You Are What You Read: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

I’d been mulling over the next book to do for the “You Are What You Read” series–how could I top The Scarlet Pimpernel? Some stories don’t have very distinct clothing or objects to them. After a recent conversation with a friend about the new book to Lady Trent’s memoirs, though, I remembered that The Natural History of Dragons exists!

Would I want to be a dragon scientist? Why yes, I would like to be a dragon scientist! So drawing myself as Isabella was set into motion.

Isabella’s world is set in a Victorian-inspired time, so first order of business was to create a Victorian reference board on Pinterest. I have no idea why I hadn’t made a Victorian Board before this. It seems like it’d be a staple to any reference-geek. I located some websites and blogposts on clothing color, too, since black and white photos don’t tell that information.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.51.39 PM

During my color studies of the dress, I became conflicted. Isabella wasn’t rich, but she had a comfortable living. Drab browns, or fancy purples?

The scribbles are the studies. Do you see the three studies? Purples, and two different browns.

Fancy purples won out! I thought it was classy, and waaay more interesting than the browns. I wish I actually owned the book so I could fact check what Isabella wore.

Since I’m keeping the series in the same style, I used my thinnest fine liner–Sakura Pigma Micron 005, and flat layers of ink for the Copic markers for the outfit. The hair has layers of color, and so does the skin. In the end, I used several purples to create darker shadows, and unite the piece. Process video here:

What book do you find yourself in? Please write them below!!

Thank you so much for reading and watching! I’m really happy with how the piece ended up. Maybe one day I’ll sew this outfit together. Have a wonderful day! Hugs!


24 thoughts on “You Are What You Read: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

      1. One other! It’s not as step-by step post, though (which is how I’ll be doing them in the future). The link for it is in the first paragraph of this post: The Scarlet Pimpernel.

        Also, if you have any book you see yourself in, I’d love to add more people than myself to the series!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love the covers to those books!! Unfortunately, I haven’t read them yet. I can do a bit of research though, and mix something up for you! Also, if you could describe (or PM a picture of) yourself, that would be lovely! ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

      3. OOOOO awesome!! I have long brown hair and brown eyes and I’m really petit. People say my eyes are really big lol. You should really read them if you have the chance. I loved all of them and I actually ended up buying all of the novellas too^^

        What are some of your fav books that you’ve yet to do?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Would you consider yourself to have a round or sharp face? I’ll probably have that blog post up by the middle of the month–I have another video/art in the works for this week. Please look forward to it!! Also, I refer to you as Leaf-san most of the time. Is that a fine credit to have on it?

        It’s on my list, for certain!!! ^_^

        Let’s see… for the reworking of the series, I’ve only done Marguerite from The Scarlet Pimpernel and this one. I have a Tolkein guy version, and generic mystery, fairytale, sci-fi, and historical medieval versions. I’ll definitely do a Hufflepuff for myself, Amir from Kaoru Mori’s Otoyomegatari, something from Tamora Pierce, Three Musketeers (the original), Claidi Journals by Tanith Lee… I have a few ideas! The trick is to figure out how to make them recognizable to people who’ve read the books. So I’ve been slow with the production right now. xD

        Thank you for your words!!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hmm I’m not sure. My mom says my face is oval shaped and I’m always called cute by everyone lol but I don’t rlly have boobies.
        And yes, that’d be fine.

        Thanks so much, Mikaela and don’t worry about how long it takes. It really means a lot that you would do something like this for free for me. Really, thank you! ^^
        OOO I take it you might like books like Pride and Prejudice or North and South?
        YESSSS Hufflepuff is so underrated. Loved Amir^^ You should try the Count of Monte Cristo! :O
        Haha I see. I really want to get others into reading too but a lot of the stuff that is popular are generic YA titles…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I love to do it–Thank you for your support!! ^_^

        I’ve enjoyed the films of P&P, but haven’t made it through the book yet!

        I love the Count of Monte Cristo!! I read it a few summers back. The movie did a great job capturing all the fast moments of the book. The book is fantastic by itself, though! Have you read it, also, then?

        You’re reminding me of a recent book, well, I guess the third of it just came out so not too recent, that I enjoyed from YA. The first book is called “The Winner’s Curse”–super interesting, especially if you know anything about how slavery functioned in ancient times (rather than the race-based slavery in recent history). It’s a great read, though, either way. Definitely different than anything else out there, and very well written!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yep! The book was a huge brick to get through though lol.
        OOOO I liked The Winner’s Curse although I did have some problems with how slavery was handeled in it and the fact that the love interest acted so rash for someone trying to be discreet.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Oh gosh, yes >.<

        I'd love to hear what your input is on how slavery was handled in it. I had taken a course of slavery from ancient times to antebellum south, so it really struck me how it resembled what I learned from the early use of slavery.

        I'll have to reread to recall the exact actions of the love interest, but I can see how he comes off that way. (I read the advance reader copy, too, so I don't know if what I read was in the final xD )

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Same I had an arc also! It was a while ago that I read it but the heroine bought him bc he was pretty and could sing and then she decided to treat him well simply bc she wanted him to like her…the whole book never tackled the issues correctly and i could go on and on about it tbh.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I thought she treated him lax in comparison to other slaves because she liked her old slave/servant who was of the same people–and she never had her own slaves. In the beginning, too, when she catches a woman selling fake jewelry, she almost gets the woman beaten because she almost outed her as a lier. So I found her more… odd and ignorant than nice-to-the-slaves person.

        Yeah, it does focus on the love story a lot towards the end–and it’s first-person, so there’s always /something/ that isn’t going to handled fully. Like in The Hunger Games. The last few chapters, a lot of stuff happens, but Katniss is totally out of the loop between her rehab and being part of the action instead of the politics.

        Have you read the other books to the series, then? Do they finally tackle the issues, or is it all just love and games?

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I do have one! When I made it, I had huge plans to write a review a week–huge fail. >.< I really should get to it, though. Good writing practice. When I read the other books to The Winner's series, I'll get back to you as to whether it's worth continuing!

        Sorry, I backtracked to the Winner's books for the last questions xD (thoughts are not in order properly for writing notes)

        Liked by 1 person

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