Magic Wiki Dress #1: Purple Gown with Black Tulle Skirt and White Shift

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Wikipedia was never as fun as my Magic Wiki Dress, at least for me anyways. I loved watching things shift from dinosaurs to masquerades back to dinosaurs, and so on. Brian was at Recent Changes Camp 09, a conference at wikis, this last week (which is what inspired the post in the first place) and he reported that Ward Cunningham, the inventor of the wiki, said at the “Creation Myths of Wiki” session that for a wiki to really work, “you have to believe that not done is better than done.” A perfectionist like me doesn’t always get that, but I feel like I did while watching the wiki get edited. I could let it go all year and see what people come up with — and I definitely want to draw some of the other outfits it produced. But to make things simple, I gave it a deadline this time, and this was the last outfit that got posted before noon on the 21st. I don’t like how the sheer purple part turned out, I forgot all about the gloves, the silver scrollwork turned into black scrollwork somewhere along the line and I took some artistic license on the shift, but I think it turned out pretty nicely! It was definitely interesting to draw…

Mermaid Monday #11: Mermaid Mystic Apprentice with Light Green Tunic and White Tail

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Sometimes, a mystic will take on an apprentice. It’s tremendously dangerous to be a mystic’s pupil; the discipline is inherently hazardous to one’s health and sanity, and callous mystics often use their apprentices as guinea pigs. In addition to that, the apprentice shaves his or her head, shuns all family and friends, usually makes some form of offering to the mystic and wears a light green tunic to signify the death of his or her old life. This mermaid, with her bald head, light green tunic and white tail, would be a creepy figure to most regular mermaids, but she spends all of her time studying alone anyways, trying to avoid the fate of the apprentice she inherited her tunic from. She gave up the natural color of her tail (a brilliant ultramarine) to study under her master, so she is guaranteed not to skip out and establish her own reputation as a mystic until she has the ability to replace it. (Temporarily changing the color of a tail is not that hard, but permanent color is a tricky proposition.)

Tomorrow starts the Wiki Dress parade. Expect dinosaurs.

Livedolling the 81st Academy Awards! Penelope Cruz’s Vintage White Lace Gown, Kate Winslet’s Blue and Black Lace Gown, Angelina Jolie’s Strapless Black Gown

Click for larger version (Penelope Cruz); Click for larger version (Kate Winslet); Click for larger version (Angelina Jolie); click for the list of dolls.

11:56: And that’s it for this year’s Oscars: thanks to everyone who kept me company! I enjoyed this a lot, I think I’ll do it again next year too.

11:38: I think I’m going to do something really easy tomorrow. Like a mermaid wearing a paper bag.

11:33: Yay for Kate! Wow, I had no idea how the back of that dress worked. Glad my drawing doesn’t contradict it.

11:19: Ohhh, Reese. Talk about a seatbelt strap dress. I really like the shade of blue though

11:17 OK — now I’m exhausted. That’s it for my drawing tonight!

11:07: Just finished Angelina’s black gown, scanning and processing. I think that will be it for the night, I’m tired now. Glad I don’t work tomorrow!

10:57: Oh, excellent, a Bollywood number. Wonder how Wall-E will fit in?

10:27: Yawn. How much longer do we have to go? Ten more categories. I wonder if I can do Angelina Jolie’s dress in that time? Black is easy enough…

10:25: Scanner made a hash out of this one, but oh well. I might have it in me for one more, but it has to be super simple.

10:12: Finished with Kate Winslet’s dress — not perfect but not awful. Scanning and processing.

9:37: I’m not so sure I can pull off Kate, but I’m going to give it a shot…

9:26: Is the sparkly vampire contractually obliged to keep his head down and glower at all times?

9:23: Funny that Tilda Swinton is the one bucking the nude lip trend. I think she looks fantastic!

9:21: Score another one for lavish period pieces!

9:20: Here’s our favorite category, costume design…

9:16: AAGH. Now I finish and post the thing, I find a better picture. I was close but it’s not quite right.

