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Art Thread

1533261428

Edited 1533261440
Mike
Pro
So since D and F were the winners last time, I decided to riff off those ideas and also play mix and match with them.  The head off to the side was an outfit I just couldn't get to work but I liked both the ponytail and Valkyrie wings on the halo too much to scrap it entirely.  A is more on the cute side.  B is more on the warrior side.  C is tonally similar to A, but taken a different direction.  D is interesting in  a lot of respects.  We don't have anyone rocking a greatcoat yet, but it sort of fit the ascetic we were going for (much like how the MCU replaced Scarlet Witch's dress with a coat to keep the same silhouette and look).  The firey butterfly wings aren't great here, but I could dig the look if more time (I limit myself to about fifteen minutes with these).  But I don't think all this together fits Radiance.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
All of these look really neat, and good in their own way. Do you have a solid favorite from these, and/or think we're just refining things now?
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Mike
Pro
Solid favorite?  Not really.  I definitely have ones I like more than others, but I also think I've been looking at these too long to be objective. But I don't think we're in the refining stage at this point, but that's all got to do with your satisfaction with the overall design.  If you said "you know, I'm thinking a poncho," I'd probably come back with like four designs built around a poncho (I bring this up because I considered it at one point, and now that I'm writing about it I might go back and at least try it out).  Honestly, I blame this on me being an over-eager designer (which isn't the worst flaw, though it does lead to Concord getting a slight design overhaul every six-ish weeks, but at l try to have story reasons behind that).
Honestly, I blame this on me being an over-eager designer (which isn't the worst flaw, though it does lead to Concord getting a slight design overhaul every six-ish weeks, but at l try to have story reasons behind that). There's the answer. Radiance will be the Janet Van Dyne of the Menagerie-verse, changing her costume every issue . Which, for someone like Summer with physical and holographic means of changing appearance, would be no trouble at all. Mike, I think you're well on your way toward the 50 designs we'll need over the next year ...
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Hey Mike, how do you feel about me taking your designs to G+ and asking some of my RPG circles for opinions?
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Mike
Pro
Feel free.  If you'd like me to put them into a more uniform format so that they can be viewed individually and more easily posted, I can put it together tonight and send you a PM with a zip or something.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
If you have time and are willing, that would be great :)
1533343296
Mike
Pro
Luckily, I already did most of the hard work by not merging layers (never merge layers, it just makes you kick yourself later) and could thus easily copy the image with a transparent background.  Link (not that Link) here .
1533520424
Mike
Pro
So, fun story time. This morning/last night, while still in that lucid dreaming, not quite awake/not quite asleep state, I imagined an outfit for Radiance, rolled over to my bedside notepad (this sort of thing is not an uncommon occurrence) drew a quick sketch and then fell back asleep.  Flash forward to about an hour ago when I remember to check that sketchbook and I'm thinking to myself "wow, this is not a bad pose, okay design, could be made into something... but it looks familiar..." Fast forward through some quick Google searches and it turns out I drew of Cygnus from the Deck of Villainy. In short, never trust your subconscious--it's a plagiarist.
Mike said: In short, never trust your subconscious--it's a plagiarist. Been there, redesigned a campaign I had written up because it turned out to be a complete rip-off of "A New Hope" ed   that.
1533568241
Mike
Pro
*** Dave H. said: Mike said: In short, never trust your subconscious--it's a plagiarist. Been there, redesigned a campaign I had written up because it turned out to be a complete rip-off of "A New Hope" ed   that. Funny you should mention A New Hope , given its story being originally based on the Hidden Fortress ... For similarities in stories and plots, I always default to Chuck Sonnenburg's essay on the difference between Homage & Ripoff and, so long as I've made enough changes and put work into not just making a retread of old ideas, I'm usually okay with it. With visual art though, there is a little less leeway.  Put the two side by side and, regardless of the parallel design work that might have gone into them, if they look the same, the only thing people are going to say is "they look the same."
