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.

Aqua 1950s V-Neck Dress from A Dress A Day

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

I e-mailed Erin from A Dress A Day last week and submitted my blog for her Linktastic Fridays, and today, when she posted it, my traffic went waaaay up. Since I started I’ve gotten maybe a hundred, two hundred hits a day, and on Friday, over a thousand! My stats graph looks like a cute little worm sticking its head up and looking around curiously.

A Dress A Day always makes me wish I could sew. I can’t sew well, and I’ve thought recently of taking a class, but it is a little hard to be all that enthusiastic about it when two hours with the Prismacolors will get me a dress, done exactly as I wish it, with divine colors and as much lace, frills, jewels and amazing fabric as I care to lavish on for rather less than I’d pay for the real thing. And if I can’t wear it, Sylvia can, and that way it never gets dirty or torn. If I had carte blanche and a personal dressmaker, I would wear things like this all day, but as it is I have colored pencils, and that works for me. Anyways, this dress is based off of one on Erin’s page, although it’s more aqua and the collar isn’t quite right.

On a sadder note, I think we are entering the last days of my scanner. (You can kind of see the banding on the skirt, and that’s because I messed around with the placement; when I scanned it as I always do, the banding was VERY apparent…) Hopefully we’ll pick up a new one soon enough that I won’t have to miss any days. (I do a lot of the days in advance and post them later thanks to WordPress, but right now, I’m not any days ahead…)

Blue and Sea Green Mermaid Tail with White and Gold Top

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

If you like this mermaid, click the “Mermaid Monday!” tag for more — I draw a mermaid, or a mermaid-related outfit, every Monday.

Me and my mermaids! I don’t know when I started drawing paperdolls, but I can assure you there was a mermaid tail or two among those first batches, unscanned and lost. In the doll-drawing process the question “Is she mermaidable?” is a lot more important than “Are her hands right?” (Because the odds are good her hands aren’t right, and I may as well worry about what’s fixable.)

The mermaid tail process has actually been about the same since I started. Consider Exhibit A, one of about a dozen mermaids drawn for the long-gone Paper Doll Boutique, and Exhibit B, Anna’s foray into mermaidhood. I thought I had lost it, but, unlike many things that could be classified as useful life skills, coloring mermaid tails is something I’ve retained, and the basic technique has always been the same. (The main difference between exhibit A and B and the current one is the method used for blending. At the time of the Boutique, I was blending with white and not the colorless blender, which gives them an odd pearly look… Plus the scanner was not as nice as my current one.) I should do a tutorial sometime, it’s really quite easy.