Happy Halloween! A Group Paper Doll Project

So… back in August I sent an email to Toria of Paper Closet and Boots of 19th Century Paper Dolls inviting them to join me in a project to draw a doll and then share responsiblities for drawing her clothing. They both kindly said yes.

Later, we asked Liana of Liana’s Paper Doll Blog to join us and the Halloween Paper Doll was born.

This was the outcome:

{Link to Printable PDF of the Halloween Paper Doll}

The project worked like this: I drew the doll and then with the guideline of “something Halloween oriented” they all drew a costume or two, as did I. I can not express how pleased I am with how she turned out and with all the hard work of my co-artists. Everyone did such beautiful work from Liana’s creepy scull encrusted regency dress to Boot’s (AKA Elena) even creepier La Llorena to Toria’s delicate Wilis. Download her and you can find out about mythological creatures from Morocco to Mexico.

Seriously, I can not thank Toria of Paper Closet, Liana of Liana’s Paper Doll Blog, and Boots of 19th Century Paper Dolls all enough for their hard work. Thank you guys, you made this happen and please please check out their blogs. They are all skilled and talented artists.

Marisole Monday: Patterns & Grace

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

This printable paper doll set began as a chance to experiment and practice drawing pattern. It ended as an experience best summed up as… “Why did I ever decide I wanted to draw that stupid scrawling floral pattern and it’s a total pain to ink and it’s a total pain to color and I hate my life…”

Not shockingly, this set took me longer to finish than it should have. The full-color version goes up next week and you can all decide if it was worth the agony of the floral pattern from the pits of Hell.

Seriously, my hatred for that floral pattern is still fresh and warm.

Moving rapidly along, the paper doll that was supposed to go up with week was going to be Halloween themed, but since she didn’t get finished, we have a back up fantasy paper doll set instead.

Also, can I add, that from this paper doll’s accessories she leads a really surreal life- a sword for fighting, a letter for writing, a book for reading, yarn for knitting and a pitcher for… I don’t know… recreational water pouring? There’s no glass so I guess… she drinks from the pitcher? Hmm…

Clearly someone (and that means me) didn’t think this through. She wasn’t going to have a sword, but I had an extra from Silk and Steel and I figured that she could share the love.

By the way, if you have an opinion on the fate of the Dictionary Girls let me know.

Dictionary Girl’s get Ruffled

Thumbnail link image {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series} {Click Here for the Dolls to Dress}

Confession time: This might be the last Dictionary girl paper doll post for a while.

I have been feeling really ambiguous about my Dictionary Girl paper dolls lately and I haven’t even been able to get myself excited about drawing for them. Originally, I wanted to do this fun vintage thing which I did, but lately I’ve been feeling less then inspired. Their feet freak me out and I’m not in love with their faces. The truth is that I have moved towards a more cartoon style of drawing lately and these dolls feel… forced and awkward.

I’m really divided about this, because I think it’s important to have paper dolls of all body types and I think it’s important to show that healthy figured women are… well… healthy, but on the other hand… I’m having trouble getting excited about them…

You know, I feel like I’m writing an awkward break up letter… “It’s not you. It’s me.”

Anyway, I’m taking a break from these girls to see if inspiration strikes and if it doesn’t, I might be slipping them into the retired section with Curves paper dolls the first version, Flora the Regency paper doll and Florence the 1870’s paper doll.

But I do want to know how people feel about this and I was going to do a poll, but instead I thought I would just ask.

How important is it for the site to have a full figured printable paper doll? And if I decide on a different one than the Dictionary Girls, how would people feel?

Puck: Trey… he’s a little bit Punk…

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

So, I know there haven’t been very many Puck paper dolls lately… so here is one. He’s not the superhero I had planned on posting, but I think a little punk fella goes with the various other punky Pixie and Puck paper dolls I promised and posted (and yes, I do like alliteration, thank you much).

As always, Trey can trade costumes with any of the other Puck paper dolls, so you can ger a variety of other costumes if you want them. And I’ve learned from Dover that perhaps I should call them “Paper Action Figures.” I love the robots and their costumes.

Oh and I should had, his skin tone did not look so sickly when I originally chose it and somehow now I think he looks like he suffers from some skin condition… Sometimes I hate skintones.

AGLOVERELIZABETH asked: So for my question:
Would you rather be
a) a mermaid
b) a pirate
c) a princess
d) a fairy

Personally, I’m pretty content to be a special collections librarian, but when I was little I remember demanding to be a “magical unicorn fairy ballerina” when playing pretend with my friends in kindergarten. I think this had more to do with wanting to be better than those people who just wanted to be a “magical unicorn”, proving that, even at a young age, I understood the concept of “powergaming.”

Have a question you’d like me to answer? Ask me.

Marisole Monday: In the 1940s… in COLOR

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, as usual the back and white version of this printable paper doll happened last week and this week we have the full color version. Somehow, in color, the paper doll looks less angry to me. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

On a totally unrelated note, a reader posted some images of Little Pixie colored in a garden on a French forum. I think she did a fantastic job and she has a blog, so check that out. Sometimes when I see my paper dolls colored by someone else, I sort of forget that they are my work.

I am thinking of putting up a page to show off some of the work other artists have done based on my work, like Toria’s Showcase. Are there people out there with photos or scans who would be willing to contribute?

