The Sketchbook Cometh

The best thing about the photocopier at my job is that it can scan and email me things. I don’t use it for paper doll scanning (the resolution isn’t high enough), but it makes these sketchbook and doodle posts really easy.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Some contemporary clothes for a Mini-Maiden. Don’t ask me which Mini-Maiden. I haven’t a clue, yet. I really am pleased with the set through. I really like the curly hair, especially.

Doodles of Future Paper Doll Sets

Here’s the doodles I did for a dark circus inspired Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set. As it turned out, I didn’t use all of these designs, as you can see below.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

A page of the dark circus Marisole Monday & Friends set that I inked last weekend. I really love her shoes and her wig. We’ll see how all the whole thing comes together. I am thinking a black, white and red color scheme with some gold to accent it. I also might do some clown makeup on the paper doll’s face for this set.

Medieval Fantasy Paper Doll to Print and Color

Black and White Printable Medieval Fantasy Paper Doll This is the second Isadora paper doll and a member of the Mini-Maiden paper doll family. I haven’t done a fantasy Mini-Maiden before, so I thought I should and I have been in a psuedo-medieval mood as of late. Perhaps simply because I am wishing I was living somewhere cooler than Alabama which is having a humid hot August.

I can not wait for fall. Fall is full of wonderful things and I can start wearing tights and boots again.

I love both tights and boots.

Plus September brings the big fall fashion magazines and that will mean a spasm of paper doll drawing and a spate of contemporary styled paper dolls, as it always does.

Until then, of course, we have Isadora as a fantasy Mini-Maiden. I am hesitant to call her a princess, as she doesn’t have a crown, but she can still live in a castle, I think. Personally, I think it would have been dreadfully drafty and cold in castles, but I suppose at least it was better than living in a hovel.


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

Anyway, now Isadora can either be living in a castle or fighting radioactive zombies in the wastes of a destroyed civilization. Basically, she’s ready for whatever life might throw at her, though I think she also might want to raid another Mini-Maiden’s closet for some more… shall we say… normal clothing. I think she’d look awfully cute in Faye’s girly get up or Hazel’s vintage vibe or Greta’s I-couldn’t-come-up-with-anything-alliterative outfits.

There will be one more update this week (nothing major, just some sketchbook stuff) and then hopefully a new Marisole on Monday as I get myself back into the rhythm of things. For updates, you’re welcome to follow me on twitter @paperpersona, though you will also have to put up with other inane, unpaper-doll-related rambling about my life.

Victorian Ballerina Printable Paper Doll from the 1880s

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll based on the historical period of 1880s in black and white or in color Oh man, what to say about the last few days…

Well, I have been working on backend server CPU issues with my shared hosting service. Nothing really serious, but stuff that has to be dealt with for the blog hosting to continue to be cheap enough for me to justify continuing to keeping it online and free.

Still, I owed a paper doll to my last drawing winner, Lina of Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls, and I was not about to put off finishing that for another week, because I would keep feeling guilty about it.

Lina requested an 1880s period Marisole Monday & Freinds paper doll with a ballet outfit and several other dresses. I had some trouble getting all the pieces to fit on a single page, so I omitted some shoes from the image.

Should you want proper shoes to go with this set, then I recommend checking out On the Board Walk in color or black and white or Mia Goes to the Bathing Place in color or black and white. Both of those sets both have button up style boots which, while not period, are close enough to not look totally awkward.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print}

Lina was kind enough to send me reference photos and specific colors for the hair, skin and eyes of the paper doll, but left the color scheme mostly up to me. I wanted to use some rich colors, because by the 1880s chemical dyes were common and rich colors were very much instyle. There is a habit to think of the 19th century as sepia colored, because of sepia photos, but it was actually a rather garish era.

At least post, chemical dyes being invented.


Victorian ballerina paper doll with a swimming costume, a ballgown and a tutu
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

So, Lina also asked for a tutu based on this painting by Degas. The painting dates from 1871, a little earlier than the other costumes in the set. I omitted the sash, since I based the dress on the center figure. I don’t think the layers of the skirts really look like tulle, which bothers me. Liana has some great tulle on her blog.

The ballgown was based on this fashion plate. The gown was red, but I made it peacock blue based on a description in English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century by Wilett-Cunnington that mentioned peacock blue ballgowns. I hate drawing lace, but it came out all right, I suppose.

