Method to The Madness (part 1)

At La Mort Clothing, we make all our designs by hand, and in this series of blog posts, we hope to give you an insight into the methods and materials that we use to create our distinctive work. Each design takes up to four weeks, from initial sketch to print-ready artwork, and Faye and I work on each piece together right from the start. The design we have featured is our latest, and has the working title of Heavy Heart.

This piece started out during a discussion between Faye and myself, where we talked in depth about the concept before putting pen to paper. We formed several ideas, which were put down as thumbnail sketches, and then we worked together on the final rough. We still leave a lot of room at this stage for additional content, and only work to a very loose sketch when laying out the final drawing. A series of reference photographs are taken of posed models, and then work begins on the full-sized artwork. Heavy Heart is drawn on an A2 sheet, in blue mechanical pencil, which is easier to remove during the scanning process. We begin with a series of grids and geometric markers, which set the foundation for each drawing, and once complete, we begin to fill in the main content, followed by the details and border. Our loose drawing at this point leaves us a lot of space to add detail during inking.

In part two, we will discuss the inking process and how we achieve our distinctive style.

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