Rapunzel… The First of the Flock Fairytale Magnetic Series

Today I am totally pleased to present the first of the Flock Fairytale series which is Rapunzel. Rapunzel is one of those fairy tales that sorta freaks me out.

Somehow Disney turned it into a rather cute movie, but I just can’t get over the gruesomeness of original story what with the people getting blinded and all. Plus Rapunzel means like “salad greens” or something in German (according to a German friend in Grad School) and isn’t that a little weird? Naming your child after salad greens is, I suppose, a small oddity, after you’ve locked them in a tower for 18 years.

In the Grimm version, Rapunzel is a blond, but I don’t see why blonds should get all the fun. (Plus, I don’t really have a blond Flock doll…), so Phoebe gets to rock the Rapunzel look.

As I mentioned, this fairytale is weird, so I wasn’t going to do a Rapunzel, but when I was researching steampunk/neo-victorian (can someone explain the difference between those two things to me someday? I feel like neo-victorian is just steampunk without the gears and goggles…) fairy tales for inspiration I came across this drawing and I knew I had to do a Rapunzel.

Oddly, she’s the first one I’ve finished though I drew Red Ridinghood before her. I’ll get Red Ridinghood done in a few more weeks, I think.

By the way, there are 102 outfit combinations possible from this Flock set which is pretty wacky… though that high number relies on the large number of pairs of shoes (six) accompanying the nine main outfit pieces.

People supported my last foray into wacky ideas with my Noir Punk set, so I hope people like this one too.

Fairytale Flock: Phoebe as Rapunzel Set PDF Downloads
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Phoebe Doll PDF Download Rapunzel Clothing PDF Download

Marisole Monday: Autumn Colors

So, this was supposed to go up last Monday, but clearly that didn’t happen. Never the less, here she is on this Monday looking as dashing as ever.

Sunday was Purim, as some people probably know. Purim is one of my favorite holidays, mostly because of fond memories from when I was a child an the joy of making and eating hamentashen. As usual, I made far more of them than I could eat and so I’ll be giving them to various people today. Several years ago, I drew an Esther paper doll, though you’ll have to scroll down a little to see her in the post.

marisole-autumn-color-BW-2013{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

Anyway, in other news, I know I’ve neglected the blog over the last few weeks. I’ve been really busy, but I’m hoping to get back onto the ball with it. A few things are going to be changing, so keep your eyes open for a new about section and a few other new things- nothing radical, mostly housekeeping chores that I put off for a long time and finally am getting around to.

Today’s paper doll was inspired by a lot of different things, but mostly by my realization that I haven’t drawn very many coats for my paper dolls (with the exception of my Snow Day set, years ago) and my new found favorite research tool- hair style magazines, particularly black hair style magazines which I can draw hairstyles out of.

I do feel a little self-conscious buying the magazines at the local drug store, since the woman behind the counter usually gives me an odd look, but they’ve proven invaluable for getting hairstyles right. This braided bun is something I’ve wanted to draw for a while, but since asking random passer-bys to stand still for art practice isn’t really reasonable, my hairstyle magazines saved the day.

What sorts of hairstyles would you like to see for Marisole in the future?

Shadow and Light: Fantasy Paper Dolls…

I shall confess openly that I chose to rather than finish my Marisole paper doll for Monday I went out and had drinks with some friends. I think I had more fun with the drinks and burgers than I would have had with the paper doll, though I always value the opportunity to work on paper dolls. It was a busy, but weirdly unproductive weekend.

So, yesterday evening, after I got home from a panel on slavery and christian thought in the 1860s (which was fascinating, by the way), I settled down to watch something mindless on television (I have an odd addiction to HGTV) and work on this paper doll set.

This brings us rather neatly to today when I uploaded my files and posted the 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}

Every printable paper doll I make is a little different. In today’s paper doll set, I wanted to create some historically inspired (Tudor-lite) dresses that would feel like they could have actually existed, though obviously they did not.

There’s a bit in the film Enchanted where the character goes from the cartoon fantasy world into the real world and suddenly the inherent absurdity of the huge skirted dress she is wearing becomes obvious. I bring this up, because sometimes I feel like fantasy costumes are absurd for the sake of absurdity.

