First things first- These are not historically accurate.
Now, I must say I do love skirts. I’m beginning to learn how much I love them in the last few months. I’ve started wearing them a lot more and I am really enjoying it. Pencil skirts are wonderful, because they are simple and easy and go with everything. Of course, I don’t own a crazy purple one (though I did really want a green tweed one until it was pointed out that it went with nothing else I own).
As with all of the Dictionary Girls paper dolls, the color of the stand should match up with the paper doll whose skin tone will match the shows and the color of the tabs match the hair to the doll they are intended for. The hair styles are more interchangeable than the shoes, due to that pesky skin tone problem.
These shoes and wigs are intended for Alyssa and Chiharu . I still feel like they need a larger wardrobe before I begin to make more dolls- though I would like to make a brunette with blue eyes soon, but that will have to wait until finals are over- so sometime next week.
Life has a way of getting crazy and getting away from me, but I finally feel a little more on top of things after a few weeks of nothing short of total insanity. I finished a paper for one of my classes and that leaves two more to write and one final to take. Not terribly bad, all things considered.
The first hard frost of winter hit the corn fields, and my car today. So, I guess I should be tracking down my wool socks and getting ready for the long cold winter. Personally, I would rather it stayed fall a little longer, but I doubt its going too. I think winter is actually here.
Since the winter is coming, I decided to go pastel for these vintage inspired dresses. I wanted to make the sorts of things I imagine a Southern woman wearing to church… of course, being neither Southern or having ever gone to church more then twice in my life, I have no idea if anyone would actually wear it to church. Still, I like them, but the black wig might not fit under the pastel green hat.
This beautiful sent of cocktail dresses was meant to show off ruching which I have been practicing. I love the combination of the apple green and the strawberry pink, but also wanted to have a more sedate color scheme for the less adventurous among the Dictionary Girls. I am pleased with how both dresses came out, but I sometimes admire the work of other paper doll artists and know I need more practice.
Lately, I have been very impressed by Siyi Lin an artist from Taiwan, I think. Her work is beautiful and often featured in Haute Doll Magazine. She has both a webpage and a Picasa album which I confess to staring at for far too long. I love her colors and her drape and her faces. I think her paper dolls are done with vectors and that is something I really want to learn how to do. Someday, I’ll have the time to take a class on vector drawing. Yes… I’ll fit that in between my classes, work and job hunting. Not any time soon, I fear, but someday.
But I’m really inspired by her paper dolls of Ann Estelle and Betsy Mccall and I wonder about doing a child paper doll. I’ve played around with them in the past. It would certainly be a paper doll of a doll rather then a real child.
But this brings up a deeper more complicated issue of what should I do with paper dolls that aren’t part of my standard series, and I don’t have an answer. I don’t like the Gallery, but I don’t know what to do with the content I have there and the Short Run dolls were fine, but I haven’t used them in a while. I need to somehow consolidate the paper dolls that are not part of a series under a sort of umbrella category somehow… What do people like more? A gallery approach or something else? Does anyone, but me care? Possibly not.
As I mentioned before, I am focusing on clothing for the Curves 2.0 for the next few weeks. I figure my five girls need some dresses to wear, or else they shall be poor cold paper dolls. As much as a paper doll can be cold, I suppose. I always did like drawing clothing far more then I liked drawing dolls, to tell you the truth. I just feel like I should have a nice set of dolls before I start drawing lots of clothing, even if clothing is more fun. It’s rather like eating veggies before the deserts.
Speaking of eating my veggies, during my absence from the blog, I did some drawing of paper dolls, though not related to my usual serial dolls. After some debate, I thought I would ask how people felt about seeing things from my sketchbook that might never make it onto the blog.
I know some people have been waiting on this paper doll, so I hope she doesn’t disappoint. I’m not totally pleased with her skin tone. I based her coloring of a young girl who rides the bus with me, but I think she looks a little too grey-toned. I’ve been debating about the skin tone for the whole day and finally decided to go for it. I think it’s a nice color, if a little less warm then I’d intended. My frustration, if I have one, is that.
The weather is getting into fall here. The weather it turning cold and crisp. I’ve been walking to work and from work and I can feel the cold on my skin. Fall is fully here in the land of corn, so I suspect that soon it will be winter. Meanwhile, I’m doing my class work and working through my school stuff. Mid-terms just passed, so now it’s the long slow fight to the finish line. I always have trouble this time of the semester, but I’m in classes I enjoy.
So, I think I’m done with dolls for the Dictionary Girl’s for a while. I’d like to focus on clothing for them.
I recently received several very kind emails. Whenever people email me about my paper dolls, it always makes my day. It’s also a great way to get me to do things I’ve been sort of being lazy about, like updating the Dictionary Girls. I feel bad about neglecting them for a few weeks (especially since I had two things done and colored and absolutely no excuse for not putting them up except laziness).
