Maiden: A Printable Princess Paper Doll

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logo-maiden-fantasy-bwAnother printable princess paper doll this week. Clearly, I was in the mood to draw fantasy dresses. I did think about trying to get some other sets done and then breaking up my princesses, but in the end, that just didn’t work out. So, May has become a month of printable princess paper dolls for the Marisole Monday & Friends crowd and people are just going to have to deal.

So, in the 12th century, there was this garment called a “bliaut.” Now, I’ll be honest, I am still learning about 12th century clothing, but in my limited research the “bliaut” was a wide sleeved gown with a full skirt. The most famous example, I know of, is from the sculptures on the exterior of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres. Another example is the Unshaw Virgin from the British Museum. I’m still mid-research to create a historical 12th century paper doll, so while I work on that, I thought I would draw a fantasy paper doll inspired by the 12th century.

A black and white printable princess paper doll with four gowns, two pairs of shoes and some accessories. She can share clothing with a lot of my other paper dolls as well. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Along with the 12th century, Maiden here owes a bit to Norse things with her bone comb and her knife. I think she could be a generation or two removed from my Maiden of the North paper doll from last year or maybe from the same “world”, but a different geographic region. I also think Marcus as a Warrior fits in as well.

Now, I will confess that I did try to make something very different from Monica’s Dreaming Princess set here. Despite the fact that they are both fantasy paper dolls with a distinctly princess vibe, the styles are pretty different. Maiden here is all about the 12th century while Dreaming Princess was all about the early Italian renaissance look. Plus, while Dreaming Princess was modeled by Monica, Margot is the model for Maiden, a title picked entirely because it fit in the space I had left after rearranging this set like a dozen times.

For colors, I wanted to use shades that reflected manuscript illustration. While Dreaming Princess was me channeling my inner-8 year old. This paper doll was much more my taste which tends towards more muted colors when I think of fantasy gowns.

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Now, next Monday, there will be something completely different!

(Well… not really. It’s a paper doll, but not a princess paper doll.)

Also, if you’re wondering, “Who is this Margot person Rachel keeps referring too?” Than allow me to refer you to the Guide to Marisole Monday & Her Friends.

Questions? Comments? I’d love to know what you think of today’s paper doll.

Dreaming Princess: A Paper Doll Princess

logo-dreaming-princess-bw Whenever I meet young girls and ask them about paper dolls, which I confess I don’t do very often, they seem to often ask for Princesses. I don’t know what it is about paper doll princesses, but it seems to be a popular trend. As a child some of my favorite paper dolls were those of Peck-Grande which featured beautiful fairytale paper dolls with fantastic dresses (Here’s some images from their Beauty and the Beast paper doll or Sleeping Beauty paper doll). As far as I can tell, princess seems to translate to “amazing over the top gowns” and that works for me.

(The feminist in me always wants to give a lecture on the patriarchal nature of historical princess-dom right now, but the lover of pretty dresses in me doesn’t care.)

When I design complex patterns for paper doll clothing, I like to try to keep the outfits themselves fairly simple. I think it is easy to get the pattern “lost” in the lines needed for pleats and folds. So, when I decided I wanted to play around with complex patterns for these gowns, it wasn’t a hard decision to know that I needed a simpler silhouette.

Early Italian renaissance dresses (from about the 1490s) have always had a soft place in my heart. Someday I do want to do an actual “historical” paper doll from this period, but until then, I had fun playing with the silhouette in this paper doll princess set. These styles might look familiar if you remember Her Ladyship from 2014, she was inspired by the same time period.

A paper doll princess coloring page featuring four elegant dresses and two pairs of shoes. Free from paperthinpersonas.com.

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The model for today’s gowns is Monica. You can find more paper dolls featuring her here. Confusion about which Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll model is which? I wrote a guide a few months ago.

Every time I design a princess paper doll download with these sorts of elaborate patterned fantasy gowns, I swear that I won’t do it again and then I do. Insanity is doing the same thing over again, expecting different results, they say, but here I found myself once more painstakingly coloring an insanely complex pattern and grumbling about it.

