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Monthly Archives: July 2010
I have realized that most of the “walking” costumes I have drawn for the paper doll up to this point are more of promenade costumes and less walking costumes- like the spring walking costume or the winter walking costume. The difference seems somewhat minor, but a matter of formality. Promenade costumes were to see and be seen in, walking costumes were for walking. I imagine the paper doll wearing this costume to go to do her shopping and today she has gone to the milliner to get her new hats.
Hats aren’t worn much anymore, unless you’re the Queen of England (whose hats I totally adore) or going to the races, hats mostly function as useful things for keeping heads warm and not much else. I’m not necessarily advocating the return to hats, but hats were crucial for any well dressed lady in the 1870′s. Fashion magazines, along with dresses, offered detailed advice on fashionable hats and hat styles- colors, feathers, ribbons and flowers to be worn by ladies of all ranks and ages. Hair styles and hats are tightly connected and often changed together.
There are certain periods of history to which I am naturally attracted and then there are certain periods to which I couldn’t care less about. I find the Renaissance is not an era which I naturally am interested in, but there is a RenFaire (I’m not sure how to spell that, actually…) around here every year and though I haven’t yet gone to the Faire (apparently the added “e” is required) it got me thinking about Renaissance costume.
Now, I admit I don’t know much about Renaissance clothing, but it’s a very interesting time because the first costume books were published in the late Renaissance- the second half of the sixteenth century to be precise. The most famous of these books was by Vecellio who described not just the fashionable clothing of Venice (where he was from and where the book was printed), but also all over Europe and the world.The book was titled Degli habiti antichi et moderni di viverse parti del mondo or in English “The clothing, ancient and modern, of various parts of the world” and it has just recently come out in full translation by Thames and Hudson. Unfortunately, the copy my library has was checked out, so I had to make do with John Peacocks The Chronicle of Western Costume which, though I have heard many complaints about it and I do have a few of my own, is an excellent general source. Both of these dresses come from Venice in the late 1400′s. The hair is my own attempt at a simple head-dress and the SCA reference is a nod to the highly likely lack of actual historical accuracy.
Any organization which calls themselves the Society of Creative Anachronism does not take itself too seriously and neither do my paper dolls.
I love regency costume, though not as much as my Mother loves it. I find it simple and elegant and a little romantic, but it can get boring to draw after a while. I try to learn new things about the era each time I draw it- like I learned elastic actually existed (who knew?) and was being used for garters.
Never would have thought of that.
Days seem slip away quicker than I can blink and suddenly I am realizing time has passed. I suppose that’s the danger of having many commitments on my time- I’m always stretched thinner then I thought I would be. Working while going to school is incredibly forefilling and incredibly challenging. I love my program. I love my job, but my time is a premium. Fortunately, I paper doll to relax, so as long as I know what I am going to do, I can sit down on my couch with my clip board in my lap and draw away when I get home from work. Sure my dishes get neglected, but who needs dishes?
I’m still playing around with skin tones for Marisole, eventually I’ll get a set of them that I like on multiple computers.
Truly Trudy is based on the classic comic paper dolls of the fifties like this butterfly basedKaty Keene from Marge8′s Blog. Katy Keene had lots of friends who got paper dolls too. I never read the Katy Keene comics since they were a bit before my time, but I do remember reading Archie and Veronica on commercial fishing trips and trading the comics back and forth with my sister.
The Paper Collector also has a bunch of these old newspaper and comic paper dolls including Katy Keene And the newspaper paper dolls Mopsy Modes or Boots or Brenda Starr by Dale Messick who was the first women syndicated cartoonist.
Though I’m not totally pleased with everything about Trudy, I do think there are some strong points. Her pose is perfectly comic book, though I don’t know if she’s busty enough to really have that fifties pin up look. Her face I feel mixed about. I don’t really draw open mouths very often and this is really why. She was a bit of an experiment and is one I may come back too another time.
Inking paper dolls still terrifies me every time I start. Still, when I finally erase the pencil lines and the paper doll is sort of revealed, it is a magical kind of moment. I felt that way about this dress and these hats. I wasn’t sure if I liked it until I’d finally lost all the pencil.
I’m glad I didn’t give up on it. I think it turned out well. So, I seem to have come down on the “liking it” side of the spectrum. Never would have guessed that two hours ago.
