My blog is a love letter to art, music, fashion, film, photography and just about anything else that tickles my fancy. Inspiration is everything, seek it everywhere.

You can also find my illustrations here at purdylola draws

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Vagabondiana Blog Header

Recently I was asked by my dear sister-in-law Ellen Burney, to create some illustrations for her blog Vagabondiana. Obviously I jumped at the chance, not only because I love her so and her blog is magnifique but also because I knew that it would be a very fun brief and an opportunity to make something very chic, very cute and hopefully very Vagabondiana.

Regular visitors will be familiar with her original blog header which features a still (below) from the slightly bonkers but beautifully styled 1968 film 'Secret Ceremony', a favourite of Ellen's and one which she felt captured the spirit of Vagabondiana and her followers. For this reason Ellen wanted to keep the Secret Ceremony theme but with a particular focus on Mia Farrow's character 'Cenci'.

Mia Farrow and Elizabeth Taylor

The very child-like Cenci

I can't say I wasn't a little nervous about trying to recreate Mia as Cenci, who with her glorious mane of chestnut hair looks utter perfection in this film (even if it was a wig!). Her look is so evocative of that elusive 60s mod, anglo/french beatnik look that we are all so obsessively trying to capture right now and I knew that it was this above anything else that needed to come through in my illustration.

Talking of that 60s beatnik look, Ellen offered up this iconic image (above) of Anna Karina as a starting point for Cenci's pose. She also specified the outfit she wanted Cenci to wear which features in Secret Ceremony and for her to be shown with the shorter bob hairstyle that Cenci adopts in the later stages of the film.
This was my first attempt (above). Ellen liked the idea of Cenci's knickers being visible and I agreed that this was a really good way of portraying the lolita-like aspect of her character. Despite the fact that the character is in her twenties, Cenci continues to behave like a child and it's this confusion of innocence and an emerging sexuality that is a very prominent theme in the film.
Later I added over-the-knee socks and some more detail to the spotty pants. I also added some textures to the different fabrics to give the illustration more depth.

Finished Cenci plus a background of Vagabondiana pink and my signature.

Finally I added the typography. I looked at a number of script fonts and then hand-drew my own response.

And voila, the final blog header. Hopefully this won't be the last we see of Cenci, as there are talks of an animation. Watch this space!

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