Circus Paper Doll for Coloring

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on circuses Marisole’s gone to the circus this monday, complete with makeup.

I have mixed feelings about circuses truth be told. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I find them deeply creepy. I’m not afraid of clowns or anything, but there is something slightly off dark and strange that runs through the whole idea of circuses and carnivals.

So, I’ve been drawing paper dolls for a long time and I always expect to run out of the ideas, but then I run into new things on a fairly regular basis that I want to do or try out. I don’t know that I’ve ever really done anything like this set. I started collecting circus images that I liked on Dark Circus Pinterest board and then eventually those images evolved into this set of doodles which evolved into this paper doll set.


Printable paper doll in black and white inspired by circuses
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I was going for fashion as much as reality with these outfits. I can’t imagine a clown wearing such insane high heels, for example. My Dark Circus board where I was collecting images evolved into being as much about fashion as it was about circuses.

I’m nervous about coloring this set. I was going to go strictly black and red, but then I really want her to have pink hair.

Problem, will the pink hair clash with the red and black? I just don’t know. Guess the only way to find out is to start coloring.

Poppet’s Visit the 18th Century… Historical Paper Doll Clothes

18th century historical dress for the Poppet paper dolls So, today the Poppets paper doll series is traveling to the 18th century and rocking some beautiful clothes. One of the great myths of historical costume is that children in the 18th century were dressed “just like adults” and while there is some truth to the fact that children wore very similar clothing to adults, it was rarely identical. Skirt length is a common way to tell that a dress was intended for a child, rather than an adult, along with simpler lines and decorations.

Today’s 18th century outfit is based on a a gown from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her shoes come from a painting by Carl-Ludwig Christinek in 1772 of two sisters. Her pocket is based on these pockets from America. Her cap is an amalgamation of about a dozen different caps from portraits and is, I confess, a little odd looking. I am not entirely pleased with it.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes from the Revolutionary War periodBlack and white coloring sheet of paper doll clothes from the 18th century

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One thing I do not have is a Poppet doll with proper hair for the 18th century, so I am letting Poppy model the historical dress.

Lastly, a bit of the site layout has changed. Mostly just colors, honestly, but I would love to hear what people think of the new design.

Renaissance Paper Doll Gowns for Marisole Monday

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll I must have colored and re-colored today’s Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set, a dozen times before I settled on this sort of dusty teal, cream and rose color scheme. Seriously, sometimes paper doll coloring is really quite frustrating.

I do love the way the paper dolls look when they are colored and I like choosing colors and playing with color schemes. I don’t think I could ever switch to just black and white.

I really wanted to do a sort of classic princess/fantasy look with this set. I don’t generally draw thinking about children, but sometimes after I’ve done some of my stranger paper dolls (like the dark circus paper doll I’m working on), I find I want to also do things that are strictly for kids.

Of course, I also stand by my rule that if you don’t think one of my paper dolls should be given to a child, than don’t give it to a child.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing
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The next things down the pike are going to be a historical poppet set later this week and then a Marisole circus set and then I’m honestly not sure… Flock need some love and so that might be the next thing to work.

Steampunk Paper Doll Clothes for the Ms. Mannequinn Series

link to a set of steampunk paper doll clothes Over the years, I have done a fair number of steampunk or neo-victorian inspired sets of paper doll clothing. I’d name them all, but I really don’t feel like digging through the blog’s massive archives to track them all down.

Generally, I see the whole steampunk thing as an version of the Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century. A sort of call back to a fantasy of an analog time while ignoring major issues of the actual 19th century like lack of labor protection, colonization, and treatment of the mentally ill (to name a few), just as the Arts and Craft movement exalted the medieval and gothic periods while ignoring the plague. Within reason, I don’t find this troubling though sometimes I do worry that when we exalt certain periods of history, than it is far to easy to ignore their horrors.

And every period of history, including our own, has a few horrors.

Still, I have always found alternative fashion movement fascinating, be it goth, punk, steampunk or the dress reform movement and therefore have every intention of continuing to draw neo-victorian clothing for the blog.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Somehow today’s set got awfully Christmas looking with the red and the green color scheme. I was thinking more burgundy and olive while I started, but it came out a bit brighter than I’d intended it to be. Despite the small number of pieces in this set, there’s actually 18 outfit options and more if you include the shoes each of the Ms. mannequin paper dolls come with.

Okay, quick question to my readers. I’m debating working on Flock stuff this coming weekend or working on Pixies. Anyone want to express a preference?

