Rainbow Ball Gown with Rhinestones

A sleeveless ballgown with a black bodice and a sweetheart neckline. The bodice is covered with rhinestones in varying sizes and patterns. The skirt is floor-length, full and bell-shaped, and the colors on it go in a rainbow pattern, from red near the waist, then orange, yellow, green, blue and purple at the hem. There is a pattern of black lines over the fabric, giving it a dramatic look.As I wrote last week, I came up with a new way of doing my rhinestones, and this is the result of my experiments. To go into Photoshop talk for a moment, I like to sketch out the design on my iPad and turn it into a path, then go over it with a rhinestone brush. (That’s just a circle brush with spaces and a layer style — the same basic technique that I wrote about in my Tiny Tutorial #2 for making a basic bead brush.) I turn it into a path automatically instead of going over it with the pen tool, which would produce a much cleaner path but takes more time. What I realized is that drawing shapes, not lines, makes this work better, as well as putting those shapes on separate layers so that I can make some parts in smaller rhinestones and some parts in larger ones. There’s more experimentation to be done, but this is a good start!

Next week, you may see more experimentation with the technique. Until then, you can download combined color and black and white PDFs of all of my 2014 dolls and outfits for free! Also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for sneak previews, paperdoll thoughts and the occasional non-clothes related pin. If you enjoy my work, I'd also appreciate your support through Patreon.

Ballgown with Tulle Skirt (A Not-Really-A-Tutorial Tutorial)

A ballgown with a halter-style black bodice and a floor-length, bell shaped skirt. The bodice is patterned with a metallic gold brocade. The gown is divided into three layers. The first one is shades of layered orange, yellow and red tulle under a light layer of black tulle, which the warm colors show through. The second layer is light green, dark green and light blue under a layer of black tulle. The third layer is dark blue, purple and magenta under a layer of black tulle. One of my Pinterest boards is titled “Paperdoll Reference.” It may as well be titled my “Why Can’t I Draw Like That?” board. I’ll pin dresses with interesting coloring, particularly shiny dresses or dresses with great draping, with the intention of using them to study from. Not being the most diligent artist in the world, I’ve been piling up interesting examples and not doing all that much with them. Then the thought came to me, why not make the learning process into a paper doll outfit? (Everything’s better with paperdolls.) Sort of like a tutorial, except I, too, start out with no clue what I’m doing. Let’s learn together!

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Introducing Leyla!

An adult female paper doll in a white and purple gown. She has dark brown skin and black hair arranged in several small box braids that curve gently around her face and fall past her shoulders. Her eyes are brown with tiny gold flecks, and she has sparkly gold eyeshadow. Her lips are full and deep  red, and she is wearing pearl earrings. She is wearing a sleeveless dress with a scoop neck, slightly gathered at the shoulders. The top is white satin, decorated with a pattern of light grey spirals. Around her hips is a belt made of gold, with a sunburst pattern in the middle. Set in the middle of the belt is a brilliant topaz rounded with pearls. The skirt is long and trumpet shaped, flaring out at the calves, and is light magenta at the top and deep purple at the base. It is covered all over with sequins. She also wears a gold circlet decorated with pearls and a second topaz.Please welcome my second paper doll in the new series, Leyla! Her name was chosen from a set of six names I picked out, and as with Mia’s name it was close for a while there but Leyla was the winner. I hope you like her! I’m very happy with her, I had a good time drawing her hair.

With my previous sets of dolls I’ve only made two for each set, but my intention is to keep going and do a new one every month until I have enough dolls to put together a soccer team. Since Leyla has been released on time, I feel very confident that I will be able to pull that off. Their outfits aren’t going to get any more varied, I’m afraid, because the dolls themselves are rather a lot of work. I’m happy with the series dress theme, though. In my imagination, Mia, Leyla and the dolls to come after are the new goddesses of my paperdollverse, and so I thought to myself, what would this little pantheon like to wear? The answer, apparently, is “lots of sparkles.”

Speaking of goddesses, the contest on Twitter is over, and the winner is Karen Martin! (Her favorite Greek goddess, by the way, is Athena.) You will see how she chose to color an ancient Greek outfit next Friday. As I mentioned before, I’m going to start doing the contests on the blog after this, so if you would like to take part next time, just keep reading!

The Oscars are on March 2nd, and that means Oscar dresses! Twice before, I’ve “livedolled” the Oscars – that is, drawn some dresses straight from the red carpet. I did this in 2009, drawing three gowns, and in 2011, drawing an amazing four gowns. I’m ready to do it again this year, but with a twist. I’ll sketch the gowns I like on my iPad and post them here as I draw them. At the end, I’ll put up a poll for which one you all like best, then I’ll make the winner into a proper dress. Also, there’ll be a special Oscars contest! The red carpet starts at 7 PM EST, 4 PM Pacific. Join me and we’ll enjoy all those great gowns together!

As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for update notifications, links to things I find interesting and many, many fashion plates. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

In preparation for our Academy Awards party, let’s have a poll…

Black and White Monobear Sundress based on Dangan Ronpa

A sleeveless sundress with a hem above the knee and a scoop neck. It is split in half, with one half black and one half white. The white half is patterned with large black polka dots, while the black half has a strange red lightning bolt-esque pattern around the hem.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Lately I’ve been reading about a game called Dangan Ronpa (which literally means “bullet rebuttal,” but no one actually calls it that), and its sequel, Super Dangan Ronpa 2. It’s been getting some buzz lately, as a fan translation group has finished a patch for it, causing an onslaught of Let’s Plays, and there is an anime version currently airing in Japan. There’s also a full Let’s Play in screenshot form.

The premise of the first game is that a group of high-school students who are all supremely talented in one area or another are imprisoned inside their school and pushed to kill each other. The description may remind you of the Hunger Games or Battle Royale, but in practice it is a murder mystery with elements of Fallout and And Then There Were None, as you try to discover the truth behind each murder, the secrets of the school and the state of the outside world.

The leader of this murderous game is a bear named Monobear, or Monokuma, depending on whose translation you like; it’s also a play on the word “monochrome” in Japanese. For Monokuma has a distinctive design: he’s a white, sweet-looking teddy bear on one side, and a black bear with a glowing red eye and a terrifying smile on the other. He’s smug, seemingly all-knowing and his laugh sounds like “Upupupu.” He’s voiced by Nobuyo Oyama, who is best known as the voice of Doraemon, a popular character from a long-running manga and TV series. In other words, for Japanese players who grew up with Doraemon, the effect is probably something like hearing Winnie the Pooh or Mickey Mouse trying to manipulate you into killing people.

Today’s dress, then, is a jaunty polka-dot pattern on one side… and creepy red Monobear eyes on the other. It doesn’t really have any relation to the game, I just thought the design would be cute and slightly unsettling.

If you want to get in on the mutual killing fun, there’s the Let’s Plays and anime I linked earlier, and if you finish those up and want to get into Super Dangan Ronpa 2, there is an ongoing Let’s Play on the Something Awful forums, where the readers follow along, making suggestions for what to do next and forming theories as the game is translated. Sometimes a paywall prevents people without SA accounts from reading the forums, so check has the sa paywall gone yet on Tumblr or just succumb to despair while the game goes on without you. Upupupu~

Let’s have a contest! The winner gets to tell me how to color one of my black and white dresses. Standard rules apply: if you won either of the two previous contests, please don’t enter and only enter once per new post. Here’s the question: What’s Milo’s favorite thing in my kitchen? (Besides the food.) Please post your answers in the comments! Edit: Lauren got it! He has a love for spoons. Lauren, please post your request in the comments!