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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 18 of 70

How to Create Costumes From Fabric

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

18. How to Create Costumes From Fabric
Look at which fabrics work best for costuming, how color plays a role in costume selection, and how to tea dye or coffee stain costumes.


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 07:25 2 Overview of Brooke’s Journey 20:13 3 Your Timeline is Nonlinear 05:37 4 Using Curiosity and Intention to Build Your Career 03:26 5 What Factors Dictate Growth 08:24 6 Organic Growth vs. Forced Growth 05:18 7 Niche Branding 04:57 8 Brooke’s Artistic Evolution and Timeline 24:27
9 How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind? 10:02 10 Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art 05:54 11 Idea Fluency 10:33 12 How to Represent an Idea 07:01 13 How to Innovate an Idea 07:07 14 Creating a Dialogue With Your Art 05:48 15 Conceptualization For a Series vs. a Single Image 03:43 16 Transforming a Single Image Into a Series 03:12 17 How to Tell a Story in a Series 03:28 18 How to Create Costumes From Fabric 07:20 19 Brooke’s Most Useful Costumes 02:19 20 Using Paint and Clay as Texture in an Image 02:56 21 Create Physical Elements in an Image 10:22 22 Shooting for a Fine Art Series 05:45 23 Conceptualization: Flowery Fish Bowl in the Desert 04:08 24 Wardrobe and Texture 04:54 25 Posing for the Story 05:32 26 Choosing an Image 01:23 27 Conceptualization: Rainy Plexiglass 11:34 28 Posing for the Story 04:17 29 Creating Backlight 02:37 30 Photo Shoot #1 - Creating a Simple Composite 17:51 31 Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite 06:31 32 Photo Shoot #3 - Creating a Storytelling Composite 07:40 33 Shooting the Background Images 06:14 34 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Working With Backgrounds 24:35 35 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Retouching the Subject 04:20 36 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Color Grading 02:45 37 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture 15:24 38 Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Final Adjustments 03:21 39 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds 05:25 40 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Selective Adjustments 03:55 41 Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Adding Texture + Fine Tuning 03:21 42 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Compositing Models 06:58 43 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Expanding Rooms 02:17 44 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Color 02:47 45 Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Exposure 04:04 46 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds 10:45 47 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Creating Rooms in Photoshop 06:11 48 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Compositing Hair 05:07 49 Editing Composite Shoot #2- Global Adjustments 04:49 50 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Blending Composite Elements 05:00 51 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Advanced Compositing 08:46 52 Editing Composite Shoot #3- Cleanup 03:34 53 Materials for Alternative Processes 06:20 54 Oil Painting on Prints 05:41 55 Encaustic Wax on Prints 03:09 56 Failure vs. Sell Out 05:14 57 Create Art You Love and Bring an Audience To You 03:35 58 Branding Yourself Into a Story 05:40 59 The Artistic Narrative 05:26 60 Get People to Care About Your Story 03:36 61 Get People to Buy Your Story 11:36 62 Getting Galleries and Publishers to Take Notice 03:41 63 Pricing For Commissions 06:43 64 Original Prints vs. Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Edition Prints 02:11 65 Class Outro 01:00 66 Live Premiere 16:14 67 Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 1 04:41 68 Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 2 07:12 69 Live Premiere: Q&A 16:10 70 Live Premiere: Photo Critique 47:33

Lesson Info

How to Create Costumes From Fabric

We've talked a lot about conceptualization and how to innovate the concept. But to innovate a concept, you have to innovate the visuals that go with it. This is my favorite part of the process. I love trying to make something out of nothing. And I have spent a lot of time doing ridiculous things that end up looking pretty cool and a lot of ridiculous things that look terrible. So I want to share some of those techniques with you, particularly the good ones, not the bad ones. And I want to share with you how I can make some really fun things look very interesting and very creepy in a photograph. So first, let me show you some of my really fun costumes and props and things like that and how I'm aktham on the cheap because I am not interested in spending a lot of money when it comes to creating my images. I'm just not except for on very particular occasions. So in general I try to spend a little bit of money and make it look really interesting. So often I make things from fabrics, whateve...

