a cue from a friend who excels in ALL mediums including, believe it or not….smoke. (Look it up on YouTube…it's a thing!…and beautiful!) I have begun to play with watercolors and giving myself some grace…I'm finding I enjoy this new medium. Thank you for your kind and patient instruction, Dear Lady! I shall begin to practice and see what happens.

  • ExtraE 90 says:

    I also love masking fluid. And yes the acid in tea leaves does ruin the paper over time, sadly. However, it can be restored. It’s not as bad as like ash or like cigarettes (Jackson Pollock).

  • Becky Smith says:

    Gouache… I've seen lots of packs by different brands I'm the uk!worth considering next time you are this side of the ocean!

  • Sarah Swegle says:

    Beautiful, beyond beautiful! You are so talented 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  • Halina Kajfoszova says:

    Just beautiful. Thank you from the land downunder

  • Collette H says:

    Watching the figure come to life beneath your brush has inspired me to try this! My mom painted and my daughter paints. Time to draw the designs I see with my eyes closed. Thank you!!

  • Lach Lannae says:

    thank you!

  • Lunareon says:

    Down with the t-word! It's all about leveling up the skills, and that takes a whole bunch of good old grinding.

  • us here says:

    that was absolutely lovely–thank you! i am a cartoonist interested in figure drawing that informs my cartooning, and i found this extremely helpful. <3

  • The Age of Fabulous says:

    For me, drawing is PRACTICE and seeing life as SHAPES not simply as the entire object. That is how I learned to draw and use colored pencils (my medium of choice).

  • OwlaboveCitylights says:

    I love that your figure drawing video came out the same day as the try guys trying figure drawing

  • Casey Jones says:

    Dear Bernadette, thank you for this lovely video. Not only was your work beautiful, but your comments were invaluably helpful. I have always loved and enjoyed art though I am not in art school or a creative field by nature. And I have to tell you that your comments in the end about developing talent made me cry. I've been struggling with feelings of inadequacy and failure about my skills, and your reminder helped me refocus on why I love painting and creating rather than comparing myself to others with more developed skills. Hope you have a lovely day. <3

  • Harper says:

    Will she make an appearance on Etsy?

  • Marie Gallo says:

    Every time I think I couldn't love you more, I see a video come out from you – someone I see as INCREDIBLY talented – with the heading "There’s no such thing as talent." You are such a gift! Your humility is inspiring.

  • arufi066 says:

    Wow. I gave up drawing years ago because I was so mad at myself at not being able to just think up what to draw, rather than draw something that already exists. Your 11 minute video just blew my mind, thank you

  • Susie Carson says:

    Wow, that is gorgeous. I really appreciate the encouragement to learn to draw- I always thought it was a talent, not a skill. I recently bought some watercolors, and have been struggling to get it to look the way I want. Through this, I realized that it’s because I want the mixture of watercolor and the more opaque gouache. Maybe I will splurge on a few colors! You are amazing, and I’m so glad to have discovered your channel!

  • katphyre says:

    I would content that in any skill you will find those who do genuinely have innate talent. Mozart and Beethoven were prodigies whose natural talent was reinforced very early in life giving them a bit of a leg up over composers who studied the hard way. They could process what they heard differently; more completely than the rest of us. Art is much the same. Yes, you can learn to do it, but there are children who have something in their way of seeing the world that gives them an advantage. My daughter was two when she said to me, "Yook mom, a ephalunt." I did the usual distracted mom answer, of, "Oh good, an elephant." I and later when I had a chance to clean up after her I saw what she had drawn. It was, indeed, an elephant. In about 3 long lines she had perfectly captured the shape and dimensions of a full grown Indian elephant. By 3 she could draw in perspective. By 4 I put her in classes and that's when we counf out she can hear color. Yes, hear. All sounds have a shape and color to them and when she draws correctly it all comes out as a happy medium of sight and sound. Alas, they can't teach that in classes. But there's a dark side. She's on the Autistic spectrum. Everything beside art was hard. And as an adult, she's a bit of a recluse. But she does actually sell commissions online for a living.
    So yes, art can absolutely be learned. And even my daughter has about 30 sketchbooks full of quick studies or fully finished characters, because talent will only get you in the door…it can't make you an artist. But she sees the world very differently than regular people do. Like the madness of Van Gough…his view of reality was obviously a bit tortured but that's what made his art unique and irreplaceable.