The last two outfits are a swimming costume and a house dress. Old swimming costumes were extremely complicated and not very easy to swim in. Generally, I think of them as wadding costumes. Lina sent me this picture and I based it off that.

The house dress is classic 1880s style with bustle, drawn up skirt and long pleats. It’s a pretty typical gown for its period. Lina sent me this photo and I based the dress off of it. I omitted the pattern on the dress, because I knew it would reproduce poorly in the small scale of the paper doll set.

And that, as they say, is that.

If you haven’t ever checked out Lina’s blog, Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls than I recommend taking the time to do so. She makes wonderfully interesting historical paper dolls.

Hey! Why isn’t That Paper Doll Available in Black and White?

The most commonly asked question I get on this blog is, “Can you make (insert paper doll title here) in black and white?”

The answer is usually… “Depends.”

Step back in time with me to when the world was young and the blog was fairly new before Disaster struck.

During the first few years of PTP’s existence, the paper dolls were only done in black and white and in the heavily shadowed style of Curves or Shadow and Light.

I drew Marisole in early 2009, long before the site crashed, and used her to teach myself how to color paper dolls in Photoshop. My plan, at the time, had been to add a color paper doll, Marisole, once a week to my black and white site.

But then… in December of 2009… Disaster.

I  crashed the blog and my backups didn’t load properly and I didn’t know how to fix it. So, I decided to delete it and start over. You can read the public post about that here.

Even then, I never ever thought I’d publish Marisole in black and white. I never thought I would publish a Pixie in black and white. I never thought about any of this.

The result of my lack of forward thinking is that there are paper dolls on this site for which the original Photoshop files are long gone. I have PDFs and I might have random old scans, but rarely do I have the original Photoshop file. Tracking down the files, extracting the line work (if I can) and processing the new black and white version takes time.

Sometimes, it works well and I get a good black and white copy. Sometimes, it doesn’t and I won’t post sub-par work on my blog.

And that causes me some tension…

Do I work on converting old work to black and white or do I work on new work?

I don’t have limitless time (does anyone?) and so, I prioritize. For me, creating new work is more interesting and more fun than going back, dredging up old files and reformatting them, if I can.

Does this mean you should stop asking for paper dolls in black and white that you want to see?

Absolutely not, sometimes I can do it, but at this point I have done most of the “easy” sets (particularly for Marisole) and the remaining sets are much harder.

So, keep asking, but don’t be surprised if my answer is “Nope.”

Questions? Thoughts? Lemme know in a comment.

Black and White Marisole Monday Paper Dolls Today!

I get asked fairly often for various old paper dolls to be produced in black and white. Considering the number of paper dolls on the blog and the fact that files are not always saved in formats that makes extracting the line work simple. In fact, this might be one of the last sets of these I do for a long time, because I am running out of files that are simple to convert and ending up with sets for which I only have the full merged final PDF. Pulling the black and white out of those files and not ending up with a black and white paper doll of very dubious quality is a challenge.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the Full Color Version}

Nautical Girl was first posted in 2010. Despite being four years old, I still really like her hair and her dress, though I could take or leave her shoes.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print}{Click Here for the Full Color Version}

Sweater Style was originally conceived as one of four sets which were going to each be a seasonal set. I think this was the fall or winter set (I truly do not recall…). I never did get the series finished and so I just have posted a few of them. At the time, I was living in Illinois where it was very cold in the winters. I rather miss winters when it would actually freeze.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print}{Click Here for the Full Color Version}

Draw because I thought I really needed more jeans in my paper doll sets, Stylish in Denim was a lot of fun. It is one of the rare paper doll sets where I owned at the time a fair number of the actual clothing pieces. It was also an early experiment in purses.

Two quick things I mentioned on Friday, but I wanted to repeat. Email updates aren’t working at the moment. I’m looking for a new WordPress plugin. Also, you can follow me on Twitter @paperpersonas which will let you know when the blog updates, what I am working on and other rather inane details of my life.

Curvy Printable Fantasy Paper Doll Set In Color or Black and White

I draw a lot more paper dolls than I post. This is why I sometimes am unsure about posting sketchbook images, because there are things which end up never migrating into the blog, or migrate onto the blog so much later than I meant them too.

