Marisole Monday: Dark & Steamy

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Erin, who won my little Trivia contest from last Monday, wrote me the following description of what she wanted for her custom Marisole paper doll.

I know that I want my doll to be very pale with brown hair… As for style of clothes and what not, I know that I love Victorian and Steampunk style. Belts, buckles, zippers, lace, keys, and corsets. That kind of stuff. I have included a few links as inspiration I guess, but feel free to disregard them. I dislike the color yellow, LOVE red, black and purple, but other than that… I’m not overly picky.

I asked for a little clarification on shades of brown (she said red brown) and exactly what sort of colors for metals she liked and then set to work. Like a deadline, it was oddly liberating to be paper dolling based on someone else’s guidelines. I do hope she’s pale enough, because outside of doing another vampire paper doll, I couldn’t imagine going paler than this color. I think it reads as “pale” rather than reading as “corpus.”

Since one of my favorite features of Victorian dresses was the fact that women got to wear all sorts of different clothing for different activities, I decided to treat the paper doll as though she was an actual Victorian lady in need of costumes for the range of standard Victorian lady activities. I guess I’ll talk about each costume in turn.

Here we go.

The Morning Dress: Morning dresses were always more casual then other costumes. Erin sent me a reference link to this beautiful costume. I loved the colors and the drape. To make it a little more Victorian feeling, I added sleeves. Though technically a morning dress would never be worn outside the house, I added a hat since the reference costume featured one. Also, I like hats.

The Walking Costume: The other set of reference images I got was for ta beautiful 1880′s reproduction bustled suit and I confess the early 1880′s when skirts were tight, before the huge bustle emerged is one of my favorite times in Victorian fashion. I made the suit purple (to match the purple/red color scheme), created a totally non-period hat and added some accents in silver and brass.

The Afternoon Dress: Mostly an excuse to draw a wild leather corset (well, I imagine its in leather, I suppose technically it could be any fabric you like), the afternoon dress was inspired by the corsets of 1910. The net/lace overlay was my attempt at lace, though I have mixed feelings about how it turned out. Afternoon dresses were also often visiting costumes, so she had to have a hat.

The Ball Gown: No costume set could be complete with out a ballgown and as I love drawing corsets, no ballgown couldn’t not have a corset top. The far left costume of this fashiion plate inspired the oddly bondage-esque skirt. I got a little carried away with my lock and key motif I think, but I had fun doing it.

As regular readers know, I’m a wee bit obsessed with Victorian inspired costumes. I’ve done two other steampunk/neo-Victorian Marisole paper dolls. There was the slightly candy like one (a lesson in how colors don’t look so bright before I process the images for Web and then seem to get brighter) and a more traditional color scheme.

I will probably do another trivia contest thing next week. So, keep your eyes open for that.

Pixie: Amelia

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Of all of the Pixie paper dolls I have done over the last few weeks, this is perhaps my favorite. I love how her hair came out and I think she looks fun and cute and interesting. I also think her wardrobe is fairly versatile. All in all, I’m pretty proud of her.

I hate that I don’t have much else to say intelligently about this paper doll, but sometimes all I can offer up is a few sentences. Also, I have papers to write and a custom Marisole Monday to finished (which, though I am only halfway done, is coming out quite nicely I think.)

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Dresses From 1800

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So, the question on the table should be “How are these regency dresses unlike all other Regency dresses?” and the answer is ‘Because they are from an earlier period.’ (I realize this is kinda a Passover Seder joke and those of you who have never had to sit through one will not be as amused as those who have). The answer is not because we get to recline while coloring them (another Passover joke), but rather the shape of the dresses. At the turn of the 19th Century when it was just beginning (around 1800), the shape of the dress was nearly flat on top with a fair bit of fullness in the bottom though it shifted away from this form fairly quickly.

As the fashion plate from 1800 shows, the shape of these dresses was slightly different in the late 1790′s and early 1800s. The plate I based these costumes on, as well as many others, can be seen in the Claremont Colleges collection. It’s a wonderful collection of fashion plates.

