On the Board Walk in Color: A Neo-Victorian Paper Doll Set

It is rare that I have the plan for a color scheme in mind before I start drawing, but I knew I wanted this set of paper dolls to be done in a red white and blue color scheme with a nautical twist.

I was playing around with my Photoshop settings on this one and I am not totally pleased with how the line-work came out on the color version. I shall have to look into what I did and think about it a bit more. I didn’t notice it as much on my smaller laptop screen, but working on it on a larger screen it has become very obvious.


{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, I think it’s now question time…

Gillian asked: when did you start drawing paper dolls? and how did you learn to draw?

Well…. I started drawing paper dolls… I don’t even remember when I started drawing paper dolls. My mother used to draw dolls for me and my sister when we were kids. She’d draw the doll as a bribe to get us to clean our rooms or do the dishes and then we would have to draw the clothing. So, that’s when the paper doll thing got started.

I learned to draw mostly by doing a lot of it. I took art classes in high school and middle school, but mostly I am self taught. I’d love to have some time in the future to take some figure drawing classes. I don’t think I do a very good job on my figures. I nearly always draw from a reference image. I don’t really have the ability to draw well without one.

I hope that answers your question Gillian.

By the way, I was trying to do a darker, maybe Latino skin tone here, but I think she came out looking sickly. Too much yellow in the skin, perhaps.

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  1. oh i love this! i love the doll, the color palette, the style of the clothes, the shoes (the shoes!).

    not sure why you don’t like the linework ~ it seems very crisp and consistent (and you have that nice thing where there’s a nice heavy black so that cutting things out isn’t so anxiety-inducing, which i love!

    : D

    1. I don’t like the area around the boots. I had to re-color the shoe bases at the last minute (I decided I didn’t like the original red color) and the linework suffered I think…. it’s minor and I doubt anyone notices or worries about it except me.

  2. I remember when I was little, I thought the color would run out if I cut too close into the outline…XD

    And trust me, you’re not the only one who can’t draw without reference images; some details bug me to the point where I have to trace them…

  3. I am in love with this set. I would love to see how the jackets look over the dresses. Will have to buy a color printer soon.
    My mother also drew paper dolls for me and my sister. She was a teacher and could therefore steal a copy or two of her dolls, so she wouldn’t have to draw new ones all the time. Sometimes when we were on vacation she would draw some that could not get copied and those are still my favorites because they are unique.
    I still draw paper dolls. And so does my 7 year old daughter. Maybe it’s hereditary.

  4. This color combination is gorgeous! How I wish I had a fancy dress Fourth of July shindig to go to so I could wear one of those dresses!
    I also admire how prepared you are with posting this before the Fourth! I never think of it until the day after… lol

    1. Um… well… I wasn’t thinking of the fourth when I posted it. I was just thinking that I liked nautical colors…. I have NOTHING done for the fourth… oh well…

      1. Though the majority of my readers come from the United States, the UK is roughly tied with Canada for the number of monthly readers at about 500. So, no, I don’t think you’re the only English person who uses this website.

  5. This is my all time favorite set of clothing. I am guilty of taking the doll from Coffee, Strawberries and Cream and putting it with this. I like the outcome… I also took and bunch a clothes, in black and white colored them and made a Titanic themed dollz . My fav is the boarding outfit with the big hat. Luv your dolls!

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