Classy Color Blocking: A Paper Doll Coloring Page

A printable coloring page of a paper doll with a seventeen piece contemporary wardrobe. Back when I first drew this base doll for my 1300s paper doll set, one of my regular readers, Jazz13, suggested that I name her Megan.

I have several friends named Megan (spelled all sorts of ways) and I wasn’t sure I wanted to name a paper doll after them. Then, my boyfriend, remarked out of the blue that he thought she looked like a Megan. I was a little surprised and said, “Okay, well maybe…”

Then I spoke to a very close friend and got permission to name the paper doll after her. So, I am pleased to present Maeghan, the new member of the Marisole Monday & Friend’s family.

The friend for whom I named the paper doll wanted her to get to have crazy absurd dresses or clothing with pockets. I confessed the paper doll was already drawn and colored, but promised the next one could have crazy fantasy gowns.

A printable coloring page of a paper doll with a 17 piece contemporary wardrobe.
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The unusual spelling of the paper doll’s name as Maeghan, rather than the more common Megan or Meghan, was chosen because that’s how my friend spells her name and spellcheck thinks its a misspelling and I’m not sure she’s ever gotten over it.

(When she reads this post, I am totally getting a text.)

Anyway, I hope everyone likes Maeghan and her contemporary wardrobe which does not, I am sure, have enough pockets for the real Maeghan to be entirely pleased.

Lastly, I’d like to mention that it is Memorial Day here in the USA where we recognize those who have served and died for our country in the Military. While I always intend to draw something more fitting, I never seem to actually get around to it. Never the less, I consider it an important holiday and we should take a moment today amongst our barbecues and shopping sales to think about the reason for the holiday.

I won’t be barbecuing, personally. I will be stripping horrid wallpaper off a kitchen.

An Elven Empress: A Paper Doll in Color

A printable Asian paper doll with fantasy gowns based on Chinese historical dresses I collect costume history and dress books. I’ve been collecting them for years. I used to deny that it was a collection, but as it has grown I have grudgingly come to accept that “collection” is the the only word for it.

The colors in this set are based on a Japanese language book I have on Kimonos. I don’t have much of a clue what the book is about (I don’t know any Japanese), but I picked it up for a dollar from a booksale in college and its been traveling around with me ever since. I keep swearing I’ll give it away to someone who read Japanese, but somehow I can’t seem to part with it.

Funny how that goes, isn’t it?

I don’t have many other kimono history books, though I do plan to expand my “ethic” clothing collection soon.

Anyway, these colors are quite bright, so if I understand kimono color culture correctly, they would be most appropriate for an unmarried young woman. Of course, none of these are actual kimono, so I suppose I could just have decided that in the strange elven fantasy culture these are from anything I say goes.

A printable Asian paper doll with fantasy gowns based on Chinese historical dresses
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I’ve had a lot of fun with this set. Next up is a contemporary fashion set and a naming poll. After that, I really haven’t decided what I am going to do. I need to buckle down and get some sketching done for my next few historical sets and give the Poppets some love. They’ve been neglected as of late.

Thoughts on what I should draw for the Poppets? Drop me a comment. Or just drop me a comment, because you care.

You do care, don’t you? (Imagine me giving you puppy dog eyes here.)

An Elven Empress: A Black and White Fantasy Paper Doll

A printable Asian paper doll with fantasy gowns based on Chinese historical dresses Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I hope everyone who should of called their mother did actually call their mother. Anyone who is a Mother, Happy Belated Mother’s Day. My own Mother reads this blog and she is, I must say, about the best Mother a girl could have. I love her very much and her support has always meant a lot to me.

One of the thing I inherited from my Mother was a love of Asian clothing, particularly the amazing textiles that go into kimono. Seriously, if you’ve never just gazed in amazement at Japanese textiles, go check out this kimono or this one or this one.

I’ll wait.

Anyway, I tend to think of today’s paper doll as a cousin to my Tones & Shades paper doll that I did back in 2011. Like Jai from last month, this isn’t actual Tang Dynasty dress or actual kimonos, rather it’s a strange fantasy mixing of a lot of different styles into one.

A printable Asian paper doll with fantasy gowns based on Chinese historical dresses
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Some of my inspirations in no real order include Korean women’s hairstyles, Tang Dynasty style Chinese dress, a ball jointed doll outfit, a kimono and an actual Tangy Dynasty sculpture. I probably forgot some sources, but I think that’s everything. I tend to collect my sources on Pinterest, so feel free to follow me there if you want some glimpses at my various obsessions.

Frocks and Gowns in Color

A printable paper doll of a young black woman with a brightly colored wardrobe So, this is going up a little late today. Sorry about that, but life got crazy this weekend. I want to talk a little bit today about coloring last week’s paper doll and a little about diversity in the paper doll world.