In other news, Erin (who doesn’t have a website I can link, I don’t think) correctly identified my favorite holiday as Purim and therefore as won my contest. Purim is coming up in March (like all Jewish holidays, it starts at sundown and then goes until sunset the next day). There will be a Purim paper doll, I just haven’t decided if I want to make it a Pixie or a Marisole doll or something totally new. Thoughts continue…

Erin, if you could please send me your request (paperthinpersonas(at)gmail(dot)com). I’ll need hair color, eye color, style and anything else you want to tell me. Thank you.

Curves: Princess of the North

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As I wrote before, I have wonderfully supportive friends who seem to be fairly relaxed when I say things like “Yeah, I’m thinking about buying Instyle so I have some paper doll fodder.” And they nod as though this is a normal thing to say while standing in a drug store at 10 pm on a light night chips run. In fact, sometimes they go through it with me telling me what I should draw though usually their picks are more hilarious than practical.

(I don’t really fancy the idea of drawing nine million sequins. Sorry guys.)

I also did a poll a while ago to see what readers wanted and they said Fantasy by a wide margin. Fantasy dresses are harder then casual contemporary clothing I can just people watch for ideas, but I do want to try to stretch. So, I decided to go a little old school epic fantasy for this set of Curves paper dolls.

I’m running a little Trivia contest, as some of you probably know from Monday’s post.

The question is:

What is my favorite holiday?

The Rules:
1) One guess per person per day (that means each day, not each post).
2) If no one guesses right by Monday, I’ll give a hint or pick the closest.
3) Anyone who knows me well enough to make a very informed guess, doesn’t get to enter. Sorry guys.

The Prize: a custom Marisole paper doll, so you tell me the hair color, skin color, hair style and basic theme and I’ll draw the paper doll.

Now, no one has gotten it yet and I think I need to offer a hint. So, I’ll say this- the holiday in question is coming up in the next two months. I’ll had another hint on Thursday if people haven’t guessed it by then. And you might want to check out the comments on Monday’s post to see what people have guessed already.

Good luck. :)

EDIT: Due to a higher level of difficulty then I have originally intended, I’ll offer another hint. The holiday moves on the solar Calendar each year and traditionally cookies are baked, children dress up in costume, a story is told and a lot of liquor is drunk.

Marisole Monday: Autumn Chic

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Picking out color schemes is one of the hardest things I do for my paper dolls, but I think it’s very important to make sure each paper doll makes sense. I want it to be colored in such a way that you can combine as many pieces as possible for as many outfits as possible. After all, that is the point of a paper doll isn’t it? I use some tools like The Color Scheme Designer and the Color Schemer Gallery which provides all sorts of color scheme options. I love looking at different color ideas, but I find I come back to the blue, orange, purple schemes a lot. I wear all those colors fairly often in the real world.

So, I’ve also decided to have a contest. Answer the question right and you get a custom Marisole paper doll. Details below:

What is my favorite holiday?

The Rules:
1) One guess per person per day.
2) If no one guesses right by Monday, I’ll give a hint or pick the closest.
3) Anyone who knows me well enough to make a very informed guess, doesn’t get to enter. Sorry guys.

I think that’s everything. And lest you think this is completely random, I assure everyone that I have mentioned the holiday on the blog before, but not in a very obvious way. The prize is a custom Marisole paper doll, so you tell me the hair color, skin color, hair style and basic theme and I’ll draw the paper doll. Of course, it might take me a while since I’m often slow with finishing things.

Good luck :)

Edit: The Contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Edit (10/7/2013): I just posted this paper doll set in black and white, so if you want to color her- now you can!

Puck: Jian

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It’s a MAN! Well…sort of. The following conversation may have occurred.

Me: Look. I’m trying a guy paper doll.
My Male Friend: That’s a guy?
Me: Yes.
My Male Friend: He’s kinda girly.
Me glaring.
My Male Friend: But his clothing is cool…
Me: Uhuh… keep back peddling. Then we’ll talk.

So, I redrew him, edited him and gave him manly strong man arms. He might not be like… the ultimate in masculinity, but considering I haven’t even tried to draw a guy paper doll in… um… seven years? Since high school anyway, I’m fairly okay with how he turned out. I agree his pose doesn’t scream MALE, but I wanted him to go with the Pixie dolls and match them to some degree. He’s like a male Pixie paper doll.

