Jai: A Fantasy Paper Doll

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll inspired by historical Chinese dress This isn’t an accurate depiction of Tang Dynasty dress. Though at times it seems to me that this would be obvious, most people (myself included) aren’t very familiar with the dynasties of China, let alone what they were wearing. Oddly, I never feel like when I draw stuff like this or this or this, I have to say it’s not accurate historical European dress, so perhaps my ned for a “disclaimer” is partly an assumption on my part about what my readers are familiar with.

So, anyway, these gowns were inspired by Hanfu and Tang Dynasty dress if anyone is keeping count. Of course, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t meant to be. I just had a lot of fun looking up gowns like this one and this one on Pinterest.

I find balancing research intense projects with non-research intense projects really helps keep me feeling sane. So, fantasy often seems to counter balance historical sets. I just finished, for example, penciling the largest 18th century set that I have ever drawn and then drew a space princess with a ray gun.

It’s all about contrast.

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll in black and white for coloring inspired by historical Chinese dress
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I went with a muted color scheme that I found on Design Seeds. I wanted it to feel a little less bright and more nature inspired than a lot of my color schemes tend towards. I have a lof of bright colors. I think the gray greens and soft lavenders go a long way to keeping things feeling soft and delicate.

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll inspired by historical Chinese dress in color. Part of the Pixie series, Jai can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
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I swear I had a reference from a contemporary Asian historical drama film when I drew her hair, but now I can’t seem to find the picture on Pinterest. Normally, I’m quite compulsive about saving these things, so I’m a little surprised to be so flummoxed.

Oh well… perhaps I shall find it later.

In the meantime, enjoy Jai and her fantasy gowns.

Chloe: A New Ms. Mannequin Paper Doll

Like to Chloe an Asian paper doll with two pairs of shoes in black and white and color. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, she can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing This sorta accidentally went up on Monday, but the files weren’t actually loaded on my server, so the links were kinda problematic and it wasn’t actually supposed to go live yet. I took it down when I noticed it and fixed the PDF files. So here it is as an actual real proper post. :)

I went back and forth about the order in which to post these sets. Technically, I drew the clothing first and then drew the doll to go with it. Since I had things to say about her clothing, so the paper doll’s Lolita inspired clothing got to get posted first. Now, I can post the paper doll who I drew while thinking that she would wear this clothing. Now, that doesn’t mean she has to wear that clothing she does have other options.

Chloe has the same skintone as Stella, my other Asian Ms. Mannequin paper doll. I did that on purpose, so the two paper dolls could share shoes. The colors of the dolls bases will indicate which dolls can share shoes, so Chose’s base is purple- just like Stella’s base. I hope that makes sense. Chloe’s shoes were designed to match the country Lolita inspired paper doll clothes from last week. Stella’s shoes are a little more neutral, so the two dolls can share.

Eventually, I’d like to have two of each of the current Ms. Mannequin skin tones before I branch out into other skin tones, though I do have an alien Ms. Mannequin in the works and her skin is going to be pink skinned or something equally odd.

Chloe an Asian paper doll with two pairs of shoes in black and white. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, she can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing

{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 More Clothesr}{Click Here for Friends for Her}

I choose not to give today’s paper doll an over the top Lolita hairstyle (here a bunch of links to Lolita hair tutorials to show off some of the styles), because I wanted her to be able to dress down or dress up. I think versitility is really important in paper dolls. The variety of stories they can tell is a crucial part of the pleasure children (and adults) get from the toys. At least, I think it is.

So, there will be a sketchbook preview later this week. I hope everyone had a great Easter, if they celebrate, or are having a great Passover. As always, comments are all read and emails are usually responded too eventually. (Mind you… eventually can be quite a few days later.)

Sweet & Saucy in Color: A printable paper doll

A printable paper doll of a young black woman with a brightly colored wardrobe Last week, I talked about where this paper doll set was inspired from. This week, I want to talk a bit about color choices.

Color scares a lot of people. It scares me too. Truthfully, I use a lot of tools to help me develop color schemes. Some are as simple as searching Colour Lovers for a theme, but other times I use tools from ColourLovers to calculate diferent types of color schemes. My other favorite color scheme website is Design Seeds.