So, when I color a paper doll set, I start with a pallette. I knew I was going to be giving Monica a fairly rich brown skin tone, so that opened up and closed down certain color options. For example, I tend to avoid putting brown colored clothing on brown colored paper dolls, unless the tones are really different, since it can blend too easily. Since she was going to have a rich skin-tone, I decided that bright and color dresses made a lot of sense.

The strapless gown with the belt was based on this gown by Andrew GN and since it had a red top and a pink bottom, that informed the blues and the greens as contrasting colors in the other gowns.

A printable paper doll of a young black woman with a brightly colored wardrobe
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I’m a big believer in paper doll diversity. I think it is really important to have a variety of concepts and skin-tones and, ideally, a variety of concepts in a variety of skin-tones. Truthfully, I tend not to think of my paper dolls in terms of ethnicity, but in terms of color. It it less about, “this paper doll is African-American” and more about “this paper doll is a dark brown with red undertones.”

I used to think I was the only one who thought this way about paper doll skin-tones until I read this post from Julie over at Paper Doll School. I was comforted to find out that we both tend to think in terms of “color” not in terms of ethnicity.

The result of coloring things, perhaps?

What I do know is that no matter how I think about skin-tone, it is crucial to me that I offer readers of all backgrounds and colors paper dolls that reflect them. People should be able to see themselves in the toys they play with.

Yes, I know a lot of my readers are adults, but adults play with toys, too. At least, they should. :) I do.

Frocks and Gowns in Black and White: A Paper Doll

A printable paper doll of a young black woman with formal gowns and cocktail dresses This is the first Monica paper doll of 2015! I think she looks stunning with this collection of fancy dresses, both cocktail and more formal. I wanted to try the spiky hairstyle that I used for my post-apocolyptic paper doll again.

I find with paper dolls that I tend to do a formal gown set every year or so. In 2014, I did this set of vintage evening gowns and a set for Mia in 2012.

As a kid, I liked drawing evening gowns and I like to think my paper dolls lead the sort of high style lives where they would need fancy dresses. Plus, we are coming into Prom season, so it seems fitting to draw some prom worthy dresses.

Though, I must say, the older I get the less I find prom dresses to be anything other than gaudy. There are a few exceptions, but they are rare. I did a prom paper doll set back in 2010 based on the dresses I saw for sale in that year.

Monica’s evening and cocktail dresses are all based on real gowns except for the one on the far right with the flower. I totally made that up.

A printable paper doll of a young black woman with formal gowns and cocktail dresses
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Interesting PTP fact: The first paper doll set ever in the Marisole Monday series was Glamor Girl with formal gowns. That was way back in 2010.

My few of my other formal gown paper doll sets have been At the Big Gala, Red Carpet Elegance, and Flowers and Jewels.

As always, enjoy the paper doll and feel free to tell me what you think about her.

A Lady at Court in Color: Printable Tudor Paper Doll

A printable paper doll of a young black woman with a brightly colored wardrobe I confess the colors here were heavily influenced by the colors in the portraits that I used as inspiration. (Full list of those can be found in last week’s post.) That meant there was a lot of black. I confess that somehow Tudor clothing looks best to me in rich, vivid shades of red, gold and black, so I settled on that color scheme.

Most of the ways we think of history are influenced by our perceptions of the past, rather than the reality of the past. It’s easy to imagine the Victorian era entirely in sepia, because that is what we have available. I have been watching an excellent documentary by the BCC entitled Monarchy on Nexflix over the lat few days. It’s been fascinating, if at times a little confusing when I lose track of which Edward is which. Never the less, we’ve just gotten to Henry the 8th and I smiled when I saw the gowns of this era.

A printable paper doll of a young black woman with a brightly colored wardrobe
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Over the years that I have been drawing paper dolls, few eras have seen has intimidating as Tudor. I’m very pleased that I was able to tackle this period. My next major research project will be preparing for my Viking paper doll set for B&B. I just received from Interlibrary Loan on Friday the book Woven Into the Earth about textiles from Norse Greenland. So, I’ll be curling on this week with that on my couch trying to make sense of Viking attire.

Once I’m done with Vikings (which will be a few weeks, I am waiting a on a few more books), I’ll need a new period to research. For this purpose, I have put together a poll. These are all eras that I have either never really studied or generally think I don’t like. I want to force myself to do things which I wouldn’t normally be drawn too.

What historical period should I research next? (And therefore make a paper doll of...)

  • Ancient Greece and Rome (33%, 32 Votes)
  • Rennissance Italy (22%, 21 Votes)
  • The Mod Look of the 1960s (21%, 20 Votes)
  • The 17th Century (16%, 15 Votes)
  • The 1830s (8%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 96

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A Lady at Court: Printable Tudor Paper Doll

A printable paper doll of Turdor era fashion Let me be clear here… this is not just a paper doll of the 1500s. Rather, my Margot paper doll is is showing off English Tudor dress from the mid-1500s, specifically Henrician gowns. This is an important distinction, because by the 1500s dress was highly regionalized, especially for people of wealth and status. My paper dolls nearly always have both wealth and status. (Mostly, because rich important people tend to get way cooler looking clothes.)