Check out the Future Plans…

So, I actually filled out up my latest little steno book. I’ve drawn almost everything in it that I had planned, so it will soon get tossed into the recycle. I’ve never been very much of a packrat. I think it’s a side effect of working with manuscripts and archives. After going through other people’s old papers, I really want to keep as few of my own as possible.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

This is one of two Marisole Elven set designs. I think this set is going to go to Monica of the Marisole Monday family. I’ve sketched and scanned the set, but I think it’ll be a while before I get it cleaned up and colored. I was very productive scanning last night while watching season 3 of Grimm.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Another “elven” set- I am thinking Margot or an Other Friend will model this one. It’s been scanned as well, but it will be a while before it is ready to be colored. I have other things ahead of it in the queue.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Poppets are getting some love here. I’ve just finished up a historical set for the Poppets which will be up next week. I have a bunch of contemporary stuff those paper dolls in progress, so I feel like some fantasy things will be next in line.

So, these are things that maybe coming down the pike soon enough. Plus I’m trying to do some fun Halloween planning. Usually, I don’t think far enough ahead to really get into the holiday, but this time I really want to.

Pseudo-Renaissance Fantasy Gowns for Marisole

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll First things first- Happy Labor Day to those in the United States who, like me, get it off from work.

Yay for holidays!!

Marisole is getting all fantasy today in some elegant dresses. I had originally planned on doing some patterns on her dresses, but in the end I just decided to leave them plain. After working on my new Lady of the Manor set, I’ve had these pseudo-renaissance styles of dresses on my mind as of late. Though, I confess, there is not much very renaissance about the dresses, unless you look really hard.

Still, I suppose a somewhat classic set of fantasy dresses and some shoes are nothing to be ashamed of.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing

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I do really like all her accessories. Over the years, I’ve drawn a lot of books for paper dolls (and I don’t plan on stopping… I love books and I wish they still had clasps on them…), but I did want to give her some unique accessories. I am particularly pleased with how the fan came out.

I guess in the end I’d say that she’s not the best Marisole fantasy paper doll I have ever drawn, but she is pretty good and I am still trying to get back into my patterns after taking a bit of break to deal with less fun, back-end blog issues.

Speaking of backend blog issues, I am going to be changing up the way things look around here soon, so just be aware. :)

The Sketchbook Cometh

The best thing about the photocopier at my job is that it can scan and email me things. I don’t use it for paper doll scanning (the resolution isn’t high enough), but it makes these sketchbook and doodle posts really easy.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Some contemporary clothes for a Mini-Maiden. Don’t ask me which Mini-Maiden. I haven’t a clue, yet. I really am pleased with the set through. I really like the curly hair, especially.

Doodles of Future Paper Doll Sets

Here’s the doodles I did for a dark circus inspired Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set. As it turned out, I didn’t use all of these designs, as you can see below.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

A page of the dark circus Marisole Monday & Friends set that I inked last weekend. I really love her shoes and her wig. We’ll see how all the whole thing comes together. I am thinking a black, white and red color scheme with some gold to accent it. I also might do some clown makeup on the paper doll’s face for this set.

Medieval Fantasy Paper Doll to Print and Color

Black and White Printable Medieval Fantasy Paper Doll This is the second Isadora paper doll and a member of the Mini-Maiden paper doll family. I haven’t done a fantasy Mini-Maiden before, so I thought I should and I have been in a psuedo-medieval mood as of late. Perhaps simply because I am wishing I was living somewhere cooler than Alabama which is having a humid hot August.

I can not wait for fall. Fall is full of wonderful things and I can start wearing tights and boots again.

I love both tights and boots.

Plus September brings the big fall fashion magazines and that will mean a spasm of paper doll drawing and a spate of contemporary styled paper dolls, as it always does.

Until then, of course, we have Isadora as a fantasy Mini-Maiden. I am hesitant to call her a princess, as she doesn’t have a crown, but she can still live in a castle, I think. Personally, I think it would have been dreadfully drafty and cold in castles, but I suppose at least it was better than living in a hovel.


Isadora
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Anyway, now Isadora can either be living in a castle or fighting radioactive zombies in the wastes of a destroyed civilization. Basically, she’s ready for whatever life might throw at her, though I think she also might want to raid another Mini-Maiden’s closet for some more… shall we say… normal clothing. I think she’d look awfully cute in Faye’s girly get up or Hazel’s vintage vibe or Greta’s I-couldn’t-come-up-with-anything-alliterative outfits.

