I started this picture a long time, probably while thinking about queenofstripes, given the antenna. I didn't like it enough at the time to finish it. So I quit. But while I was on the phone with John I unearthed it again, and started noodling with it some more. I put in the background elements, and had contemplated doing yet more stippling in order to bring out the foreground character. Then I looked at it again and thought, "What am I doing? I still don't like this picture that much. Why would I want to spend another half an hour doing fiddly bits on it?" So I'm declaring it done, for better or for worse.
One of the shops I went to last Sunday was a little English-themed store, with lots of imported-from-England goods. This included books of paper dolls, obviously aimed at collectors rather than children. One that particularly caught my eye was "Fashions of the Regency Period" by Tom Tierney. It contained one male and one female doll, and 15 pages of outfits. There were three female outfits for every one male. When I noted this to Telnar, he replied, "You realize that's the right ratio for the market, right?"
I said, "Actually, it's got more outfits for the man than I would've expected."
But what I liked about it were the men's clothing. Regency-era outfits for women are mostly high-waisted and I've never been especially fond of the look. But the men's fashions are gorgeous. Most of it is still recognizable as suits, not wholly unlike the modern versions. But the jackets come in a wide variety of cuts, vests were still in fashion, and those cravats looked way cooler than modern ties.
Usually, when I want photo references for a subject, I Google for it. But in the case of period men's fashions, I've not had much luck with Google. The paper doll book didn't have the level of detail I'd prefer in a reference picture -- I like photo-level detail to get a better sense of the drape of cloth and the shades that make up the image. On the other hand, the pictures were moderately detailed and gave a good sense of what pieces comprised each outfit. As a bonus, it also included a description of each costume, including the names for each article of clothing.
So ultimately, I decided to buy it. I did a couple of sketches copying the outfits today. My subject is ostensibly Kildare; Silver Scales is a fantasy setting, but the fashions are more-or-less Regency era. Neither of these looks quite right to be Kildare, but I'm not too disappointed with the way they came out. Since I was copying the outfits, and these are nominally paper dolls, all the poses are the same, which does get kind of monotonous. On the bright side, I think the book may give a clear enough idea of the way the clothing looks that I could draw the same article from different angles if I put my mind to it.