End of the Year Wrap Up- Plus Contest/Drawing

Back in June, I formally posted my goals for 2014. In hindsight, I think I was overly ambitious. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking when it come to some of them.

Still, I’m not displeased with how 2014 went which is good because it ends tonight at midnight.

I might not have gotten ten male paper dolls done, but I did finish up Marcus 2.0 and there’s two of them up now. (There will be another one of his series posted on Monday… but that’s going to be 2015.)

Meanwhile, I got one tutorial up on cleaning up linework and four featured artists (not six, but I’m at peace with that). The thing I am most proud of is that I have regularly checked out other people’s paper doll sites and regularly commented on them. This was perhaps the most important of my goals for 2015.

So, what blogs do I regularly look at? In no real order… Liana’s Paper Doll Blog, Pabernukublogi, A Paper Closet, Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls, The Paper Doll Bag and Miss Missy Paper Dolls. I read these because they are updated with some regularity.

Did I miss a really good one? Do let me know.

Meanwhile, it’s the year end, so it’s time for my annual contest.

contest-jan-2015

So, it is time to ask what people would like to see on the blog in the coming year. Post a comment with what you’d like to see up here (repeats of other requests are completely acceptable) and you’ll be entered in my drawing to win a custom paper doll.

Usual rules apply:

      1. You can only win one contest a year. (I’m considering this a new year…)
        2. I announce the winner (choosen via random number generator) on the blog on the day after the contest ends. I will also email the winner at their email address attached to the comment. If I do not hear back from the winner within a week, I will use a random number generator to select the next

winner.

      3. The winner will receive a one page custom paper doll based on one of my paper doll series within a month of the end of the contest. This one page paper doll can not violate trademarks or copyrights (aka: I can’t draw something under some one else’s trademark or copyright).
      4. If there is a delay for some reason, I will contact with winner and we will make other plans.

So, feel free to enter by posting a comment on this post about what you’d like to see on the blog in the new year. The contest will end on the 14th of January (midnight, Central time). I will announce the winner by drawing on the 15th, likely in the late afternoon since I will have to actually do the random number generator thing… you know the drill by now.

This drawing/contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. 🙂

Simple Sophisticate: Printable Paper Doll in Color

logo-margot-simple-colorSo, today’s paper doll set did not turn out like I thought it would. I tend to be of the opinion that anyone whose spent anytime doing anything artistic eventually has projects that just don’t come out as intended.

Sometimes, this is a bad thing and sometimes it is a good thing. Part of having deadlines, which come with any regularly updating enterprise, is that they force me to accept what I have created and then move onto the next project.

I find that to be a rather comforting thing. While I had intended this printable paper doll set to be done in bright colors, I ended up rather hating the bright color schemes and switched instead to a pastel scheme.

Pastels are, apparently, quite in fashion this winter.

margot-color-paper-doll
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}
I’m wrapping things up for next year which starts this week (shocking, really). There will be a few things going up with a 2014 date on them as I post backlog content. It is rare for me to end the year with anything in backlog, so I am rather proud of myself.

Meanwhile, enjoy today’s paper doll and there will be another one later this week.

Playing in Puddles: A Poppet Paper Doll Dress-Up Set

puddles-logoEmbarrassing confessions of a paper doll blog owner: I drew this set of clothes over a year ago. Over a year!

And I am just now posting them.

There is no good reason for this, except I sorta got wrapped up in other things. Never the less, here they are, just in time for snow rather than rain. Originally, I had planned on calling this set, “April Showers”. It is not april. April is a LONG way off.

In the meantime, I am calling it “Playing in Puddles” and I am very pleased with how these printable paper doll clothes turned out.

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{Download a PDF in Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG in Color}{Download a PDF to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG to Color} {More Poppet Printable Paper Dolls}
Petal is modeling this set. She’s my latest Poppet paper doll and you can print her here, if you haven’t already. Of course, you can print all the Poppets and their clothes. I’m rather pleased to say that there are now 5 different Poppet dolls and six pages of Poppet clothing, not including the outfit that comes with each doll.

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday time with family and friends.