There will be one more update this week (nothing major, just some sketchbook stuff) and then hopefully a new Marisole on Monday as I get myself back into the rhythm of things. For updates, you’re welcome to follow me on twitter @paperpersona, though you will also have to put up with other inane, unpaper-doll-related rambling about my life.

Victorian Ballerina Printable Paper Doll from the 1880s

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on the historical period of 1880s in black and white or in color Oh man, what to say about the last few days…

Well, I have been working on backend server CPU issues with my shared hosting service. Nothing really serious, but stuff that has to be dealt with for the blog hosting to continue to be cheap enough for me to justify continuing to keeping it online and free.

Still, I owed a paper doll to my last drawing winner, Lina of Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls, and I was not about to put off finishing that for another week, because I would keep feeling guilty about it.

Lina requested an 1880s period Marisole Monday & Freinds paper doll with a ballet outfit and several other dresses. I had some trouble getting all the pieces to fit on a single page, so I omitted some shoes from the image.

Should you want proper shoes to go with this set, then I recommend checking out On the Board Walk in color or black and white or Mia Goes to the Bathing Place in color or black and white. Both of those sets both have button up style boots which, while not period, are close enough to not look totally awkward.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
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Lina was kind enough to send me reference photos and specific colors for the hair, skin and eyes of the paper doll, but left the color scheme mostly up to me. I wanted to use some rich colors, because by the 1880s chemical dyes were common and rich colors were very much instyle. There is a habit to think of the 19th century as sepia colored, because of sepia photos, but it was actually a rather garish era.

At least post, chemical dyes being invented.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
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So, Lina also asked for a tutu based on this painting by Degas. The painting dates from 1871, a little earlier than the other costumes in the set. I omitted the sash, since I based the dress on the center figure. I don’t think the layers of the skirts really look like tulle, which bothers me. Liana has some great tulle on her blog.

The ballgown was based on this fashion plate. The gown was red, but I made it peacock blue based on a description in English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century by Wilett-Cunnington that mentioned peacock blue ballgowns. I hate drawing lace, but it came out all right, I suppose.

The last two outfits are a swimming costume and a house dress. Old swimming costumes were extremely complicated and not very easy to swim in. Generally, I think of them as wadding costumes. Lina sent me this picture and I based it off that.

The house dress is classic 1880s style with bustle, drawn up skirt and long pleats. It’s a pretty typical gown for its period. Lina sent me this photo and I based the dress off of it. I omitted the pattern on the dress, because I knew it would reproduce poorly in the small scale of the paper doll set.

And that, as they say, is that.

If you haven’t ever checked out Lina’s blog, Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls than I recommend taking the time to do so. She makes wonderfully interesting historical paper dolls.

Hey! Why isn’t That Paper Doll Available in Black and White?

The most commonly asked question I get on this blog is, “Can you make (insert paper doll title here) in black and white?”

The answer is usually… “Depends.”

Step back in time with me to when the world was young and the blog was fairly new before Disaster struck.

During the first few years of PTP’s existence, the paper dolls were only done in black and white and in the heavily shadowed style of Curves or Shadow and Light.

I drew Marisole in early 2009, long before the site crashed, and used her to teach myself how to color paper dolls in Photoshop. My plan, at the time, had been to add a color paper doll, Marisole, once a week to my black and white site.

But then… in December of 2009… Disaster.

I  crashed the blog and my backups didn’t load properly and I didn’t know how to fix it. So, I decided to delete it and start over. You can read the public post about that here.

Even then, I never ever thought I’d publish Marisole in black and white. I never thought I would publish a Pixie in black and white. I never thought about any of this.

The result of my lack of forward thinking is that there are paper dolls on this site for which the original Photoshop files are long gone. I have PDFs and I might have random old scans, but rarely do I have the original Photoshop file. Tracking down the files, extracting the line work (if I can) and processing the new black and white version takes time.

Sometimes, it works well and I get a good black and white copy. Sometimes, it doesn’t and I won’t post sub-par work on my blog.

And that causes me some tension…

Do I work on converting old work to black and white or do I work on new work?

I don’t have limitless time (does anyone?) and so, I prioritize. For me, creating new work is more interesting and more fun than going back, dredging up old files and reformatting them, if I can.

Does this mean you should stop asking for paper dolls in black and white that you want to see?

Absolutely not, sometimes I can do it, but at this point I have done most of the “easy” sets (particularly for Marisole) and the remaining sets are much harder.

So, keep asking, but don’t be surprised if my answer is “Nope.”

Questions? Thoughts? Lemme know in a comment.

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