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.

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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?

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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!

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Fin!
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You Are What You Read: The Scarlet Pimpernel

With the internet pointing out that the first masked hero was written by a woman, I needed to pick up that book and read it.

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orzcy wasn’t an easy book to get into. The first chapter was okay, and the next few chapters were like trudging through molasses. Once the main heroine, Marguerite, took the point of view, I couldn’t put the book down.

What’s not to love about a woman described as “magnificent presence and regal figure”? Marguerite’s charisma fills every room she enters and hit you in the face. She is constantly asserting her intellect and strength while she is under pressure by Chauvelin to find and turn over the Scarlet Pimpernel to the French authorities.

Percy… Percy Percy Percy. The attraction he and Marguerite have towards each other is heartbreaking and fills me with glee. My favorite quote, one I hope have a Storiarts scarf, deals with their attraction:

[Marguerite] knew in a moment that for the past few months she had been mistaken: that this man who stood here before her, cold as a statue, when her musical voice struck upon his ear, loved her, as he had loved her a year ago: that his passion might have been dormant, but that it was there, as strong, as intense, as overwhelming, as when first her lips met his in one long, maddening kiss… Suddenly it seemed to her that the only happiness life could ever hold for her again would be in feeling that man’s kiss once more upon her lips. (126)

Sigh.~

The book is a great read, but I’ll be honest–the movie is better. The movie (with a young Ian McKellen), helps the story flow by making the events linear rather than comments about the past. Anthony Andrews is amazing flipping between the disguises of Percy Blakeney. The first time I saw it, my idea of who Percy was changed into a clearer idea. Jane Seymour as Marguerite is gorgeous and smart–embellishing an already wonderful character. Nothing is added to the movie that isn’t some way in the book. It’s a great book-to-movie adaptation. 10/10 would recommend.

What book are you reading right now? Is there any book you can see yourself in? Comment below!!