Voyage of the Dawn Treader Paperdoll Series #1: Cool Colored Gown based on the Dawn Treader

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

“It was a picture of a ship — a ship sailing nearly straight towards you. Her prow was gilded and shaped like the head of a dragon with wide open mouth. She had only one mast and one large, square sail which was a rich purple. The sides of the ships — what you could see of them where the gilded wings of the dragon ended — were green. She had just run up to the top of one glorious blue wave, and the nearer slope of that wave came down towards you, with streaks and bubbles on it. She was obviously running fast before a gay wind, listing over a little on her port side. (By the way, if you are going to read this story at all, and if you don’t know already, you had better get it into your head that the left of a ship when you are looking ahead, is port, and the right is starboard.) All the sunlight feel on her from that side, and the water on that side was full of greens and purples. On the other, it was darker blue from the shadow of the ship.” – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Chapter 1: The Picture in the Bedroom

I have often thought it would be fun to do something like this, and since so far this February I have done nothing but a trio of (admittedly cute) rainbow gowns and feel rather as if I am in need of forgiveness from my very patient audience, I thought that now is as good a time as any to try it out. Before you ask, no, I have not seen the movie; rather, I saw a couple of the trailers and decided I most certainly did not want to see the movie, but I would very much like to re-read the book. My favorite of the Narnia books is The Horse And His Boy, but I love the sense of adventure and beauty in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and as I re-read it, I couldn’t help but think about adapting it to paperdolls. It’s a great medium for a project like this, don’t you think? It provides room for something in between a costume and an illustration, and allows waves to become ruffles and for wildly impractical dragon wings that frame the face.

I’m going to aim to draw a new one every week until I finish, not a whole series of them all at once, so don’t be alarmed when there is a kimono next Saturday! Also – don’t forget to join me for livedolling the Oscars! Apparently the part I’m most interested in (that is, the red carpet) will start at 7:00 PM EST, 4:00 PM for me out here on the west coast.

Now, let me see if I have correctly judged what will most delight a nice big share of my readers…

Colors used: Poppy Red, Crimson Red, Tuscan Red, Black Grape, Violet Blue, Lilac, Cool Grey 20%, Cool Grey 50%, Cool Grey 90%, French Grey 10%, Black, Dark Umber, Light Umber, Cream, Sunburst Yellow, Goldenrod, Dark Green, Kelly Green, Peacock Green, Parrot Green, Pale Sage, Light Green, Spring Green, all the blues I own Light Cerulean Blue, China Blue, Powder Blue, Indigo Blue, Peacock Blue, Sky Blue Light, Cloud Blue, Mediterranean Blue

Spring Green Top and Split Skirt Embroidered with Daisies and Yellow Ribbons over Cream Shift with Daisy Garland inspired by Prince Caspian: The Chronicles of Narnia

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

I’ve had the second Narnia movie recommended to me a couple times because of the costumes, and finally Brian and I got it from the library and watched it. I sort of made Brian watch it with me, mostly because he’s so funny when his picky English major nature is all riled up.

He says “You didn’t make me watch it with you. I volunteered. It’s true that people often volunteer to make bad decisions, but I volunteered. I enjoyed it, except for those times where characters were talking, or moving, or engaging in eight-hour long bloodless swordfights. I also enjoyed watching Susan throw arrows into the hearts of warriors.”

So there you have it, the Brian review. I liked it better than he did (I like just about everything better than he does) but I too am not thrilled by the creepily sanitary fight scenes. Not that I want to see bleeding battle elks and warriors or anything, just that in the books the fights seemed to me important and unavoidable, but also not so glorified. I like the books where the fights aren’t the focus, like the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and I’d add A Horse and His Boy which is my favorite, but I fear when they get around to that one about half of the time will be spent on the fight scene at the end. It reminds me of the Watchmen comics’ ambivalence about violence and the movie’s celebration of the same.

I did enjoy the costumes, of course! I’ve always envisioned the clothes of Narnia as being comfy and practical as well as beautifully made and graceful, and I can’t quote chapter and verse but I’m quite sure that there’s more than one part in the Chronicles where Lewis rails against stuffy, confining clothing, often preferring rather pagan garb. (There’s just enough costume description and scope for imagination in the books that I’ve often thought of doing a Narnia paperdoll series…) I especially liked the split skirts over flowing pants that Lucy and Susan wore, so I borrowed the idea for today, although it looks more like a plain old overskirt and underskirt combo if you didn’t know what it was supposed to be.

In other paperdoll news, I’ve figured out what colors to use so that I can take one hair style and change it in Photoshop to make a bunch of different hair colors. It’s not as easy as it sounds, unless you like really tacky yellow instead of blonde. So far I have ten realistic hair colors and eleven rainbow colors (those are, of course, easier to do!). Do me a favor and look at the hair colors and tell me what you think of them. If you have any suggestions as to what other colors I should try to do, I’d love to hear them (and if you have any reference pictures, that’d be great too). I think I’ve got more than enough blond colors and I need more shades of brunette.