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!

Summer Garden: A Paper Doll Dress Up Set

A black and white paper doll dress up set of sixteen pieces including two pairs of shoes, five tops, two dresses, two skirts, two pairs of pants and two pairs of shoes. Normally, I try not to post two fashion paper doll sets in a row, but somehow my life just didn’t let me finish up the other sets I had hoped to have done. Sometime’s life is like that, so for today’s paper doll dress up, you’ll just have to live with another contemporary fashion set.

A lot of these pieces are based on things from fashion magazines.

One of my goals with this set was to use more pattern on each piece. So, I decided to focus on floral patterns. It was fun to create the patterns for these pieces. Of all of the different pieces, my favorite is the drop waisted floral dress. (The polkadot covered jeans are a close second, I confess. They are based on a pair owned by my sister.)

I will openly confess that I really don’t remember everything I was thinking when I designed this set, except that I really wanted to play with pattern. See? Not very set has a deep philosophical story behind it.

A black and white paper doll dress up set of sixteen pieces including two pairs of shoes, five tops, two dresses, two skirts, two pairs of pants and two pairs of shoes. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.

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I’m not sure exactly what season this clothing would really work for. I mean, the turtlenecks are much more autumnal, but the florals are certainly a summer thing. I gave it the title Summer Garden, so I guess it’s summery?

A friendly reminder that if you like the blog and you’d like to support it, I do have a Patreon page where you can donate to keep things around here up and running. It’s also home to the Vivian Project.

I’m also pleased to show off my draft version of my new paper doll index page. It’s still being tweaked, so I’d love to hear what people think of it as well.

Tea & Ruching: A Fantasy Princess Paper Doll

Another one of my princess paper dolls, today we have an African princess with two fantasy gowns and lots of accessories. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.comAs I mentioned when I posted the black and white version of this princess paper doll last week, rarely can I look back and share several stages of paper doll creation. From the sketchbook stage to the coloring stage. There’s a sort of allusion that I think is common in blogging. It’s always presented as current, as immediate.

Sort of the “I just threw together this perfect brunch for my family on Tuesday and I wanted to share it with you all” idea. The truth is that while sometimes I work against the wire- barely have the paper doll done before I post it- I think most people understand that generally there’s a long wait between idea, rough sketches, final sketches and posted paper doll.

So, as you all probably know, I love drawing princess paper dolls. It’s an excuse to let out my girly side and create fluffy over the top dresses around whatever themes strike my fancy. For this princess set, I wanted to use some of the motifs and styles of African wax print fabrics.

An elegant princess paper doll inspired by African wax print fabrics. She's got two fantasy gowns and lots of fun accessories. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com.

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Originally, I have conceived of a pink, green and purple color scheme, but it really didn’t work in practice. So, back on Pinterest, I selected this wax print fabric to be my basis for my colors. The orange, red, blues and yellow color scheme seemed like a lovely change of pace from the pinks and purples that are generally associated with princess paper dolls. Plus the white really lightened up the outfit.

I’ve decided her white shoes are a sign of wealth, because can you imagine trying to keep white shoes white? I mean, I don’t own any for that exact reason.

Now, if you’re thinking, but she needs more clothes… Than I recommend considering borrowing gowns from the Yellow Princess, Rose Ballgowns or Garden Ballgowns. All those sets share the big-skirted look of today’s princess paper doll.

Thoughts on today’s princess paper doll? Feel free to leave a comment. Also, on Friday, there will be Elves!

Tea & Ruching: African-American Princess Paper Doll

A black princess paper doll to print and color with two ball gowns, a hair pick, tea set and other accessories. Today’s princess paper doll has been a long time coming. Back in September, I posted the penciled and inked versions of today’s paper doll set and then I posted a screen capture of the colored version in December and now, in January, you get the final black and white with the final color version going up next week.

Generally, I finish the colored version and the black and white version about the same time, but I space the posts out by a week for my own sanity. Plus the colored version of this particular paper doll set gave me fits. I won’t even get into how many variations I made in color choices, but it was brutal. I’ll save that rant for next week’s post.

Okay, so my initial inspiration was African wax print fabrics which I have always had a deep fondness for. If you look closely at her patterned dress, you’ll find a motif inspired from this design and more on my Pintrest board of African Prints & Fashion. Primarly coming out of West Africa, these prints have a complex history which I confess I am not an expert on. Slate is a nice article on African Wax Prints highlighting some of those complexities.

A black princess paper doll to print and color with two ball gowns, a hair pick, tea set and other accessories. Free to print and color from PaperThinPersonas.com

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Beyond my fascination with African wax print cloth, I wanted to do a rather traditional princess. To me, that means big skirts (blame it on growing up in the late 80s) and things that are a big over the top. Of course, big hoop skirts always remind me of the 19th century, so her stockings and shoes owe something to that era.

