Black and Blue Assassin Princess Gown

 A dramatic ball gown with a black sequined bodice and long sleeves, puffed blue sleeves at the shoulder and a full, shiny blue skirt with a black sequined hem. There's a wide purple satin sash around the waist and purple satin at the wrists.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

A few weeks ago, there was a thread on Metafilter written by a woman who works as a party princess, talking about what her job is like. That is, she gets dressed up as Cinderella, Rapunzel or so on, then arrives at the birthday girl’s house to direct games, tell stories and otherwise let the good times roll. Her tales of how much the little girls love princesses are hilarious, and they’re accompanied by some adorable, funny illustrations. (They’ve also made me wonder why I haven’t found a good way to make millions off my paperdolls. The dresses seem to be a major selling point with this whole princess adoration thing.) They’re posted on the Something Awful forums, so you can’t easily read through them all at once, but here are links to the ones currently available. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Since I’ve been enjoying these stories so much I thought I’d make a paperdoll for them, based off the name she uses on Twitter, Assassin Princess. What kind of outfit might an assassin princess wear? I imagine she is going to the ball not to win Prince Charming’s heart but to stab it. In such a lovely dark gown, snatching the prince’s attention away from a simpering beauty in pink is hardly a challenge. A few dances later, they are standing on a secluded balcony, making small talk about the moon and stars, and he leans in for a kiss… Unfortunately the poofy skirt hides several pockets, one of which holds a dagger. As he’s laying on the ground, the last thing he sees is the *sparklesparkle* of the sequins on the swishy hem of her skirt.

White Ruffled Party Dress with Rainbow Trim

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

It’s not a new drawing, I’m afraid, but all day today while I was working I had the original of this dress sitting on top of my scanner next to my computer, and so all day I thought “I bet I would have such fun coloring that one.” By the time I was off work, I didn’t want to do anything else! And indeed it was fun, although this version is quite simple.

Spring Green Ballgown with Rainbow Sash and Underskirt

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

I ended up having the flu, and I’m almost feeling better; technically, I’m still coughing, my diet is still based around plain white rice and applesauce, and I haven’t tested that thing for a while where I get nauseous if I’m on my feet too long. But my mind has been better for a while now, and my powers of concentration have caught up enough to draw something. There is not much thought behind this one besides “I am so very bored of having the flu.”

My heart is with everyone in Japan affected by the recent disasters. I hope you will all keep them in your thoughts, as well. I feel like I’d like to write more, but it’s beyond me… I feel intensely grateful that the people I care about are all safe, and I pray for safety and peace in the time to come.

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