Curves: Tea in the Garden

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I almost never sit down to a blank piece of paper with no idea what I am going to draw for the paper dolls. If I did, I think I would draw the same thing over and over again. I can always tell when I’m on “auto-pilot” with my work, even if others can’t. However, I’m a little embarrassed to admit the idea of these paper dolls came from a box of tea. It’s not even a type of tea I regularly drink, but I was in the tea isle picking up usual Lemon Ginger tea (which I often drink in the mornings rather than coffee) when I came across the box and I thought, “I think that would make a neat paper doll.”

I never said my mind was a logical streamlined sort of place.

Speaking of my mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about the new Curves series I’m working on. I’ve decided a few things already, but one thing I haven’t decided is color or black and white or shadowed. So, that’s the poll question. I openly confess I might not do what the poll decides, but I’m curious what people think.

Curves: Teatime Dresses

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Sometimes, paper dolls don’t come out like you wanted.

I had planned to do some Sweet or Gothic Lolita style dresses, maybe with striped stockings and some neat hats. I really think the heavy shadowed style lends itself well to all things gothic and that was what I wanted to tap into that. Sort of a dark Alice in Wonderland vibe.

I like the doll- I love her hair and I think her face is quite pretty. Both dresses failed to be what I had hoped they would be. I should have redrawn them, but I didn’t want too. I suppose this is part of the reason I am working on a series to replace this one when I stop caring enough to really edit my work it tends to be a bad sign.

For more successful forays into the Lolita-look try Marisole’s Sugar and Spice and Sugar and Spice 2.0.

I’ve been thinking a bit about the request to show more work in progress. It is something I have been wanting to do for a while, I just have trouble scanning pencil and I’m not sure I like how it comes out… I need to give it more thought. I haven’t given up on the idea yet, I’m just not sure how to make it work.

Curves: Fairy Tale Princess

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On Saturday, I went to a nearby town, had dinner and then went to the drive in movie. It’s one of the few drive-in’s left in operation. We saw the new X-men movie which was quite uninspired and rather awful (though the actor who played Magneto was really quite stellar, tragically the rest of the cast was not). Besides which, and this is going to sound nit-picky, but the film is supposed to be set in the sixties. While the men’s clothing was perfectly fine, most of the women were costumed in stuff whose only relation to the fashions of the 1963 was the fact that some had miniskirts (which didn’t really get going until 1966) , with the exception of Emma Frost, who looked a bit like the similarly named Emma Peel. Being a big fan of Emma Peel, I was not about to object.

I’m all for miniskirts, but really…

Of course, I say this while posting a paper doll which has absolutely no relation to any real historical costume what-so-ever. She’s a fairy tale princess. Does she need to be at all historical? I think not. I suppose the same argument could be made for superheros…

Be that as it may, I’m still annoyed by the mini-skirts.

However, I am now thinking about the idea of an Avengers paper doll. Jumpsuits, cut outs… could be an awful lot of fun.

Curves: Goddess on Earth

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I spent a fair bit of time tonight trying to figure out how to spell goddess. I swear that word has too many Ds for my own sanity. It’s quite late and I have no excuse for this except it was 97 degrees outside today and I spent most of it hiding in my apartment and then going out for frozen custard.

There’s something fantastic about frozen custard. The real stuff which is freshly made and has eggs in it and is fantastic.

Anyway, on a non-custard related note, classes start for me again next week. I’m not really looking very much forward to them, but I am trying to tell myself its worth it. At the moment, I am feeling fairly mixed about the topic. I’ve been enjoying my class free summer. This, unfortunately, will not last.

Such is life.

Enjoy the paper doll.

Curves: Fur Trimmed Gothic

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So, this is a stupidly titled paper doll, but her sleeves are fuzzy, so that should be worth something. :)

Curves is a complicated series for me, in part because it fore fills two goals. I began it when I did all my paper dolls for the blog in the heavily shadowed style of Curves, but I wanted to do a full figured paper doll since the ones I had seen online were not very attractive and I thought I could do better.

Two years later, Curves is my only regularly updating paper doll in the heavily shadowed style I developed in college and still often use for non-paper doll drawing. I like the style, because I believe it doesn’t need to be colored, it has a strong enough graphic presence without adding color. A lot of people color them, and that’s fine with me, but my goal was to make a black and white paper doll that didn’t need to be colored.

There were some side effects of this. The heavy shadows, strongly influenced by Frank Miller’s graphic novels, make for a fairly “dark” paper doll. In several ways, the details are often obscured and lost while the tone is also distinctly heavy. Being a bit of a noir movie lover, I don’t mind the tonal shift, but I do think it lends its self to some styles better then others. Gothic, vintage, and some fantasy clothing comes out looking wonderful, but the average jeans and t-shirt leave something to be desired.

I don’t want to give up my heavily shadowed dolls, because I do like them. I also don’t want to stop drawing a full figured paper doll since I think its important. Unfortunately, I also getting somewhat bored with Curves after two years. I think there needs to be a Curves 2.0. I just haven’t figured out yet how to pull that off or what it’ll look like when I do.