Normally, I try to keep my color schemes to five or six colors. There just aren’t enough pieces in the average paper doll set to justify more colors then than that. Even today’s set with all the pattern has only seven different colors, not including the warm soft brown of her skin tone. Choosing a skintone color is actually just as important as selecting a color scheme, because depending on the surrounding colors, all colors look different. I tend to think of the skintone choice as part of the color scheme selection, just as much as I am picking out colors for clothing, but I do try to keep to my palette, except with Asian skintones that generally have a strong yellow undertone. That can be very hard to not look jaundiced, so there’s often trial and error when I am coloring those paper dolls.

A printable paper doll of a young black woman with a brightly colored wardrobe
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In today’s paper doll, I knew I wanted a rainbow scheme and I wanted it to feel a little bit like candy- bright and sweet colors. Pink stands in for my red, but other then that I have a purple, a blue, a yellow, an orange and a green. White acts as a neutral, rather than black, and that keeps the set feeling light and bright. The only black appears as the soles of her boots. Her nails are multicolored as are her hair ties to keep the sense of mismatched style.

I really am quite pleased with how she turned out.

Country Lolita inspired Paper Doll Clothes

Like to Chloe an Asian paper doll with two pairs of shoes in black and white and color. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, she can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing There’s something about Lolita style clothes that I find appealing. I think part of it is that I love the Victorian inspired details of the outfits, but I also think it’s fascinating to see how a non-Western culture like Japan interprets Western European and American Victorian children’s clothing into something for adults.

There is a tendency when we talk about cultural adaptations to speak strictly of Western nations adapting Asian clothing and there’s a lot of great research on that topic, but non-Western countries are also adapting Western dress and transforming the meaning into something entirely different for their cultural needs. I find this back and forth to be one of the more interesting aspects of cultural contact.

To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, the act of observation doesn’t just change the object being observed, it also can change the observer. (Soul Music I think… but maybe Reaper Man… Can’t recall which at the moment.)

Plus, you know, pretty clothes.

So, Lolita, like any good alt-fashion scene, has many sub-genres that are confusing to me, as an outsider. Never the less, I did some research and wanted to so something in the County Lolita sub-genre. If regular Lolita is all about puffy skirts and ruffles, Country Lolita seems to be all about puffy skirts and gingham. Here’s a blog devoted to the style called, Country Lolita and here’s a post about Country Lolita from F Yeah Lolita, a great Lolita blog. (There is not gingham here… I can’t draw it to save my life.)

Chloe an Asian paper doll with two pairs of shoes in black and white. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, she can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing

{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 More Clothesr}{Click Here for Friends for Dolls}

I wanted to play with the style, but I wouldn’t say my interpretation is strictly accurate. It’s more about seeing what happens when I try something new and the excuse to draw some giant cherries.

Honestly, I think I had mixed success. The yellow skirt has a better shape than the blue skirt. Both the cherry and the apple pattern came out cute and feel bright and country to me, but border prints are super popular it sems and . I wish I had gone with a darker blue to balance out of the pale yellow, but I’m not sure about that. When I look at it, sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t. I settled on knee socks rater then tights, because I thought they would fit better on the page. I do want to know how you all think I did, so there’s a poll…

How did I do on my Country Lolita?

  • I have no idea what Country Lolita looks like... (58%, 21 Votes)
  • Nailed it! (33%, 12 Votes)
  • Not so much... Should have used gingham (8%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 36

Loading ... Loading ...

By the way, there is a doll to go with this set. She’ll be up sometime next week.

The Princess and the Frog: A Paper Doll Costume

Paper Doll of the Princess and the Frog or the Frog Princess I love fairy tales. I have always loved fairy tales. I have fond memories of, far past the point of being able to read complicated books, sitting in the library reading picture books of fairy tales. I love the lavish illustrations, but I also like reading many different versions of the same story. These days I still like doing that, but now I like learning why and where the different varients of Cinderella or the Twelve Dancing Princesses come from.

Today’s paper doll set is an ode to one of my favorite fairy tales. The Frog Prince or The Princess and the Frog, depending on which version you read. A princess loses her beautiful golden ball down a well and a frog retrieves it for her only if she will marry him. She agrees and then backs out of her promise. The story goes from there.

In the end, I think the moral is supposed to be “keep your promises” or “don’t judge on appearences”, but it could also be, “don’t drop your precious golden ball down a well.”