My original plan was to go very traditional with the colors here. In the actual Renaissance, the expense of dye meant that darker colors were more fashionable and expensive than lighter colors. So, that was my first plan- black, red and gold would have abounded.

But then I realized that if I was going to use a dark brown skin-tone for the doll (which was my plan all along) and then went black and red with the clothing, it was going to be a really dark paper doll set. Plus dark colors on these kinda elaborately patterned outfits obscures the black line-work. I spent to darn long coloring this to obscure the nuances of those patterns. So, gold, red and black when out the window for rose, lime and teal. Nothing says spring to me like rose, teal and lime.

Plus, I think the brighter spring colors are nice for a May set. It’s spring here in Alabama, after all.

A black princess paper doll download featuring four colorful gowns and two pairs of shoes. Free from paperthinpersonas.com

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If today’s Monica princess color page needs some friends or more dresses, there’s literally dozens of options, but I think A Noble Lady, Pattern & Grace, Queen of Dusk and Book Loving Princess all make nice accompanying black and white paper doll sets as they are in a similar silhouette. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with deciding today’s Monica freelances as a circus performer or pirate, but I thought if people wanted more “princessy” looks than the four paper doll sets I mentioned above would work well. As many of you know, versatility is very important to me in my paper doll related activities, so I try to point out where one set might interrelate to another set.

After all, I don’t expect y’all to keep track of the 500 paper dolls on the site, especially since I can’t always keep track of them myself.

In case you’re wondering why both the color and the black and white version of today’s paper doll are being posted, there will be a post explaining ALL on Wenesday, or at least MOST. 🙂

It is nice to be back.

Three Marisole Monday Paper Dolls in Black and White

I wasn’t sure what to do post today, because I am taking the month of April off and I was struggling to decide what to do with this last Monday. Then I discovered I had three Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls that I converted to black and white last year that I hadn’t posted.

So, now I am. 🙂

First up we have Knights and Ladies, one of  my very early fantasy paper dolls in black and white. When I first drew this paper doll, I think the sleeves were inspired by the 1830s. I think… It has been a few years. 🙂

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Next, we have what is my mother’s favorite of all my paper dolls- my commercial fisher paper doll. I still am not totally pleased by the salmon, but I think the halibut came out very well.  While I no longer own quite so many pieces of fishing clothing, I certainly did in my younger days.

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Last, but not least, one of my very early fantasy paper dolls. She was originally done all in shades of pink, so that was what why she was named Princess in Pink. Of course, now you could color her in any way you want and therefore she could be a Princess in Blue or a Princess in Orange or a Princess in Pistachio.

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I hope everyone had a lovely Easter if they celebrated. Mine was delightfully quiet.

There will be  formal announcement of my April hiatus on Wednesday.

Mikhail at the After the End: A Male Paper Doll

logo-post-apoc-color Last Monday, I posted today’s male paper doll set in black and white. Today, Mikhail is up in color with his world ending fashion statements. I mean, you want to look good at the end of the world, don’t you?

Post-apocalyptic fashion is something that fascinates me. I collect photos and idea on Pinterest even if I’m not prepping for a set, because then when I do want something I can go looking for it. So, I have a whole board devoted to Post-Apocalyptic clothing. This is something I encourage everyone to do. After Wenesday’s post about Paper Doll Principles, I noticed a lot of people asked how I came up with ideas.

Someday, I’ll write on that (in fact, I am working on it now), but for now the short advice I will give everyone is this:

There is not such thing as a totally unique idea. Inspiration comes from having easy and ready access to the things that you like. By having a collection of other’s Post-apoolcyptic fashon ideas at my fingertips, it was easy for me to develop my own.

So, I urge you if you are struggling. Collect images and ideas that intrique you. If I ever draw another post-apocalyptic paper doll, I’ve got 188 images to help me come up with ideas.

