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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
I spent a chunk of my weekend coloring my Margot in Wonderland paper doll from last week. Today, Margot gets to be a blond and has, of course, a wardrobe of Alice inspired paper clothing pieces. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been inspired by Alice many times before and drawn her many times over the years.
After some time I decided to go with a jewel tone color scheme that was a bit bright. I wanted to capture the richness of color that could be captured with color lithography from the 19th century. I was also heavily inspired by this Lolita outfit. I really loved the rich colors since they are not the pastels or black that I normally associate with Lolita fashion.
As I mentioned with my Turn of the Century Pixie Paper Doll, I often collect ideas on my Pinterest boards, so you can check out the Lolita board I keep to see where some of these outfit pieces came from. Nothing was directly taken, but I find ideas and inspiration makes drawing paper dolls faster and easier than it would be without them.
The top hat’s floating tab is meant to be attached using the same method as I outlined in my instructions for attaching wigs and hats to paper dolls. This is one of my favorite methods of doing wig and hat attachment for the paper dolls I design and so I use it often.
I have been traveling a lot over the last three months. One trip every month which has made for scattered time for myself. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that I normally work from a long backlog and that having a backlog of paper dolls allows me to plan my life.
Well… I’m out of backlog, so the fact that today’s paper doll happened was a shcok to me. I did not think I would get her done, but I am pleased that I did.
Alice in Wonderland paper dolls are something I have drawn before. I think in total I have done three paper dolls that I’ve posted.
Today’s paper doll version of Alice in Wonderland uses Margot, whose been a bit neglected. Her costumes owe a lot to both Neo-Victorian and Lolita styles.
I had an awful lot of fun putting together the rabbit pattern and the card pattern for the two skirts. I attempted to draw a more realistic top hat than I have in the past, but I’m not pleased with it. There’s something off about the perspective, I think. However, I shall eventually get over my problems with hats. I just have to keep trying, so expect to see more hats.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are books I love, but that I don’t think have aged very well in many ways. The general lack of agency for Alice, not to mention the fact that most of the jokes don’t really resonate with modern life (how many of us had to recite in school? I mean… really?), means that when most of us think of Alice, we think of iconic characters and symbols without actually remembering the story. The Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, or Dweedle-Dee and Dweedle-Dum are all so familiar it hardly matters that the Mad Hatter is a reference to the mercury poisoning common to men in that profession during the Victorian era.
Sometimes, I struggle to get started on things, especially when I don’t really want to do them. Saturday night came around this week and I really didn’t want to work on this paper doll. I admit it, the orange dress was giving me fits and I was starting to loath my Pantone Spring 2014 Color Report inspired color scheme.
So, I literally set a timer.
Instead of blowing it off, I took out my cellphone and set a timer for 25 minutes. I told myself I would work on today’s Monica paper doll set for 25 minutes and then I would go do something else. Surely, I could suffer through 25 minutes of coloring. Of course, once the 25 minutes was up, I was so far along that I decided I might as well finish.
And here she is, all colored and everything.
I use a timer to do all sorts of things. From cleaning my apartment in fifteen minute bursts to inking for twenty minutes, I find that once I have done something for a short period of time intensely, I often keep going since I’m already in the middle of it. I hate not finishing things, but sometimes I struggle to get started on them.
As I mentioned before, this set’s color scheme is based on Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Report and includes several of the Pantone colors. I’m not totally in love with the color choices, but I wanted to stretch myself beyond the colors I tend to naturally gravitate too. Plus, I have done other Pantone inspired color schemes like my Seagulls and Seaside that used the 2013 color report and my Fashion Girl set from 2010 that used the 2009 and 2010 Spring Reports.
Happy Monday everyone. Today’s paper doll is a beachwear set, which has been a very common request. It is modeled by Monica who I’ve felt is rather neglected over the last while. I try to give all of the Marisole Monday and Friends paper doll styles some love. Monica is the newest member of the family and therefore has the fewest doll sets to her name.
So, today’s paper doll has a fair bit of paisley. I wouldn’t have attempted these patterns until I was comfortable using Photoshop to make complex patterns since redrawing the same paisley shape would have been killer. Instead, I drew one of each design and then placed them using photoshop. Paisley is one of the classic patterns, up there with polkadots and plaids. Paisley originally comes out of Persia, but it’s been being used around Europe as well for centuries.
I have to confess that while I am happy at how the patterned pieces in this set came out, I am not looking forward to the complexity of coloring those detailed patterns. I wanted the pants to be like the loose patterned pants which seem to be popular this season, but I rather think they came out just looking fairly clownish.
Never the less, it’s not uncommon for me to dislike one or two pieces of any paper doll set. I guess if I have to dislike one piece than this isn’t such a bad piece to dislike. Also, I didn’t give her any heels which is very odd for me. I rather like heels, but I suppose even paper dolls need to be comfortable sometimes.
Lastly, the current contest/drawing for a custom paper doll is open until Midnight Central Time on the 18th. Enter if you like.
Today’s paper doll is, as expected, a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll in full color with a stylish spy wardrobe.
My mother wanted me to mention, after reading my last post about Secret Agent Man, that she did not like Johnny Rivers and it wasn’t her fault that it came on the radio. And that in the days before playlists I should be happy that I get to pick what music I listen too.
Apparently suggesting that she was a Johnny Rivers fan was a deep insult to her hippy, anti-establishment ways.
So, I went back and forth about the right color scheme for this paper doll set. Part of me thought that yellow and pink were a little bright for a super spy, but then it occurred to me that no one would expect a super spy to be wearing yellow and pink. By the way, the short hair style Marisole is sporting is actually her base hair. These days I often draw my base dolls bald which helps when I have to draw hair for them, but back when I drew Marisole I didn’t do that. In her first post ever, she is sporting this hair style. That was back in January of 2010, though I actually drew Marisole sometime around 2008. She sat in a pile of unused base dolls for years before I finally decided what I was going to do with her. I think that’s sometimes the odd thing about working with her. She’s drawn in a style that I don’t know if I would, or even could, use today as my art has evolved.
Oh, by the way, something I am curious about this whether people like colored paper dolls or back and white paper dolls better, so I have changed out the poll in the sidebar. Vote if you want and also consider entering my current contest/drawing if you haven’t.
Melissa Smith of Miss Missy Paper Dolls colored my Vivid Victoriana paper doll and did a lovely job. I’m always so flattered when people send me their colored in paper dolls. I have a few more paper dolls colored by other people to get up which I am going to try to do in the next few weeks.
I love Melissa’s coloring style. It feels very painterly to me, which is something I very much admire in other people’s coloring styles.
Today’s Marisole Monday paper doll is Marisole as a super spy. An idea suggested to me by my Aunt. I confess that I had never thought about drawing a spy paper doll before and there’s nothing realistic about my spy paper doll, but I think action heros are fun subjects for paper dolls.
And on the subject of action hero paper dolls, if you haven’t seen them, Bruce Patrick Jones did a really beautiful set of Action Stars paper dolls. I highly recommend them.
The title is supposed to be a reference to the song Secret Agent Man, but maybe I’m the only one who remembers all the lyrics to that song… Okay, so I only know the lyrics because my mother has the most amazing memory for lyrics and I inherited that trait. It’s not like I actually listen to Johnny Rivers actively.
Like any classic spy, Marisole has catsuits for breaking and entering, a trench coat, fedoras and, of course, weapons. She also has two wigs for covering her short hair and some simple office wear. All in all, I’m quite pleased with how she came out, though I confess that those fedoras took far more drafts than I’d care to normally admit.
I think today’s spy would be good friends with the ninja paper doll that I drew… wow… three years ago.