Oh, I'm aware that Lucas was inspired by Kurosawa. :-) In my case it was a ripoff, even if unintentional. It didn't add any value, and, had it been noted by the players, would have been tagged a ripoff, intentional or not. I was just surprised how long it took me to realize it (in terms of prep). On that note, we do a lot of work in this game with tropes -- heck, the Playbooks are, by design, teen superhero tropes (with examples listed). But I think we've brought additional value to those tropes, new twists, added ideas. Charlotte is not just a "ghost" or even just the stereotype Outsider. Leo's infused with ideas far beyond his playbook. Even Jason, who drew directly from very identifiable IP, went past it both in tweaks I made to his backstory and in where I picked up the character and progressed with it (I hope!). (That said, were I to ever write actual Jason Quill fiction for publication, I'd have to take several additional steps to keep it from being seen as a ripoff, at least by Hanna-Barbera's legal department.) The comment on visual / design work is interesting. I wonder if that's digested more shallowly by the consumer, so that the similarities of appearance are more trivially associated. Or maybe it's instead that humans draw more rapid conclusions about visual imagery, that our instincts to survive say "this looks like that, therefore this and that are the fundamentally the same".
1533576802
Mike
Pro
*** Dave H. said: The comment on visual / design work is interesting. I wonder if that's digested more shallowly by the consumer, so that the similarities of appearance are more trivially associated. Or maybe it's instead that humans draw more rapid conclusions about visual imagery, that our instincts to survive say "this looks like that, therefore this and that are the fundamentally the same". To get into that, we'd be going over branding and ideas usually used in logo design.  The shortest answer is " why does three touching circles make you think of a mouse? " There's actually a famous legal battle (at least in comic circles) of Disney suing Marvel (back before they owned them) due to similarities of Howard the Duck and Donald Duck.  You see, neither wore pants and both were ducks .  I'm sure you can see where the confusion would come from.  Disney won of course (Marvel caved before the trial), and had it contractually mandated what Howard the Duck could look like (which is why Howard was a mouse for the longest time following that incident, because Marvel has always been subtle with its taunts).
1533789052
Mike
Pro
So when I was putting together the online folder with all the designs of Summer for Bill the other day, I realized I'd made 26 different designs.  "Ugh," I thought, "I'm getting caught up in this.  Let's keep away from it for some time.  At least until Bill gets back to me." Well, that promise lasted like two days. I started sketching something out as a warm up and thought, "Huh, I made a lot of outfits for Summer.  But did I ever try to make it cute?"  Some of them might have been, but that was never the primary concern.  So I put together cute looking.  And simple (I had simplicity in mind after seeing all those Young Justice character designs mentioned in this post ).  I like it, but I'm still not sold on its overall look.  I feel like I'm missing something--which is why I'm looking forward to any feedback Bill solicited from outside the group.
1533789390
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Well, the usual suspects haven't commented on my post, probably because they're busy with their own stuff, but I'll ping a few people and ask again. In the meantime, that picture makes me very happy. Here's why. Not that it looks like this picture specifically, or even this character, but just in what it represents. It's like your Steven Universe-esque Concord design - it sells the character as actually looking excited to be here, doing this. You'd made a comment awhile back about an earlier Radiance design, something like "when you see this, you know help is here". It looks unique and personal, and doesn't give a damn what haters think, and I think for those reasons it's great.
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Mike
Pro
Thanks Bill!  I sometimes forget that conveying character and personality can be just as important (and sometimes more so) as a technically correct drawing.  A lot of my designs were kind of lifeless, and that doesn't help sell the character.  Sure the outfit can look cool, but that's just part of the equation. She-Ra there is a great example (I look forward to the new show, partially of some of the people making it and a fondness for their work).  Her design is simple and tells a lot.  Animation is always good for this sort of thing.  When you need to draw 12+ frames every second (this is highly variable based on the project, but 12 is usually the bottom range to make anything look smooth) that's a lot of having to draw that character, even with modern tools, so you want those designs to be on the simpler side. We'll see about revisiting this concept elsewhere this weekend...
