Bone Fairy…. and Hiatus

A fairy paper doll with bone and spiderweb wings and three outfits. From paperthinpersonas.com.{PDF of the Bone Fairy Paper Doll} {150 DPI PNG of this Paper Doll Set}

I think everyone goes through a “drawing creepy things in college” phase.

This paper doll was part of my “drawing creepy things in college” phase. I was obsessed at the time with the Duino Elegies by Rilke. The First Elegy contains what remains my favorite Rilke quote, “Because beauty’s nothing but the start of terror we can hardly bear, and we adore it because of the serene scorn it could kill us with. Every angel’s terrifying.” I memorized the entire first elegy out of the A. Poulin Jr. translation I bought for a dollar at a thrift store in college.

Anyway, this paper doll was inspired by angels (the terrifying kind) and fairies (also the terrifying kind) and so she’s a little dark. She’s up in the Printable Paper Doll Index along with the rest of the random non-series paper dolls I’ve ever posted.

Since it’s the last day in May, this also begins my month long hiatus. I will still be checking in on the blog, and checking my email, but I have conferences and work obligations that are going to make this coming month nearly impossible for my usual update schedule.

I hope that when I return on the first of July, I’ll have had time to make some changes to the site, built up a big of a backlog and be able to continue out the year strong. We’ve had 55 posts over the last five months and I’m quite proud of that. See you all in a month. 🙂

Calculating clothing combinations…

site-math-post

So, I was quite sick for the last few days and so didn’t get a Monday post up. Rather, I spent my Memorial day in bed, sleeping and eating soup. I hope other people had a better day off. Since I didn’t want anyone to think I’d dropped off the face of the Earth or was eaten by a wild goat, I have decided to post something I wrote last week and never got around to posting. I hope no one minds.

In the wake of doing my astronaut scientist paper doll Emily, I started thinking about paper dolls and math…

Now, I’m pretty bad at math, but I do have a formula I use for calculating outfit options. (By the way, I also use this when packing for trips where it works pretty darn well too. 🙂 )

Here’s how I calculate the number of “outfits” possible from a set of paper doll mix and match clothing pieces. First, we must define our variables. I know a certain former math teacher who would be quite irate with me if I failed to define my variables.

      X=Number of Tops

 

      Y=Number of Bottoms

 

      Z= Number of Jackets

 

      W=Number of Shoes

 

      V = Number of Dresses

 

    N= Number of Outfit Combinations

So… the formula looks like this:

    ((X*Y)+V)*(W+1)*(Z+1)= N

Why the formula works…

An “outfit” consists of one top plus one bottom. Since every top can be worn with every bottom, the tops multiplied by the bottom gives us the number of outfit options. Dresses are generally not worn with tops or bottoms and therefore they are added after the multiplication has taken place. The shoes (W) and the jackets (Z) both have to have one added to them, because it is possible to function without wearing shoes or jackets and the one provides for that option. If the assumption is being made that shoes will always be worn than the 1 can be omitted from the (W+1) calculation.

The formula doesn’t always work. Some sets, such as Mia at the Bathing Place or Blossom are done with the assumption that certain pieces will always be worn together or aren’t really mix and match to begin with. Further, not all paper doll sets are mix and match oriented. I generally do not take necklaces, scarves and other accessory items into consideration, because I think they don’t dramatically change the outfit enough to warrant being counted as separate outfits. For example, had I considered them, Spikes and Pleats would have included 5920 combinations, which seems a bit much, even to me.

However, if you want to include the accessory items… than take N and do the following:

      N= Number of Outfit Combinations

 

      A= Number of Necklaces

 

      B= Number of Bracelets

 

      C= Number of Scarves

 

    D= Number of Outfit Combinations including Accessories

So… now the formula gets to look like this:

    N*(A+C+1)*B=D

And with that little foray into math, I am now going to go take more cold medication. Enjoy the calculations… And ask if you have questions.

Astronaut Paper Dolls… Color & Black and White

Disclaimer: I know NOTHING about astronauts.

However, I got an email from a young reader named Emily who wrote:

…would you please consider to draw astronaut paper dolls because when I get to grow up I’m going to be an astronaut scientist.

In the words of one of the college students I work with, “You go girl!”

pixie-astronaut-paper-doll-color

{Click Here for a PDF of Emily in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Emily in Color}{Click Here for More Pixie & Puck Paper Dolls}

I have named the paper doll Emily for reader who requested her. Emily comes complete with a graphing calculator, space suit, lab coat, safety goggles and a rocket t-shirt. Who doesn’t need that? Emily has short hair so that her space helmet fits properly. I realized after I drew it that the boots should probably not be separate, but it was already colored by the time this occurred to me. I didn’t put a flag on her space suit, because I know I have a lot of international readers, but feel free to add your own.

pixie-astronaut-paper-doll-bw

{Click Here for a PDF of Emily in Black and White} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Emily in Black and White} {Click Here for More Pixie & Puck Paper Dolls}

Personally, I rather like the flag of Yap an island in the Federated States of Micronesia. Now, I’ve never been to Yap, but it’s fun to say and they speak a language called Yapese, which sounds pretty cool to me. (Okay, most of them speak English, but Yapese sounds a lot cooler than English…)

Happy Slightly Belated Birthday, Emily and Enjoy the paper dolls!