Medieval inspired fantasy outfits for the Poppet paper dollsMedieval inspired fantasy outfits for the Poppet paper dolls coloring pages
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Disney did an interesting adaption of the tale recently, but I will always picture the Princess how she was drawn by Walter Crane in the Frog Prince. Walter Crane is one of my favorite children’s illustrators. I was inspired by the pseudo-renaissance look for my own paper doll’s costume.

So, there is a frog, a golden ball, and a beautiful gown for the Princess. I am not much an animal artist, but I did my best to make my frog cute and palm sized. I always thought the Princess in the Frog Prince was a little spoiled, but then I suppose that’s just how fairy tales go sometimes.

Country Time: A Printable Paper Doll in Color or Black and White

The name of this paper doll set is “Country Time” and it might be a reference to the fact that her hair is the same color as Country Time lemonade. I hate coming up with titles and refuse to be shamed over where this one came from.

To be entirely honest, this week has been rough. I had to replace my computer’s RAM which was a good thing, since my computer is faster, but taking it into the shop always makes me nervous. I took my baby (aka MacbookPro) to a locally owned Apple place close to my work and, while I ate lunch at a nearby sandwich shop, they replaced my 4 gigs of RAM with a beautiful shiny new 8 gigs of RAM. It literally took less then 30 minutes and now Photoshop doesn’t hate me anymore.

Seriously, Photoshop is the canary in the coal mine of RAM problems.

So, if you were wondering why there wasn’t a Monday paper doll, the answer is “RAM issues”.

But we’re not hear to talk about my computer woes. We’re here to talk about paper dolls!

Court Alchemist Paper Doll in Black and White for Coloring
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Country Time is part of my B&B series. Her mix and match wardrobe is designed for layering. The leggings are meant to be worn under the skirts or the dress, so there are about 10 outfit options (12 if you consider the leggings wearable without skirts).

Full color Popper Paper Doll
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Her pink hair was chosen to counter balance the brown and cream color scheme. I was divided between pink hair and pale blue hair, but in the end I decided I liked how the pink hair looked better. I do have a slight “thing” for pink and blue hair, so I have to fight my natural tendency to prefer those two choices over all other strange hair colors.

I really do hope to have another paper doll up this week, so I can keep up with my two paper dolls a week tendency even though I missed Monday.

Nicole: A Printable Paper Doll in Color or Black and White

Link to Nicole, printable paper doll in color and black and white Back in Novemeber, I got a email from a reader who asked if I could name a paper doll either Lynn or Nicole for her. She wanted a paper doll named after herself. Now, originally, she asked for a Mini-Maiden or a Marisole Doll, but I have pretty strict naming patterns for those dolls.

I offered a Pixie instead and she said that she’d be cool with that option.

Today, I am pleased to present the result. A Pixie paper doll named Nicole with some layered tops (as requested). I was sort of obsessing over different bird illustrations for a while and so I decided to adapt some of them into a t-shirt design for Nicole. For those interested, her bird shirt was inspired by the work of Dante Terzigini, Inaluxe and Scott Partridge to name a few.

Link to Nicole, a printable paper doll in black and white for coloring with a contemporary wardrobe
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I love bright color schemes that feel a little unexpected. The orange red and very pale yellow are both acting as my neutrals in this set. She’s my first paper doll with glasses since April Showers in color & black and white back in May of 2014. That’s nearly a year. How embarrassing. I really do have to do more paper dolls with glasses.

Link to Nicole, a paper doll with a contemporary wardrobe. Part of the Pixie series, Nicole can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to remind people that to dress Nicole, you’ll need to cut long her shoulders under her hair. There are cutting diagrams that you can refer to if there are any questions about how to cut out the paper dolls.

Fashionable Irradiated: A Post-Apocalyptic Paper Doll

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll One of the fun things about doing contest paper dolls is that I really don’t know what people will ask for and I am often surprised. Truth be told, what I know about the Fallout the computer game is that it is a computer game and apparently there are vaults and radiation. That’s about it. Also jumpsuits.

Never the less, my last contest winner asked for a paper doll based on the Fallout games. Now, I have both ethical and legal concerns about violating other artists copyright, so I wanted to be careful how I borrowed from the source materials. Truthfully, more for ethical reasons than for legal ones.

