Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Set in Black & Purple

Inspiration for today’s printable paper doll includes the Victorian era, gothic fashion, fantasy gowns, and playing with ruffles. I have been practicing my ruffle drawing skills lately and I think I am improving. Maintaining my gothic inspiration, I gave today’s Marisole paper doll piercings and some red hair to set off that purple. (I don’t know how I feel about the skintone though. I’m not totally keen on giving Marisole fair skin.)

There were a few more pieces of clothing for this printable paper doll then could be easily fit on the page, so I lost the title and just sort of went for it. I intended the white dress to be a slip to be worn underneath the other costumes, but, of course, it could also be a sun dress. I’m not totally pleased with how the ruching turned out on the hem of it, but what can you do?

A fantasy printable paper doll set with a redheaded paper doll and several pieces of black and purple mix and match clothing options. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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This Marisole Paper Doll came out of the same doodle session as my Tokyo meets Georgia paper doll, though I finished the Tokyo meets Georgia one sooner. I tend to do a lot of thumbnail doodling and then those doodles become paper dolls, but sometimes not until weeks later. Paper doll creation is actually a very slow, multi-stepped process and I am nearly always working on several things at once. I mention all this, because sometimes I think people assume that it’s a “one set” at a time kinda gig when, in truth, I am usually working on five or seven or nine sets at one time and they get finished when I feel like it.

This is mostly because sometimes I feel like drawing, sometimes I feel like coloring and sometimes I feel like doing layout work. (Okay, I never “feel” like doing layout work, but it has gotta be done.)

Perhaps not a perfect system, but it works for me. 🙂

Puck: Dillon

So, I got to have an epic adventure today. I tried to clean my scanner bed. Recently, I have been getting dust marks on my scans and since I’ve never actually cleaned the scanner bed, I decided I should do so.

This is what I learned: Cleaning a scanner bed is scary.

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Maybe I’m just a coward, but I’ve had the same scanner since freshman year of college and while I love my scanner, it’s fairly cranky. I could probably afford a new one by now, but since it still works I don’t see the point in replacing it. Anyway, I was scared of somehow damaging it. After reading all sorts of horror stories on the internet, I finally got up the nerve to spray a little cleaner on my rag and rub it on the bed and then let the bed dry.

Of course, nothing went wrong and the scans are coming out much clearer now. I wonder what I was so worried about. The mind can be a funny thing sometimes, I think.

Today’s paper doll is another Puck paper doll. Someone remarked that his arms are a bit long which is true or his legs are a bit short, I haven’t decided which yet. Now, of course, I must decide if I want to re-draw him and there fore render useless the several other Punk paper dolls I’ve already drawn and scanner for later use or maybe do some other male paper doll. I haven’t decided what to do yet with him.

Oh, and I have a poll.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Promenade & Day or Walking Dress

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Usually, I try to save my notes as to where I get my fashion plates that evolve into paper dolls, but I forgot this time, I’m afraid. The dress on the left is a promenade costume and the dress on the right is a day or walking dress. I am realizing I haven’t yet drawn gloves for Flora and I should. When short sleeves were standard, the need for gloves was pretty serious. England is not, after all, the warmest country.

So, I’ve got up a new poll, again, largely for my own amusement more then anything else. It’s a question I have always wondered about and now I get to know the answer.

Marisole Monday: Superhero/Supervillian

So, we’re up a little late this time and I am sorry for that. This weekend has been nothing short of insane here in the land of the corn. I’ve had classes (yes, weekend classes) which were educational, but time consuming. I finished this paper doll close to midnight and decided to crawl into bed rather then finish the posting.

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But that’s okay, we now have a paper doll. Drawing a superhero paper doll was a suggestion of a friend who reads far more superhero comics then I do. The only superhero comic, I’ve ever really enjoyed was Deadpool and Cable. Mostly, because Deadpool is hilarious and extensional and everything I enjoy when reading a comic.

And also, I’ve been trying to get a good “shiny” effect on the clothes. This is the first one I’ve posted like this. I think it came out all right, but what do others think?

Pixie: Vera

I have such mixed feelings about this paper doll and I have such mixed feelings about starting a post with the words “I have such mixed feelings…” I usually try to not talk about what I dislike, but I must confess I don’t think the face of the paper doll Vera was very successful. I love her black and gray kimono-esque costume with the pink flowers though, I think that one came out beautifully.

So, I guess maybe you win some and you lose some when it comes to paper dolls.

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One of the unique features of paper doll blogging vs. standard paper doll drawing is that I find I hate going to the trouble of inking something only to decide I don’t like it. Don’t mis-understand me, there’s plenty of things in my sketchbooks that will never see the light of day, but I often feel that the goal of posting on time and regularly is more important then the goal of always being in love with what I post.

While my natural inclination is not to post anything I don’t like, the actual practical consideration is that if I never posted anything I wasn’t totally satisfied with then I would likely only update once a month at most. As it is, I’m learning to be okay with posting paper dolls even when I have mixed feelings about them.

Especially when I really adore their strange futuristic kimono costumes.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Half-Dress and Day Dress

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The dress on the left is not based on anything, really, but the one on the right is based on a fashion plate from the Casey Fashion Plate Index. The Casey Fashion Plate Index demonstrates both what I love and what I hate about a lot of library digitization projects. It’s a wonderful resource, but navigating it can be a real chore. And the lack of searching flexibility annoys me. Still, you win some and you lose some in the land of digital print indexes.

I know someone asked for wigs with this paper doll, so here is one. The design is based on illustrations from Corson’s Fashions In Hair which is the seminal text on hair. An absolutely amazing text. And on my wishlist of things I want someday.

Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for a good looking trousseau for a paper doll, but I love this 1940’s paper doll from The Paper Collector. If you’re not a regular reader of The Paper Collector, then you are missing out on daily updates of neat printed paper things from postcards to some dynamite paper dolls. It’s one of my not so guilty pleasures each day.

Curves: Galactic Queen

Over the course of the blog, I’ve done a few different Curves in space sort of paper dolls. There was the original Curves In Space and then another Alien paper dolls with Curves Out of This World, of them all I really like this one a lot, though I suspect that’s more symptomatic of the fact that it is the latest one I’ve done.

Also, it was kinda fun to draw a crazy alien chick.

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When I was a kid, I used to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Secretly, I still watch it) and I loved all the different Alien.

Hmmm… paper doll with a Star Trek uniform might work… though it might also be very 1990. Hard to say…

Dark & Steamy: Gothic Steampunk Printable Paper Doll

Today’s paper doll is a little gothic and a little steampunk. That’s okay right? It’s not like mixing oil and water or something.

Erin, who won my little Trivia contest from last Monday, wrote me the following description of what she wanted for her custom Marisole paper doll.

I know that I want my doll to be very pale with brown hair… As for style of clothes and what not, I know that I love Victorian and Steampunk style. Belts, buckles, zippers, lace, keys, and corsets. That kind of stuff. I have included a few links as inspiration I guess, but feel free to disregard them. I dislike the color yellow, LOVE red, black and purple, but other than that… I’m not overly picky.

I asked for a little clarification on shades of brown (she said red brown) and exactly what sort of colors for metals she liked and then set to work. Like a deadline, it was oddly liberating to be paper dolling based on someone else’s guidelines. I’ve done other steampunk sets, but this one quickly got a gothic steampunk paper doll flare- I think the color scheme is what pushed it into gothic territory for me. I’ll always think of those as a gothic colors. I do hope she’s pale enough, because outside of doing another vampire paper doll, I couldn’t imagine going paler than this color. I think it reads as “pale” rather than reading as “corpus.”

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Since one of my favorite features of Victorian dresses was the fact that women got to wear all sorts of different clothing for different activities, I decided to treat the paper doll as though she was an actual Victorian lady- all be it in an alternative steampunk universe- in need of costumes for the range of standard Victorian lady activities.

Here we go.

The Morning Dress: Morning dresses were always more casual then other costumes. Erin sent me a reference link to this beautiful costume. I loved the colors and the drape. To make it a little more Victorian feeling, I added sleeves. Though technically a morning dress would never be worn outside the house, I added a hat since the reference costume featured one. Also, I like hats.

The Walking Costume: The other set of reference images I got was for a beautiful 1880’s reproduction bustled suit and I confess the early 1880’s when skirts were tight, before the huge bustle emerged is one of my favorite times in Victorian fashion. I made the suit purple (to match the purple/red color scheme), created a totally non-period hat and added some accents in silver and brass.

The Afternoon Dress: Mostly an excuse to draw a wild leather corset (well, I imagine its in leather, I suppose technically it could be any fabric you like), the afternoon dress was inspired by the corsets of 1910. The net/lace overlay was my attempt at lace, though I have mixed feelings about how it turned out. Afternoon dresses were also often visiting costumes, so she had to have a hat.

The Ball Gown: No costume set could be complete with out a ballgown and as I love drawing corsets, no ballgown couldn’t not have a corset top. The far left costume of this fashiion plate inspired the oddly bondage-esque skirt. I got a little carried away with my lock and key motif I think, but I had fun doing it.

As regular readers know, I’m a wee bit obsessed with Victorian inspired costumes. I’ve done two other steampunk/neo-Victorian Marisole paper dolls. There was the slightly candy like one (a lesson in how colors don’t look so bright before I process the images for Web and then seem to get brighter) and a more traditional color scheme.

I will probably do another trivia contest thing next week. So, keep your eyes open for that.

Pixie: Amelia

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Of all of the Pixie paper dolls I have done over the last few weeks, this is perhaps my favorite. I love how her hair came out and I think she looks fun and cute and interesting. I also think her wardrobe is fairly versatile. All in all, I’m pretty proud of her.

I hate that I don’t have much else to say intelligently about this paper doll, but sometimes all I can offer up is a few sentences. Also, I have papers to write and a custom Marisole Monday to finished (which, though I am only halfway done, is coming out quite nicely I think.)

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Dresses From 1800

So, the question on the table should be “How are these regency dresses unlike all other Regency dresses?” and the answer is ‘Because they are from an earlier period.’ (I realize this is kinda a Passover Seder joke and those of you who have never had to sit through one will not be as amused as those who have). The answer is not because we get to recline while coloring them (another Passover joke), but rather the shape of the dresses. At the turn of the 19th Century when it was just beginning (around 1800), the shape of the dress was nearly flat on top with a fair bit of fullness in the bottom though it shifted away from this form fairly quickly.

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As the fashion plate from 1800 shows, the shape of these dresses was slightly different in the late 1790’s and early 1800s. The plate I based these costumes on, as well as many others, can be seen in the Claremont Colleges collection. It’s a wonderful collection of fashion plates.

In other news, Erin (who doesn’t have a website I can link, I don’t think) correctly identified my favorite holiday as Purim and therefore as won my contest. Purim is coming up in March (like all Jewish holidays, it starts at sundown and then goes until sunset the next day). There will be a Purim paper doll, I just haven’t decided if I want to make it a Pixie or a Marisole doll or something totally new. Thoughts continue…

Erin, if you could please send me your request (paperthinpersonas(at)gmail(dot)com). I’ll need hair color, eye color, style and anything else you want to tell me. Thank you.