Now, I just need to do the cowgirl set people keep asking for… I wish I knew how to draw a cowboy hat… or that I didn’t find horses kinda creepy…

Thoughts? Questions? Ideas about Space? Drop me a comment.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Noble Knight in Color…

noble-knight-marisole-paper-doll-color{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, last week I posted today’s knight paper doll in black and white. Today, we have her in color. I’m going to be frank and say that I’m really not all that pleased with how she came out.

When I was in elementary school there was a girl, who shall remain nameless, with whom I did not get along. This paper doll has very similar coloring and I find myself disliking her for that reason. Is that strange? Perhaps… I have no idea what happened to the girl in question, but I hope she is happy where ever life leads her.

It is funny how things from childhood stick around so many years later.

Anyway… I recently updated to the latest version of WordPress and did it without break the blog, so go me! There’s still a few things that might be a little different as I get the theme updated, but all the links and things seem to be working fine. Please be patient with me as I work out the kinks in the code. I’m not great at CSS, but I can do it with enough time and trial and error. Still, stuff might look a bit strange around here while I get it done and I apologize for that in advance.

Mini-Maidens… Faye of the Future… A black and white printable paper doll

Among my various hobbies, other than drawing paper dolls, I mean, I play table top rpgs. One of my favorites is Shadowrun which I play on Saturday nights, usually. Inevitably, a bout of Shadowrun playing leads to be drawing cyberpunk inspired paper doll sets. While I agree with the general complaint that Shadowrun isn’t very pure cyberpunk, it is still a lot of fun, plus in how many other games can you have elves with assault rifles? I openly confess I have some reservations about the portrayal of Native American’s in the cannon of the game world, but no more of a problem than I have with how women are portrayed in almost every game book ever, so I can get over it.

faye-future-paper-doll

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

By the way, I updated the Showcase recently and forgot to mention it. My bad. So, there’s some new work in there by Meredith and I have more to add, I just haven’t gotten the files re-sized yet. It will happen soon enough. Thank you, Meredith for participating.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that the blog will be going into hiatus for the month of June. I have travel, work obligations and I’m going to be presenting a paper at an academic conference, all of which leaves me terrified and really busy. I’ll still be checking my email and answering comments when I can, but I won’t be updating. I’ll give a longer announcement about it when we get closer to the date in question.

Thoughts? Comments? As always, I love to hear from you guys. 🙂

Coridel Paper Doll from Paper Closet


Thumbnail of Coridel Paper Doll from Paper Closet

{Click Here for a PDF to Print }{Click Here for the Original Paper Doll in Black and White from Paper Closet }

Thumbnail of Coridel Paper Doll from Paper Closet

{Click Here for a PDF to Print }{Click Here for the Original Paper Doll in Black and White from Paper Closet }

So, I have been wanting to play with digital painting, not something I have much experience with nor something I think I’m very good at. As I was working on playing with these techniques, I decided I need to stop working with my own art. Don’t get me wrong, I love my art, but I also felt like I was too close to it to really feel comfortable playing with it. There was a little too much pressure. So, with the permission of Toria from A Paper Closet, I set to work.

I kept thinking I would do her ballgown, but somehow it never happened. Toria described Cordiel as “a rare beauty of dark brunette hair, smooth pale skin, and clear blue eyes”, but I ended up making her a fire redhead. I hope Toria doesn’t mind some creative liberties taken.

Also, I sort of hope posting this will inspire her to return to updating her blog, because I sorely miss getting to check A Paper Closet for new work. Not to, you know, heap on any guilt or anything… 🙂 (Who am I kidding? I am totally willing to heap on guilt.)

Marisole Monday & Friends: A Noble Knight

noble-knight-marisole-paper-doll{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I was about six seconds from titling this “Knoble Knight”, but I fought off the urge. Be proud of me.

It is both late and past my bedtime, so I am going to keep this post short and fairly sweet. I’ve done a lot of princess paper dolls, but I also like doing warrior paper dolls, so here is one. I’ve never tried to draw full armor before. I don’t know anything about full-plate armor, except that it seems awfully bulky and I wouldn’t want to wear it into battle.

