So, I’m posting a third paper doll this week, because I totally only posted one paper doll last week. I guess this is my “apology” paper doll.
Faye here is rocking some modern outfits with geometric patterns. As I think I mentioned before, Faye is named for a Chinese student I knew in graduate school. Someone asked me how I name my paper dolls and really it is mostly out of the clear blue sky, though I tend to avoid naming them after people I’ve known who I didn’t like. There’s certain names that shall never grace a paper doll.
I used one of my favorite tools to create the patterns in this paper doll set. It’s called a drafting template and they come in all different styles. I wrote about my favorite tools a while ago. Anyway, I love them and they make from a great starting point for interesting patterns on paper doll clothes.
I usually draw a single repeat or two of my pattern and then construct the pattern in Photoshop. It’s not a hard process, but is it something people would like to learn about? I could do a tutorial I think.
Hazel also has a heavily geometrically inspired set of clothes from last year entitled Hazel’s Geometric Style. When I first named today’s paper doll set, I nearly used the same name which would have been awkward. The similar styles I think lend themselves to lots of fun mix and match opportunities though. If you combine today’s paper doll set with Hazel’s Geometric Style there’s 274 outfit possibilities, not even including the accessory items. Pretty remarkable.
I love the styles of the early 1930s and I wanted to create a paper doll that showed them off, so here is Lois- a paper doll of the early 1930s. That is to say, everything in it comes from 1930-1932.
It’s common to speak of the last century of fashion as though it happened in neat decade compartments. In reality, fashion doesn’t care what decade it is. It moves based on cultural and social shifts, often subtly, and then you look around and notice that the silhouette has shifted. Rarely, fashion changes dramatically over a short period, but only very rarely.
So, when looking at the early 1930s, as this paper doll does, you might be struck at how close these dresses are to the late 1920s. In truth, they are very similar, because fashion just doesn’t change that quickly. The Great Depression will catch up with the styles of the 1930s, it just hasn’t yet. All of these dresses are drawn from images in the book Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs published by Dover. The Sears series from Dover is an inexpensive way to gather up books the show what people wore, rather than what fashion magazines thought people should be wearing. I own almost all of them.
I have mixed feelings about my color choices. I knew I wanted to pick a color scheme where I hats could go with either of the dresses, but I don’t know how successful I was. I really do like how the white hat contrasts with her dark skin and I like how rich the red coat looks, but I’m not so sure about the yellow dress. The early 1930s is a very art deco influenced period and that makes me happy. I love the asymmetrical styles and the often surprising details.
Unlike my 1920s Pixie Lynn, I actually gave Lois some undergarments. She has a girdle decorated with flowers to go under her dresses. She should, technically, have a slip to go over that and panties to go under it, but its a start.
I would have to pour through all my posts to be certain, but I think this is my second 1930s paper doll ever. The first was way back in 2010 for my original Curves Series and is just called 1930s. I got totally distracted looking through those old paper dolls trying to find the 1930s set I was pretty sure was there. It’s strange to go back and look at things I drew four or five years ago.
Some of them paper dolls I still really like and others I don’t. It rather makes me want to take on a project like Julie’s toddlers where she goes back to older color schemes. I’ll have to think on it. I don’t want to “redraw” old things, but there are some ideas there that I think could be reexamined fruitfully.
Back when I first drew this base doll for my 1300s paper doll set, one of my regular readers, Jazz13, suggested that I name her Megan.
I have several friends named Megan (spelled all sorts of ways) and I wasn’t sure I wanted to name a paper doll after them. Then, my boyfriend, remarked out of the blue that he thought she looked like a Megan. I was a little surprised and said, “Okay, well maybe…”
Then I spoke to a very close friend and got permission to name the paper doll after her. So, I am pleased to present Maeghan, the new member of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s family.
The friend for whom I named the paper doll wanted her to get to have crazy absurd dresses or clothing with pockets. I confessed the paper doll was already drawn and colored, but promised the next one could have crazy fantasy gowns.
The unusual spelling of the paper doll’s name as Maeghan, rather than the more common Megan or Meghan, was chosen because that’s how my friend spells her name and spellcheck thinks its a misspelling and I’m not sure she’s ever gotten over it.
(When she reads this post, I am totally getting a text.)
Anyway, I hope everyone likes Maeghan and her contemporary wardrobe which does not, I am sure, have enough pockets for the real Maeghan to be entirely pleased.
Lastly, I’d like to mention that it is Memorial Day here in the USA where we recognize those who have served and died for our country in the Military. While I always intend to draw something more fitting, I never seem to actually get around to it. Never the less, I consider it an important holiday and we should take a moment today amongst our barbecues and shopping sales to think about the reason for the holiday.
