Whenever I take photos with big concepts, I start with concept art and costume sketches. Usually these aren’t so detailed that someone else can interpret them, but they are detailed enough for me to remember what I feel the need to include in an image. There are three types of art I can potentially do in order to help conceive my vision.
1. Costume Sketches
2. Concept Art
I use these three types of art to help me develop my ideas into costumes, find models and locations and compose images.
First up is a set of thumbnails I drew up for my illustrations of Ascanio in Alba. Interestingly, while I did photograph these things, I did not use any of these ideas in my final photograph.
Ascanio in Alba concept thumbnails
Next is a sketch for Fiordiligi’s costume from the opera “Cosi Fan Tutte”. This character dresses up in her boyfriends military uniform.
Fiordiligi costume art for Cosi Fan Tutte
Der Stein der Weisen was a fun opera to bring to life through illustration. Set in a fantastical Asian world, there was a lot to play with.
Der stein der Weisen concept sketch for Genie
My genie is based off of Buddha and the maidens vying for his bird’s attention were drawn from Chinese inspiration.
Der Stein der Weisen costume concept for maiden
The thumbnail below is followed by the image I produced.
Der Stein der Weisen concept sketch
Compare the thumbnail above to the finished image below to see how closely my concepts are followed.
Der Stein der Weisen Act 1. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Lizzie Hatfield. Models: Sierra Rae, Meilyn Saychow, Kolya Cain
Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots didn’t have such a big concept process, I only needed the thumbnail to get an idea of what I wanted to get out of the final picture.
Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots thumbnail sketch
You can compare the thumbnail above to the finished image below.
Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots, Act 1 by Tyson Vick
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail was costumed out of clothes found in my friend and fellow costumer Camille’s closest. I thought about all the pieces she had available, and then combined them on paper as seen below.
A costume sketch based on Camille’s costumes and set in the yellow void.
Below you can see some of these costumes in the finished image.
Mozart Project. Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. Photo by Tyson Vick.
The Magic Flute is an opera I have extensively illustrated. When I first heard it, I was inspired to fill an entire sketchbook.
An early drawing of mine, illustrating the Act 1 Aria “O zittre Nicht”
But when I decided to use photography to bring these ideas to life, I did not know anything about costuming. So, I started petty small. I would probably go bigger today, especially with the Queen of the Night.
Papageno concept art
My costume ideas of Tamino and the Queen of the Night were based on what I could realistically make at the time.
Act 1 Costume Sketches for Tamino and The Queen of the Night
Tamino’s outfit is influenced heavily by Japanese history and video game costumes.
Tamino Costume Sketch for my Magic Flute photos
Below you can see the outfit created from the above design.
Papageno was always meant to be a sort of bird version of a faun in my final image. I based his tattoos and look of of the Egyptian art of the Ba Spirit. A half-bird/half person creature represent a person’s soul.
Papageno costume sketch for my Magic Flute photos.
Papageno was brought to life by Jon Sollee in the image below.
Die Zauberflote, Act 2 by Tyson Vick
My Don Giovanni costume sketches were fairly blank, mostly focusing on shape.
Donna Elvira costume sketch for my Don Giovanni photos
In the end, Don Giovanni got a much more complicated white doublet, but the same cut still applies.
Don Giovanni costume sketch
My thumbnails for Don Giovanni, below.
Don Giovanni concept art
A set of Il Sogno di Scipione thumbnails.
Il Sogno di Scipone concept art
Don Pippo of L’oca del Cairo and Lucio Silla, of Lucio Silla, costume sketches.
Don Pippo costume sketch for L’Oca del Cairo and Lucio Silla costume sketch.
Compare the Lucio Silla Sketch to the final image.
La Finta Semplice was originally meant to feature five or so models, but they kept dropping out. Below was my last minute attempt to create some costumes that could be pulled from what I already owned.
La Finta Semplice costume sketches
The Marriage of Figaro photos were inspired by the image below, something I created after first hearing the opera a decade ago.
The Marriage of Figaro concept art
The Marriage of Figaro photos involved so many models and stylists, that I needed a thorough map of thumbnails to keep them straight.
The Marriage of Figaro Concept art
I used the page below to keep track of which photos I had taken on the day.
The Marriage of Figaro thumbnail art
Compare the middle sketch above to the final image below.
For Mitridate, I based Aspasia’s outfit’s off of Historically accurate garb.
Aspasia costume sketch for my Mitridate photos
Farnace was also based off of History, but with a fantastical tattoo addition.
Farnace costume sketch for Mitridate
Compare the costume sketch above to the final costume below. I regret selling that cool pirate belt holding his cape up.
This is the photo that I will be showing you how I made! Mitridate, Act III, by Tyson Vick.
Finally, I end with the costume sketches for Zaide, another set of costumes pulled from my friend Camille’s closet.
Zaide costume sketches
I hope you enjoyed viewing all this concept artwork! I have much, much more, but none of it is scanned.
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