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...)

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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.

Tibbets and Kirtles in Color: A Printable Paper Doll of the 1300s

Printable paper doll of a lady from the mid-1300s in color Last week, we got to see my mid-1300s paper doll set in black and white. This week, here she is in color. Historical printable paper dolls always make me a little nervous. In inevitably, choices have to be made about what to include or not include and how to render a period’s fashion. These choices are easier the more you know about the period and harder the less you know. One of the reasons I often turn to Medieval inspired or Renaissance inspired rather than actual historical paper dolls is the knowledge that I don’t know enough to always make appropriate choices.

What I am not comfortable doing is always trusting the many sites out there that don’t cite their sources with enough detail to actually find the material if you needed it or want to confirm it’s authenticity. While I love the internet, I find that I don’t use it that much when I am doing this sort of research. I seem to fall back on my library training and rely on reputable secondary sources published in scholars with names in the field, backed up my own knowledge of solid collections of digitized medieval manuscripts where I can dig for source images, plus a few tumblers and blogs that seem to know what they are doing.

And this method worked great until I got down the problem of color. Now, I always think of the 1300s as being richly red and blue and gold, because those are colors I have seen in medieval manuscripts. Just because, however, they made a dress red in a book doesn’t mean the dress was commonly red in real life. Pigments used for illumination aren’t the same a pigments used for dyeing cloth and medieval art is heavy on analogy and symbolism.

A printable historical 1300s paper doll page
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What I really didn’t want to do was do a ton a research on natural dye processes, because a lot of people have written a lot on the topic. Textile fragments like this one, an incredible velvet cope or this equally amazing cope from the V&A Collections proved to me that colors were rich in the 1300 hundreds. So, I used those images along with this Medieval Colors article from Aux Mailles Godefroy. The resulting colors are a little more muted than was probably possible in the 1300s, but I just couldn’t get over my preconceived notions of muted tones despite seeing examples of bright yellows produced with natural dyes. The truth is that both linen and wool, common fabrics in the 1300s, take dye really well. The world was likely a lot more vibrant than my preconceived notions of history suggest.

By the way, most of my primary and secondary sources for this paper doll set are listed on the black and white version. It was a long list and I didn’t want to repeat it here. So go check that out, if you want to see what I used to create my mid-1300’s paper doll.

Tibbets and Kirtles: A Paper Doll of the Mid-1300s

Printable paper doll of a lady from the mid-1300s Today’s printable paper doll is from the mid-1300s when set in sleeves came into existence and fashion was all about layers and hanging strips of fabric off sleeves called “tibbets.”

There are topics upon which I can speak authoritatively and there are topics where I know basically nothing. I would say that I am fairly knowledgeable about certain periods of Western dress, but there are others that are beyond me. As someone who just isn’t that into the medieval period in Europe (though it is growing on me), I have never spent much time doing research. After last years adventures in the 10th century, I knew I wanted to explore some more early periods and the 1300s seemed like a smart choice.

I settled on the 14th century (or the 1300s), because I’ve been wanting to illustrate that period ever since I stumbled across the entire Roman d’Alexandre digitized from the Bodleian Library which is full of illustrations of ladies in fashionable dress. As I usually do, I cobbled together my decisions about this paper doll from a variety of secondary and primary sources. One website that deserves a shout-out is Illumanu which not only posts manuscript images, actually cites them properly. Makes the librarian in me so happy.

A printable historical 1300s paper doll coloring page
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A few specific choices I should note. The pattern on the sidecut surcoat was from Romance of Alexander from the Bodlein Library. The far left dress is based on this casket lid from the Met and the Romance of Alexander from the Bodlein Library folio 181 verso. The green dress on the far left seems to have buttons down the front and hanging sleeves. The other two gowns are mixtures of literally dozens of primary and secondary sources. You can check out below some of the sources I used.

The stockings are scrunched below the knee. I wasn’t able to find any records of garters being worn in the 1300s. The shoes are both from Stepping through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric times until 1800 which I would totally buy if I could find it for a reasonable price. I also designed a new face for this paper doll. I like it a lot, so it might become a regular member of the family. I haven’t decided yet. What do you all think?

Selected Sources:

Books:

Buren, Anne Van., and Roger S. Wieck. Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, 1325-1515. New York: Morgan Library & Museum, 2011.
Crowfoot, Elisabeth, Frances Pritchard, and Kay Staniland. Textiles and Clothing, C. 1150-1450. London: HMSO, 1992.
Goubitz, Olaf, Carol Van. Driel-Murray, and Willy Groenman-Van Waateringe. Stepping through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric times until 1800. Zwolle: Stichting Promotie Archeologie, 2001.
Newton, Stella Mary. Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince: A Study of the Years 1340-1365. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1980.
Nunn, Joan. Fashion in Costume 1200-2000, Revised. Lanham: New Amsterdam, 2000.
Scott, Margaret. Fashion in the Middle Ages. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011.
Scott, Margaret. Medieval Dress & Fashion. London: British Library, 2007.