Calla in Colors… Peaches and Ice

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Originally, I was going to call this peaches and cream, but I already used cream, so I had to come up with something else to call it. I’d say what I thought of this color set in detail, but I don’t want to influence people. Needless to say, I do really like the two tone blouse and I think it changes the look of the garment considerably.

I think it’s interesting what this soft color palette does for the edgy clothing. Very different look from the other sets.

And since we’ve had the whole set of Calla’s posted this this week, I’m curious if people’s favorites turned out to be the ones they thought would be their favorites based on the swatches. Peaches and Ice was winning the swatch poll, but on the actual paper dolls it’s not my favorite. What do other people think?

Calla in Color: Mango and Strawberry

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

I will be at work late tonight, so I am writing this post early in the morning. I do evening reference shifts about twice a month and I enjoy it. Since I work down in the Special Collections, I tend to get specialized varieties of questions, but when I’m at the reference desk, I get all sorts of random questions. My favorite was an evening when I got asked about both Chinese acrobats and the economics of fisheries on the Gulf of Mexico.

Anyway, my point is that when writing blog entries early in the morning, you have to lower your standards for my coherence.

When I use these cheery fruity colors, I always find myself thinking of the tropics. I imagine Calla walking the streets of somewhere warm- Miami or Brazil- and drinking something iced out of a coconut. By the way, I totally think Kandi would steal the black skirt with the pink piping.

I seem to have some weird conviction that tropical colors means tropical places.

The only downside of writing posts in the morning is that it makes it so I end up posting two in the same day…. I shall have to think on that one was a problem. Oh well….

Calla in Colors… Avacado and Cream

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

There’s something intensely 1970’s about this color scheme on Calla. Avacado is a color I’ll always associate with the 1970s. My highschool was decorated in avocado, burnt orange and sort of a muddy yellow color. Whenever anyone talks about how “classic” a color combination is, I think back to the rather horrid colored lockers and wonder if some design team thought that about them.

Of course, after I graduated, they did a remodel and now it’s a much more attractive grey, red and teal building.

I have included the color swatch for this set, so you can see how the colors turned out when put on the actual paper doll. I usually collect colors on swatches if I am doing a large set (such as the Flock Modern Girl) and then keep them carefully saved as a file called something creative like “Color Palette”. I am particularly pleased with how nicely Calla’s warm mocha skin tone goes with the spicey orange red color and, in hindsight, I wish I’d used more of it in the set.

My love of Calla’s hair remains intense.

By the way, I just discovered a new paper doll blog. I am rather annoyed that I didn’t know it existed before this. I am so out of the loop sometimes… Yeesh. Paper Doll School is fairly new on the blog scene, only been around since June. I adore her tutorials and will probably be trying out some of her techniques myself, especially her advice on Photoshop, a tool I’m always trying to learn more about. Plus she has the cutest grinning bride paper doll on her blog. So, go visit her if you get a chance.

Calla in Colors… Black and White

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

For the next three days, I’ll be posting a different version of this paper doll in color each day.

So, Calla started out as a hip-hop infused paper doll project born out of my own ignorance of the genre. I don’t think that, in the end, she looks terribly hip-hop, but I did my best.

Calla began when one of my student workers and I got into a conversation about Chicago hip-hop style that ended with her giving me the names of several brands including Apple Bottoms, Rocawear and Baby Phat. Using their designs as a starting point, I carefully researched and then drew Calla’s face.

Somewhere between the “head” being drawn and the clothing being drawn my own natural inclination for pin-tucks and pleats took over. So… I guess Calla is less of a hip-hop paper doll than she was meant to be. I still think she’s really really cute.

Each of these swatches is a little different. And each one was adapted and became one set of colors I used when coloring a version of Calla including the skin and hair colors, but not the eye or lip colors.

I’m curious about which one people like the best, so I have a poll in the sidebar. It will be up for a few days. :)

Marisole Monday: In the 1940s…

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

As I mentioned last month, I have been very interested in the 1940s lately. It’s not a period that I’ve been interested in normally, but watching a rather lot of Foyle’s War has infected me, I suppose.

The thing about the 1940s, which makes it a little difficult, is that in the middle of the decade there’s a rather important event known as World War II (though I tend to share the view of scholars who argue there weren’t two wars, but rather one war with a twenty year cease fire in the middle). The full skirted suit is of the style that came out of the war in 1947, thanks to Dior’s New Look. The other suit jacket and skirt are both based on the short lived fabric restrictions known as “Uility clothing” in England. In fact, these restrictions are one of the reasons vest for men fell out of fashion in the United States and England.

I’m pleased about this set, though her hair isn’t quite right. I have trouble with hair and I think something about the style makes her look somewhat… angry.

Irma asked: How much time in a week do you spend drawing paper dolls?

I tend to work in bursts. Some weeks I do lots and lots of drawing and inking and other weeks I can go and never touch them. My goal is always to have the images, at least, ready far enough ahead that I don’t have to play catch up too much. I know there is no way I could possibly draw, ink, scan, color and post a set all in one evening. It just wouldn’t happen. I don’t have that kinda time, so I work in sections. For example, I already have the rest of this week’s paper dolls ready to post and, though I haven’t written the blogs yet, the images are prepped and uploaded to my server.

I tried to keep track of how long this set took me to get ready from scan to prep, so I could at least tell Irma that much, and I found that it took me four hours from the scanning to the posting, granting that I was watching an episode of the West Wing at the time and took a few breaks.

By the way, if you haven’t been to it, Irma’s blog is fantastic. I love her black and white paper dolls.

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