Both of Margot’s gowns are Henrician gowns, which are specifically gowns worn during the reign of Henry the 8th. She’s also got two french hoods (headdress A & C), one gable (or English) hood (headdress B), one pair of shoes and one set of underwear.

Please note that the underwear may not fit underneath the two gowns. I didn’t want to omit the smock from the underwear and smocks had really full sleeves that got crushed under the gowns and then were displayed through slits in the false sleeves and well… I didn’t want to deal with all that layering.

Moral of the story: She has under things. The underthings might not actually fit under things.

I should add that I knew very little about Tudor dress when I started researching this paper doll set and I am not about to claim that I have magically become an expert. I did my best to create an fairly accurate rendition of a noble woman’s garments of the 1540s through 1550s considering the restrictions of Margot’s pose.

A printable paper doll of Turdor era fashion as a coloring page
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As always, it is very important to me to be clear about what I studied at prior to drawing this paper doll set. Tudor clothing has always been very intimidating to me, but I wanted to challenge myself. A big part of my historical paper doll set goal is drawing things which “scare me”. Tudor dresses were one of those things.

Selected Sources:

Books:

Arnold, Janet. Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction. London: Macmillan, 1983.
Ashelford, Jane, and Andreas Einsiedel. The Art of Dress: Clothes through History, 1500-1914. London: National Trust, 1996.
Mikhaila, Ninya, and Jane Malcolm-Davies. The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing 16th-century Dress. Hollywood, CA: Costume and Fashion, 2006.
Norris, Herbert. Tudor Costume and Fashion. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997. (Note: Norris’ book has some problems, since it was wirrten in 1927, but it’s useful as an accompaniment for other things.)
Reynolds, Anna. In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion. London: Royal Collection Trust, 2013.

Websites:

There is a fairly large community of people who reconstruct Tudor clothing. I am always dubious of such cites, as they often lack citation (and y’all know that drives me nuts), but they can be excellent sources to corroborate primary and academic secondary documentation. As always with internet research, Caveat emptor.

Damsel in in this Dress: Tudor Kirtle and Gown from May 2014. (Accessed: March 2015)

Tudor Dress: A Portfolio of Images is clearly a product of the days of table’s on the internet, but still has good info. (Accessed: March 2015)

What did a Tudor Noble Lady Wear? is all about the layers of Tudor clothing. (Accessed: March 2015)

Elizabethan Costume Page is older, but quality. Plus there’s an old school Java paper doll game! (Accessed: March 2015)

Tudor Tailor is the website of the people who wrote the excellent book “Tudor Tailor.” Though I think the book is more useful than the website, it would be remiss of me not to mention that it does exist. (Accessed: March 2015)

Portraits:

From the National Gallery, I looked at a lot of famous portraits from Ann Boylen, late 16th Century, Queen Mary the First in minature, circa 1545, and Queen Mary the First circa 1544, Unknown Woman’s Portrait, circa 1545, Jane Dudley, circa 1600, Queen Mary the First, circa 1554 and Katherine Parr’s Portrait, circa 1545.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s portrait collection, I looked at Lady Lee (aka: Margaret Wyatt, born about 1509) circa 1540s, Portrait of a Young Woma circa 1540-1554,
Anne de Pisseleu, Duchesse d’Étampes, circa 1535-1540, and Lady Rich (Elizabeth Jenks, died 1558) circa 1540.

There are, of course, other sources of Tudor clothing and I am sure I missed some. I don’t think this will be my last trip to the 1500s. I really want to do a more “merchant class” tudor paper doll as well.

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.

Sweet & Saucy: A Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

A printable paper doll coloring page with a clothes I first previewed this paper doll set back in 2014 when I did a preview of all the contemporary Marisole Monday & Friend’s sets that I had drawn in a clump. I tend to work in clumps, as my regular readers know.

The other three sets that were draw at the same time as Saucy and Sweet were, in no particular order, Southwest Boho (color and black and white), Simple Sophisticate (color and black and white) and A Bouquet of Florals (color and black and white). Unlike the other three sets, Sweet & Saucy didn’t come right out of the fashion magazines.

She was actually inspired by a Japanese steet fashion known as Decora or sometimes just Harajuku in the USA. Harajuku is actually an neghborhood where street fashion is pretty common, but the more accurate term for the look is, according to my reseach, Decora. Truth be told, these outfits are pretty tame for Decora (examples here).

A printable paper doll coloring page with clothes
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She also is a nod to some paper dolls I drew in college who all seemed to have pigtails and platform boots. I have no idea why I was so obsessed with that look, but I clearly was. Anyway, as far as my paper doll sets go, she’s got a lot of outfit options. With six tops and five bottoms, there’s over 30 outfit combos before the two pairs of shoes double it to sixty and the dress makes sixty two. (Though the sweater doesn’t layer great with the fluffy skirts, so that might be a problem.)

Enjoy her! She’ll be up in color next week.

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.

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