I’ve been taking a Creativebug class where you draw something every day for the whole month of January. The January 2nd assignment was tea cups and you can see my version over on my Instagram account. (Yeah, I just joined Instagram. We’ll see if I like it long term.) Her teacup was drawn weeks ago, but I don’t think I’m great a teacups, so practice is important.

My hope is to get into the habit of drawing a little everyday in a way that is NOT directly paper doll related. We’ll see if I succeed, but I think it would really help my art.

Meanwhile, drop me a comment if you’d like to share what you think about the paper doll. :)

Warm in Winter: A Printable Paper Doll

logo-warm-colorI think maybe I drew this paper doll, because I want it to get cold in Alabama. It just hasn’t happened yet and it’s annoying me. So, I might not need my cute purple winter coat, but at least Marisole has her cute paper winter coats.

My wardrobe would be so much larger if I could just wear winter coats that I drew on pieces of paper. Seriously, that would be pretty cool.

So, let’s talk color scheme, shall we? I use ColourLovers to track my color schemes and this scheme was one I created called Seaweed and Salt. I always name my color palettes in ColourLovers totally random things. The inspiration color was that electric green color which I created named Acid Cabbage AttackHex Code C2DB06. It should work for all your bright green color needs. :)

(See, I know someone who reads this was thinking- Obnoxiously bright green is totally what I need in my life.)

As much as I make fun of Acid Cabbage Attack (and yes, I did name it), I actually think that bright green is a lovely color against Marisole‘s skin-tone.

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My only regret about this set is that I chickened out of making one of the coats Acid Cabbage Attack colored.

Clearly, I am having way to much fun with my background-color xtml code. Also Acid Cabbage Attack makes me think of that TV show about the evil tomatoes, or as it a movie? Did this actually exist or is my memory just inventing things?

(Thanks to Google, I now know the movie was Attack of the Killer Tomatoes)

So, what do people think of today’s Marisole? I’d love to hear in the comments and if you enjoy the paper dolls, consider supporting the blog on Patreon.

Warm in Winter: African-American Paper Doll Coloring Page

logo-warm-bwHappy Hanukkah to everyone who is celebrating along with me.

Anyway, onto the paper doll, it was important to me to get a coat based set up before it was, you know, March or April. :) So, here is some cute coats along with a fantastic updo and some boots for Marisole Monday and all her friends.

So, I used to think I was really bad about matching up the season to the paper doll set of clothing and I was about to write this whole post about how proud I was for getting these coats up now and not in, you know, June. Then I went through my archives looking for an example of a totally off seasonal post from Marisole Monday & Friends and I couldn’t really find one,

I guess I’m better at pairing up sets to the right season than I ever thought I was. Live and learn, I suppose.

Anyway, today’s printable paper doll is all about the coats. My favorite is the biker jacket. Which one is your favorite?

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I love hairsyle magazines for hair ideas, especially for black hairstyles and for short hairstyles- two areas I often think I need help with. I try to pick up hairstyle magazines every few months for new hair ideas. Then I sometimes play a game where I draw things from like every seventh page or I decide I will pick something from an odd numbered page or… You get the idea.

For example, today’s braided style comes from the November 2015 issue of Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles and Care Guide. According to the magazine, the hair style is a combination of cornrows and box-braids. (I’m still learning my braiding terminology.) I don’t think I captured it perfectly (Marisole has a really low forehead, so that doesn’t help), but I’m pleased with the outcome.

Over on my Pateron, my patrons are busy voting for what the blog goals for 2016 should be. If you’d like to vote too, consider joining up to support the blog on Patreon.

I haven’t decided if I am going to do my usual end of the year drawing for a custom paper doll or not. I confess to being very divided on the subject- there’s a lot on my plate right now.

A Little Retro Style: Printable Paper Doll

retro-contemporary-logo-colorLike any good printable paper doll should, today Marisole is showing off her full color autumn paper wardrobe complete with some sassy boots. The colors I chose are rich jewel tones for these paper doll clothes. I wanted something that said autumn to me and nothing says autumn like jewel tones.

There are color schemes I come back to over and over again in various forms and one of those is teal, dark pink, and green. I just love these colors together. I do confess that I sometimes I tell myself I can’t use “pink” or I must use “green” and that forces me out of color scheme ruts.

I confess this is a color scheme that I have done before, or at least, I feel like I have done it before. Maybe I’m wrong… anyway, it feels awfully familiar to me.

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Every once in a while, I return to things in the deluded belief they are going to come out better. Like red hair and dark skin, I return to it even though I feel that I have yet to actually get it right.

There’s a term for doing the same thing over again expecting different results. They call that, “insanity.”

Anyway, I once again tried red hair and dark skin. I think this attempt was better than several of my other attempts (Mint and Roses, I am looking at you).

There’s a big announcement coming up Wednesday, so stay tuned for that.

