Frocks and Gowns in Color

logo-frocks-gowns-colorSo, this is going up a little late today. Sorry about that, but life got crazy this weekend. I want to talk a little bit today about coloring last week’s paper doll and a little about diversity in the paper doll world.

So, when I color a paper doll set, I start with a pallette. I knew I was going to be giving Monica a fairly rich brown skin tone, so that opened up and closed down certain color options. For example, I tend to avoid putting brown colored clothing on brown colored paper dolls, unless the tones are really different, since it can blend too easily. Since she was going to have a rich skin-tone, I decided that bright and color dresses made a lot of sense.

The strapless gown with the belt was based on this gown by Andrew GN and since it had a red top and a pink bottom, that informed the blues and the greens as contrasting colors in the other gowns.

frocks-gowns-black-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 a big believer in paper doll diversity. I think it is really important to have a variety of concepts and skin-tones and, ideally, a variety of concepts in a variety of skin-tones. Truthfully, I tend not to think of my paper dolls in terms of ethnicity, but in terms of color. It it less about, “this paper doll is African-American” and more about “this paper doll is a dark brown with red undertones.”

I used to think I was the only one who thought this way about paper doll skin-tones until I read this post from Julie over at Paper Doll School. I was comforted to find out that we both tend to think in terms of “color” not in terms of ethnicity.

The result of coloring things, perhaps?

What I do know is that no matter how I think about skin-tone, it is crucial to me that I offer readers of all backgrounds and colors paper dolls that reflect them. People should be able to see themselves in the toys they play with.

Yes, I know a lot of my readers are adults, but adults play with toys, too. At least, they should. 🙂 I do.

6 comments

  1. I first found this blog by searching for paper dolls with diverse skin tones. I agree it’s important!

  2. It’s nice to hear your thoughts on diversity in paper dolls. I, too, think about skin color as just one more tone in my palette. And I think that says a lot about changing, inclusive views. You’ve mentioned more than once how influential toys are on children — which, as a mother, I totally agree with & see every day — and having access to diverse toys is a huge part of childhood. People want to see something of themselves in art, and it’s great that you’re so thoughtful about that.

    Oh, and the doll is great too! I still just love her short hair!

  3. I really like the short reddish-pink dress. Quick question: how can I put something on the Showcase? I would like to but I can’t figure out how (it’s probably my computer, it sucks).

    1. You don’t put things on the showcase, Rachel does. 🙂
      Quote from the Showcase page:
      Have a paper doll set of mine you’ve colored and want included? Feel free to email me.
      and:
      Have some art of your own, you’d like to see up here? Sent it to me.

      1. Yersinia is correct. If you want something added to the showcase, you have to email the pictures to me [paperthinpersonas(at)gmail(dot)com]. I then will email you and ask a few questions and, assuming we can agree on terms, I add it to the Showcase. Truth be told, I haven’t updated the Showcase in a while and I need to do that. 🙂

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