And when I create a new series of paper dolls, as B&B is still in my mind, I often draw a lot and then lose interest for a while. This is my basic pattern of paper doll production. I am passionately fascinated with a series for a few weeks and then, after a while, I lose interest and move onto other things. One of the reasons I try to build a backlog is that if I didn’t have one, I would post nothing but say… Pixies for two months and then nothing but Flock for two months and… you get the idea.

Since, I’ve been struggling to get things finished over the last few weeks, I have devoted myself to digging through my folders and finding old things I haven’t finished and finishing them up. Truth is that I have a fair number of orphaned drawings which got scanned and then never got cleaned up and colored. This is one of those orphaned sets. I first drew this when I first drew B&B.

Full color Popper Paper Doll
{Download a PDF of this paper doll to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll to Color}
I often go back to themes I’ve done before. Styles which have, for best or for ill, been used in previous paper doll experiments or have shown up in other forms on the blog. I think everyone does this. Whenever I think I am “always drawing the same thing”, than I am reminded that some of my favorite paper doll artists (like Boots and Liana) have themes they return to as well.

I mean, can I help that I have a love of corsets? And leggings tucked into boots.

So, the legging, boots and tops with swords have down up many times before like in this paper doll set and this paper doll set (the cape) and this paper doll set and this paper doll set (the leggings) and… I digress.

Full color Popper Paper Doll
{Download a PDF of this paper doll to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll to Color} {More Bodacious and Buxom Printable Paper Dolls}
Also, I clearly have a thing for redheads. I have always had a thing for redheads. My grandmother was a redhead and I have always wished that I inherited that gene, sadly, I did not. Plus, I saw the movie Anne of Green Gables at a young and impressionable age.

Meanwhile, a few other announcements. Once again, my email system for mailing people with blog updates seems to be having trouble. I shall do my best to try to fix it.

And I have finally moved into the 21st century and am now on Twitter. You can follow me @paperpersonas though it’s not strictly blog related and there are plenty of comments about librarianship and my general life that happen as well.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments are always appreciated.

Doodles…. Lady of the Manor Version 2, Mostly…

I am someone who struggles with expectations. What are people expecting me to do or expecting me to complete? I worry often that I am letting people down, though I know intellectually that I am my harshest critic. At times like this, when my actual real life and my blog are in conflict (as they are at the moment), I struggle with letting go and relaxing enough to get anything creative done.

As I post doodles rather than paper dolls, a part of me feels guilty. This is not, a little voice in my head says, what people come to your blog for. This is not what they want.

I do my best to ignore little voices like that, though today it feels harder than other days. (Also I know it’s not true, because I have had readers tell me that it is not true.)

A while ago, I posted Lady of the Manor V.2 sketchbook images. So here are two pages of the doodles which lead to those sets. I’m still working on cleaning up the line work, but I have high hopes that she will be up soon.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

So, the dress on the left never got drawn, but became a different dress. The riding habit on the right pretty much looks like it does in that little doodle. The dress with the layers of ruffles came out wonderfully (I can’t wait to share that one). The one of the right… I actually have no idea what that was supposed to be now… I should do better notes.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

The dress on the left came out nearly just like that dress with a few additional pattern details. The dress on the right was the first design for several “casual” dresses of a similar style. As the first “stand alone” paper doll set of the year, I couldn’t be more pleased with how she’s coming along. I should let myself do more of these, because I do have fun with them.

The blog will continue. It’s been around for a long time… longer than really any other project of mine. I have no intention of abandoning it, I just am having some pretty serious trouble getting motivated at the moment.

A Paper Doll And Her Full Color Ball Gowns to Print

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with ballgowns inspired by Wa and Qi Lolita styles As I explained with the black and white version of today’s paper doll set, both of these dresses are based on Wa lolita and Qi lolita fashions. I really find fusions of different cultures fashions fascinating, plus sometimes drawing absurd dresses make me happy and Mia doesn’t get as much love as I think she should.

When I draw in black and white, I sometimes dread coloring, especially when the coloring means hyper detailed patterns like those in today’s paper doll. I’ve been doing more playing with color and pattern lately. I like patterns, but they are a lot of work. Even though I usually just draw one motif and use Photoshop to manipulate it on each dress. The size of these pattern motifs made their placement on the dresses important. Though I wanted it to feel organic, I also wanted the detail of the complex patterns to shine through.

No point in drawing complex things if no one can appreciate them, after all. In my mind, that’s like sewing a fantastic wardrobe for an ugly doll… why bother?


