Marisole Monday: A Princess in Black and White


{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}
So, my drawing is still open (will be until Next Tuesday, winner will be announced with the Dictionary Girls post of that week), but I wanted to start answering some of the excellent questions I was asked. Since one of the questions was about Marisole and here is Marisole, it seems fitting to answer that question now.

Dee asked: Where did the original idea [for Marisole] come from, was the first doll based on anyone special.

The answer is yes, she was. Well.. sort of. The first Marisole paper doll was drawn in 2009, according to the note I have scribbled on the original art work, but I never got around to posting her until the site crashed. As a result, she was posted for the new site version in January of 2010 and made her debut.

She is based, vaguely, on Halle Berry in the James Bond movie Die Another Day which is a pretty bad movie. Jinx Johnson, played by Halle, walks out of the water in a tiny orange bikini and a spiky hair cut. The hair was what made me think Marisole looked like Halle. The rest of the paper doll’s features owe their proportions to the Bratz dolls mostly.

Beyond the Jinx Johnson connection, I wanted to do a paper doll that wasn’t white. I’d noticed that there just aren’t a lot of brown skinned paper dolls out there on the internet. (My attempt to collect some African American paper doll printables taught me there still aren’t a lot of them.)

I went utterly cartoony with Marisole because I was self-conscious doing strongly ethnic features. The history of black paper dolls, especially, is full of some remarkably cruel depictions and I wanted to make sure Marisole wasn’t one of them.

It is possible she’s a cruel depiction of compound eyed, huge headed bug people… but that can’t be helped.

Also, making the paper doll cartoony meant she could be any skin tone or style I wanted which is part of why I still like drawing and coloring her after 2 and a-half years. She’s been dark, light, and dead.

I’ve even made her an alien.

Today’s incarnation of Marisole is a fairly standard pseudo-Victorian set whose pieces I couldn’t seem to arrange properly and so lose the title. Oh well… these things happen. I hate coming up with titles anyway. Tune in next week for the color version. It’s going to be… bright.


  1. You are great. My grand daughters loves your Marisole. They will only play with these paper dolls when they come to visit. Thank you for posting them. If you would, cn you let me know when you do more? Again, I love Marisole.

  2. I really don’t have the ability to contact people individually when the site updates unfortunately, however, I do have an RSS feed which can be found at . Eventually, I’d like to add a subscribe via email option for the blog, but I haven’t arranged it yet.

    I must thank you for your comment, because I hadn’t linked my RSS in an obvious place and I didn’t realize I’d failed to do this until you mentioned being updated. I hope this helps. And I can say there will be a new Marisole sometime today. Just as soon as I finish her. 🙂

  3. I just happened to stumble onto your website today while searching for paper dolls to print out and give as a gift for my 7 year old niece for Christmas. I can’t tell you how frustrating it has been to find any non-white dolls! My niece is a gorgeous coffee colour (white mom/black dad), and I didn’t want to give her all white dolls. These are beautiful, perfect, and wonderful! Thank you so much!!!

    Lisa Marie.

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