How I Clean up Black and White Linework

Today, I am please to present a tutorial on how I prep my scanned line work for paper doll sets. I was asked some questions about this by Bethany, who shows off her paper dolls on her Pinterest board.

In this tutorial, I will show you how I clean up linework from a rough scan to an image with only black & white. I don’t know if this is a perfect set of instructions, but I have done my best to encapsulate the process I use.

Before you begin, you will need your scanned linework. I scan at 600 DPI, but other people scan at other things and that’s okay. Load your scan into your version of Photoshop. I use CS5 and CS3, because I am quirky.

Ready? Okay… let’s do this.

Step 1: This is Your Scan.

lwt1In the image above you can see my 600 DPI Tiff that I have opened in Photoshop. My scanning bed is just a little too small to fit my 9 by 12 sketchbooks, so normally I scan in two parts and then join those parts using Photoshop’s automated picture combine features. In the end, this is what the scan looks like right before I am ready to start cleaning it up. As you can see, this is for a majorette set for Marisole Monday & Friends.

Now… let’s get ready to mess with it.

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Simple Sophisticate: A Paper Doll in Black and White

logo-margot-simple-bwA few random things today and then a paper doll set, of course.

First of all, I’m always on the hunt for new paper dolls about the web. I’d like to share the work of Bethany, who shows off her paper dolls on her Pinterest board.

Secondly, it is that time of the year again where I usually run a contest. I haven’t decided what that contest is actually going to look like this year, but keep your eyes peeled. I’ve had several people ask when the next contest for a paper doll was going to be and it’s coming up.

Thirdly, I maybe taking another haitus in January. I don’t know yet. I’ve got a lot happening that month.

Meanwhile… Hey! It’s a paper doll.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}
This is the third set of the paper dolls I drew back in September. It was not my favorite of the paper doll designs, but it came out well enough I suppose. I’ll talk more about the challenges of coloring when I post the color paper doll version next week.

I am embarrassed that this paper doll set has sat, just short of being finished, on my computer for literally five or six weeks. Here it is and now I can stop feeling guilty about it.

Her Ladyship’s Dressing Gown and Nightgown

ladyship-wig-10Last page of Her Ladyship today and now you can download all ten pages of this paper doll and print her out at at once, if you haven’t been collecting the pages. I never know how to describe black and white paper dolls. Sometimes, I think I should call them, “Paper dolls to color” or I should call them “colorable paper dolls”, but “black and white paper dolls” is what I seem to have adopted over the years of this little blogs life.

Fairly early on in the Her Ladyship paper doll set, I had a reader ask me if I was going to ever post a wig of her hair down. Well, here it is. Her dressing gown, nightgown and two wigs of her hair in a braid and loose over her shoulders. I couldn’t justify a crazy up-do for sleeping in. I’m a little embarrassed that I take the “reality” of my fantasy paper dolls so seriously, but it is really important to me that the paper doll set makes sense in the context of the world that it exists in.

After all, if I am going to spend my time drawing fantasy paper dolls, I might as well make sure that they are logical fantasy paper dolls.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Gowns}{Click Here for Base Doll} {Click Here for the Complete Paper Doll Set to Print}
I hope everyone has enjoyed this little mini-series. Should I do more little series like this next year?

I had these grand delusions of getting a Hanukkah series together, but at the moment I am thinking that just isn’t going to happen. I will likely do what I did last year and post a paper doll every night. I think I have enough backlog for that.

Faye’s Runic Adventures: A Printable Paper Doll

logo-faye-runicNothing exists in a vacuum. This means that anything which is created inevitably is developed from previously existing content. This doesn’t bother me. I love combining diffrent parts to get a unique whole.

Today’s paper doll was primarily inspired by this drawing I found on Pinterest which is originally from what appears to be a live action role playing game in England called Empire from the fictional country of Wintermark’s costumes.

Who knew?

This image was not my only inspiration. I was also influenced by traditional Japanese hairstyles and vikings. Everything is better with vikings or pirates or pirate vikings….


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{Download a PDF to Print} {View a 150 dpi PNG}{Check out some More Mini-Maiden Printable Paper Dolls}

Seriously, I should do a set of pirate vikings. I can picture it now… horned helmets and jolly roger flags.