Actually, I wouldn’t want to wear anything into battle. I don’t really want to be in battle at all, so I guess that is a factor in all that. As I was working on this paper doll, my mind kept going back to this current internet kerfuffle over a redo of Merida the main character in Pixar’s Brave as she enters the merchandizing world of Disney Princesses.

The Daily Mail has a nice article on the subject. The criticism I agree with is that I think its important that girls with different body types be celebrated, so the slimming down of Merida bothers me a little. There’s even a Change.Org petition (because this is really important…) which reads, partly, “Merida was the princess that countless girls and their parents were waiting for — a strong, confident, self-rescuing princess ready to set off on her next adventure with her bow at the ready. ”

Why does she need a bow and arrows? Okay, object to the body changing stuff as much as you like, I won’t argue, but what is up with the obsession with her bow and arrows? Does taking away her bow and arrows make her suddenly a weak character? I really don’t think so…

So, today’s paper doll has armor. I don’t think she’s anymore of a feminist paper doll than say last weeks princess who didn’t have a bow and arrows or sword. What is up with the current tendency to arm fairy tale princesses (like that really bad movie with Snow White and the Huntsmen…)?

Women don’t need weapons to be strong and I don’t think taking away Merida’s makes her weak. And wow… this is like the most political post I have ever written. I am seriously going to bed, before I start ranting about something more pointless.

Paper Doll Hunting for Fun… In Polish

paper_doll_around_the_webMan, looking for paper dolls in foreign languages is a total blast, plus I keep finding new and neat things. So another reader, let me know that lalki papierowe is the Polish term for paper dolls. Here’s a few of the paper dolls I found…

Magdelana Babinska is an artist who does beautiful work and has a selection of paper dolls, including a darling baby, True Blood and Twlight, on her blog.

Little girl with pigtails and cute modern costumes is fun to check out and here is a darling doll in Muslim dress.

On the other hand, if you want your child to grow up to be a cleaning lady… here’s the paper doll for you. I can’t decide how I feel about this paper doll. She’s interesting, but I think about how hard the cleaning women who do the library work and I feel its a little disrespectful…

Of course, I haven’t read the entire Polish blog post, so there’s that.

Moving on… we have a cute vintage boy and a chick with a giant head.

I don’t know what to make of this paper doll, but I like the tattoos.

So, I can now add Polish to my Swedish and Danish paper doll hunting.

Punk Girl… A black and white paper doll…

My best friend in middle school and in high school and college was a girl with a distinctly punky style. I admired her guts at wearing vynal pants in our small Alaskan town. This was before the days of days of universal internet shopping (we had Amazon and it pretty much only sold books back then), so the school was pretty sedate in style. (Not from desire, as much as lack of access.) Her style, on the other hand, was loud and bright and adventurous. I’ve always admired her for having the gall to go for it when I didn’t.
punk-shadowed-2

Since I wasn’t going to actually wear the clothing I admired so much, I made up for it by drawing paper dolls. This was dates from my college years, back in 2005. I remember planning on doing that brick pattern, by hand, for the entire sheet of clothes and then concluding life was way to short. Unlike a lot of my stuff from college, I’m still pleased with this one, though I see a few flaws that I would correct now, except that I want to keep the integrity of my old art.

{Click Here for a PDF of the Paper Doll} {Click Here for a PNG of the Paper Doll}

punk-shadowed-1

{Click Here for a PDF of The Paper Doll’s Stylin’ Clothes} {Click Here for a PNG of The Paper Doll’s Stylin’ Clothes}

I have also, quietly, migrated the Dictionary Girls into retired status. The series hasn’t been updated in six months and I hate to leave it hanging as a “possibility” when I know, secretly, that it’s probably not. I do want to have a full figured paper doll series, I just need to think about how to handle it. Having said that, inspiration might strike and they might return. I just don’t want people to think they update often when, in truth, they don’t.

Marisole Monday: Coastal Princess in Coastal Colors

coastal-princess-color{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, my original idea was to make today’s paper doll a little bit latino looking with a darker skin tone than I’ve done with a Margot paper doll before, but I think she rather turned out just looking like she got a bit of a tan. So, next time I’ll rethink the color choice. Skin tones are hard, as I think I’ve mentioned many many times before. Personally, I really like the dark blue dress the best. I think it came out just like I wanted it to.

Stumbled across a new tumblr today, called Paper Doll Central. Beautiful work. Makes me wish I still was trying to keep up with my tumblr. Lots of nice paper dolls there worth checking out if you have a few minutes and want to indulge.

I mentioned last week I was inspired by the Mediterranean ocean when I colored this paper doll. I was also inspired by the idea of not using any pinks or reds, just clean clear cool colors. I imagine Margot walking on the beach, wind whipping through her skirts while she watches ships on the ocean. Then, possibly, being attacked by giant crabmen from the planet Neptune.

Maybe I should have drawn her a sword.