Marisole Monday: Tokyo Meets Georgia

Where to start about this paper doll set… Well, it all started with the blue dress which is the strange love child of a kimono, a peacoat and a 1850’s hoop skirt and then sort of evolved from there. Secretly I kinda love it, but publicly I’m a little more unsure. The underwear in yellow and cream came out of the desire to draw absurd underwear (and practice my ruching as I mentioned last week) and then I felt like I needed a second dress to fill in the set, so I drew her odd formal costume with the pleats and underbust corset with the flower. My favorite is the blue dress, though I know I shouldn’t have favorites among my paper dolls.

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I think fantasy is all about combining different sources in ways that they were never combined in the real world. So, to take the blue dress as my example, the skirt is based on Japanese stencil dyed fabrics, the coat/jacket is quilted much like 18th century women’s petticoat and has a large portrait collar much like my own winter coat. It is tied with an obi style sash/belt (displayed on that website on a beautiful example of Japanese doll making).

The poll is, of course, on going. I am not at all surprised that fantasy is in the lead. I always rather suspected it would win out in the end, but I wasn’t sure where everything else would fall in between, so it has been education in its own way.

Marisole Monday: Knights and Ladies

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I threw this together on Saturday when I realized I didn’t have a Marisole for Monday. It’s not my best work, but I do love the sleeves on the red dress. I’m working on my ruching (sp?) since I got some books on drawing fashion from the library. So, you can expect to see more of it as I practice. I’m also practicing shiny fabric. Neither has come easily as I thought it would.

I’m trying to stretch myself.

Part of that means trying to draw an actual male who looks like a male rather then like a rather unconvincing woman in drag. The upside is there might be a male paper doll someday. The downside is that that male paper doll might look like a woman in drag. We shall see.

Edit 3/28/2016: There is now a black and white version of this paper doll. Find it here.

Marisole Monday: Sweater Style

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Usually, I come up with a color scheme for a post and then work it into the costumes. There’s almost always something with a pattern which I can use multiple colors in. Addison (one of the Pixie paper dolls) and Marisole: Wings & Petals are both good examples of this principle at work. However, since there wasn’t any pattern on today’s Marisole and no ways I could imagine incorporating a coherent color scheme, I just sort of picked colors that reminded me of winter and went with them.

Winter always makes me happy, because I means I can break out my gray clothing and not feel guilty about it. Of all the neutral colors in the world, gray is my favorite. It has all the features I like about black, but it’s not black. It’s like a delightful lighter better black (which I rather suppose is the definition of gray).

Update 8/11/2014: This paper doll is now available in black and white for coloring. You can find her here.

Marisole Monday: Retro Pin-Up: Sweet

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Today’s printable paper doll is the companion to yesterday’s paper doll. I don’t often do follow-up Marisole’s and I think the last time I did it was for Gothic Lolita paper doll and the Sweet Lolita paper doll… well, actually, there was also both a black and white and a full-color version of Marisole Modern Girl.

Every time I do a two color version, I always swear I won’t ever do it again. It always takes twice as long as I think it will. However, I think it’s kinda fun to play with color and I think people like it, so I keep doing even when I should know better.

Marisole Monday: Retro Pin-Up: Saucy

This paper is sort of a gift for a friend who very much likes retro-vintage styling. Sometimes, when I don’t know what to draw I ask my friends what they think I should draw. This has caused some totally unusable suggestions, but mostly the suggestions are good if a trifle odd. These are the people who can be blamed for my zombie paper doll and my attempt at a Gothic Lolita paper doll, both of which I rather like (the zombie more then the Lolita, to be honest).

marisole-pin-up-saucy-150 {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

This one came out with a series of suggestions that included Ninja Vs. Pirate (I’m not even sure how I would draw that), superhero (well, actually Batgirl from the 1960’s.. ideally, Batgirl tied up from the 1960’s, but I think this says more about the guy making the suggestion then anything else), and retro-pin-up. Obviously, the pin-up was the easy one.