r fabric I confined, and one of those fabrics is an ace bandage, which I have here. So when I use aced bandages, I find them to be really effective because they come in neutral colors. They're really stretchy, and you can put them wherever you want. They can give a sense of just a neutral outfit. If you want something that kind of dissolves into the picture that you don't really notice, it can also be use for what it is, which is a sign that something is injured that you're wrapping up. And it could give a lot of character to a subject so aced. Bandages air some of my favorite favorite things to use in a photo because they're easy, they're simple, they're inexpensive and they have good texture to them, and they look great. So these are some examples of where I've used aced bandages as the costume in the photo, but I also use them for different purposes. For example, if I'm using something like a piece of fabric or a bedsheet to create a costume, I might add an ace bandage to it, to wrap it over top of the costume to hold it in place on the subject. So that's a really good way to go. If you just want to get a few pieces of fabric to use, That's what I would do to make a really nice costume. Another thing that I love to do is t dying. And I'm gonna show you that in just a minute. This is an example of a costume right here that has been t died when I got it. Originally, the veil was white and I say Veil, it was just like a table cloth thing. It was white. And now it's not because I t died it then This is a great way to go to your local thrift store or someplace really inexpensive to get some fabric that isn't gonna break the budget, but then make it look really antiqued. Because if you've ever been doing antique store, you know that it could be very pricey to get something that's actually very old in photography. It just doesn't have to be that old. We don't have to spend a ton of money on something like that. So I use t die bed sheets are my go thio costume and and I will use it on any occasion. Just the other week, I was in a hotel room and I wanted to do a photo shoot. So I ripped the bedsheet off and used it as my costume. There are so many ways that we can use. Bedsheets is costumes. You could drape them like togas. You could wear them, like address around the mid section. You can wear them a skirts. I use them a lot because they're neutral and timeless, and they give a really flowing look to the pictures. So it makes it look really dynamic at the same time. And it doesn't cost a lot of money, So I absolutely love using bed sheets. Now I will say that I have a lot of different colored bed sheets, but you don't need that. So, like, here I have a white one, a brown one blue one. And it's great to just have two different colors, maybe a light one in a dark one or one pop of color. And that should do you really well. Of course, all of these tips are just fun ways to use inexpensive things in dynamic ways in your images. So I'm not trying to say that everybody should switch to using bed sheets only or anything like that. But just consider what's around you and how can you use it in a new way. One of the ways that I did that was to use objects in my images so I would make dresses out of objects in this case, books that I photographed and made a dress out of them. Now you could do this for riel tangibly in person. You could make a dress, sculpture of books or book pages or whatever you want, but I did it in Photoshop, and there's no shame whichever way you want to do something. Pretty much all of these techniques that I'm going to show you could be done digitally. It just depends on the way that you like to work. In this case, I use paper airplanes to make my dress, and I love just finding different things that I can use in this case keys that I piled up in Photoshop to about 1000 keys and made a dress out of them, and I find stuff like that really innovative, really fun and just so inspiring to be able to see anything around you as an option to use and your photography, this image will be surprised to hear was just a little bit of fabric and not much else. So I actually took a bunch of just a pile of fabric and I pulled it all up around me. And then on top of that, I added an overlay of a moth. So this was kind of a fun image, because the original was completely ridiculous in relation to what the final image turned out to be. This was another image where I just used fabric in this case, taking a single piece of fabric and flowing it out from my body in many different directions and then blending that later. This is a technique that we're going to practice during the editing segment, So if you're not quite sure how to blend, images like this will definitely go over it. So don't worry, that will happen. Fabric could be used in a lot of different ways as a costume, because it is so neutral and it doesn't really have a time period attached to it. Any time you get an actual piece of wardrobe, whether it's a shirt, pants address, whatever it may be, it's going to have a time period attached to it because it was crafted in a specific time period to match the decor of that time period. What I love about fabric is that I could drape this on myself or somebody else in any style that I want, and it has no time period associated with it. This could be really important. If you're going for imagery, that with stands the test of time, that doesn't have a time stamp on it. That won't become dated. So I find that really, really effective in that regard. I have been to the thrift store before and just found veils like, Have you ever been to a thrift store? And you've seen, like, eighties wedding dresses hanging there, and they always have these huge veils that go with, um, I would buy the dress just to get the veil, because I find veils to be very effective tools for photographing. They often have beautiful lace on them. They're often a little bit sort of age, naturally and really, it's just tool, which you can also get your local craft store. I love using tool and anything that has natural texture to it. We're gonna talk about texture here in just a minute. I love using leotards as well, so I have a couple of them here. I have a lot of leotards at home, and I use them as either the costume itself to go for something very neutral or I use it underneath other things. Thio practice, modesty, for example. If I don't want to show anything in an image, um, or just as something underneath so that you know it matches the costume that's going over top like a slip, so those are some good options as well.

Class Description


  • Beat “creator's block” by practicing exercises to help you overcome it
  • Conceptualize a series that nails story, emotion, and connection
  • Execute a low-budget, high-impact photoshoot for your series
  • Edit your images for series cohesion and seamless compositing
  • Brand yourself and your art into a story that others can connect with


Creating a fine art body of work can be daunting when you consider that a great series has innovative ideas, cohesive editing, and an undeniable connection to an audience. During this class, Brooke will walk through the entire process of creating a fine art series, from conceptualization, shooting, and editing to branding and pricing. The success of a body of work comes from the artist’s ability to go beyond the connection to an audience; it must land in the heart of the viewer and then instill a call to action within them. Brooke will lead you through not only how to make your work relatable, but how to take that extra step to become unforgettable, and ultimately, sellable.


  • Intermediate creators who want to focus on personal work and find a deeper level of creating.
  • Creators who not only want to tighten the cohesion of their work but ensure that the full depth of meaning is communicated.
  • Artists who want to learn simple yet effective ways of creating a body of personal work.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (v21.2.4) and Adobe Bridge CC 2020 (v10.1.1)


Brooke explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears.

After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography then in 2008, excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay.

Ultimately, her process is more discovery than creation. She follows her curiosity into the unknown to see who her characters might become. Brooke believes the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes, and experience into a representation of one's potential.

While her images come from a personal place of exploration, the goal in creating is not only to satisfy herself; her greatest wish is to show others a part of themselves. Art is a mirror for the creator and the observer.

Brooke's passion is storytelling, and her life is engulfed in it. From creating self-portraits and writing to international adventures and motivational speeches, she wants to live a thousand lives in one. She keeps her curiosity burning to live a truly interesting story.

*This course contains artistic nudity.


a Creativelive Student

Brooke never fails to deliver. I found this course superb from start to finish. From exercising your creative 'muscle', demystifying taking self portraits, and showing that they don't have to be perfect before you begin editing, to walking you through her editing process and how to price your work. Brooke's enthusiastic personality and excitement about the work shines through it all. Definitely recommended!

Søren Nielsen

Thank for fantastic motivating an very inspiring. The story telling and selling module was very helpful - thanks from Denmark

Rebecca Potter

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Brooke for this amazing class. Inspired and so full of practical knowledge, this is the best class I've ever watched. You have given me the confidence to pursue what I've always been afraid to do. Watch this space!