9:13: Here it is, Penelope Cruz’s white lace gown. I can’t promise this is precisely how the skirt works, but I think it’s pretty close. I’m thinking Kate Winslet next, but I need to take a second and look at the new pictures. Oh yeah, yay Wall-E!

9:00: Done with the dress — scanning and processing, up soon. Feel free to suggest my next subject in the comments. I want something with color now!

8:47: EXCELLENT. If I’m drawing the Oscar winner’s gown, I’ll get more traffic. *grin*

8:31: Ohhh, such love for the jazzy Lawrence of Arabia theme. Had to restart Penelope Cruz’s dress but it’s fun. Expect it to be done by 9, 9:15.

8:07 Angelina Jolie went too subtle, I think, but I guess that’s better than ending up on Go Fug Yourself tomorrow

7:52: OK, I’ve got my first paperdoll subject of the night.

7:47: Well, Kate Winslet is doing the one shoulder strap thing too, but I think it works for her dress…

7:43: Now that is quite a mermaid skirt on Melissa George. I think the fetish-style corset lace-up is jarring, but I like it from the front well enough.

7:41: Sarah Jessica Parker’s dress is growing on me — I think the belt makes it not so much a prom dress, even with that poofy skirt.

7:29: is failing me. It’s superfluous considering I have the Getty Images pictures, but it just doesn’t seem the same without the inane chatter in the background…

7:20: Wow, Marisa Tomei also has the seatbelt strap that Eleanor and I don’t like. Just saw a bit of it — looks like there’s something interesting going on with her skirt. Hurry up, Getty Images…

7:09: Great picture of Viola Davis and Taraji Henson — I think both of their dresses are really nicely done. Still haven’t decided who to draw first though.

7:06: Yeah, I’m not a fan of her neckline or one sleeve, but love the rest of her dress.

6:50: Hate the E! football-esque highlight pen — love that color blue on Frieda Pinto.

6:19: Ah — this is how her dress works. It’s a little more than most of them are going to be, I bet, and it reminds me a little of a pinecone, but I like it — I’d just take off the bauble on the belt. And wow, what a train.

6:09: I’m watching at now. Did I see a Cinderella-style overskirt gather on Miley? I just got a glimpse…

6:00 PM EST: Welcome to Livedolling the Oscars with Liana. I’ll be your host, once I stop frantically looking for a live feed of the red carpet coverage. I’ll also be using images from Getty Images’ Oscar coverage as reference. I’m not the only one liveblogging the Oscars, but I bet I’m the only one armed with colored pencils and not snark. There are some cute dresses showing up on the red carpet already, but so far they’re all “TV personalities.”

1780s White Chemise à la Reine with Blue Silk Sash and Flower Ornament

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

Well, now, it looks like the readers of this blog have what you could call a slight preference for The Duchess’ costumes (a lovely gallery of which can be found at the Costumer’s Guide to Movie Costumes); as I write this it’s garnered 66% of the vote, with the other four neatly splitting the remainder. Not much of a surprise, we do like our fancy gowns around this joint after all. The possible list of leaked Oscar winners would be against us, preferring Benjamin Button instead, but that has all the authenticity of, well, a random list on the Internet.

I didn’t see The Duchess, or, sadly, any of the other Best Costume nominees, but I wanted to draw something inspired by its main character, Georgiana Cavendish, not the least because I recently discovered the The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century (and its counterpart concerned with Marie Antoinette) and since I’ve never been much into 1700s fashion before (I love the 1800s, everything before that I’m real vague on) I’ve been enjoying it. Well, lo and behold there is a style of dress that Marie Antoinette started and Georgiana introduced to England, so that seemed to be the right thing to draw tonight. It’s called the chemise à la reine, and it was quite scandalous when it was introduced in the mid-1780s because it was essentially like wearing one’s underwear out in public, not what one expects from one’s queen. A very simple garment, it was really the precursor of the Regency gowns as the waistline inched upwards.

Don’t forget — livedolling the Oscars here, tomorrow! Stick around the comments section and help me decide what to draw. I’ll be looking frantically for streaming video of the red carpet show (more interesting than reloading Getty Images all the time), let me know if you know where to find it.