Lynn: A Paper Doll of the 1920s

Link to Lynn, a printable historical paper doll with dresses from the 1920s Let me state one thing first, on the record- Lynn’s underwear is not period. If I had drawn her period undergarments, than she’d never get to wear jeans. So, I chose to omit even a period slip for her in favor of fitting some fairly large hats onto a fairly small space. Pixies have big heads and therefore big hats.

I hope no one feels horribly cheated out of 1920’s undergarments.

It was really hard to give myself permission to do a small historical set for the Pixies. Normally, my historical Pixie sets are at least two pages and my Regency paper doll set was three. And I do have an 18th century set which has the dubious honor of being the largest collection I have ever drawn for the Pixies. It is literally five sketchbook pages. I’ve no idea how I am going to post it.

One of my big goals for 2015 was to draw historical paper dolls, because- frankly, I really like them.

But I also think if I always think “These sets must be huge” than it creates a lot of pressure to produce big sets. I think smaller sets can be just as fun.

Link to Lynn, a printable historical paper doll with dresses from the 1920s in black and white for coloring
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Todays paper doll’s three dresses are from two different sources. The short sleeved dress and the one with the chevron patter are from this image on Flickr. The party dress is from the Met and dated 1926 through 1928. Her shoes were based on this pair from the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Link to Lynn, a printable historical paper doll with dresses from the 1920s in color
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The color scheme was fairly arbitrary. I do wish I had done something a little more fun with the shoes rather than playing it safe with black. I like to think that these three dresses cover day and evening wear fairly smoothly for Lynn. Long term, it is my hope to do more smaller historical sets for the Pixies. There’s no logical reason why they shouldn’t get to share in the single page historical paper doll fun.

I say this having just begun coloring the largest pixie set I have ever drawn of 18th century dress. I might be unable to keep this single page historical Pixie set concept alive.

Jai: A Fantasy Paper Doll

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll inspired by historical Chinese dress This isn’t an accurate depiction of Tang Dynasty dress. Though at times it seems to me that this would be obvious, most people (myself included) aren’t very familiar with the dynasties of China, let alone what they were wearing. Oddly, I never feel like when I draw stuff like this or this or this, I have to say it’s not accurate historical European dress, so perhaps my ned for a “disclaimer” is partly an assumption on my part about what my readers are familiar with.

So, anyway, these gowns were inspired by Hanfu and Tang Dynasty dress if anyone is keeping count. Of course, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t meant to be. I just had a lot of fun looking up gowns like this one and this one on Pinterest.

I find balancing research intense projects with non-research intense projects really helps keep me feeling sane. So, fantasy often seems to counter balance historical sets. I just finished, for example, penciling the largest 18th century set that I have ever drawn and then drew a space princess with a ray gun.

It’s all about contrast.

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll in black and white for coloring inspired by historical Chinese dress
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I went with a muted color scheme that I found on Design Seeds. I wanted it to feel a little less bright and more nature inspired than a lot of my color schemes tend towards. I have a lof of bright colors. I think the gray greens and soft lavenders go a long way to keeping things feeling soft and delicate.

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll inspired by historical Chinese dress in color. Part of the Pixie series, Jai can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
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I swear I had a reference from a contemporary Asian historical drama film when I drew her hair, but now I can’t seem to find the picture on Pinterest. Normally, I’m quite compulsive about saving these things, so I’m a little surprised to be so flummoxed.

Oh well… perhaps I shall find it later.

In the meantime, enjoy Jai and her fantasy gowns.

Nicole: A Printable Paper Doll in Color or Black and White

Link to Nicole, printable paper doll in color and black and white Back in Novemeber, I got a email from a reader who asked if I could name a paper doll either Lynn or Nicole for her. She wanted a paper doll named after herself. Now, originally, she asked for a Mini-Maiden or a Marisole Doll, but I have pretty strict naming patterns for those dolls.

I offered a Pixie instead and she said that she’d be cool with that option.

Today, I am pleased to present the result. A Pixie paper doll named Nicole with some layered tops (as requested). I was sort of obsessing over different bird illustrations for a while and so I decided to adapt some of them into a t-shirt design for Nicole. For those interested, her bird shirt was inspired by the work of Dante Terzigini, Inaluxe and Scott Partridge to name a few.

Link to Nicole, a printable paper doll in black and white for coloring with a contemporary wardrobe
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I love bright color schemes that feel a little unexpected. The orange red and very pale yellow are both acting as my neutrals in this set. She’s my first paper doll with glasses since April Showers in color & black and white back in May of 2014. That’s nearly a year. How embarrassing. I really do have to do more paper dolls with glasses.

Link to Nicole, a paper doll with a contemporary wardrobe. Part of the Pixie series, Nicole can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
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Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to remind people that to dress Nicole, you’ll need to cut long her shoulders under her hair. There are cutting diagrams that you can refer to if there are any questions about how to cut out the paper dolls.

Jayla: A Black Printable Paper Doll with Florals!

