This is my entry to this year’s Enchanted Doll contest, which Marina Bychkova holds (almost) every year to celebrate her birthday. This year’s theme is to design a tattoo for Enchanted Doll.

I wanted to explore the idea of the human body as a story. In fact, my original concept was to draw a map tattoo over the body. Then I began exploring the unrealistic standards of beauty for women, which is a recurring theme in Enchanted Dolls and also one that I am really interested in. That eventually lead to the exploration of the corset as a constricting snake around the doll’s waist.

Outwardly, the corset is a thing of beauty. However, it is painful and possibly even lethal.


The design is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s eccentric patterns and obsession with gold. It is meant to be a play between raised gold overlay tattoos (such as in Makhdot) and the engraved tattoos (such as in Peacock).

I’m not all too happy with my rendering of the tattoo. I had to submit it today, as I will be travelling and won’t be able to work on it any more before the deadline. Hence, it’s a bit rushed and uncleaned.

Anyway, the illustration and the base sketch were done in watercolor on a khadda paper journal. It was then scanned, and the final rendering done in Photoshop.

I don’t really expect to win anything, but Marina’s contests are always a joy to enter. It’s always great challenge to rack my brains for concepts and then force myself to have them done on paper. I find that some of my best works are done during Enchanted Doll contests. My previous entries include the 2010 pixel art piece Natural Beauty and a 2013 postcard of my home island.

The winners and all the entries will be posted at the Enchanted Doll website on Marina’s birthday, March 16. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Constricted

  1. Poor thing, she looks so sad, because she has to wear that painful, corset. I can just feel the snake writhing around her body, squeezing ever so tightly. Though, I’m personally not a fan of corsets, this is lovely! I really admire how delicately you drew this, my favorite part about it, is the little hints of pink on her joints, and the blush on her face, I’m such a sucker for that rosy pink color. ^_^ Good luck with the contest Hazel! I’m certain you’ll win!

    • Thank you Leah! I’m glad you like it! Oh, it would be amazing if I win. But given the amount of creativity of Marina’s fans, I don’t think I stand a chance. It will be really interesting to browse through all the entries though, and see which one will win!

      I’m also glad that the emotion shows through. I’ve never tried one but I imagine they’re really uncomfortable! And it all boils down to the things we do to look pretty. :>

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