  • Jennifer Elkins says:

    Aahhhh, reminds me of art and design classes back in university…

  • Nikki Vo says:

    the acryla gouache you’re holding at 7:22 is a hybrid of gouache and acrylic paint and it’s designed to dry pretty much permanently. i dunno, someone else could probably explain it better ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Edit: i should probably note that other brands do make normal non-acryla gouache of great quality. however acryla gouache is good for those who wish to work in opaque layers without wanting to reactivating the medium :7

  • jan s says:

    You're so ta–

    well practiced!

  • Tessa R. says:

    The drawing is absolutely beautiful!!! Is there any chance that you might make this available on your etsy shop?

  • KazukiriMishamiota says:

    I will say that some people are more naturally creative/innovative than others, but creativity is not synonymous to TALENT. Someone can be amazingly creative and not have the skills necessary to bring their creative thoughts to life. Art of any kind, writing, music, dancing, sewing, really any innovative field or medium you can think of is something that can be learned. If you have an interest in it, do it, even if you don't think that you're particularly creative. You may find that you're wrong and that all you needed to get the ideas flowing is a way to express those ideas.

  • Perey says:

    I would love to see a whole little mini series, just on sketching/rendering/illustration

  • cheesytoast93 Gaming says:

    there are two types of gouache, acrya gouache and water based gouache. acryla gouache is more similar to acrylic paint which is why it can't be rewet and dries with a kind of plastic texture. Water based gouache is…well water based like watercolor which is why its able to be rewet after drying on a pallet. Each have their uses, I prefer watercolor and water based gouache when I paint because I like the effect and you can water down water based gouache to the opacity of watercolor if you want, it doesn't flow quite the same because the pigment and binders aren't quite the same but it can give some nice effects even without the blooming of a good watercolor. You can add ox gall (real or synthetic although synthetic doesn't work quite as well as the real stuff but is a great option for vegan or cruelty free) for better blooming effects. I added some to an ultramarine Daniel Smith watercolor once and it literally made it run across the paper, if you know anything about Daniel smith watercolors, specifically the ultramarine it granulates beautifully and blooms really well without so adding the ox gall just made it bloom nearly twice as much.

  • Mildly Cornfield says:

    Your watercolour sketches are always so beautiful! I’m glad you mentioned the ‘less is more’ approach to faces, I always get too caught up in details

  • Emily Butler says:

    your hands are amazing. <3 you are so artistic and I love it. Imso out of practice….

  • amyinmyheart says:

    I don't really have patience for practicing drawing 😅 I just practice when I do sketches of what I want to sew next.

  • Synpax says:

    Would you sell/auction your drawings?

  • greenmoneyfairy says:

    There is two type of gouache I know of, acrylic gouache and water gouache, the acrylic one dry to be plasticity, the water is rewet-able.
    Maybe that is the issue?

  • Charles Francis Allen says:

    I am so remarkably pleased by the proper pronunciation of the thorn character in "ye olde pinterest".

  • Nene Johnson says:


  • Elizabeth Marco says:

    I LOVE your content, I'm always anticipating Saturday morning's new video. You have inspired me to begin sewing again and I am loving it.

  • Brooke Ansell says:


  • Brittany Borrero says:

    Oh my goodness, those candles are just MESMERIZING, I love the way you painted/inked then! The whole piece is gorgeous!!

  • imperialphoenix says:

    "Then I just paint the clothes" as if it is that easy, Which it kinda is. I'm an artist.. and literally sometimes I have to tell myself.. to just paint something.. it's weird.

  • Kartsie says:

    I always want to outline with pens!not to do so makes me feel so bazaar! Beautiful video.

  • Jessie Richardson says:

    This is lovely, even doing theatre work, I still struggle with my cartoonish sketches, but your face advice is lovely!

  • scott thomas says:

    thanks: "Mongo" calm now and ready to sleep.
    Pax Christi

  • Snowfly Marie says:

    I'm doing makeup/hair design for a contest, and the part about adding only necessary details when drawing a face really helped. This video was beautiful and maybe inspired me to draw..?