A Little Retro Style: Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

retro-contemporary-logo-bwEvery once in a while, I imagine totally re-doing this blog. Abandoning my printable paper doll sheet format and switching to an outfit a day or something else totally different.

I doubt I’ll ever have the nerve to do that, but once in a while it does occur to me that it might be interesting to just “start over”. I had no choice back in 2010 when the site crashed, but it was also rather cathartic to be able to think about clean slating things.

(Don’t worry, the site is not destined for radical change at the moment.)

Today’s printable paper doll is Marisole, of the Marisole Monday & Friends Family, showing off her dynamic autumn wardrobe. It has been a while since Marisole has gotten any love which is funny considering she is the oldest of the Marisole Monday & Friends collection.

I love autumn. I love the turning leaves and the crispness in the air and the excuse to wear boots. I also love that the fashion magazines come out in September and provide a wealth of fun and interesting fashions for paper dolls. This is the time of year when I often draw a bunch of fashionable paper doll ladies, but this year I found between moving and a few other things, I just didn’t have the time to devote to my contemporary paper doll drawing habit.

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For this printable paper doll set I actually drew a crop top which I confess I pretty much NEVER do, but I have had requests and I have noticed they are coming back in style. As someone who remembers the 90s, I would rather crop tops not come back. Still, can’t fight the tide forever.

I was going through some of my childhood paper dolls lately and I kept seeing crop tops and miniskirts. I was a little obsessed at age 12, clearly. I’ll have more about childhood paper dolls to share in the beginning of November.

As always, comment if you want and I hope everyone enjoys the paper doll!

Beautiful Boho: A Black Paper Doll in Color

boho-logo-colorSummer in Alabama is probably my least favorite season. First of all, it is very hot and humid. Secondly, there are cockroaches. Thirdly, it rains in the afternoons, but the rain doesn’t actually cool anything down.

We are having a freakishly hot June. It’s been in the high 90s for the last week and it is not looking to cool down at all next week. I am miserable in this heat, but I suppose it could be worse.

Someone who is not miserable in the heat (or at least isn’t showing it) is Marisole in today’s colored version of Beautiful Boho. A big part of color selection for me is finding colors I wouldn’t normally think to combine. Part of this is instinct, but I borrow most of my color schemes from various sources around the internet and then alter them as needed. Design Seeds more muted palettes were what I used on this paper doll set. I wanted to use colors that felt like they were modern and came from nature.

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I went back and forth about what to do about Marisole’s glasses in this set. Originally, I had them plain silver, but it just seemed so… well, plain. So, after some debate, I decided to make them a soft grey-teal color. It’s a color that shows up a lot in the paper doll set, but it is also fairly neutral. I also had a lot of fun painting her toe nails with her different sandals.

I don’t think I mentioned this last time, but the paper doll’s hair is based in part on the last hairstyle in this fantastic video of 100 years of black hairstyles 1910 to 2010. My only complaint about the video is that it ignores wigs which were commonly worn by black women, particularly 1940s through the 1960s. Never the less, it is a fascinating time-lapse piece.

Later this week there will be the first Flock post of 2015 (embarrassing but true).

Beautiful Boho: A Black and White Paper Doll

boho-logo-bwIt has been a while since we saw Marisole, hasn’t it? I mean… at least since early April, I think.

As her friends grow, I find I sometimes miss her. She is the longest running paper doll on this site and I really do still have a fondness for her.

Today, Marisole is rocking a wardrobe inspired by the boho looks of brands like Free People. I have only recently discovered Free People and if I had a job where I could get away with wearing their clothes on a regular basis, I would. I also wanted to draw a jumpsuit. I don’t like jumpsuits, but they are in fashion and I am trying to be more open minded about them. Today’s Marisole paper doll also has glasses, because I think glasses are cute and I don’t draw enough paper dolls with glasses.

I also have horrendous eyesight and am blind as a bat without my contacts in. As a child, I had glasses and I hated them. Maybe a paper doll or two with glasses will help kids not dislike glasses so much.

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Over the years that I have been drawing paper dolls, which has been a fairly long time, I have come to realize that I really value diversity and variety in my paper dolls. I can’t imagine just drawing modern paper dolls or just drawing historical paper dolls or just drawing fantasy paper dolls. One of the things I like about paper dolls is that they can literally be anything. I’m about to get through the last of the backlog I have of Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls. I have one more after this colored and one more waiting to be colored.

That means it is time for me to return to my sketch book. I’ve made a poll to help me decide what I should make next for them. Below I’ve listed my four major ideas. Vote on one of them and I might make it.

What Should I draw Next for Marisole Monday & Friends?

  • A ballerina or dancer. Tackle your fear of tutus. (38%, 36 Votes)
  • Space princess! Like a normal princess, but with ray-guns in space! (29%, 28 Votes)
  • Something for Marcus. Anything. Poor boy needs some more clothes. (19%, 18 Votes)
  • A warrior with armor. Lots of Armor. (14%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 95

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