Fantasy Art Costume Design

These costume design ideas are based on the elegant black and white art of Aubrey Beardsley*.
Beardsley’s illustrations for Sir Thomas Malory's ‘Le Morte d'Arthur’ are full of exquisite fantasy medieval costumes - an inspiring source of ideas for drawing comic book superheroes, fairies, and fantasy art or science fiction figures.

Aubrey Beardsley Costume Ideas




Aubrey Beardsley Fantasy Art Costume Design: Printable Page


How to design a fantasy medieval costume:

Have a look at some of Beardsley’s illustrations* for ‘Le Morte d'Arthur’ and choose some of the details and motifs that you find interesting.

Copy, sketch, or trace them, making notes about any ideas that occur to you. At this stage, you are just collecting ideas (brainstorming). Just put everything down on paper and don’t try to decide whether the ideas are good or bad. That part of the process comes later.

In the example, I’ve made notes about special super powers that these magical clothes will bestow! What powers would you like to have?

When you have collected all the ideas that occur, you will need a figure drawing to ‘dress’ in your costume design.

Learn how to draw an action figure here. Or use a printable action figure outline.

Draw, trace or copy a very faint simple outline of a figure. Still keeping your lines light, start by adding the larger costume details, one thing at a time. You will find that you need to adjust your ideas and your drawing as it evolves.

Changing your costume design as you go, does not mean that you’ve made a mistake - this is how most artists and creative people work, most of the time. It's all part of the process of designing anything. You're making something new - and finding out what works.

It’s usually a good idea to get the main shapes in first, then add the smaller details at the end.

When you are happy that you have enough detail, you can add color – and a background. Where is your fantasy figure?

About Aubrey Beardsley:

Aubrey Beardsley was an English artist who died in 1898 at the age of 25, having produced several series of technically and aesthetically brilliant black and white illustrations and drawings. He worked mainly in pen and Indian ink, and was influenced by Japanese woodblock prints.

Fantasy Medieval Coloring Page: Arthur by Aubrey Beardsley

*Please note that the examples of Aubrey Beardsley’s artwork used on 'ArtyNess' are specially selected as suitable for use with children, while some works by this artist may be considered unsuitable for use in schools.