Tea & Ruching: African-American Princess Paper Doll

A black princess paper doll to print and color with two ball gowns, a hair pick, tea set and other accessories. Today’s princess paper doll has been a long time coming. Back in September, I posted the penciled and inked versions of today’s paper doll set and then I posted a screen capture of the colored version in December and now, in January, you get the final black and white with the final color version going up next week.

Generally, I finish the colored version and the black and white version about the same time, but I space the posts out by a week for my own sanity. Plus the colored version of this particular paper doll set gave me fits. I won’t even get into how many variations I made in color choices, but it was brutal. I’ll save that rant for next week’s post.

Okay, so my initial inspiration was African wax print fabrics which I have always had a deep fondness for. If you look closely at her patterned dress, you’ll find a motif inspired from this design and more on my Pintrest board of African Prints & Fashion. Primarly coming out of West Africa, these prints have a complex history which I confess I am not an expert on. Slate is a nice article on African Wax Prints highlighting some of those complexities.

A black princess paper doll to print and color with two ball gowns, a hair pick, tea set and other accessories. Free to print and color from PaperThinPersonas.com

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

Beyond my fascination with African wax print cloth, I wanted to do a rather traditional princess. To me, that means big skirts (blame it on growing up in the late 80s) and things that are a big over the top. Of course, big hoop skirts always remind me of the 19th century, so her stockings and shoes owe something to that era.

I’ve been taking a Creativebug class where you draw something every day for the whole month of January. The January 2nd assignment was tea cups and you can see my version over on my Instagram account. (Yeah, I just joined Instagram. We’ll see if I like it long term.) Her teacup was drawn weeks ago, but I don’t think I’m great a teacups, so practice is important.

My hope is to get into the habit of drawing a little everyday in a way that is NOT directly paper doll related. We’ll see if I succeed, but I think it would really help my art.

Meanwhile, drop me a comment if you’d like to share what you think about the paper doll. đŸ™‚

9 comments

  1. I can’t wait to see what colors you settled on, but have you used that sun and triangle pattern before? I just feel like I’ve seen it somewhere…

    1. I’ve posted a LOT of work in progress photos of this set, but I don’t reuse patterns. Not to say I couldn’t have done a similar pattern in the past.

  2. I haven’t heard of Creativebug — I’ll check that out. I started drawing every day, too! My drawing skills need some refining.

    I would love to see that print dress in a batik/tie-dye type of coloring. Very cool dress. And all of the little accessories are adorable. Especially the teacup.

    1. Yeah, it’s ben a fun challenge. Mostly, it’s a chance to draw things that I wouldn’t practice unless I had a “reason” to practice. I am hoping I can keep it up after January is through.

    1. Do you mean in the overskirt? Yeah, that’s one form of ruching or ruche. It’s basically when you gather either sides of a piece of fabric to make a softly pleated section.

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