Aqua and Peach Elf Gown with Silver Beading

An aqua-colored gown with three-quarter sleeves and a low boat neckline. It has princess seams and is covered all over with a delicate scroll pattern. At the base of the skirt, the color changes to light peach, and there's a silver beaded vine pattern along the hem. There's an peach underdress that shows at the neckline, extending a few inches above the top of the gown. The light peach scroll pattern on it shimmers subtly, and there's a row of beading along the neckline. There's silver lacing along the collar of the aqua gown, and the dress is open over the bust, showing the underdress. The lacing crosses three times over the opening and is fastened under the bust with a brooch of silver and a coral-colored gem, then the laces hang down nearly to the bottom of the gown. The sleeves have long, delicate lengths of semi-transparent scroll-patterned peach fabric that hang down nearly to the base of the dress at each cuff.This gown is the product of my last contest, in which my readers first chose for me to draw an elf dress, then the contest winner Lorie Harding wrote:

Here is how I would like the dress colored. I picture the sleeves sheer and the dress done in soft pastel colors. My favorites would be peach and aqua. A delicate pattern of your choice would run through the dress. Thanks!

I like doing these contests just for their own sake, but also because I think that it’s easy for me to stick to what I’m good at, and other people’s suggestions help me improve. For example, I don’t think I really do a lot of dresses with this kind of light coloring, and I struggled to get the shading looking right. I still think I could have done better, but Friday is already upon me, and anyways I am pretty happy with this one overall!

Let’s get started with the next reader’s choice contest…

Next week will be a princess gown and some thoughts on princess culture. Don’t forget that you can now 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 pretty illustrations. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

Red and Green Medieval Gown with Oak, Rose and Violet Embroidery and Fur Trim

A gown with a red overdress and green underskirts. The overdress has a scoop neck trimmed with brown fur, and it has sleeves that are fitted to the elbow, trimmed at the elbow with brown fur, then fan out in a wide bell shape, with the edge of the sleeve very long at the wrist. At the edge of the sleeve is a stripe of golden ribbon patterned with scrolls. The red fabric is a shiny brocade with a pattern of oak leaves, scrolls and roses. Down the front of the dress is a stripe of embroidery over an ivory base. The embroidery shows red roses, purple violets, green oak leaves and scrolls, and the flowers are trimmed with small pearls. The embroidery is bordered with stripes of golden ribbon patterned with scrolls. The front of the overdress is split and open at the waist, curving down and ending at the knees with the front of the underskirts entirely visible. The hem of the overdress is trimmed with brown fur. There is a wide golden belt in a pattern of large, overlapping loops that falls at the hips. Set in the front of the belt is a large, smooth purple gemstone. The underskirts, which fall to the floor, are in two layers. One layer is a bright grass green in a shiny brocade patterned with oak leaves, scrolls and roses. It is open at the front and split, showing the second underskirt underneath. It is bordered with stripes of gold ribbon patterned with scrolls. The underskirt is sea green and patterned with golden curling vines.One quick thing before I get into talking about the new dress: I’ve signed up with Patreon, a service that helps people become patrons of the art and media they like. If you would like to support me and my work, please take a look at it!

This gown is the result of my most recent contest, which consisted of two parts. I held it on Facebook, and in part 1, I asked my followers to choose between three categories: evening gowns, medieval dresses and mermaid tails. Medieval dresses won, so I spent some time collecting images of medieval dresses I liked on Pinterest and making some sketches, leading to this black and white sketch and contest part #2. (You’ll note there’s no necklace on the finished dress — I made one, then decided it was just gilding the lily.) In this stage of the contest, people just had to like the post to enter. Eleven people did, and the first winner, chosen by a random number generator, was Nikki Paulsen, but she never got back to me by the following Sunday, and so unfortunately I needed to pick someone else, too. (Nikki, if you read this, I’ll still recolor it for you any time! Just e-mail me or leave a comment here or on Facebook.) The second winner was Hannah Bristol, and here was her request:

The style of the dress makes it seem like a very foresty, homey type of gown. I think I’d like to see the overcoat in earthy tones of red with gold accents, maybe with a brownish-gray fur trim, and the underskirts in shades of green.

I’m not sure if I exactly hit “homey” and “foresty” notes with all of the embroidery, satin and gold trim, but the results are lovely, so maybe it’s something Maid Marian could wear when she needs to get dressed up. Hannah, I hope you like how it turned out! I really enjoy trying to fulfill someone else’s color scheme, because I feel like I always learn something I wouldn’t have when I color it by myself. I posted a series of pictures showing the steps in making this dress on my Tumblr, if anyone is interested in that.

My intention is to hold these contests once a month and spread them among my various social media venues, the blog and the mailing list. I haven’t decided where the next one will show up, but it will start on the 13th.

Next time there will be a special Valentine’s Day present for all of my beloved readers, so come back next Friday! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for updates and fun things, Twitter for my thoughts and sneak previews, or Pinterest for lovely dresses and jewelry. You can also sign up for my mailing list at the top of this page!

Medieval Gown colored in Yellow and Red

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

The last time I got my mitts on this poor dress, I really made a hash of it, so, time to try again. I like it better when someone tells me what colors to use, though — it feels like a surprise I can enjoy, too. Sadly, I can’t ask Brian, or you would be seeing a muted turquoise/salmon pink medieval ensemble.

I’m curious about you all, and I don’t believe I’ve done this poll before. Mom and I call my readers “the paperdoll girls,” and I wonder if it’s about right. (Certainly I do have a couple of male readers — a minority to be sure, but I do!)

Black and White Medieval Gown with Flower Garlands

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

I wanted to play with long sleeves a little more, so that’s where this dress came from. You would have to cut the edge of the sleeve for the hand to fit, but I have confidence my readers or their adult paperdoll providers can figure it out.

I said there was a special contest coming up, and here it is! I use, a site that provides music recommendations, Internet radio and so on, mostly because I always listen to the radio while I’m working, but also partially because I’m a sucker for little graphs based on what I listen to. I was thinking it would be fun to do some paperdolls based on the music I like listening to, but there’s so much I couldn’t decide what to try.

That’s where you come in! To enter, take a look through my profile, choose any artist I’ve ever listened to, and post it as a comment. On the 28th, I’ll use a random number generator to pick five comments, and then draw something based in some way on those artists. For example, if one of the winners picked Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, I listen to the Scheherazade suite all the time, so perhaps I’d do something based off of the Arabian Nights, something from the ballet, or maybe something from 1888 when it was composed.

Here’s the rules:
1) Even if you’ve won one of my black-and-white contests, you can enter this one.
2) You can only make one guess, and it has to be on this post.
3) Entries will be accepted until 9 PM EST, June 28th.
4) Yes, Brian, even you can enter.
5) I’ll take suggestions, but I reserve the right to make the final decision on what exactly to draw.