I won’t be barbecuing, personally. I will be stripping horrid wallpaper off a kitchen.
I collect costume history and dress books. I’ve been collecting them for years. I used to deny that it was a collection, but as it has grown I have grudgingly come to accept that “collection” is the the only word for it.
The colors in this set are based on a Japanese language book I have on Kimonos. I don’t have much of a clue what the book is about (I don’t know any Japanese), but I picked it up for a dollar from a booksale in college and its been traveling around with me ever since. I keep swearing I’ll give it away to someone who read Japanese, but somehow I can’t seem to part with it.
Funny how that goes, isn’t it?
I don’t have many other kimono history books, though I do plan to expand my “ethic” clothing collection soon.
Anyway, these colors are quite bright, so if I understand kimono color culture correctly, they would be most appropriate for an unmarried young woman. Of course, none of these are actual kimono, so I suppose I could just have decided that in the strange elven fantasy culture these are from anything I say goes.
I’ve had a lot of fun with this set. Next up is a contemporary fashion set and a naming poll. After that, I really haven’t decided what I am going to do. I need to buckle down and get some sketching done for my next few historical sets and give the Poppets some love. They’ve been neglected as of late.
Thoughts on what I should draw for the Poppets? Drop me a comment. Or just drop me a comment, because you care.
You do care, don’t you? (Imagine me giving you puppy dog eyes here.)
This isn’t my first foray into the whole “regency punk” genre, though I don’t know if this genre already exists or not. My first foray was back when I did my Best Friends set and one of their pages was regency punk.
This is my second foray into the genre. I think it is largely more successful, mostly because I am a better artist now than I was three years ago. I still struggle with making goggles that really “work”, but I have hopes that eventually I might figure it out.
Steampunk fascinates me just as much as Gothic fashions and Cyberpunk fashions fascinate me. I am always interested in alterative fashion cultures as they reflect some part of our cultural fabric. Despite finding them interesting, I have never had any desire to “dress up” in steampunk. I simply don’t like wearing costumes, a fact which shocks many people when they find out I draw paper dolls.
So, I’ve spoken before about my pet peeve that fantasy people are always white skinned, as a result I gave my steampunk regency paper doll a soft brown skin-tone. I was going to say “mocha” skintone, but I have been trying to avoid using food words to describe skintones. They just kinda creep me out. Something about my skin being called peach or cream, or calling someone else’s skin chocolate or spice, sorta… I dunno. I’m not sure I want to think of my skin as a food product. It’s a little Hannibal Lector, you know?
Anyway, moving on… The colors are based on actual common early 19th century colors including Turkey Red and Indigo. Both of these colors are produced by dyes from India or Turkey. They are such rich colors that I countered them with cream and black. Personally, I love how real natural indigo fabrics look. It’s an amazing color.
Be sure to cut along the dotted lines so she can wear her clothes and the floating tabs should keep her little top hats on her head.
I’ve never seen anyone else combine the early 1800s silhouettes with steampunk, so maybe it has a name already and I don’t know it. Either way, I am trying to decide what to call this new genre of fashion and therefore have a poll. Plus, you know, polls are fun.
What should we call early 19th century dress combined with steampunk?
Regencypunk (29%, 12 Votes)
Austenpunk (29%, 12 Votes)
Empirepunk (22%, 9 Votes)
Just Steampunk, it doesn't need another name (17%, 7 Votes)
Other... I'll tell you in a comment (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 41
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Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I hope everyone who should of called their mother did actually call their mother. Anyone who is a Mother, Happy Belated Mother’s Day. My own Mother reads this blog and she is, I must say, about the best Mother a girl could have. I love her very much and her support has always meant a lot to me.
One of the thing I inherited from my Mother was a love of Asian clothing, particularly the amazing textiles that go into kimono. Seriously, if you’ve never just gazed in amazement at Japanese textiles, go check out this kimono or this one or this one.
Anyway, I tend to think of today’s paper doll as a cousin to my Tones & Shades paper doll that I did back in 2011. Like Jai from last month, this isn’t actual Tang Dynasty dress or actual kimonos, rather it’s a strange fantasy mixing of a lot of different styles into one.
So, this is going up a little late today. Sorry about that, but life got crazy this weekend. I want to talk a little bit today about coloring last week’s paper doll and a little about diversity in the paper doll world.