Unlike many of my vintage costumed paper dolls, this doll has more in common with people’s ideas of what was worn then what was actually worn. I borrowed designs from Pinup Girl Clothing and a few others who I don’t recall. I use online stores a lot when I’m looking for ideas.

EDIT: Since posting this, I have, in fact, drawn a superhero paper doll and Ninja Vs Pirate paper doll.

Marisole Monday: Inspired by Africa

Way back in June, I did a paper doll set roughly based on some Asian costumes and mostly based on what I draw when I’m bored in class. Lindsey asked if I would consider doing an African inspired set in the same style. Now, I wasn’t against the idea, but I didn’t know anything about African dress. After several months of looking at pictures, many books borrowed from the library and a fair bit of internet searching, I can now say I know a little bit about African dress.

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To give credit where it is due, the dress with the blue sash on the cream is based on a dress in the South African Fashion Week show of Amanda Laird Cherry. You can see a picture of the original garment here. The trousers are based on this design by the African designer Janice Morrison. I used a considerably more subdued color pallet for my paper doll based on the colors of mud cloth and traditional bead work.

The black dress with the gold is based on a dresses worn in Tunisia, usually over white blouses and loose trousers. I have included a white dress to wear under it. The two poncho like robes (the cream one and the blue one) are based on robes worn by men in Nigeria made up of strips of cloth. Mine are much shorter and slightly more fitted. As I said, it was a fantasy interpretation of African costume. The book I adapted these costumes from is called African Costumes and Textiles: From the Berbers to the Zulus. It’s a wonderful look at original garments. This paper doll set is an utterly inauthentic collection of fantasy garments. Enjoy. 🙂

Edit: It has come to my attention that some sites are linking this post as actual African traditional dress. It is NOT. Please don’t pro-port that it is. 

Marisole Monday: Nautical Girl

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There’s something very 4th of July about today’s paper doll. That wasn’t my intention for this paper doll, though I think she does have a red white and blue scheme thing going. I remember reading over the summer that nautical was in style, though I have to confess my interest in fashion extends as far looking for things to turn into paper dolls, much to the amusement of my friends who often make fun of me buying fashion magazines and then just looking at the pictures.

On a totally unrelated note, there is a new poll up- basically I’m curious to know if people like the comic press format or think I should convert back to a traditional blog format. I’m not promising to follow the results (since the level of technical difficulty to convert will be a factor in my final decision and I haven’t looked into that), but I am curious what other people think.

Update 8/11/2014: This paper doll is now available in black and white for coloring. You can find her here.

Marisole Monday: Space Babe

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And here we are- Marisole in SPACE!. If you are going to say “in space” I think the ! is necessary. I don’t normally like ! points, but they are sometimes useful.

I had a lot of fun with the colors of this paper doll. I wanted to give Marisole dark skin and then be able to use absurdly bright colors in her costumes. These are the kinds of colors I like, but as a pale skinned person could never wear. (Seriously, me in lime green is among the most disturbing sights ever.)

Marisole Monday: Modern Girl In Black & White

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I had a request from a regular commenter named Sara to do a Marisole paper doll post in black and white. I thought- Sure, I can do that. How hard can it be? I forgot what I learned from doing a Marisole post in two different color schemes (a gothic scheme and a pastel scheme) that it’s harder than you might think. Still, I think the outcome is rather fun. I openly confess that I never thought of Marisole in black and white, but I think the paper doll is cute in that format. And it gives people a chance to color if they wish.

When I was working on it, I did think maybe I’d start regularly posting Marisole in both styles, but then I decided that was just too much work.

Marisole Monday: Modern Girl

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Today’s Marisole paper doll started as an attempt to a modern take on some fun Mod clothes and then kinda turned into just a bright citrus based series of Marisole clothing. This is the sort of clothing I would never wear, but would admire and be glad other people wore it.

After all, I can live vicariously through my paper dolls.