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
My new G+ post (has a link to the old one), just in case:&nbsp;<a href="https://plus.google.com/+BillGarrett/posts/3kQQ4GkXnjE" rel="nofollow">https://plus.google.com/+BillGarrett/posts/3kQQ4GkXnjE</a>
1533879778
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Mike said: Thanks Bill!&nbsp; I sometimes forget that conveying character and personality can be just as important (and sometimes more so) as a technically correct drawing.&nbsp; A lot of my designs were kind of lifeless, and that doesn't help sell the character.&nbsp; Sure the outfit can look cool, but that's just part of the equation. This comment helped me in turn. One friend of mine commented on the new post with some basic feedback. I talked to him tonight in person. He said he wasn't sure what we were looking for as far as guidance or feedback, so I said "please talk about the visual elements that sell us on this character and their personality", and he said that was useful. Hopefully he'll have some more suggestions to make now. He's done art direction and is a generally amazing guy, so you two have a lot in common :)
1533895489
Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: He's done art direction Oh noes, a professional.&nbsp; I'll be found out to be an amateurish fraud. Bill G. &nbsp;said: and is a generally amazing guy, so you two have a lot in common :) I see what you did there. Thanks for all the help here Bill!
1534981809

Edited 1534981856
Mike
Pro
So after doing the dance simple cutout designs, I thought "hmm, how difficult would that be to do with the characters throughout the two (coming up on three) seasons?"&nbsp; The answer is very.&nbsp; Doing a quick mental checklist (and I probably missed some) I thought how many individual outfits I would need to do for each character--assuming typical animation shortcuts like everyone always wears the same street clothes every day.&nbsp; It came out to about 60 individual outfits for the nine characters . I could have condensed some of these down--Charlotte doesn't need special outfits for both Issue 49 and 50, but it fits the story being told.&nbsp; Also, while I assumed Concord would be the biggest offender there (nine individual designs) he wasn't too much of an outlier as he was only a little ahead of Alycia and Summer (both with eight designs). While I have other projects I want to do, these designs (which I've already got some work done for with all my previous artwork) might be fun to do as either warm ups or cool down drawings.
There's a reason why cartoon/comics characters appear in their standard uniforms even in circumstances in which it makes no sense. :-) Alycia in Menagerie: The Animated Series I can see being reduced to maybe four -- scruffy Alycia, Charade, schoolgirl Alycia, dance Alycia. There are absolutely fine reasons for having added outfits (prison jumpsuit Alycia, various iterations of Charade, ), and that leaves off backstory and flashback stuff, too, but in a standard animated feature, one could limit it to that. :-)
1535039196
Mike
Pro
On more immediate concerns, I was planning on redoing the title image (see the image for Roll20/the podcasts, etc) to reflect the change in cast and the new season.&nbsp; Does anyone have any preferences?&nbsp; I was thinking about the three below: The gang hanging out in the Twilight Glade, also getting the new base out there. A team action shot ( perhaps with them all rushing the left ). Something a little more artistic and quirky, in the style of charms on a table . I'm also open to other ideas, if someone thinks of something cool.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I like the Glade, or charms on a table. I feel like we had a lot of tech and now it's time for the magical and spiritual. If we had symbols worked out, I'd do a magic circle with those at the center of a clearing, but really anything in this area would be great to me.
1535041451
Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: If we had symbols worked out, I'd do a magic circle with those at the center of a clearing, but really anything in this area would be great to me. You know, other than Charade, all of the characters have some sort of sigil associated with them (Ghost Girl and her cameo on her hairpin; Harry and his Mercury symbol; Radiance and her Cutie Mark (TBD); Concord and both Sol's sigil and the Concordance symbol).&nbsp; One could argue that Charade would be associated with AEGIS' logo...