Link to Jayla, printable paper doll in color and black and white I have had a deeply frustrating month of February. My car was in the shop for a week and I got sick. I’m getting over it, but I haven’t been as productive as I would have hoped. We has a snow day on Wednesday and I was hopeful that I would get a bunch done.

Of course, I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped.

Jayla is an older paper doll. I showed a preview of her with this set of Pixie preview posts. I think of her has being kin to my floral set for Monica. Both paper dolls have a girly style with lots of floral pattern.

Link to Jayla, a printable paper doll in black and white for coloring with a contemporary wardrobe
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I knew I wanted a “dark” background for my florals, but I didn’t want to incorporate too much pink. I tend towards pinks and reds naturally, so sometimes I have to fight that urge. Instead, I chose green, purple and blue as my color scheme. I really wanted to use the lime green with a warm purple, as I love lime and purple.

Link to Jayla, a black paper doll with a contemporary wardrobe. Part of the Pixie series, Jayla can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
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Jayla’s wardrobe is not the most mix and match friendly. I think she really has about 11 or 12 outfit combinations that make sense and then 13, if you don’t care if things match. Personally, I think she could borrow some shoes from Adannaya who has the same skintone or some pants and skirts from Clarisa or a dress from Fiona. There’s plenty of paper dolls around I’m sure who would be happy to share.

Victoria: A Valentine’s Day Paper Doll

Link to Victoria, a Valentine's Day printable paper doll in color and black and white Over the years, I have done a lot of Valentine’s Day paper dolls. I think it might be the only holiday that I reliably get a paper doll posted for.

My first Valentine’s Day paper doll was back in 2011. Then in 2013, I did this black and white Valentine’s Day paper doll. In 2014, the Poppets got a Valentine’s Day themed outfit. This year, I wanted to do something a little different.

Inspired by Victorian and Art Deco valentines, I designed two 18th century inspired gowns with a Valentines Day theme. Hearts, of course, but also stripes and polka-dots. Plus ruffles. Ruffles are very important. Our paper doll got a wild up-do and a heart encrusted bodysuit to wear under her gowns.

Link to Victoria, a Valentine's Day printable paper doll in black and white for coloring
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Originally, I planned on using a traditional red, pink and white color scheme. However, I just didn’t like how bright that made the dresses. So, I went to ColourLovers and searched for a scheme that was a little more subdued. I ended up using Happy Valentines color scheme. I often use ColourLovers both to find inspiration for color palettes and to build my own color palettes using their tools.

Link to Victoria, a Valentine's Day printable paper doll in color
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I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day. I am making stew for me and my boyfriend and we’ll be eating it while watching Box Trolls. I am very excited about both the stew and the movie.

Meanwhile, there’s supposed to be snow on Monday and I have become a true Southerner, buying milk and eggs, just in case. I certainly wouldn’t mind an unexpected day off work, since I don’t get President’s Day off.

Audra in Other Colors

Link to Audra, a printable paper doll with a fashionable wardrobe of coats First things first, I’m sure many people are curious about who won the contest (I mean, at lease the people who entered it.) As I did last year, I decided to have two winners of my end of the year drawing/contest. Congrats to Mag15 and Kitrona who were selected by the highly scientific process of counting the unique comments and using Random.Org to select a winner.

Meanwhile, onto the paper dolls…

Sometimes, I get a little carried away playing with color schemes. I think the color scheme can really change the whole look of a paper doll set. It can go from sweet to saucy to historical. It’s a fun aspect of drawing and designing paper dolls.

The first color scheme is winter white with pale blue/grey in neutrals. The various colors to set off the neutrals are a deep grey purple and two shades of pink. The doll’s skin color is a warm redbrown and her hair is black. The darker skin tone will be set off by the winter white.

Audra, a printable paper doll with a fashionable wardrobe of coats in black and white for coloring
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I rarely do blond paper dolls, but I really loved the bright pink coat and it reminded me of Barbie. Barbie is blond, so Audra became blond for this set. The neutrals are several shades of light warm grey. The accent color is a denim blue.

Audra, a printable paper doll with a fashionable wardrobe of coats in color
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Clearly, I was enjoying my pink and blues. Both these sets came out much more similar in color scheme than intended. I had a great deal of fun coloring these sets.

Audra: A Printable Paper Doll in Black and White and in Color

Link to Audra, a printable paper doll with a fashionable wardrobe of coats It has been a long time since I did a paper doll devoted to coats (my last one was Delia), but there are so many cute coat styles out this year. I just went recently (okay, two months ago) and bought myself a bright purple winter coat, which I totally love, but there are tons of over beautiful coats on the market.

I also wanted to go with boots, since it is boot season. Most Pixie paper dolls get one pair of shoes, but since Audra’s wardrobe is pretty exclusively coats, I thought two pairs of boots would stretch things out a bit. I didn’t notice how crooked the dress’s neckline was until I posted it. Sorry about that. Asymmetrical is in, right?

