Halloween Masquerade Costume Series #5: The Cursed Sisters, Part 4

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When her partner suggested they sit, Linnetta agreed immediately, hoping that it wasn’t obvious that she was stumbling, rather than gliding, to the edge of the dance floor. He guided her to a chair beside another stranger, a woman dressed in shades of blue that seemed to shift and flow. Linnetta’s fatigue must have been getting to her; her head was swimming. Linnetta accepted a glass of punch, and — when she’d finished the whole thing in one decidedly un-aristocratic gulp — the woman in the blue gown had gone.

“I think I had better leave soon,” Linnetta said tentatively. “I’m exhausted… I think I’ve been overdoing it tonight.”

“But you can’t leave yet,” her dance partner answered, “the queen of the ball hasn’t been announced!” He leaned towards her and whispered conspiratorially, “You’re bound to win…”

This cheerful thought made her sit up a little straighter, eyeing her competitors. Certainly no other gown was as striking as hers, and no one else had a prayer of causing as much sensation as she had simply by showing up. Her partner scanned the crowd too, frowning.


… Some dresses, like yesterday’s, take pages and pages of sketching and redrawing, and some dresses you sketch with a cheap pen while waiting for your car to be repaired and they come right together and couldn’t be any other way. Not complaining. I like this one, although the two middle blue shades are more different on the original than they are in the scan. (Today, after a good night’s sleep, I like the green one too…) The poll is still up, so please vote.

Mermaid Monday #4: Bride Mermaid in Red Tattered Wedding Dress with Iridescent Blue and Purple Tail

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My poll was a success! Thanks, everyone who voted. While black had a strong showing near the end, iridescent won the day, rather to my chagrin as I haven’t really drawn anything iridescent before… I think it worked out reasonably well, though not perfectly. I based the iridescent part on one of the pearls in this picture.

Mermaids associate the colors pink and red most strongly with weddings and brides, possibly due to red seaweed being a traditional bridal decoration. Pink has a rather old-fashioned feel and deep reds display the family’s wealth, because the deeper the color is, the harder it is to waterproof successfully, and so dark or rich colors weren’t available until more recently and they’re more expensive. These days, mermaid brides tend to choose a shade between pale pink and blood red that they think best suits their tail. (This means that mermaid bridesmaids grumble more than human ones if the bride insists on their wearing the same color; the green-tailed mermaid does not like the poppy red that sets off the bride’s black tail so well, and the mermaid with the light yellow tail feels washed out in the pale pink favored by the silver-tailed bride.) Pearls are also traditional wedding decorations, and a moderately priced rope of white pearls serves much the same function at a mermaid wedding as a toaster does at a wedding for American humans. Different-colored pearls, particularly black and rose ones, are most valued. Red seaweed is, of course, very popular, although seaweed of every type might be used much as humans might use flowers. Depending on where a mermaid lives and on the fashions, other flowers are popular; water lilies are often used in some areas, and tropical flowers such as hibiscus might be more popular in others. Not all mermaid wedding dresses are tattered, but it’s as hard for mermaid designers to resist as lace is for human ones, because of the strong romantic overtones.

For the veil, you will want to cut a straight line between the bottom of the crown, underneath the seaweed, and the veil. This way the doll’s head can be poked through.

New poll for this week:

Mermaid Monday #1: Golden Kelp Mermaid

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When I look at my site stats, the new blog’s most popular page (besides the doll) is consistently the mermaid one, and a lot of the search engine keywords are mermaid-related. Yes, that’s right, people aren’t searching for zombie paperdolls, they aren’t searching for cupcake aprons, but instead they are searching for mermaids. Now if they were searching overwhelmingly for zombie paperdolls, it’s still unlikely I would have Soulless Saturdays or Flesh-Eating Fridays, but I just love drawing my mermaids.

So, from now until I get bored of it, every Monday is Mermaid Monday! (Except for when it’s not. For example, St. Patrick’s Day next week will not feature a green mermaid, I’ve got plans for that day.) Mermaid Monday might mean old-school shimmery mermaid tails and all the accessories currently fashionable under the sea, or the kinds of things mermaids might wear, should they have to venture on the land for some reason — diplomatic errands, say, or to try capturing the heart of a human, or for just simple curiosity. (What, that just sounds like an excuse to draw pretty gowns in cool colors? I don’t know why you would think such a thing…)

Now, this mermaid, even among mermaids (not renowned for their modesty) is really quite vain. She looks down on those that drape themselves with pearls, jewels, chains and silky fabrics, because to her, all of that artificiality is unnecessary for one with such a shining golden tail. Adding more gold to gold would just be gilding the lily; one might even say “tacky,” and that is a sin with her set. So she goes for a more natural look, for a contrast.