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To continue our discussion on inspiration, here’s a shirt that inspired me, a leather harness, this shirt and these boots. All those pieces inspired this set of paper doll clothing and I am sure if I looked I could find more images that I found that inspired me. I can tell you that the red and blue shirt was sorta a riff on the Captain American shield and came about, because I got sick of coloring things green and tan.

I’m still not totally pleased with his hair. I think there’s something off about the angle.

Anyway, as always, let me know what you think in the comments and if you want to support the blog, please consider becoming a patron.

Mikhail at the After End of the World…. A guy paper doll

logo-post-apoc-bw Today my guy paper dolls are  getting all post-apocalyptic in their Mad-Maxian attire. Well, really just one has Mad Max inspired clothing, but Mikhail can share with his friends. (Okay, friend… There’s just Marcus 2.0 right now.)

So, I owe a big thank you to Kitrona who back in my suits set for the guys where I was busy complaining about how I never know what to draw for male paper dolls, she suggested post-apocalyptic.

Duly inspired, I sketched out this set a few weeks ago. It came together fast, mostly because I was out of Marisole Monday & Friend’s backlog with my last post and I desperately needed to get it done or I would have had nothing to post this morning.

And that would have been sad.

Mikhail, a guy paper doll, sporting some post-apocalyptic fashions. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Today, the guy paper doll is Mikhail. this only the second Mikhail set. Perviously, he was a knight. Here’s a guide to all the Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls. I know sometimes people have trouble sorting out that series and I totally get it. I mean, I live with them, y’all just have them come visit.

I really should give Mikhail some more normal clothing- for when he’s not struggling to survive the end of the world and/0r fighting dragons, but I find modern guys clothing so boring.

Yeah, I’ve complained about that before. I know.

Last, but not least, I always love to read comments, so please feel free to let me know what you think of today’s guy paper doll.

Roses & Violins: A Lolita fashion Paper Doll in Color!

logo-classic-lolita-colorLast Monday, I mentioned I used a lot of Lolita fashion blogs to do my research for my Lolita fashion paper doll, but I didn’t mention which ones specifically, so let me clear that up.

My favorite Lolita fashion blog was F Yeah Lolita which had a great post on Building a Complete Lolita Wardrobe. Her wardrobe template starts with sixteen pieces which can be mixed and matched into 14 different outfit combinations. I actually think her advice rings true even if you’re not trying to build a Lolita wardrobe. A few mix and match basics and a good pair of shoes, can get you through many a week of work, especially on a tight budget. Other blogs I found useful and interesting were Parfait Doll, Lolita Fashion(Tumblr), Ruffles & Steam (tumblr) and Portal of Fantasy (tumblr).

I also totally love Lolita Fashion Update where Lolita brand releases are posted (though it hasn’t been updated in a while 🙁 ). Store sites were hit and miss. As far as I can tell, a lot of these Japanese brands to pre-release sales and it seems like things sell out and therefore never get posted to their store sites. (Maybe I’m wrong about this, but that’s been my gut instinct), here’s the brands I based my designs off of Mary Magdalene, Victorian Maiden, Innocent World and Angelic Pretty (though they tend more towards Sweet Lolita).

Okay, so I was looking for photos of Classic Lolita style to link, so people would know what I was basing this on and I found this photo of two Lolitas on the street wearing Classic Lolita dresses from Tokyo Fashion and one of them has the Violin purse! Check it out.  I was so excited to see the purse “in the wild”, so to speak. The larger version is a bit more complex than Mia’s mini paper version.

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I’m a big believer in using color to tell a story. Years ago, a friend used to joke that Steampunk was “Gothic clothing colored brown” and there is some truth to that observation. Color has a lot of power. I could have gone Gothic Lolita or Sweet Lolita with these outfits if I had chosen another color scheme, but I liked the soft hues associated with Classic Lolita, so that was what I settled on. Also, I have a Sweet and Gothic Lolita paper dolls already which illustrate this principle by being the same set colored two different ways.