On second thought… maybe I shouldn’t do that.

Moving on… Faye’s world is a harsh one. Her people are known for their skill in leather and silver work. Of a fairly high status, she wears her hair in an elaborate style decorated with a metal ornament. The society travels long distances, mostly by river, and are known for their belief in astrology and careful tracking of the movements of the stars. Their calendars are prized throughout the world for their accuracy. They exist in small townships and a few larger groups. They do not have a centralized government, as we would call it, and form alliances through trade agreements and marriage. They are a largely matriarchal society.

I do have a lot of fun inventing this stuff. 🙂

A Bouquet of Florals in Color!

logo-bouquet-colorEvery printable paper doll set needs to stand alone. This is very important to me. I’d like to think you could just print out and play with this paper doll without needing to print out and play with any others.

In order to do that, I try to have enough paper doll clothes in each set for some variety. I don’t really know how my habit of “two pairs of shoes, at least one pair of pants, one dress, roughly equal tops to bottoms” habit developed in Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll sets, but I certainly have a pattern.

I was feeling like today’s paper doll wardrobe had more tops than bottoms, but it’s really not. Just two more tops for the paper doll than bottoms. There are still about fifty outfit combinations, but maybe the fact that some of the patterns don’t really match each other is what I’m noticing. For example, I wouldn’t put the floral pink and navy top with the navy floral skirt.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}
Nearly everything I’ve seen for florals this season seems to be fairly dark, so I went with navy for a lot of the background color. The pieces are all meant to feel lady like without being childish. I think florals can fall into the “too sweet” category fairly quickly. Nothing against that look, but it wasn’t what I wanted for this set.

Speaking of florals, and patterns in general, I have a quick poll…

Which is better- solids or patterns?

  • Both are good (72%, 34 Votes)
  • Patterns, Way more Fun (15%, 7 Votes)
  • Solids, Way more Flexible (13%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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By the way, if you haven’t checked it out yet… Julie of Paper Doll School is posting a paper doll outfit for every day in December. Support her amazing project by dropping her a comment if you can. It’s such a fun paper doll series.

One More House Dress and A Ballgown for Her Ladyship

ladyship-wig-9Wigs are certainly a theme of today’s page for my Her Ladyship printable paper doll set. Also- paper doll ballgowns and house dresses.

One more page after this set and then I’ll post the whole 10 page PDF of the paper doll for anyone to print who might want it. I have had a lot of fun sharing this set over the last few months.

So, last week I talked a bit about coherent sets and how to develop a consistent look for a paper doll set. Today, I wanted to take a moment and talk about the world I imagine Her Ladyship lives in.

First of all, Her Ladyship has money. Likely, serious money. She’d got ballgowns, after all. That means a decent amount of cash. I imagine her world is Renaissance (her clothing was highly influenced by Italian Renaissance fashion) or higher technology. Why you ask?

Because she has casual gowns that are patterned. Patterned textiles require skilled workforce and a considerable investment in equipment and raw materials- silks and wools have to be imported or homegrown (but generally were imported) from England to Italy. So, without a fair bit of weaving technology, that would be out of the question. So, I’m thinking a 15th century to 17th century level of technology. Clothing can tell you a lot about a time and place.

ld9-paper-doll
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Gowns}{Click Here for Base Doll}
So, what do I know about this paper dolls world? She’s a wealthy woman living in a time and place when mechanized weaving existed, at least in part. She’s got “house dresses” but they’re far to nice to actually be worn for anything involving mud or dirt.

Sometimes, I stumble across something and feel rather foolish for not having found it earlier. Paper Doll A Day is a blog that seems to be no longer updating. Never the less, I encourage you to go check out the archives. There are some beautiful outfits (I really like this paper doll dress) and some wonderful different paper dolls, including men. Joleene Naylor has been around the internets for a while sharing her paper dolls and I couldn’t be happier to have found her latest website, though I do wish I had found it when it was still updating.

Any other great paper doll sites I’ve been missing? Or thoughts on the world of Her Ladyship?