She wanted her paper doll’s hair to be short and so I did my best to accomodate. I don’t do short hair styles very often, because I think I am not very good at them. Never the less, I wanted to do something fun and sort of spiky. The outfits are based on designs from the Fallout Three wiki. I did a jumpsuit, of course, some power armor and some leather armot at her request. I also did some goggles which, as always with goggles and me, might not stay on the paper doll’s head, so I also did some goggles attached to a scarf, wrap, head-covering thing.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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I added a few other mix and match pieces. Quite a few pieces didn’t fit the page, so I had to cut them. They weren’t very exciting (a pair of pants and a shirt), so I don’t feel like it is a great loss. One of these days I may have to do a “bits and pieces” set of all the random stuff I have cut over the years. I just don’t think I have ever cut enough to fit a whole sheet. (I can usually tell early if I have “too much” and then don’t color the offending pieces.)

Jintka also asked for, “Purple hair (more on the bluish side), medium skin color, and bluish-gray eyes, please. :).”

So, the paper doll got that color and then I used mostly muted colors for the clothing. After going back and forth about what “medium” meant for skintone, I decided on using Hex #d4aa78 from my Skin Tone Palette. I liked the yellow undertone against the blue in the purple hair.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
 

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Lastly, I wanted to note that this base doll is the same as the base doll I used for my 1300s paper doll set. I remain undecided what I will name her, but here she is again. I think she came out very cute in this set and her short hair has inspired me to try out more short hair styles on my paper dolls.

That’s all the news for Monday! Lemme know what you think of the paper doll set or if you have a name suggestion for my still unnamed paper doll.

Poppets Playing with Wooden Swords

Medieval inspired fantasy outfits for the Poppet paper dolls Clearly, I’ve been on a bit of a medieval kick with Monday’s 14th century set and today’s psuedo-medieval Poppet paper doll set. Ironically, I’m not that much of a medieval fantasy fan. As far as book genres, I’m much more into urban fantasy than anything in the classic or epic fantasy genres.

Of course, urban fantasy generally doesn’t lend to crazy paper doll outfit sets.

This set is partly because of my goal this year to make  more Poppet paper doll sets. Last year, I only did eight Poppet sets which seems rather like a low number. This year my goal is at least ten. I also really want to do some historical clothing sets for them, since I have an absurd love of Victorian children’s clothing. Those sets, however, aren’t even drawn yet. I think I should finish some of my unfinished Poppet paper doll clothes before I start drawing more of them.

I have a lot of unfinished Poppet sets lurking accusingly on my computer and demanding completion.

Medieval inspired fantasy outfits for the Poppet paper dollsMedieval inspired fantasy outfits for the Poppet paper dolls coloring pages
{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}

Today’s paper doll set features colors in the same family as my Marcus the Warrior paper doll. I almost gave them real swords, but that seemed like a terribly dangerous thing to give a small child, so a wooden sword would have to do. I really do enjoy drawing toys as accessories for the Poppets.

Meanwhile, I have been giving a lot of thought to Copyright and other issues of posting content on the internet. Would people be interested on a post on that topic?

Jayla: A Black Printable Paper Doll with Florals!

Link to Jayla, printable paper doll in color and black and white I have had a deeply frustrating month of February. My car was in the shop for a week and I got sick. I’m getting over it, but I haven’t been as productive as I would have hoped. We has a snow day on Wednesday and I was hopeful that I would get a bunch done.

Of course, I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped.

Jayla is an older paper doll. I showed a preview of her with this set of Pixie preview posts. I think of her has being kin to my floral set for Monica. Both paper dolls have a girly style with lots of floral pattern.

Link to Jayla, a printable paper doll in black and white for coloring with a contemporary wardrobe
{Download a PDF to Print and Color} {Download a PNG to Print and Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

I knew I wanted a “dark” background for my florals, but I didn’t want to incorporate too much pink. I tend towards pinks and reds naturally, so sometimes I have to fight that urge. Instead, I chose green, purple and blue as my color scheme. I really wanted to use the lime green with a warm purple, as I love lime and purple.

Link to Jayla, a black paper doll with a contemporary wardrobe. Part of the Pixie series, Jayla can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

Jayla’s wardrobe is not the most mix and match friendly. I think she really has about 11 or 12 outfit combinations that make sense and then 13, if you don’t care if things match. Personally, I think she could borrow some shoes from Adannaya who has the same skintone or some pants and skirts from Clarisa or a dress from Fiona. There’s plenty of paper dolls around I’m sure who would be happy to share.

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