I’m still regretting that I didn’t draw her any hats or bows. It was totally my intention to, but then I forgot and then I didn’t notice I’d forgotten until it was too late. Sigh. A rose cover bonnet like these one would really fill out her look. Oh well, I’m just going to have to save for a different paper doll set, I guess.

There is an extra outfit over on my Patreon page– shoes, a parasol and dress. You don’t have to be a patron to download it and it will fit in with the rest of Mia‘s Classic Lolita wardrobe. Also give her some pink shoes to go with her more pink dresses.

If you like the Lolita fashion style, check out my Lolita tag for more paper dolls inspired by this style.

Please leave a comment if you like, because you know I love feedback. 🙂

Roses & Violins: Classic Lolita Fashion Paper Doll

Marisole Monday & Friends: Classic Lolita Fashion As I mentioned on Wednesday, I had to get this set of paper dolls done, or I wouldn’t have anything to be posted today. Anyway, as I said today’s classic Lolita fashion paper doll set was partially the result of a request from a patron and partly the result of me never being able to extract decent black and white version of my sweet Lolita and gothic Lolita paper doll sets.

So, I inspired by this violin purse from the Japanese fashion company Innocent World. While I will admit in a heartbeat to not being an expect on Lolita fashion, which is a Japanese street style based on Victorian children’s clothing, I have noticed that a lot of Lolita outfits (called coordinates) seem to be heavily themed. Once I settled on the purse, I knew I wanted the patterns of several of the pieces to have a music or violin theme.

I’ve also noticed that many of the Lolita fashion blogs I read while working on this set, seem to recommend buying JSKs (Jumper-Skirts, I think?) over full dresses, since these can be worn over various blouses. The paper doll pose makes that sort of layering tough, but the short sleeved dress on the far left is meant to be a JSK. I have a Lolita Style pintrest board where you can see way more of my inspiration.

A Classic Lolita fashion paper doll coloring page from paperthinpersonas.com.

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My one big regret about this set is that I didn’t do any hats or bows, which are a big part of  Lolita. Oh well… I suppose nothing is perfect. Mia is modeling today’s fashions, if you are keeping track of who is who in the Marisole Monday & Friend’s family.

I did kinda got carried away designing pieces for this set and I ended up with two many to fit on the page. Rather than just let them rot on my hard drive, I posted them over on my Patreon page. You don’t have to be a Patron to view or download them. You can see the extra dress, shoes and parasol here. Next week, I’ll post the color versions there as well.

I think if I end up with “extra” pieces in the future, my Patreon page will be a handy place to put them.

Thoughts on my foray into classic Lolita fashion? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Suits for the Paper Doll Guys in Color

Marisole Monday & Friends Logo- Marcus Suits in color

It’s Monday! (I don’t feel nearly as excited about this as an exclamation point would suggest.)

Today, last week’s set of suits for my man paper dolls (specifically Marcus 2.0) get to rock some fun colors, okay, maybe not fun, exactly.

When it comes to color, modern men really don’t get a lot of options. Beyond a short stint in the 1960s and 1970s when a guy could show up in a red or purple suit, in the 20th century, men’s clothing is pretty much neutrals all around. So, today’s man paper doll got some rather simple navy and grey men’s suits.

It might not be the most “exciting” color choices, but they are wonderfully versatile if you find yourself unsure about what sort of suiting would be best.

Senational Suits is a man paper doll set including a young black man and two suits- one in gray and one in navy. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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There’s something very dashing to me about a man in a well cut suit. I don’t know what it is, but I love suits on men. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era for men’s clothing. Hoodies and jeans are just so boring.

If you missed these paper doll suits in black and white for coloring, they’re over here. Also, if you’re unsure who Marcus 2.0 is, I’ve got a lovely guide to all that which I wrote last week after a reader request, proving that I do read comments and, sometimes, actually do what people ask.