Asian paper doll to print with two ballgowns based Wa Lolita and Qi Lolita styles

{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 based the color scheme on this kimono which I found online. Everytime I reference kimono, I am reminded of the fantastic posts on Liana’s Paper Doll Blog about Japanese dress. She’s far more an expert of this topic than I.

Personally, I thought it was very a beautiful kimono and I really liked the color combination. What looks black isn’t actually black, it is a very dark purple-red color. I used the same color for her hair. I like doing that, because I think a color scheme should be about making a harmonious set.

Every set should be a complete work, rather than just a collection of clothing pieces and should be able to stand alone, even if it is part of a larger collection of paper dolls.

Hello Natalie! A New Printable Paper Doll

link to a brunette printable paper doll in full color and black and white Okay, so years ago there was this show called Forever Knight which I confess I loved when I was in middle school and high school, as it was shown on Sci-fi as reruns. In fact, in graduate school when I found out the library had the whole series of DVD (okay.. so that library had some weird DVD options… they also had all the seasons of Law and Order) I openly confess to re-watching all the adventures of the vampire cop.

So, when I created a brunette paper doll with curls, I had to name her after Natalie Lambert played by Cathrine Disher who was the coroner best friend of the vampire cop. I still don’t know how the show ever got made, since it is such an absurd premise to begin with- Vampires Fighting Crime! Still, there’s a lot of other stupid TV shows that made it, and Forever Knight at least didn’t fall into the trap of having every show end with a happily ever after.

Truth be told, I watch very little contemporary TV, except home decorating shows. I do keep meaning to finish the first season of Orange is the New Black.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

{Click Here for a PDF in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Color}{Click Here for a PDF of Black and White} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Black and White}{Click Here for Clothes for Her}{Click Here for Friends for Her}

So.. confession… her eyes kinda bug me…. But despite that, I do like how she came out.

I was going to make her blond and she was blond for a while, but I noticed that I have a lot of blond printable paper dolls here. It’s one of my pet peeves that in sets of doll with lots of skin colors, the white doll always seems to be a blond or a redhead. I do the same thing a lot, because after a while brown hair gets boring and it’s not like I can apply red hair to a brown skinned doll and call it natural (though red highlights to appear naturally in some dark haired people). Anyway, this is a long involved way of saying that today’s paper doll is a brunette, though in the future there maybe more paper dolls with the same skin color and other hair colors.

And that’s all for today. I do want to know though… Has anyone else ever watched Forever Knight or am I the only one?

Black and White Paper Doll With Wa and Qi Lolita Inspired Ballgowns

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with ballgowns inspired by Wa and Qi Lolita styles Today, we have a pair of ballgowns which were heavily influenced by wa lolita and qi lolita fashion styles. I showed off the rough sketches last Monday. Wa lolita and qi lolita are substyles of the Japanese street style lolita. F Yeah Lolita (a blog I have come to rather enjoy reading) discusses lolita in detail, but I actually think the wikipedia article is nice for people who know nothing about it.

Anyway, both wa lolita (infulenced by Japanese traditional dress) and qi lolita (influenced by Chinese traditional dress) are styles I think are fascinating, because cultural fusion always interests me. However, I try to be careful about how I borrow from cultures which are not my own, because I am very aware of the problematic and complicated issues of cultural appropriation which underlie children’s toys and visual representations of culture. I could ramble on about that topic until… well, for a every long time… but I figure most people are really here for the paper dolls, so I’ll restrain myself.


Asian paper doll to print with two ballgowns based Wa Lolita and Qi Lolita styles

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

A few of my ideas came from this dress by FanplusFreind and this dress, also by FanplusFriend. I first discovered qi lolita through this dress which is actually a doll’s dress. The shoes are just sort of random inventions, though the ones on the right with the stockings were influenced by rocking horse shoes which are pretty cool (though maybe hard to walk in… I don’t know, I’ve never worn them.)

I can’t wait to share these in color next week, though I openly confess the pattern on the left dress is giving me fits. Every-time I do a complicated pattern, I swear I will never do it again and then… well… I do it again. Isn’t insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Oh, and before I forget, the fast of Ramadan officially ends this evening I think, so Happy Eid al-Fitr to any of my readers who are Muslim. I don’t know much about Ramadan, but the mosque by my apartment has been busier than usual this month.

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