Saturday, March 21, 2009

Looking the Part

I had a lot of fun this morning. I pulled out my late 15th century V-necked gown, hennin and jewelry and had my husband take some photos. I wanted it to look as much like a 15th century portrait as we could make it. You can be the judge- the final picture is featured on the right and a larger version is at the very end of this post.

The only thing that I know is widely inaccurate is the pearls, but I needed more substantial jewelry than just the gold and red necklace, and the pearls were all I had. Also, I probably should have put a few rings on. Dearg had me look in a couple of different directions to figure out which was the best, and though some pictures were composed a bit better, we settled on looking straight forward, over the book (which really is a small Bible). Just for fun, here are some of the other photos to show how much changing where I looked alters the picture:

We liked the overall look of the middle one, but in comparison with the one we chose, my gaze seemed odd. We staged it in our hallway. The end of the hallway opens up to accommodate a washer and dryer and access to our furnace. There's also a back door there. So Dearg put the curtains from our bedroom up over a painting we have back there, and brought back one of the stools from our kitchen table set. He tried one or two with just the flash, but then he turned off the flash and opened the door (which faces North). The lighting was much better, and it brought out the natural sheen of the dress, curtains and veil.

Since my pregnancy and because we just got out of winter, I've had some weight gain, so I'm very critical about pictures of myself. I'm not too thrilled with the way my hips appear, but it was because of the way I was sitting on the stool, and the dress wasn't hanging properly. I'm willing to over look that, though, as the top half of the photo is very flattering to my face.

I admit that I did doctor the final photo. In addition to enhancing the color a bit, I removed the hair at my temples to give it a more period look, and I also removed a few blemishes. After all, if I was paying for a portrait, I would expect the painter to flatter my looks by overlooking such imperfections. When I put the photo in the frame, I added some texture to make it look a little more like a painting than a photograph. I like the result.

In other news, you may have noticed in my Project Pile list that my new leather belt is complete. Since there isn't really anything more to see than the buckle, here's a closeup of the belt on me:

Since the buckle is rounded, it roughed up the edged of the leather as I pulled it through, but it's an oily enough leather that it isn't really a problem. And honestly, there isn't anybody other than my husband that should be this close to my belt. :)

I also worked on my new rust colored dress a bit yesterday. I've got to put in the reinforcements in the front for the lacing and sew the front bottom together, then put on the sleeves and hem it all up. I'm planing on having it completed to wear to Unicorn Grand Tournament in a couple of weeks. Then I'll be able to add two new things to my project pile!