There is nothing wrong with giant skirts.

But this set of paper dolls, I found myself thinking of the stiffer conical skirts of the tudor period (thanks to the farthingale) rather than the softer styles I usually favor. The hair owes more to the Rudi Gernreich and Givenchy of the sixties than to anything older.

By the way, I have been looking for a really stellar book on the sixites mod fashions, if anyone knows of one, I’d love to get the title. The few I have found have all been lackluster at best.

Valentine’s Day…


{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print{Click Here for the Rest of the Series}

So, it’s Valentine’s Day again.

I have a history of fairly unpleasant Valentine’s Days, but being that as it is, I still enjoy the holiday as an excuse to eat those weird message hearts that taste like chalk. Personally, I almost wish we’d consider returning Valentine’s Day to it’s roots.

By which I mean the feast of Lupercalia which the Roman’s celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of Feburary. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain all while drunk and naked. How’s that for a good time?

Apparently, the women thought (well everyone thought) that being slapped by a bloody hide of a dead animal would make them fertile.

Anyway, short of getting slapped with straps of wet animal skin, I’ve decided to draw and post a paper doll. Slightly less messy, I suspect, though also, perhaps, less fun. The Chinese New Year paper doll poll got lots of votes for friends to go with the New Year paper doll, so she can share clothing if you want snakes to go with the hearts.

Goats and dogs, you’ll have to draw yourself.

By the way, I have a history of Valentine’s Day paper dolls. I did two in 2011 Marisole Monday and Pixie named Valentina . I didn’t do one last year, so I thought I better do one this year.

Marisole Monday: Vintage Roses in Pinks and Browns and Purples…

So, a version of this paper doll set got to become magnetic and is on it’s way to my grandmother, hopefully to get there before Valentine’s Day. Her set has a different doll with it, but I liked this doll a lot. The truth is that I have owed her a magnetic paper doll set for a while and I would be nervous about saying this online, but since she doesn’t seem to believe in the internet, I think I’m safe. I tend to be of the view that when you get to a certain age than you can decide not to use the internet if it suits you. I plan on becoming a grouchy old woman who may or may not chase children off my porch with a shotgun.


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

Anyway, this is a busy week for me. There’s a birthday in my family and Valentines Day for which I really should draw a paper doll. I did one for the Chinese New Year after all.

I’m also pleased to announce I now have a Showcase page inspired by Toria’s wonderful one. I am looking for more people’s colored versions of my black and white paper dolls or costumes you might have drawn for the paper dolls or anything else related to the paper dolls on this site that I might feature, so please email me“>email me if you have work that you would like included.

Questions? Thoughts? Theories on the meaning of life? Feel free to comment. I do love comments.

A Chinese New Year Paper Doll

Happy New Year! Apparently, this year is the year of the Snake. My limited understanding of the Chinese Zodiac informs me that it’s both the year of the Snake and the year of Water. I really don’t know much about the Chinese Zodiac.


{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print{Click Here for the Rest of the Series}

Anyway, I have been on a Chinese traditional dress kick since last year. I decided to draw a qípáo or cheongsam which is the figure hugging high collared dress of kung fu movie fame. The dress isn’t that old, but evolved around the 1920s in Shanghai. The original qipao was wide and loose and long and trimmed with bands of embroidered fabric.

The tunic on the left has “horse hoof” sleeves which were a standard part of Manchu dress during the Qing Dynasty in China. I shortened it to make it a little more modern. There’s also a pair of jeans, a pair of trousers and a modern qipao with a matching skirt, which is apparently not an uncommon way to wear one.

Speaking of all things Chinese, I was heavily inspired by the Kurhn dolls like this one which I guess are sort of Chinese Barbie dolls. Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely New Years Day, I plan on eating dumplings in celebration. (Also, because I have them in my freezer.)

I am currently debating if I should give today’s paper doll some friends, because I really liked the pose and I had fun drawing her (though I’m not totally pleased with the hair).

Shadow and Light: And then there were Twenty-Four…

I’ve done a lot of futuristic posts over the years. Some I think have been more successful than others. I still consider Shadow and Light Paper Doll 1 to be one of the best in this genre, even if most of her costuming was inspired by Cleopatra 2525.