Manscript Illustrations:

Instructions for Kings, in French
MS M.456, 55v–56r
France, Paris(?) circa 1330–35
Morgan Library and Museum

Jacques de Longuyon, Vows of the Peacock, in French
MS G.24, 25v–26r
Belgium, Tournai circa 1345–50
Morgan Library and Museum

Speculum humanae salvationis
Hs 2505, 37r
Westphalia or Cologne, circa 1360
Technische Universität Darmstadt

Giovanni Boccaccio, De Claris mulieribus…
Français 598, 134r
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
France, circa 1403

Roman d’Alexandre
MS. Bodl. 264, 47r, 97r, 97v, 120v, 121r, 127v, 163v, 169r, 168v, 171r, 172r, 172v, 173r, 181r, 181v, 191r, 196v, 197v, 204r
Bodleian Library
Flanders, circa 1344

Weekend Denim: A Paper Doll for Morgan

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll One of the things I really love to do is hold drawings where the winner gets a custom paper doll. Part of the fun of these contests is that I never know what people are going to ask for and sometimes I am really surprised.

Over the years, I have done everything from a 10th-century Anglo-Saxon paper doll to a pair of Puck paper dolls ready for a date. I’m always fascinated at what people ask for, though usually it’s a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll.

As always when I create one of these paper doll sets, a part of me is very nervous. I always worry that I am not going to “get it right” for the person who asked for the paper doll set.

Morgan asked “For the clothes something comfy but still sort of dressy, tomboyish but still girly, if that makes any sense. For the hair color and style, curly long orangish red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. But if possible I would love to have the color theme be turquoise.” And she was kind enough to send me some great reference images.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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As I usually do with drawing winners, I wanted to post both of these sets at once, as I don’t think it is nice to make my winners wait when they have been so kind to wait a few weeks anyway.

Color scheme wise, I was asked for turquoise which is one of my favorite colors (well, teal really). Beyond being really hard to spell, it’s also a color with lots of variation. Since it can be a fairly green color or a fairly blue color, I wanted to use several shades. Now, I tend to stay away from monochromatic schemes, so I also used a bright yellow and a bright green as accent colors.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Anyway, I hope you like your paper doll set Morgan and if the color scheme isn’t quite what you imagined, let me know. I can recolor her. I always worry about color schemes. Meanwhile, to my other winner, I promise your paper doll will be up in a few weeks.

By the way, I think this is the first contemporary paper doll I’ve ever done with just pants and no skirts or dresses. I haven’t been through all the archives to confirm that, but I think it’s true.

Lady in a Castle: A Printable Paper Doll

Printable paper doll of a fantasy princess with four dresses One of my pet peeves is that fantasy movies always default to the assumption that the characters involved are white-skinned. I just saw Into the Woods which I recommend highly- I am a huge Sondheim fan- and I noticed they had some brown-skinned extras which is great, but all of the main characters were white skinned.

I know one of the common arguments against skin-tone diversity in classic fantasy or fairytales is that they are often European in origin and it wouldn’t be accurate to have brown skinned characters; however, I’m not sure the argument for “accuracy” really holds up. First of all, there was a lot more diversity in Europe a lot earlier than most people realize. Secondly, if there are going to be giants and magic, can’t we accept the idea that some of the characters might be darker skinned? Does that really deeply violate suspension of disbelief? We are talking about a genre of story with singing harps, talking animals, and pumpkin coaches.

This is all a really complicated way of saying that I try to give my fantasy paper dolls a variety of skin tones, including weird ones like green, more green and orange. Um… Is it bad I just noticed I have two green skinned paper dolls? I could have sworn one of those had blue skin. I should keep better track of these things.

A printable fantasy paper doll coloring page.
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Moving on from her skin tone, I stuck with the pale scheme I had planned and tried to focus on greens, blues and purples while using yellow and pink as accent colors. I think it came out pretty well, though coloring those detailed patterns took forever. Every time I add a bunch of pattern, I promise myself that it is the “last time” and then I do it again- because I really do like pattern.

Changing topic a bit, one of the most common questions I get is “Why don’t you sell your paper dolls?” I decided to answer this question for Abby of While She Naps. Abby took my thoughts about hobby and business, combined them with those of some other very talented crafters, and created a really great post about business, craft, and why we do what we do. I recommend going and reading it post-haste.

Meanwhile, Vikings are winning my “What historical period should B&B visit” poll which means, I suppose, I should go learn something about Viking dress. If you have not voted, please do. It is highly likely that I will not totally ignore the outcome. It is also highly likely it will take forever for me to get it done, because I am me.

Lady in a Castle: A Black and White Printable Paper Doll

Printable paper doll coloring page of a fantasy princess So, I usually manage to get these paper doll sets up on schedule to post early Monday, but clearly today I wasn’t so on the ball. Never the less, I’m not technically late, just a little delayed I suppose.

This week’s Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll set features Marisole and some pretty traditional fantasy gowns. Fantasy sets seem to be the favorite of my readers and I enjoy them. I wanted to play with pattern for these, so they are heavily patterned- much more than I usually do with my paper doll sets. I’ve been challenging myself to use more patterns lately.

Should you think Marisole needs some paper doll friends, I’m sure she can hang out with Marcus the Warrior or the Coastal Princess. I know she’ll have a light colored, pastel based color scheme, though I’m not sure exactly what colors yet.

A printable fantasy paper doll coloring page.
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And since it’s later than I usually get these done and I am very tired, I am going to call this post finished. Thanks everyone for your kind wishes while I was ill last week and hopefully we’ll have a normally updating blog this week.

If you want, let me know what you think of her in a comment. :)

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