And my critical guy friend made up for his criticisms by suggesting the name Puck for the series.

This all began because I got a very sweet email asking for a paper doll for her son who wanted a boy paper doll. And since this year is about be trying new things with my paper dolls, I decided to go for it. My plan is to do one per month for the year, though I have to confess that most guys I know just wear jeans and t-shirts. It’s making for really boring paper doll clothing drawing, hence the steampunk paper doll.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Riding Habit and Day Dress

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The dress on the left is based on a Hyde Park walking costume, but I think it should be a riding habit since I haven’t seen many very good riding habits from this period. Also, the hat amuses me pretty deeply. The Hyde Park walking costume is a fashion plate from the Casey Fashion Plate Index.

There’s a new-ish paper doll blog called Silent Moonstone which features some darling paper dolls. They sent me a very nice email asking about how I color Marisole and Pixie. The short answer is that I use a combination of Photoshop and a filter called the B-Pelt Filter. Someday, I might make a tutorial with a long answer, but for now that’s how I do it.

Oh, and I suggest people check back on Sunday. There’s something fairly exciting happening here on Sunday. Okay…. I think it’s exciting… no one else might.

Curves: Gothic Goddess

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Hmmm… I just realized I misdated this paper doll… opps. I’ll fix it later. :)

I love how the hoop set looks under her skirt, I think they look like bones. Originally I was going to draw the costume on the left for Marisole and I spent a lot of time sketching it and re-sketching it and it never looked right. I’m glad I eventually decided to make it forCurves. I think it looks much better.

There’s something about the heavily shadowed paper dolls that I draw that seems to lend itself to gothic styling. I think it’s the contrast. I first started drawing paper dolls in this heavy shadowed style because I liked the idea of paper dolls in black and white which didn’t need to be colored. I wanted them to stand alone as graphic works without needing the injection of color. I think sometimes they work well and sometimes they don’t.

Also, if I’d done this set for Marisole, it would have been another mostly black set of clothing for her and sometimes I just get sick of that. So, I’m glad Curves got it in the end for a couple of reasons.

Marisole Monday: Valentines Day

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First, quick apology thing… if you emailed me in the last week or so… then I probably haven’t replied, because I forward that account to my other email and my other email was putting those emails into my spam folder. I think I’ve fixed the problem.

Now, onto the paper dolls…
Thumbnail of the Blond Paper Doll I did this paper doll originally with tan skin and dark hair, but then I also did a version as a blond. I liked it well both ways, so I decided to post them both. At the top is the dark haired version and then you can click the thumbnail on the left and get the 150 dpi PNG version of the blond paper doll. There’s also a PDF for the blond paper doll. I figured regardless of what skin tone and hair color was desired, there could be a paper doll to fit the bill.

I always associate Valentines Day with paper dolls. My grandmother used to send my and my sister Valentines Day cards when we were kids and they usually had a paper doll in them or some other activity. I still remember being excited at getting the cards and I would open them up and play with whatever had been included. Even all these years later, I remember what many of the cards looked like.

Teri Pettit’s Paper Doll Scans is a great site full of scans of paper dolls. She has a fantastic selection of greeting cards with paper dolls. Of course there are Valentine’s Day paper doll cards and paper doll cut outs. I distinctly recall that my sister got this paper doll for Valentine’s Day and I was totally jealous. I also seem to recall one of us (I don’t remember which one) got this paper doll card for something. Oh, the memories…

I think it’s a sad commentary on my mind that I can recall paper doll cards from years ago, but I can seem to keep my Latin declinations straight.

Pixie: Valentina

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Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day when we celebrate the death of a saint, by buying chocolate and paper hearts. I’ve had a rather bad history of horrible Valentine’s days, but I am trying to not let that get me down this year. Here we have Valentina with her red, white and black attire.

In other news, it seems like a contest would be a good idea, so I’ll have to think of something to do which is contest like. I have a few ideas. It will be something casual, believe me. I’m also excited to say there will be something totally new next Sunday and it’s very exciting.

Okay, well, I’m excited. It’s possible no one else cares.

In the mean time, enjoy Valentina and on Monday there will be a Valentines Day themed Marisole. Oh, the hearts and the pink and the bows…. (It’s nearly terrifying.)

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