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.

Pink Princess Gown with Opals

A pink gown with an off-the-shoulder neckline. There are five large opals at the neckline, surrounded by diamonds. The dress has a fitted bodice and a small, semi-transparent white overskirt patterned with rhinestone scrolls and edged with lace. The skirt is full and sparkly and is patterned with a light scroll pattern, and there's a rhinestone pattern on the hem.I do think this is one of the most unabashedly girly dresses I’ve ever done. It looks to me something like the dress that the mice made for Cinderella in the Disney version — as if the fairy godmother had decided to spruce that one back up and make it sparkle instead of going with the silvery-blue gown.

I must admit that I’m not any more ahead now than I was when I started this princess project, but I’m happy with things. I felt like I was in a bit of a paperdoll slump these last couple of weeks, but since I had sketched and chosen colors for my princess dresses at the very beginning, all I really had to do was make them happen, and that’s often the easiest part of the whole process. I hope that those of you who aren’t into princesses (that would be 1% of you, according to my recent princess poll) found these last three weeks’ offerings tolerable; in any case, this is the end of my princess parade for now, as Halloween is coming up, and I do have plans for October that don’t involve princesses. (They do involve a very special masquerade ball, though…)

Next week… that very special masquerade ball. 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 kimono pictures. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

Sparkly Pink Gown with White Roses

A sleeveless pink gown with a fitted bodice and a full skirt that flares out like a trumpet. There's a ring of white roses around the top of the bodice and the shoulders, dotted with small green leaves. The dress has a subtle scroll pattern and is very sparkly all over.
As you see, this is not the new doll; she’s coming along nicely, but I decided I’d rather put up a substitute post than rush her. So here is a quick sparkly gown to make up for it! Since I didn’t start it until Thursday, it is not the most detailed or original dress I’ve ever done, but as they say, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, distract them with sparkles.” (That’s how it goes, right?)

As for my most recent polls, first, it doesn’t surprise me that not a single visitor to this page particularly dislikes princess stories! Second, I’ll do some sketches for the “fairy tale antagonist” dress soon, as that won the poll. Incidentally, I chose the wording so I’m not boxed into the archetypical “evil queen.” Who knows, after the previous week’s discussion, perhaps she’ll be an evil princess.

I’m thinking of doing another one of those not-a-tutorial tutorials, and I’d love your input on what I should work on next — if you’d like, take a look through my paperdoll reference board and post a link to whatever you’d like me to go through. I’ll choose my favorite, or whichever seems to be most popular. I think my thought process is fairly easy to follow, even if I didn’t write anything with the pin – if the fabric is shiny, I was probably thinking “How can I get mine to look this shiny?” and if it’s draped or folded in an interesting way I was probably thinking “How can I draw that too?”

Next week I will have the new doll! She’s actually close to being done, I just want to make her perfect. 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 a fabulous jewelry board. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

Recolored Regency Gown in Bright Colors

A lavender regency gown trimmed with white lace at the neck and sleeves. The sleeves are gently puffed and the bodice is ruched, trimmed on the right side with red roses and blue forget-me-nots. Under the bust is a pink ribbon sash decorated with a scroll pattern. The dress fabric is decorated with small embroidered white flowers, then at the edge of the skirt are pink swags, trimmed with lace, with pink hearts, red roses and blue forget-me-nots at the top of each swag. Intricate white embroidery surrounds the flowers. Under the swags are pleated turquoise frills that fan out to the ground and are trimmed with white lace. Long white gloves are attached to the outfit, and there is a pink wrap over the arms that is decorated with a shiny gold paisley pattern. At the neck is a thin gold chain and a pearl pendant.I didn’t finish the dress I meant to have up today (the contest winner), so for now, I will present the recoloring chosen by one of the two winners of my Oscar contest, dannyscotland! Technically, it was chosen by her 5-year old daughter, and it did turn out to be vibrant. She wrote:

I have consulted with my ‘assistant’ a.k.a. daughter, and she would like to have you color the Valentine’s Day Regency Gown. For five years old, she’s pretty specific, so please feel free to alter as you see fit. :-) And thanks for understanding. She (and I, I guess) would love to see turquoise gloves and bottom ruffle, a pink shawl, lavender dress (the body of the dress), red roses, and pink draping over the bottom ruffle, kind of like it is now. Maybe it could be a different shade of pink?

Dannyscotland, I hope you and your daughter like it! It was fun for me, because the finished dress is quite different from the original, but it does some fun things in and of itself. The blue of the ruffle actually complements the forget-me-nots, and with the lavender background, you can see that there is a very subtle swirl pattern on the fabric, which was pretty hard to see on the earlier version.

The top part of a blue gown with a delicate darker blue vine and white flower pattern and puffed sleeves. There are a line of pearls at the neckline and a wide gold belt with pearls.But wait – that’s not all there is today! RLC of Paper Thin Personas has been doing interviews with paper doll bloggers lately, and for this month, she interviewed me! Check out the interview for my thoughts on why I love paper dolls, how I created the pose for the new doll series and whether I prefer sparkly things with some shine or shiny things with some sparkle. Plus, I did a blue princess gown exclusively for RLC’s site! If you’d like to see and download the full dress, you’ll have to check out the interview.

Come back next week for the 1912 gown with colors and patterns chosen by my husband! (I’ll give you a hint: Beetles.) I’ll do the poll next week, too. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for site updates, paperdoll thoughts and very pretty opals. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.