To beg forgiveness for my lax ways, and because I got a very sweet email from a woman telling me how much she liked the Dictionary Girls, I make sure to get one up tonight even if it is almost Thursday here in the Midwest.
On a semi-unrelated note, I am having a little drawing in the post below. If you wish to win a free custom paper doll, just answer my drawing question. The Winner will be announced next Monday. I’d like to thank everyone whose already answered- it’s really interesting to see what of my work is people’s favorites. Usually, I judge success by the number of comments, so I’ve had a few surprises for people’s favorites (and a few I expected.)
This paper doll is named in honor of a good friend, as many of my paper dolls are. The moment I drew her, I thought she looked Hispanic, so I decided to make her Elena and I gave her more coral colored lips since I’ve done a lot of red lipped pin-up dolls. Someday I need to draw her a bull fighter costume in order to forefill a complicated inside joke, but until then she has some darn sexy underwear.
She’s up a little late tonight, because I spent the evening baking rather then working on blog things. I am part of a club at my University and we’re having a bakesale. I promised to make stuff for it, so tonight I found myself putting together cookies. Tomorrow will be brownies and rice crispy treats- both easy enough to make though I confess I haven’t made rice crispy treats since I was about ten. Still, how complicated can they possibly be?
I forget sometimes how much I like baking until I get back into the kitchen to do it. I rarely bake for myself, because I live alone and it would be dangerous to have cookies around the house. Stuff like this is an excuse to pull out my grandmothers chocolate chip cookie recipe and use it, though I don’t make them as crispy as she always did.
And that, my friends, is more then I can imagine anyone wanted to know about my cooking habits. I am thinking now though that a series of aprons would be a fun thing to draw for Curves 2.0. I should get on that… but not until I finish my cookies.
I debated long and hard what to name this paper doll. I had a friend in high-school who was Japanese American named Claire, and I almost named the paper doll (with whom she shares really no resemblance) Claire, but then I decided I wanted to actually try to find a name with Asian origins which started with C. I wanted it to be a fairly common name and I didn’t care if it was Chinese or Korean or Japanese or really from anywhere else.
Being as I know nothing about traditional naming practices of pretty much any Asian country and being as I didn’t really feel like learning them, I ended up pawing around baby name sites looking for something I could pronounce and which was not hyper unusual. I don’t know how common this name is, but based on the fact that several actresses in Hong Kong have it, I think it can’t be that unusual. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)
There will be another paper doll next week and then some costumes to dress them both in. Once I have a few more dolls, I’ll do more clothing. I just wanted to have a range of different dolls for dressing up. I’ve written before about the large number of child development studies which have been done about the need for children to see themselves reflected in their toys. While I don’t usually think much about children when I’m working on paper dolls, I do try to have many different skin tones and hair colors and combinations, so that almost any child could be given a paper doll that looked like them. Plus it keeps me amused. I’m always divided between the desire to have a bunch of different skin tones and the practical need to create mix and match clothing options. The biggest issue is shoes which often show some skin and then can only be worn by paper dolls who have the same color skin as the skin shown in the shoes.
Some people worry about world hunger, I worry about paper doll shoes.
I hope is to have at least six different skin tones for these paper dolls. In order to keep straight which things can be worn by which dolls (they all have the same pose, but some shoes show off skin), things that can’t be really exchanged between the dolls will have colored tabs which match the dolls stand color (most wigs, some shoes) and the things which can be worn by any paper doll will have plain white tabs (dresses, hats). The wigs might be able to be exchanged among dolls in some circumstances, but I won’t be double checking them, so I can’t assure their versatility.
I can easily think of more then six skin-tones I would like to do as paper dolls, but the reality is that while people come in thousands of colors, paper dolls are best I think if they come in a more limited palette. It helps make more pieces wearable between paper dolls.
On a slightly unrelated note, I am totally in love with her white sunglasses and they are meant to match the belt and I think it’s cute, though a little absurd which is rather the point of pin-ups, isn’t it?
Today we have Alyssa’s partner in crime, Bianna. I spent a while debating if I should post clothing before I posted another doll, but in the end the other doll won out, mostly because I’m rather in love with her wigs and her lips.
I promise next week there will be some clothing, so the poor girls aren’t running around in their girdles for too much longer. I’m having a lot of fun digging around the Vintage Pattern Wiki looking for dress ideas while fretting about how I don’t like their feet placement.
Oh, well, I don’t think I’ll ever have a perfect paper doll. 🙂
Bianna is not named after anything or anyone specific, except that her name starts with B and I liked how it sounded. Do cut along the dotted lines on her wigs and by her arm to help her wear her costumes. I’ve spent the last few days working hard to finish up assignments for my summer course work and I must confess I have little intelligent to say in this blog post, so enjoy the paper doll and, as always, I love to hear what people think.