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Edited 1535049799
One could argue that Charade would be associated with AEGIS' logo... One could argue that, but Charade would probably punch one in the neck, repeatedly. Let me ponder that one. I have an idea.&nbsp;
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Mike said: You know, other than Charade, all of the characters have some sort of sigil associated with them (Ghost Girl and her cameo on her hairpin; Harry and his Mercury symbol; Radiance and her Cutie Mark (TBD); Concord and both Sol's sigil and the Concordance symbol).&nbsp; One could argue that Charade would be associated with AEGIS' logo... It's the "TBD" part that means Radiance isn't worked out. :)
Alycia's "sigil," which she will someplace visible but not centralized on her armor (this isn't Superman's "Big S," more like a breast patch). She explains it as a stylized 7, which is considered a lucky number in Chinese numerology, as it sounds like the word related to connection and team . Seven is also associated with the element metal , which also aligns with her proclivities.
1535165622
Mike
Pro
So I decided to rough out some of my ideas for changes going into season three (as mentioned earlier). So Leo gave Alycia his Lifeline System and I expect her to use it.&nbsp; Putting it onto her guns is certainly one train of thought ( and a fine one at that ) but I also thought about integrating them into her existing gauntlets--which, up until now, I never had a really good look in mind for them that didn't clash with the rest of Charade's outfit.&nbsp; It is, of course, just one of several possibilities (with others Dave has probably thought of that I've overlooked) but this was the one that excited me the most. I'd say that I didn't have a lot of changes in mind for Mercury, but that would be a bit of a lie.&nbsp; The two biggest changes I had in mind was the inclusion of some sort of carrying system for Leo's gift--the carbon nano lines (they were thinner before in the original drawing, but they looked a little too much like garrote wire in the position I'd drawn the hands in) and a possible visual signifier of Andi and Harry's relationship upgrade (if it's not premature to call that official) by replacing his usual jacket with something a bit more A10-ish (my only regret is the similarities this will call to another speedster , maybe I'll forgo the faux-French cuffs next time). As always, open to suggestions.&nbsp; Need to talk to Margie at some point about if she thinks Charlotte's look is going to change in the shape of everything to come.&nbsp; And I'm still excited to see what comes of Summer's eventual superhero persona-- this thread definitely filled my head with imagery but I also want to see where Bill goes with this.
Good thinking outside the box. Unbalancing the guns even for the extremely elegant grapnel setup, is probably not what Alycia would do. This gift from Leo gives her some 3D movement that was a gap in her repertoire. She's not going to be Spider-Manning her way around (or even Batmaning), but this should come in handy.&nbsp; (I was going to comment more in her issue summary, but things were already running appallingly long. Someplace else, for sure. It was an extraordinarily thoughtful gift -- that she will immediately disassemble and start tinkering with.) I know there's a ton of practical consideration involved in terms of providing structure to support the lines -- but the arms look a bit too armor/robotic. I'd almost rather be less realistic in how it would actually work. (Let's face it, Batman's grappling gear isn't all that realistic, either, and, like Alycia, he's just "human" in physique.)&nbsp;&nbsp; Given that, something that's embedded in extended gloves along the outside forearm -- padding/armor, extra if it hasn't been deployed, and keeping it all down at her hands. That keeps more in line with her martial arts skills. Just thoughts. Always thrilled when you come up with design ideas.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Leo anticipated that and included the schematic already, as narrated :)
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Mike said: And I'm still excited to see what comes of Summer's eventual superhero persona-- this thread definitely filled my head with imagery but I also want to see where Bill goes with this. Things derailed for a time, when I realized the closest source I have for inspiration is Cutey Honey . But I'm back and will be writing something up this week, starting from "what would Summer find practical or useful for herself" intersected with "what's technologically possible for her" and "what's a cool mystic tie-in that the Twilight Glade can provide".