So, when I color a paper doll set, I start with a pallette. I knew I was going to be giving Monica a fairly rich brown skin tone, so that opened up and closed down certain color options. For example, I tend to avoid putting brown colored clothing on brown colored paper dolls, unless the tones are really different, since it can blend too easily. Since she was going to have a rich skin-tone, I decided that bright and color dresses made a lot of sense.
The strapless gown with the belt was based on this gown by Andrew GN and since it had a red top and a pink bottom, that informed the blues and the greens as contrasting colors in the other gowns.
I’m a big believer in paper doll diversity. I think it is really important to have a variety of concepts and skin-tones and, ideally, a variety of concepts in a variety of skin-tones. Truthfully, I tend not to think of my paper dolls in terms of ethnicity, but in terms of color. It it less about, “this paper doll is African-American” and more about “this paper doll is a dark brown with red undertones.”
I used to think I was the only one who thought this way about paper doll skin-tones until I read this post from Julie over at Paper Doll School. I was comforted to find out that we both tend to think in terms of “color” not in terms of ethnicity.
The result of coloring things, perhaps?
What I do know is that no matter how I think about skin-tone, it is crucial to me that I offer readers of all backgrounds and colors paper dolls that reflect them. People should be able to see themselves in the toys they play with.
Yes, I know a lot of my readers are adults, but adults play with toys, too. At least, they should. I do.
Let me state one thing first, on the record- Lynn’s underwear is not period. If I had drawn her period undergarments, than she’d never get to wear jeans. So, I chose to omit even a period slip for her in favor of fitting some fairly large hats onto a fairly small space. Pixies have big heads and therefore big hats.
I hope no one feels horribly cheated out of 1920’s undergarments.
It was really hard to give myself permission to do a small historical set for the Pixies. Normally, my historical Pixie sets are at least two pages and my Regency paper doll set was three. And I do have an 18th century set which has the dubious honor of being the largest collection I have ever drawn for the Pixies. It is literally five sketchbook pages. I’ve no idea how I am going to post it.
One of my big goals for 2015 was to draw historical paper dolls, because- frankly, I really like them.
But I also think if I always think “These sets must be huge” than it creates a lot of pressure to produce big sets. I think smaller sets can be just as fun.
The color scheme was fairly arbitrary. I do wish I had done something a little more fun with the shoes rather than playing it safe with black. I like to think that these three dresses cover day and evening wear fairly smoothly for Lynn. Long term, it is my hope to do more smaller historical sets for the Pixies. There’s no logical reason why they shouldn’t get to share in the single page historical paper doll fun.
I say this having just begun coloring the largest pixie set I have ever drawn of 18th century dress. I might be unable to keep this single page historical Pixie set concept alive.
As a kid, I liked drawing evening gowns and I like to think my paper dolls lead the sort of high style lives where they would need fancy dresses. Plus, we are coming into Prom season, so it seems fitting to draw some prom worthy dresses.
Though, I must say, the older I get the less I find prom dresses to be anything other than gaudy. There are a few exceptions, but they are rare. I did a prom paper doll set back in 2010 based on the dresses I saw for sale in that year.
Monica’s evening and cocktail dresses are all based on real gowns except for the one on the far right with the flower. I totally made that up.
Another sketchbook photo set this week. I feel a litle guilty posting these sometimes, because they are almost filler in nature, but maybe people like them? I really don’t know. They are easy for me and that makes them always a good option.
SO, I have become kinda obsessed with that store called- Free People. Most of the clothing is too revealing or too young for me, but I love the boho vibe. I decided, therefore, to do a boho paper doll set with a jumpsuit (because I hate jumpsuits, but I am trying to get over it).
I’ve seen the movie Newsies, but I don’t get it. I have friends who LOVE it with the sort of passion that I simply can’t understand. I feel similar about my boyfriend and his obcession with football, but I love him enough to try to at least sort of get the football thing. I watched 2.5 games last year which is a 250% increase over the year before. Anyway, I don’t get Newsies, but I was inspired by 19th century young men’s clothing to draw this steampunk paper doll set for Mia. It’s a long way out, I think, since I have recently set up a huge backlog of Marisole Monday and Friends sets and need to focus on other series.
Another Mia set, because she hadn’t gotten any love this year and I was feeling guilty. This one is inspired by ancient Chinese dress (Tang Dynasty- not unlike Jia- I drew this shortly after) and then a lot of just random stuff that I liked. I wanted to do pattern and lots of color. It’s a very bright set, now that it is done. The doll for it is going to be an elf with an over the top pile of braids. I’m actually really pleased with how it is coming together in Photoshop.
And those are all the previews for today! Enjoy.
Meanwhile, I am going to go do laundry! (Laundry is more fun if you put an exclamation point after it.)