Generally, I find myself feeling dismissive of “flower fairies”. Complicated and often dark folklore seems to always turn into light children’s stories over time, but I still am a purist when it comes to my fairies. I like them grim and dark and full of blood. Of course, the blood has mostly been taken out to make them more acceptable to most parents (not to children who, on the whole, seem to not mind blood so much). Despite my usual distrust of anything deemed “darling” or “cute”, I began this drawing because I wanted to practice drawing flowers. So, I did and the result is… a lot of flowers.
Keeping with my own slightly grimmer views on the world of fairies (and yes, I know I could spell it differently, but writing faeries would make my feel like a pretentious git with a need to spell out the digraph), I have done this Curves paper doll’s face very differently from her other paper doll friends. They are mostly human, after all, she is… Other. But as Other as she might be, I can’t stand her chin. I just… think it looks weird. It didn’t look weird when I sketched it…
Oh well, at least her undies are still cute.
So, yesterday, I had a Sweet Lolita paper doll and today we have a Gothic Lolita version of the same doll. Once again, you’ll want to slit along the dotted line on her hair, so she can wear the bows and hat and other hair accessories. Hair accessories seem to be very important in the whole Lolita thing. I openly confess to not being an expert, but I did my best. You can check out the Sweet Lolita paper doll for the list of sources I used.
While I was researching Lolita fashion, I did find this cute paper doll by Ninipowwaa on Deviant Art. She also has her own blog which I can’t read, cause I think it’s in French. In high school, when most people I knew were failing to learn French, I was busy failing to learn Spanish. I love how she colored the paper doll. Someday, I might actually try to shade Marisole. I mean… not in the near future, but it could happen.
And, I should say, doing two different color schemes was really actually difficult. Don’t expect it to become a theme, but by the time I realized how long it was taking me to recolor the whole set, I’d already gotten so far along that I wasn’t stopping. I don’t think I’ll be doing Lolita fashion again in the future for the paper dolls unless I get lots of requests and start to feel guilty. I have a very well developed sense of guilt.
So, I’m a bit late with Marisole Monday, but I think it was worth the wait. I may have gotten a little carried away with these Lolita style paper doll clothes. Just, you know…. A bit. See, I got this new paper which is designed for pen and ink (it’s a hot press smooth Bristol with lots of sizing in it) and the result is that the inking goes so smooth and so I sort of was having a lot of fun and kinda forgot that I had to fit everything onto a certain amount of space.
On the list of other confessions to be made about today’s printable paper doll include that I really don’t know anything about Japanese street fashion. I don’t speak/read/understand any Japanese and so most of my information came from the Wikipedia article on Lolita style and a dozen Japanese clothing brand websites like Angelic Pretty and Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Navigating them while not speaking Japanese was an adventure to say the least. American stores like Candy Violet and Sweet Rococo.
I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to work on improving my art by doing things that scare me and what scared me about these paper doll dresses was the ruffles and the ribbons and the general high level of detail. I didn’t draw any patterns because I didn’t know if I wanted Sweet Lolita (full of pinks, ruffles and floral patterns) or Gothic Lolita (full of black, ruffles and a distinct lack of floral patterns). In the end I settled on Sweet for today’s paper dolls, but there will be an Extra Special Not on Monday, Marisole Monday post tomorrow which the darker Gothic version of the paper doll and her clothing.
On one last note, cut along the dotted line in Marisole’s hair, so that she can wear her bows and hat.
I am a bit belated on this post. I’ve been cleaning my apartment in plans for a visitor coming to stay and it’s been taking up a lot of my time. Today’s paper doll is the last of the Jessica things, so there will be a new short run paper doll starting next Sunday, unless I get too busy to post it which might happen. Life is full of surprises.
My favorite thing about this set of paper doll clothes is the orange sweater. It’s SO orange, but I also love the brightness of the color. Plus my Vogue magazine tells me Orange is the color of the season. And would Vogue lie to me? Of course not.
I’m not totally pleased with how the gray dress turned out. I think the trim looks a little flat and should be more curved and I have mixed feelings about her shoes, but I’m trying to stay positive about the paper doll since in general I like it.
Her hair is my favorite part inspired by the thirties and twenties when women wore their hair in finger waves tight to the skull like Josephine Baker who was an entertainer, exotic dancer, movie star, French Resistance fighter and all around amazing woman. Seriously, cool lady.
And I do regret that my fashions for her aren’t quite as fantastic as a paper doll inspired by the remarkable Josephine Baker deserves, still I had fun with them and I wanted to do something a little retro, but not an actual vintage piece. So… there you go then.