It was free on Hulu and I didn’t have cable. Don’t judge me.


{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

My idea with this paper doll was do show off some more “casual” sci-fi inspired attire, but in the end I think it’s a little uninteresting. If I’m not careful, and I don’t know what to draw, I tend to draw the same things over and over again. I think these pieces are to close to those worn by Marisole Monday when she was an alien.

Despite my mixed feelings, I am posting her today, because I think it is important to put up what I have finished, even when I’m unsure about it. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, if I only posted what I was certain I liked, than half my posts wouldn’t have ever gone up.

Twenty Paper Dolls From Around the Web…

paper_doll_around_the_webI tend to gather up links to paper dolls, so that once in a while I can post them like this. It’s both to show off the art of people I’ve never heard of before, but it’s also to embrace the intense diversity of these paper novelties. Some of these are printable and some are just photos, but all in all, I think it’s a fun listing.

1. Sophie, A Look Behind in Fashion by Susan Beebe is a wonderful page of the early 20th century.
2. Cheer-Up Hamlet Paper Doll which I find hilarious.
3. Darling girl from the 1920’s, I would guess…
4. Printable Paper Doll by ~Miragehedgehog which is pretty darn cute.
5. Sandy by *Bee-chii has a tiny walrus… I am so pleased.
6. Blythe Paper Doll by ~Imadork007 is darling and she doesn’t look much like the doll, but I like her.
7. Fairy paper doll by ~Mauau is wonderfully surreal.
8. Fuschia Fashion Plate by Elektra Q-Tion is a bad ass roller derby chick.
9. Fangirl Paper Doll by ~violatekate is sassy and on the edge of NSFW.
10. A Finnish circus cut out… the clown scares me…
12. Cute little old fashioned girl… though I don’t think she’s that 1960s looking.
13. Batman Paper-doll by ~SylvesterHansen which includes a stylish evening gown.
14. A fashion drawing gone all paper doll in yellow and black… I don’t know the artist, or anything else, but I really like it.
15. Paper Doll: Ivanby by Winter-Vodka which is probably an anime character I’ve never heard of.
16. A model of a paper horse, of course…
17. Arabian fairy tale postcard done with cats… The Victorian’s could be so wacky
18. The Howells, a rather serious looking fifties couple.
19. Janet Laura who the person posting it says is from the 1920s, but is actually by Larry Bassin, one of my favorite paper doll artists and is modern.
20. Louis Vuitton paper dolls… which are fantastic.

And that’s all for this time. Enjoy the paper doll links.

Marisole Monday: Vintage Roses

After two set of Margot, I thought we’d pop back to Marisole for a while. This paper doll also has no pants. I just realized this.


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

So, a while ago, I was asked about programs I use to work on my paper dolls. I don’t remember who asked me the question, but as I worked on this paper doll set, I tried to figure out the answer. Not exactly rocket science, but it took some thought.

I use Photoshop CS3 for all my paper dolling (a bit out of date, I know) and I like it, though the learning curve on it is steep. To color my paper dolls, I use a filter called the Bpelt filter, which is designed for flatting comics. Flatting is the process of coloring in shapes with no black line border. Traditionally, newspapers printed all of the color and then over printed the line work. I think comics, in the real world, may still be printed this way though I’m not sure… my printing history gets fuzzy once computers enter onto the scene.

I like Bpelt because it allows me to have my line-work on a separate layer which is useful for me.

Frankly, I don’t have much experience with other programs. I would like to learn Illustrator and Indesign, but I never have. I can’t really provide a helpful review except to say that I am certain I use Photoshop for about a tenth of what it is capable of.

Cleopatra Paper Doll in Full-Color

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{The Original Paper Doll Set}

First of all, I owe a big thank you to K from A Time for Paper Dolls… who was kind enough to let me post my coloered version of her lovely Cleopatra paper doll.

When I was a kid, I was totally into realistic paper dolls (Tom Tierney and Peck-Garde), but now that I am older, if not wiser, I find myself drawn to the more stylized and unusual. Larry Bassin and Kwei-Lin Lum are two of my favorite modern artists.