Tag Archives: La Finta Semplice

Go Behind the Scenes with the Costume Sketches and Concept Art of Tyson Vick’s Photographic Mozart Illustrations

2 Feb

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

3. Thumbnails 

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 sketches

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

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

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

Der Stein der Weisen costume concept for maiden

The thumbnail below is followed by the image I produced.

Der Stein der Weisen concept sketch

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

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 concept sketch

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 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.

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.

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.

Queen of the Night Drawing

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

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.

Costume Sketches

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

Tamino Costume Sketch for my Magic Flute photos

Below you can see the outfit created from the above design.

zauberflote_act1a

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 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

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

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

Don Giovanni costume sketch

My thumbnails for Don Giovanni, below.

Don Giovanni concept art

Don Giovanni concept art

A set of Il Sogno di Scipione thumbnails.

Il Sogno di Scipone concept art

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.

Don Pippo costume sketch for L’Oca del Cairo and Lucio Silla costume sketch.

Compare the Lucio Silla Sketch to the final image.

luciosillatitle

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

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 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

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 concept art

The Marriage of Figaro thumbnail art

Compare the middle sketch above to the final image below.

FigaroAct2

For Mitridate, I based Aspasia’s outfit’s off of Historically accurate garb.

Aspasia costume sketch for my Mitridate photos

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

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.

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

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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Thanks for reading!

La Finta Semplice – Costumes and Behind the Scenes

11 Feb

At last I can share some images of my costumes for my “La Finta Semplice” photos. The opera “La Finta Semplice” was written by a 12 year old Mozart, and is a broad comedy in the style of “South Park” or “Family Guy”. The story is about a family with two brother and one younger sister. The sister, Giacinta, wants to get married but cannot until the eldest brother has, and he has vowed to “remain as virginal as the day he was born”. So Giacinta and her fiancee bring Rosina, a shrewd woman, to pretend to be a moron. When the eldest brother sees how over-awed she is by his “intellect” she will gain the family fortune and Giacinta and her true-love can marry.

In the end Giacinta and the maid steal the family fortune and run off into the woods with the boys following them, vowing the men can marry any girl they catch. That is the scene I chose to illustrate through photography.

Both Ninetta, the maid, and Giacinta, the lady, wear dresses made from the same patterns, but they look totally different. They were portrayed by sisters, and rockers from the band “Hello My Name Is“, Chantell and Cortney Bury.

Sisters Cortney and Chantell Bury in costume for the La Finta Sempice photoshoot.

Sisters Cortney and Chantell Bury in costume for the La Finta Sempice photoshoot.

A while back I was hired to create a rococo dress for a lady who had a small budget. We discussed the options, and settled on creating an understated look based off of Liv Tyler’s costume in the film “Plunkett and Macleane”.

Liv Tyler in a costume by Janty Yates for "Plunkett and Macleane"

Liv Tyler in a costume by Janty Yates for “Plunkett and Macleane”

A few years after receiving the garment, she asked me to make some alterations, and so she sent it back to me. It was during this small window where I was both available to shoot, had a costume and found models (it was seriously about a 24 hour window), and the owner of the dress graciously allowed us to use it! This dress was used for Giacinta, the sister with the intrigues.

The front and back of Giacinta's rococo dress.

The front and back of Giacinta’s rococo dress.

This green silk dress was made with a blue skirt for the client. I used an ivory one in the final image because it was more appropriate to my color scheme, and I didn’t have a blue skirt. The bodice is made of randomly folded silk, and has gathered silk details along the edges of the stomacher.

Close-up of the front and back of the bodice for Giacinta's dress.

Close-up of the front and back of the bodice for Giacinta’s dress.

The garment’s sole design feature were the random pleats. There are no other little details.

This dress was made from a Simplicity 4092 pattern with only slight changes. For example, the sleeves come from Simplicity 3637, since the first patterns’ sleeves are unattractive.

Sleeve detail.

Sleeve detail.

I also altered it to close in the front instead of the back. I think the final product is very lovely.

A close-up of the dress details.

A close-up of the dress details.

I also made a dress for the maid, Ninetta, with my apprentice, Catey. I wanted the maid’s dress to have a orb shaped skirt — a skirt that is wider in the middle, at the knees, than it is at the hip or ankle.

I made the skirt out of silk, and I think it is really cute, and I love the weird shape.

Front and back of the silk skirt.

Front and back of the silk skirt.

The dress was made very simply, just like Giacinta’s with the same two patterns, but with even less adornment. The skirt isn’t formally bustled, it’s just sort of pinned to hold it into place.

The front and back of Ninetta's maid outfit. The dress is really tiny and doesn't close on the mannequin.

The front and back of Ninetta’s maid outfit. The dress is really tiny and doesn’t close on the mannequin.

Looking at these two dresses you can see how the same two Simplicity patterns (4092 and 3637) can be used to create entirely different looks.

A close-up of the bodice portion of Ninetta the maid's dress.

A close-up of the bodice portion of Ninetta the maid’s dress.

The Rockin’ TJ Ranch in Bozeman was kind enough to let us use their property for the photoshoot. This event center has a beautiful and meticulously manicured property. If you ever need to hold an event in Bozeman, MT, this is the place for it. They also have a farmer’s market in the summer every Monday.

Cortney Bury, Tyson Vick, Chantell Bury

Cortney Bury, Tyson Vick, Chantell Bury

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at these two dresses!

Happy Birthday Mozart!

27 Jan

It’s Mozart’s Birthday again! This marks Mozart’s 258th birthday.