I do sorta wish I drew some other hair for Marcus 2.0 here, but I just feel like men’s hair isn’t that exciting. It’s not unlike a lot of men’s clothing. How many ways can you style three inch hair? I mean, really. I’m sure there are nuances I don’t get. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Thoughts? Comments? Other men’s clothing you’d like to see? Drop me a note in the comments.

The Man Paper Dolls Get their Suits! Finally, right?

A man paper doll with two suits and a pair of shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com. So, if I’ve had ONE major request of my man paper dolls, it was to have suits for them. I mean, yes, historical has been a common request, but suits have also been one of those things people seem to really want. And I get it, Marisole Monday & her female friends have some beautiful dresses (like this set and this set and… I could go on), so why wouldn’t we want a man paper doll with some fantastic suits to back them up.

And I gotta confess- Drawing suits is hard! I complained to my boyfriend about it and his reply was, “Try wearing them everyday.”

Yeah, not a lot of sympathy from that corner of the living room.

So, when I look at these suits for printable paper dolls, I see things I think I could have done better, but since drawing suits is hard and I am still learning, I have decided I am going to be proud and pleased of what I did rather than focus on what I wish I could change.

(Easier said than done, I know.)

A man paper doll with two suits and a pair of shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

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It was tough to decide what sorts of suits to draw for today’s printable paper doll. I knew I wanted to do two different styles (so Marcus and Mikhail could double date) and I didn’t want to deal with the whole “shirt tucks into the pants” thing. So, I kept it simple with a suit with a vest (can I confess that I have a THING for suits with vests? Love ’em) and a single breasted suit.

Despite what my costume history professor told me in grad school, men’s suits do have subtle nuanced changes they have gone through over the years. For example, right now both lapels and ties are very thin which I’m not that keen on. So my ties are a bit thicker than are really in style at the moment.

I avoided patterns on the ties, because I knew the knot in the tie would shift how the tie pattern ran and I didn’t want to think about that too hard. Lazy? Yeah, a little.

Anyway, as always, let me know what you think in a comment. 🙂

Summer Garden: A Paper Doll and Her Clothing

logo-floral-marisole-color I love color. I have teal dining room chairs, after all and a red cabinet in my dining room that holds my larger serving dishes. My favorite sweater is lime green and very fuzzy. I call it the Mountain Dew sweater. The point I am trying to make is that if I have the choice between neutrals and a color- you can pretty much count on me picking out a color. And this helps explain why I decided to go so bright and rich with Marisole’s paper doll clothing.

Someone, I think it was Boots, remarked that she was picturing a lot of yellow and green. Well, she wasn’t wrong… Yellow and Green are definitely here. I wanted color in this paper doll set- the sort of vibrant colors I love in flowers when they are in full bloom. Of course, right now it’s cold and damp here in Alabama, but eventually it won’t be and then the bright colors of spring and summer with come.

And I can complain about the heat on this blog, thereby continuing my theme of never being happy about the weather. (Though I suppose this isn’t true, I do enjoy Spring in Alabama.)

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One of my grand frustrations with Marisole’s pose is that you can’t actually layer a long sleeved top under a skirt and expect the skirt to stay on the doll, because of her right arm which is against her stomach. This is one of the annoyances that occurs to me when I am designing mix and match paper doll clothing for her and I want to do things that just won’t work.

I’d scrap the series and redraw, but it is uber hard to give up something that I’ve been doing for six years. There are about 240 Marisole Monday & Friend’s posts on the blog. It is my most popular series and so I feel a little bound to it. It’s also a tiny bit weird to be working on something I drew over six years ago. I remember drawing the first Marisole doll. I was in grad school sitting in the library killing time between class and when I had to go to work.

And now I live in a totally different state and she’s still around. Kinda crazy, honestly.

(Don’t fear, I don’t plan on getting rid of Marisole Monday & Friend‘s anytime soon. Just thoughts about the paper doll series.)

As always, I love hearing comments from readers and, if you want to support the blog, here’s the Patreon page for it.

And Happy New Year to those celebrating the Year of the Monkey!