The Mythic Ball, Part 2: Kraken’s Purple and Silver Gown with Tentacles

An off-the-shoulder dress with fin-like webbing on the upper arms, a corset top, a tight, sparkly silver skirt edged with more fin-like webbing and several tentacles coming from the skirt and spilling over the floor. The corset is patterned with an abstract tentacle pattern and is a deep purple. It's made of shiny fabric which is nearly pink where the light hits it, and the top of the corset is covered in sparkly silver glitter. The fin-like webbing is done in garish shades of yellow, orange and magenta. The skirt is gathered at the back and drapes over the front from the waist to the knees in graceful folds, and the entire skirt is covered in silver sequins that glitter as they catch the light. The silhouette suggests a late 1800s gown, although the colors, glitter and tentacles don't. There are about ten tentacles, shiny and colored in shades of purple, with large suckers on them. They fall towards the ground, where they spill out and curl around on the floor. There's also a shiny silver mask to go with the outfit.

Kraken had been a favorite in the Victorian era, then airplanes came along, things went poorly for her and she had slunk around the edges of the party for some time. But these days, she’s trendy again. Downright hip, in a way that ever-popular Dragon can’t be: a t-shirt screenprinted with a dragon runs the risk of being cliché and laughable, but Kraken-themed accessories have creepy steampunk style. She suggests mystery, complexity, and a hint of the taboo (as the Great Old Ones are pointedly not invited to the festivities).

Her habit of arriving at the ball with a gleeful cry of “Release the Kraken!” is getting a little old, but no one’s had the nerve to suggest a more subtle entrance to her; Kraken simply doesn’t do subtle, as her flashy dress might suggest. Plus, she has a theatrical streak a mile wide: when Vampire gave her a disdainful look and told her that her ensemble was “very Ursula” Kraken just grinned and started belting out “Poor Unfortunate Souls” right there. Can there be anything better, Kraken thought to herself, than showing off a popular sea-monster themed show tune and mortifying Vampire in the same night? She can think of a few things, but it’s enough of a triumph for this particular quarter of an hour.

Help me out — I have plans to introduce three more guests this month, and I know who two of them are but I’m not sold on the third…

Who comes next? I’ll give you a hint: if you recognize next week’s archetype you can congratulate yourself for being hip to Internet pop culture. In the meantime, 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 drawing tutorials I think might be useful. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

1930s Gown In Hot Pink with Gold Flower Pattern

A 1930's style evening gown. It is sleeveless, and has a deep V neck with ruching at the shoulders and chest. It has a peplum around the hips and a long, fitted skirt that flares out slightly at the ankles. The entire gown is a vibrant, dramatic hot pink. There are thin gold lines around the neckline and the hem of the peplum, and the skirt is patterned with large abstract flowers rendered in thin gold lines.Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

You may be sick of seeing this dress by now, but this has been a fabulous week for me! I’ve learned so much about coloring with Photoshop. I’ve also learned how dangerous it might be. If I’m using colored pencils, once I select colors, patterns and decorations and start working I’m pretty locked into whatever my vision might be. With Photoshop, I can spend more hours than are healthy for me changing the same dress over and over. (The top of yesterday’s dress spent time as black sequins, silver sequins, light blue and finally the white you see.) I also need to start designing my own brushes and patterns… I have several of them but I’m just getting that DIY feeling, you know? In any case, I think this whole digital coloring thing is going to be plenty of fun for me. Hopefully you all are enjoying it too. Next week will be another dress. I don’t know if I’ll keep up the once-a-day thing: I think that long-term I’ll go for a Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule. But while I’m just playing around with old dresses, I’ll try to do a new one each day.

Today’s dress is for Dannyscotland, who guessed that Milo’s favorite food is yogurt. At least, in my opinion it is! He can’t really tell me, but he chomps it up most enthusiastically each morning. She wrote:

I would love to see some kind of classy looking pinkish shade. I know, some people hate pink. I love it. But it could be like a fuschia-bright shade, it doesn’t have to be a super-baby-girly pink. Ohhh with a little gold or silver trim, that would be gorgeous.

So here you have it! I really like how it turned out. The brush I used for the trim on the skirt is from a set by Jen at Pixels & Ice Cream.

I just can’t resist my polls…

White and Pink 1930s Style Evening Gown with Rhododendrons

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

Got started a little late today, so this dress isn’t my favorite, but it’s reasonably cute, I think. It’s supposed to be in the style of 1930s evening gowns, although it’s not based on any one dress. (So as always with the historical costumes that I pretty much make up, take the style, color, etc. with a grain of salt.) The rhododendrons come from some pictures my dad posted on Facebook of wild rhododendrons blooming around my family’s property on Hood Canal. Whenever I go to visit I always seem to miss seeing them bloom, so it’s nice to have pictures at least!

Every day that goes by makes me feel crueler and crueler. Someone, guess the answer soon! A couple people have come really close, but the exact number is still a mystery. But at least you know it’s under 1000 and — OK, above 200. I know, that’s not really much help…

Question: How many Prismacolor pencils do I own as of May 18th?
This includes the ones that I use, all the stubby little pencils that are too short for my current sharpener but I just can’t toss, all the ones I have in reserve and my set of Verithin pencils I hardly ever use.

Just to restate the rules:
1) It’s a new year, so even if you’ve already won one, feel free to guess again.
2) One guess per person per post.
3) If no one gets the exact number by noon EST, May 25th, I’ll pick the closest guess.

Pink and Red Fairy Dress from Liana’s Paperdoll Boutique

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

Honestly, I wasn’t quite feeling the whole paperdolling thing today after having three starts to another outfit go bad, so I decided to redraw one of the old Boutique fairy outfits. I’m not really thrilled with it, but it’s better than not posting anything at all…