Blue, White and Purple Ancient Greek Peplos with Gold Jewelry

A blue peplos, which is a sleeveless draped garment held up with pins at the shoulders. The top is folded over and is light blue, fading to white at the hem at the waist. At the edge of the fabric is a gold heart and line pattern. Underneath is the skirt part, which is a rich blue, turning purple towards the hem. At the hem of the ankle-length skirt are gold line, wave and scroll patterns. There is a bracelet with two large purple stones, a gold necklace with purple stones and gold drops and a diadem with a heart pattern and purple gems.This outfit is the result of my second contest, which I held over Twitter. An ancient Greek outfit won out over a 1930s dress or a fairy outfit, so I started a Pinterest board and did some research into what they were like. Happily, in this day and age plenty of the relevant information is easily available for free!

I’d be happy to hear about other good sources of information — for all I know, something new has been found since these books were printed! I wanted to read these books thoroughly and do more research, but didn’t have time. So I will probably continue, albeit slowly, even though this outfit is all done.

The winner of the contest, chosen by a random drawing, was Karen Martin, and here’s what she requested:

I think for colors, I’d like white, blue, and gold, with maybe some purple thrown in?

She also got to choose from a list of patterns, and she chose the wave, scroll and heart patterns you see on the outfit. So here it is! Karen, I hope you like it.

Let’s start a new contest! Part 1 is a poll, which will close next Thursday. Once I know what I’ll do next, I’ll do my research and draw a sketch, then hold the contest on the 21st. Here are your options…

Come back next week for a dress based on a key scene from one of the coolest games I’ve played in a long time! As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterestfor updates, sneak previews and lovely Art Nouveau pendant pictures. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

Meet Ivy, the first in my new paper doll series!

Click for larger version with gown (PNG); click for PDF version with gown. Click for larger version without gown (PNG); click for PDF version without gown.

Welcome Ivy to the paperdoll blog family! I’ll miss working with Sylvia and Iris, but they aren’t going anywhere, so you can always go back and look at them and their clothes. With the new scanner, I really needed a change, and I was getting enough requests for new dolls that I wanted to do something about it…

I have big plans for this model of paper doll. The base doll is actually bald and faceless – that means I can draw hair and faces separately and add them on with Photoshop, making it easier to have different options. I’m also drawing the doll itself differently this time. If you look at Iris, she was traced off of Sylvia, and that meant that it was easier to introduce mistakes – the paper shifted, it was difficult to see, and I drew some lines differently – so parts like the arms and legs are different. If I did a third doll from the same shape, she would be different from both Iris and Sylvia in some annoying way and it would be harder to fit even more dresses. This time, I have a very faint outline of the body, and the doll is colored right on top of that, meaning that there should be less variation between dolls. So the upshot: it should be easier to make different skin tones, hairstyles / colors and faces. I wonder if you can see where I hope to go with this someday? Well, there’s a lot of work to go between here and there…

The other big change is that I’m going to start offering PDF files of each drawing. For those of you who just like to look at the pretty pictures online, it won’t make much of a difference, but for those of you who actually print things out, using the PDF file instead of the PNG will guarantee that you’ll always have the right size, and the quality should be better as well. (It also means you can zoom in really close and look at all the flaws, but trust me: print it out and it’ll look smashing.)

I like her a lot, and I hope you all do too. I look forwards to making her many lovely outfits!

Mermaid Monday #7: Crimson Tailed Mermaid with White Ruffly Top and Ruby Jewelry

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

This mermaid was born with red hair and a red tail, and although red has positive connotations in mermaid culture, associated with weddings as it is, she thought it was just too unfair for words to be naturally confined to one color and longed for shining black hair, or maybe a lovely gold tail instead. (Most mermaids have different color hair and tails, so we might consider her something of a mermaid albino, in a way.) She was quite self-conscious about it for some time, because she was teased about being destined to marry early by her mom and sisters and the less kind mermaids nicknamed her “Sockeye.” Then she figured out that humans found red an intriguing and sexy color, and they didn’t know that her peers thought that she was some kind of freak. So, far from being ashamed of her natural coloration, she embraced it and started spending more time on land than sea, dancing all night in outrageous crimson gowns and demanding presents of ruby jewelry from her admirers. She ended up forsaking the sea entirely and became a famous actress among humans, never marrying but constantly throwing spectacular parties in her indoor grotto for her favorite actors, artists, aristocrats and sometimes even a reformed pirate or two. Sometimes she would send invitations to those who had called her “Sockeye,” but the invitations were meant as a slap in the face and all concerned knew it.

Putting our scarlet girl aside for now, I am quite happy today because I ordered sixty-one new colored pencils this morning. Ten of them are colorless blenders, since those are like water running through my hands, soon sharpened into nothingness (well, actually into little stubs I can’t use until I find some decent pencil extender). Maybe 40% of them are replacements of colors that are getting low, and then the rest are colors that have come out in the ten years I’ve had my set. I’m ecstatic just thinking about their names! Pale sage! Ginger root! Kelp green! Come to me quickly, little pencils, and we will have some fun together.

This poll has a clear winner so far, but it’s not time for it to go away yet…

Halloween Costume Series Day 8: Cleopatra White Linen Egyptian Dress with Blue Lotus Pattern, with Jeweled Collar and Red Sash

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

I kind of broke my “no research all month” rule for this one, but it is not hard for me to find an excuse to look at ancient Egyptian clothes. This one is vaguely accurate, although I think the lotus pattern may be over the top, there’s no melting perfume cone and the clothes should be sheer anyways, for full royal style. That’s even further than today’s ‘sexy Cleopatra’ revelers want to go… I used to want to be an Egyptologist, and I’ve even got a book or two on learning hieroglyphs in the other room. Then I discovered Japanese and kanji. No kidding.

If you’ve already taken my poll and answered “obscure costumes,” can you leave a comment and tell me what kinds of costumes you’re talking about? I’m very curious now, since that category’s done so well. I expected that sexy costumes would be low on the list for this crowd, but I wasn’t expecting that no one would choose ‘pop culture’ for a costume. What, no Jedis in this group? No Jokers? I thought everyone wanted to be the Joker this year…