The Mozarts. (Wolfgang, left, Constanze, right)

The Mozarts. (Wolfgang, left, Constanze, right)

Ever since my father passed away, I’ve had to put my Mozart project on the backburner. It was all scheduled to be finished last year, but running the estate made it too difficult, and I had to cancel all of my plans. However, I did manage to work one photoshoot in for “La Finata Semplice”.

I once made a beautiful custom gown for a woman on Etsy. A few years later she sent it back for some alterations to the bust and waist. I asked if I could use it in a photoshoot, and she said yes! So in that limited window, I had to take my final picture to illustrate the opera “La Finta Semplice”.

Two sisters, Cortney and Chantell Bury agreed to model for me!

Cortney Bury, Tyson Vick, Chantell Bury

Cortney Bury, Tyson Vick, Chantell Bury

In the past few months I have also been finishing the written part of my Mozart Project book. I am writing a short essay on every single opera, and I only have a few left. I have to brush up on “Bastien und Bastienne”, “Zaide” and “Don Giovanni”. I also have to commit to writing about “Die Zauberflote”, but it’s really difficult because I know too much about it, and my mind wanders.

Hopefully everything will come together in time! If you want to see some more of my costuming, please remember to visit steampunkmonsters.com!

One Delightful Day with Nora!

5 Feb

Our friend, Nora Gustuson, returned home from New York to take a role in The Montana Repertory Theater‘s touring production of Biloxi Blues, a play by Neil Simon set in World War II. This was fantastic news, because I was able to visit with a delightful friend, see her amusing play, and she even agreed to pose as the beautiful and hilarious Rosina in my La Finta Semplice Photos!

“La Finta Semplice” means “The Pretended Simpleton”, and the opera is about a group of lovers who cannot get married until the eldest, most buffoonish brother in the family gets married. So, they invite the mischievous Rosina over to pretend to be an idiot, and when the buffoon discovers that she is over-awed by his (dubious)  intellect, he falls madly in love with her. It is Mozart’s first full opera, and was written by him at around 10 years of age.

Nora looking thoughtful.

Nora looking thoughtful.

I had been planning this photo for over a year, buying picture frames and tying to design a costume. (I had originally taken a photo for this series a while back, but the aspect ratio was wrong and there were other technical problems that couldn’t be fixed in post, so I needed to re-shoot.)

After my Don Giovanni shoot was finished a while back, I washed one of the white gowns, to get it clean. The dye of the ivory sleeves ran over the silk taffeta. I tried to get the stain out using peroxide, which only made the stain run. It looked like someone had thrown tea on it! I thought the beautiful silk dress was ruined!

Well, I knew the dress couldn’t be sold that way, so I thought I would dye it.

The original dress on the left was stained. I dyed it and added appliques on the right.

The original dress on the left was stained. I dyed it and added appliques on the right.

At first, I was just going to dye it red, but then I thought, “Why don’t you dye it green and use it for your La Finta Semplice photo of Rosina?” So I dyed it green.

I also decided to make the front more elaborate to cover the stain and make it look like a new dress. With the help of my apprentice, Catey, I made some appliques. We each drew some flowers, then decided on which ones would be easiest to make. We traced the pattern onto the back of some interfacing which was adhered to silk scraps using a washable marker.

First I drew the flowers with washable marker and then cut them out, sewed them and turned them to make my own appliques.

First I drew the flowers with washable marker and then cut them out, sewed them and turned them to make my own appliques.

After we cut the flowers out, we sewed them together and turned them. Then, using Gladys Love’s Gingko Leaf tutorial from “Embellishing with Anything” as our guide, we sewed lines through the flowers to make them look more leafy!

Here I pinned the appliques to a bolt of fabric to see how to lay them out on the dress.

Here I pinned the appliques to a bolt of fabric to see how to lay them out on the dress.

After pinning the flowers to a bolt of green silk to best see how to arrange them on the bodice, I pinned them to the actual dress and sewed them on like buttons. I also added gemstones to get a little sparkle and to finish of the centers of the flowers. I used a fabric/bead glue.

Here's a close up of the finished appliques on the dress!

Here’s a close up of the finished appliques on the dress!

The under-bodice is made of a green brocade. I also glued gems to it to make it sparkle. It has a dropped front and high hips, making it a rather strange shape.

The under-bodice is a brocade with sparkly gems. Close up on the left, full shot on the right.

The under-bodice is a brocade with sparkly gems. Close up on the left, full shot on the right.

I also decided that Rosina should be photographed in front of a large group of paintings, and that each painting should be a continuation of the last. I painted all these pictures the night before I left for the shoot. The eight paintings connect to show a large Rococo style tree. You will also see portraits of Herr and Frau Mozart flanking the main painting.

We set up this set at Lizzie’s house after attending Nora’s play!

Nora Gustuson wears the newly dyed and embellished dress as Rosina in my La Finta Semplice photo set. Here you can see the full set decor.

Nora Gustuson wears the newly dyed and embellished dress as Rosina in my La Finta Semplice photo set. Here you can see the full set decor. Also, a roll of toilet paper.

Nora arrived and styled her own hair into a bow and pouf — she is also a wig stylist, so she knows her way around weird hairstyles! She told us a story about a display lobster at a restaurant leaving the platter, and walking off the table, which was funny. Lizzie had to go to work, so her husband Caenaan helped me and Nora for the rest of the shoot.

It is always nice to see Nora, and if you would like to see if her play is coming to your area, please visit the Montana Rep page or the PDF Schedule! I’ll leave you with a photo of Nora in the play Biloxi Blues:

Nora Gustuson and Dylan Rodwick in Biloxi Blues, on tour until April 2013 with the Montana Repertory Theater.

Nora Gustuson and Dylan Rodwick appear in Biloxi Blues, on tour until April 2013 with the Montana Repertory Theater.