Progress reports and thoughts on the subject will be forth coming. Until then, enjoy the furry Gothic costumes for this new Curves doll and anyone’s thoughts on the matter are welcome.

Curves: Spots & Dots

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When I don’t know what to draw, I tend to fall back on casual contemporary clothing. It’s easy. I usually have plenty of references by looking outside the window or drawing from fashion magazines. Since I didn’t know what to draw tonight, and I was tired after a long day at work, I decided to go with my casual fall back position.

I have to confess to not being totally happy with them. There is an argument to be made for only ever putting out your very best work, but I’ve never believed it. Part of the point of this blog is to make myself drawn more, so if I only posted my best work, I wouldn’t be posting much. I’ve been drawing for Curves for over two years now and I wonder if perhaps I’m just becoming tired of them. I love the heavily shadowed style and I think its important to have fuller figured paper dolls on the blog, but I won’t deny that they frustrating at times.

Perhaps its time for a Curves version 2.0… I shall have to give it some thought.

Curves: Down an Rabbit Hole

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I have always loved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s been a favorite novel since I was a child. Over the years, I have done a few different Alice inspired paper dolls, there’s one in the Gallery as well.

This was supposed to be posted last week, but illness and finals put it off until today. The semester is finally over, thank the Gods, and I can now settle into my summer routine of working full time at the library and taking a few summer courses.

My hope is that over the next week I’ll have time to finish reformatting the site. Once it’s done, I’ll be asking that people email me with broken links and other problems as I’m sure there will be some. I can’t really focus on the “housekeeping” side of the blog while I’m trying to keep up with my weekly schedule, but with classes over I have some free time to devote to all things blog related.

Curves: Fantasy Lady

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Two quick things before I crawl into bed and call it a night. The first is that I didn’t forget about your paper doll Monica, it’s just taking a little longer then I planned. It’ll be up on next Monday. Secondly, I have realized it might actually be possible to reformat the site to a standard blog format in a way that won’t take hours upon hours of work. So, that will be happening in the future, but this also means as I play around with format there might be times when links get broken or things seem a little odd.

I promise these things will be fixed as soon as I see them (or more likely), someone else sees them and tells me.

As for the paper doll post today, um… I’m not totally pleased with this set. I drew these paper doll pieces around the same time I did a few others and this was the last set I drew. I tend to draw paper doll series in clumps, so for a few weeks I draw a lot of Curves or I draw a lot of Marisole or Pixie and then I post them as I clean them and polish them up for the site. These groups of images are always mixed. There are some that I’m really proud of and some that I’m less so.

These guys, I’m less proud of, but I really liked the paper doll herself and wanted to post her. I’m just not a huge fan of the dresses. But maybe other people will like them more then I do. What do people think?

Curves: Winter Diversions

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So, it’s nearly spring here and I thought I should post this before it becomes totally inappropriate, because of the weather. I didn’t wear a jacket today, though it was a little chilly for that I still enjoyed having the sun on my face. I don’t have a lot to say about these costumes except that they were fun to draw. I really like ice skating costumes even if I don’t ice skate much.

I do a little, but I wouldn’t call myself skilled… let’s say that I have, in the past, ice skated and leave it at that.

Beyond that, I don’t have anything really intelligent to say tonight. Sometimes, I feel like my posts are afterthoughts and that’s a little bothersome. I should work on it.

Curves: Sleepy Time

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Sometimes. I forget paper dolls are for children. I know that seems like a “duh” statement. Of course, you might say, paper dolls are for children. But sometimes, despite myself, I still forget. So when people post about how much their children love the paper dolls, it always makes me smile a little. I don’t draw specifically for children. I don’t think of children much, but when I discover some child has been made happy by my paper dolls, it sort of makes me happy.

Sort of happiness via proximity.

Obviously, today’s Curves is based on my current sort of sleepy, mildly out of it state which seems to be rather par for the course lately. Somehow when I was applying for grad-school people failed to mention that balancing work, school and everything else might be rather hard while also looking for employment. Of course, I love my job (really, I have the best job on earth), I love my classes (mostly) and I don’t have much of a social life (seriously), but it’s all a little overwhelming at times.

So, to provide some distraction, at the moment I have a contest of sorts going on. It’s more like a drawing really.

The Contest

The question is: Which paper doll series on the blog is your favorite and what makes it your favorite? A one word answer will not count, the “why” is very important to me.

The Rules:
1) One answer per person.
2) Contest will run for this week.
3) At the end of the week, I will put the names of everyone who answered into a hat, draw one randomly, and announce the winner on next Monday with the Marisole post.

The Prize: A custom paper doll for a series of your choice- Curves, Marisole, Pixie & Puck or Flora (though Flora has to stay in the Regency Era).

Of course, if you already answered, your name has been added to my word file from which I will extract the winner via a complicated method of dice rolling or name from hat drawing.

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