1535519380
Mike
Pro
Probably off the mark, but this was my initial thought after reading Summer's design thoughts .&nbsp; Might have overdone it with the crystalline skin.&nbsp; Had a secondary line of inspiration, but it takes some liberties with the description given for V1.&nbsp; I might give a shot at sketching it together tomorrow if I have some free time.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Liberties are fine! Summer, like her costume, is a work in progress, and she'll go to as many sources of inspiration as she can think of.
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Mike
Pro
So after one of the most hectic weeks for me in recent memory (And to think, I didn't even go on that trip to Atlanta yet.&nbsp; Yeesh.) I am finally getting some freedom time to do some artwork.&nbsp; But before I delve back into some Princess Radiance designs, I figured I would tackle the rest of her extended family. With all the attention Otto's been getting recently (he's a popular guy) I was starting to feel back that I'd never gotten a design together that I liked.&nbsp; With that in mind, I had some talks with one of my friends who does a lot of mecha designs and they gave me some pointers to help put something together that fit my style--I may never be able to draw those sharp design drawings but that doesn't mean I can't make something that both looks mechanical and good in my style.&nbsp; To that end, I drew an Otto that I enjoy. And as an added bonus, I drew Link and Pneuma's armor, just to make sure they all matched.
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Mike
Pro
Princess Radiance of the Magical World So as I said before, I had an idea that is not a literal interpretation of what Bill described , but still fit what I think the feel he was going for.&nbsp; As a bonus, the blue and gold color scheme lets Radiance play blue oni (serenity) to Charade's red oni (defiance). Honestly, I am excited for Alycia's reaction to the first time Summer wore this out into the field.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
You have goddamned nailed it.
Very cool on both sets of Newman drawings. That six-wing configuration is disturbingly angelic (in the "how the OT describes angel wings" sense). As to how Alycia reacts ... well, now I'll have to prep something for that. :-)
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Okay, longer feedback! Otto, Leo, Aria: this looks really good on all counts. Otto strikes a great balance of mechanical and human, in particular - a true hybrid (he'd say he's not a hybrid, he's electric, but shut up Otto). Now on to Radiance! Color scheme and wing layout: this is all perfect. Clothing: I'm 100% okay with your deviation from my idea here. I had in mind more of an "adventurous" look, but you kept that feeling and brought a more formal sorta-school-uniform touch to it too. Either of the alternate collar ideas can sport a butterfly motif (unless I'm not seeing clearly and they are already doing that). As Dave said, the "disturbingly angelic" thing comes through neatly and can be good or bad (depending on whether she's angry at you or not), because more wings should mean shit is getting more real. Radiance-as-a-hero-character doesn't seem to have a lot of obvious attack modes, this is intentional on Summer's part. She's much more an Unleash Your Powers type than Link ever was, but she'll have some damage-dealing stuff down the road. I'm very interested in Alycia's reaction, yeah, but also the rest of the team's. We can predict Jason's: (I'm joking, the guy seems very happy these days and I'm gonna avoid giving him grief)
more wings should mean shit is getting more real Indeed. the guy seems very happy these days and I'm gonna avoid giving him grief When has that stopped anyone?
1535855549
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: the guy seems very happy these days and I'm gonna avoid giving him grief When has that stopped anyone? Well if you insist... Jason : "hey Alycia, Summer sent me some pictures of her new costume. It's very.. angelic." Alycia : " Did she. Glad you ... enjoyed it?" Jason : "I ah, unrelated to that, I got you a um, outfit, if you ever wanna, y'know, come over and try something on. It's one of those sexy devil outfits for Halloween, but I modified it for field use, and I think you'll... Alycia?" Alycia : *reloads*
HA!