  • Lauren Gilbert says:

    So I've always struggled with mentally translating what I see to the paper. Will practice help? I draw when the drive bites and I have some decent drawings so it isn't stopping me completely, just driving me mildly insane from frustration.

  • Ophelia Odyssey says:

    Those "not good quality" tubes of gouache you showed are actually acrylic gouache! So, like acrylic paint, once they dry, they are essentially plastic. They can be used like water colours if you keep in mind their ultimately acrylic nature. 🙂 Love your designs and sketches!

  • Austin Brown says:

    Wow, simply WOW. Thanks for sharing – i want to draw too! I’m starting In the morning!

  • Jenny Simmons says:

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

  • Lindy Moore says:

    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.

  • Rebecca Hurford says:

    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…

  • tigermoon44 says:

    So beautiful! I'm a new subscriber, looking forward to checking out more videos. Thanks for sharing!

  • Andrea Combrinck says:

    Your style is beautiful. Would you ever consider giving figure drawing classes on a platform such as skillshare?

  • Raelene Byrnes says:

    If you like Arthur RAckham then you may indeed like Aubry Beardsley…stunning pen work…

  • Katherine Danis says:

    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!

  • Katherine Hamar says:

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

  • Kay Smyth says:

    Thank for the pic framed it and hung it Kay

  • Amy Betts says:

    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.

  • Delano Carson says:

    I have some strong phantom of the opera vibes from the stage setting in your illustration

  • Thatgirl 28 says:

    I’m doing textiles for my GCSEs and this will realy help will realy help thank you

  • Emily Rolen says:

    Is it me, or does the sketch look like Cathy Hay

  • Lanie Specht says:

    Does the masking material work on fabrics??? Asking for a friend…..

  • SakuNerai says:

    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.

  • Katherine Bonkowski says:

    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.

  • Molly Henderson says:

    please please pLEASE do more stuff like this, sketch with me, drawing and painting techniques, please I love this!

  • Courtney Pritchard says:

    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.

  • LeeLemon008 says:

    I love the thumbnail so much xD

  • Susan Assenmacher says:

    I just love your videos. Thank you for teaching us some basics with watercolor. I may just try it one of these days.

  • meamela says:

    I could watch a whole video of you just flipping trough those sketchbooks. I want to se all those drawed clothes!

  • M Blum says:

    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.

  • Jet Chan says:

    Me is enlightened

  • Alexandra Mikka says:

    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.

  • EspressoBug says:

    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.

  • jackie okcal says:

    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.

  • Mirjan Bouma says:

    I already liked you, but I love you now after your bit about the T word. I detest the G word even more.

  • Michelle Fitzgerald says:

    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…

  • ten-chan says:

    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!

  • Geri Peterson says:

    My husbands passion is traveling, mine is sewing. I collect thimbles from all the incredible places we travel too

  • Cryssi O. says:

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

  • Mia W. says:

    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.

  • Anna Sanchez says:

    I wish I’d seen this video a few years ago when I was doing costume design competitions

  • Annette McIntyre says:

    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.

  • Shannon Cumiskey says:

    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!

  • YYballerina says:

    I love this video and would love to see more videos featuring your illustrations

  • Katie Pie says:

    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.

  • Creative Life says:

    Great drawing ✏

  • Canadian Navy Wife says:

    Thank you for my 15 minutes of rest. Hugs and Thanks from Halifax…I too abhor the T word.

  • Emory Story says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing some of your techniques.

  • Viviana G says:

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

  • micahruthie says:

    Wow you’re so talen- learned 😭😭💕💕💕

  • Jonna Savolainen says:

    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!

  • J.E. B. says:

    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.

  • Maureen Ann says:

    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. 🙂

  • titancia says:

    Oh man, those sketchbooks!!! I would love a coffee table book full of them. They're beautiful!

  • Lumi Nariel says:

    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.

  • Eliza Daynheart says:

    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.

  • No one Home says:

    My saying is: Skill comes from taking something you’re passionate about and working at it. No one is born with their talents.

  • Elaina Esty says:

    PLEASE, sell a print of the Scotsman sketch!

  • Faylyn Hillier says:

    I would love to follow you on Pinterest, would you ever consider sharing your Pinterest username?

  • Ethan Masliansky says:

    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

  • Ray Makowski says:

    Bernadette I love you but I still am not 100% sure what the heck an armscye is

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