1535857496
Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: Otto strikes a great balance of mechanical and human, in particular - a true hybrid (he'd say he's not a hybrid, he's electric, but shut up Otto). I lay this all on my friend's advice.&nbsp; They said something to effect of "You draw really expressive people.&nbsp; Draw a person who is a machine, not a machine that is a person." and that pretty much made things click for Otto's design. Sometimes, a change in perspective is all you really need on things. Bill G. said: Clothing: I'm 100% okay with your deviation from my idea here. I had in mind more of an "adventurous" look, but you kept that feeling and brought a more formal sorta-school-uniform touch to it too. That look was actually based on that&nbsp;Taeyeon music video you linked a while back.&nbsp; Her waitress outfit was quite striking while being simple and I knew I wanted something with that look for Summer at some point--if nothing else, to link back to the barista side of her life. *** Dave H. said: more wings should mean shit is getting more real Indeed. Ahh, I knew I'd seen that wing style somewhere else when I was trying to get the shape of the six-wing formation to look right.&nbsp; Probably would have saved me a little design time to have some reference, but I think the outcome I came to was good enough. Bill G. said: Radiance-as-a-hero-character doesn't seem to have a lot of obvious attack modes, this is intentional on Summer's part. She's much more an Unleash Your Powers type than Link ever was, but she'll have some damage-dealing stuff down the road. I have some thoughts on this, but mostly it comes down to "Iron Man-style blasts from hand gems (and possibly other gems as well)" and "use wings to batter people."&nbsp; Of course, "use super strength to just sort of fling people" is always on the table, as Super Chica and A10 could attest.
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Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
A lot of the damage-dealing thing is not just "how would I attack someone in my chosen motif" (e.g. hand blasts), but also her asking "how could I contribute to this fight without just inflicting damage?" and hoping to have a good answer most of the time. In Summer Time , a lot of what I had her attempting was non-violent shutdowns or calm defusing of a situation, and to her credit it worked about ... half the time? A more naive Summer would show up to the first team meeting, breathlessly and eagerly asking "I wanna fill the empty slot just as well as Leo did, so what kinds of moves did Leo usually use in battle?" and everyone just looks at each other and goes "he punched the shit outta everything" and she's like "...oh". Our Summer knows what Leo is like, she just wants to do things differently if she can.
1536017674
Mike
Pro
So there's one person I haven't talked about with the season three updates and that was Charlotte, and I feel like that was a mistake now.&nbsp; I'd felt "eh, Charlotte's a rock.&nbsp; She doesn't need an update to her looks" but now looking back, I kind of think I'm wrong.&nbsp; Both getting to control how ghostly she is and more time spent with the Ponies is going to change her story and that change should be visually noticeable as well.&nbsp; She has been the General of the&nbsp;Aggrieved Dead, but maybe it's more important that she be Charlotte-a teenage girl who likes spending time with her friends.&nbsp; And on top of that, it seems like the Magus is trying to shape her as well. That's a lot of subtext.&nbsp; And I don't know how much of that is me reading too much into things and which part Margie wants to emphasize.&nbsp; And to that end, I sketched a lot of Charlottes in various states around those axis and am looking for some opinions. Remember, as always, there's nothing wrong with her previous design so this isn't necessary either.&nbsp; Being grounded sometimes is an important thing as well.
1536089216
Mike
Pro
I was thinking this morning "did I do [design C] justice to what I had in mind?"&nbsp; The answer, on review, was "no, no I had not."
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Doycetopia
Pro
Sheet Author
Love that last one. And everything else. So great.
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Edited 1536615105
I love the idea of a costume update for the new season. The hood is a nice transformation piece. Right now, the trend in teen girls is short cotton dresses in a small floral print (even in winter). I don't think that GG would wear her skirt as short as the current style, but she would love the flowery light cotton dress. Example of dresses that I see at the high school (Ugh - image won't load will wait for at-home tech support)
1536615718
Mike
Pro
Margie K. said: (Ugh - image won't load will wait for at-home tech support) It is a four or five attempts before I tend to get image upload to work sometimes (and let's not even talk about when I need to post multiple images in a single post).&nbsp; But if you still can't get it to work, I recommend just linking to the page where the image is kept.
You can also cut and paste images, rather than save-and-loading. I'll go play tech support. :-)
So Margie emailed me the images, which unfortunately are teeny-tiny.