Remember to cut along the doll’s shoulders, so she can wear the coats. I think some of them will fit over things and some of them won’t. I wanted to do a few fitted jackets, though I tried to make them large enough for layering. (I confess I didn’t test them extensively.)

Audra, a printable paper doll with a fashionable wardrobe of coats in black and white for coloring
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I wanted to play around with coats and also with different color schemes. I actually colored this set three times. This is the first version, I’ll post two more next week. The version below is all blues and purples.

Audra, a printable paper doll with a fashionable wardrobe of coats in color
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I tend towards warm colors myself- reds and pinks and things. I wanted to try to do a set with none of those colors, except in her red hair. I went with purples, blues and pale green. Grey is the neutral in this set and I do love the color grey. I must own at least a half-dozen grey pants.

Tomorrow, I’ll announce the drawing winner (it closes tonight at midnight) and show off my two other color schemes for this set.

Sylvia: An Asian Printable Paper Doll with Contemporary Clothing

Link to Sylvia, an Asian Printable Paper doll Continuing the contemporary theme from Monday’s paper doll, today’s paper doll set is Sylvia showing off her wardrobe. I previewed the paper doll a few weeks ago when I showed the scan straight from my sketchbook. Today, she’s all colored and ready to be printed.

As I always do, there’s two versions of this printable paper doll and her clothes. One is in black and white for coloring and the other is in color for those who don’t like to color. I was never a big “coloring” kid, so I tend towards the full color versions, but I know some of my readers really like the black and white paper doll sets. Mostly, I remember drawing my own paper doll clothes for store bought paper dolls. That was a big part of my childhood.

Sylvia, an Asian printable paper doll with several outfit pieces in black and white for coloring
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Contemporary paper doll sets, like this one, really don’t come with stories. The goal is to create a coherent collection of mix and match clothing pieces. I rarely think much about the history or personality of the paper doll wearing the clothing. Fantasy sets tend to gain back-stories during creation, but contemporary sets rarely do. Fantasy paper dolls require more creativity. I can’t just copy out of a magazine, after all.

Sylvia, an Asian printable paper doll with several outfit pieces in color
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Sylvia’s color scheme is very pink. I wasn’t planning on making it this pink when I started, but somehow pink seemed to fit. I think there’s a little bit of a vintage vibe to this set that I didn’t intend, but ended up pretty cute in the end.

All right, just because I am curious… 5 second poll…

Which are better fantasy paper doll sets or contemporary paper doll sets?

  • Fantasy sets. (79%, 31 Votes)
  • Contemporary sets. (15%, 6 Votes)
  • Actually, I don't really like either one. (5%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

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Malina: An Autumnal Printable Paper Doll

Link to Malina an Autumnal Printable Paper Doll As I move towards the end of the year, I always find myself beginning to think about the future and what has been done this year. One of the doll artists I admire is Mimi Kirchner and she does these wonderful year end posts where she talks about all the dolls she has made. I never seem to get on the ball about doing something like that. I suppose because with holiday travel and other concerns, I don’t always have time to sit back and think about where the little hobby of mine has taken me.

It’s November all ready though… and December is around the corner. Next thing I know, it will be January and then we’ll be in 2015. I guess I better start thinking.

Meanwhile, today we have a new Pixie paper doll. Malina is the female form of Malcom. It’s a scottish name. I don’t know why I decided that this paper doll seemed Scottish to me. There was no ‘logical’ reason why. Maybe because Scotland is chilly and she has sweaters? Yes, we’ll go with that rather stretch of a connection.

Malina, an autumnal printable paper doll with several outfit pieces in black and white for coloring
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Malina is my 13th Pixie Paper Doll post of the year, though technically my Pixie posts have been longer this year than last year. This year I did a three page Regency set of paper dolls for the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, a two page Steampunk paper doll set and a two page Turn of the Century paper doll set. Anyway, there will be another few Pixies before the year is over, I assure you.

Malina, an autumnal printable paper doll with several outfit pieces in color
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Malina’s wardrobe is based on the “sporty” trend of 2014, much like Adannaya from earlier this year. The color scheme was inspired by apples and orchards and other fall harvest things, like gourds. (I bought a set of decorative gourds to put on my dining room table… I feel so festive.)

I keep finding myself going back to my thoughts at the beginning of today’s post. How does one calculate the value of a hobby? What level of achievement is needed to actually feel that this blog accomplishes it’s goal?

Hmmm…. I haven’t really got answers to that question.

A Purple Princess Paper Doll Named Maristela

Image link to a purple princess paper doll for printing Maristela is a Spanish/Portuguese name coming from the title of the Virgin Mary, Stella Maris, meaning “star of the sea” in Latin. I thought it was such a pretty name that I had to use it, though I don’t know if there is anything “star” or “sea” like about today’s paper doll set.

I wanted to draw a “traditional” princess- sort of the Disney variety with two simple fantasy gowns. I wanted the paper doll to be pretty- pretty is not something I normally try to achieve, but that was what I wanted to get out of today’s paper doll set.

Printable female warrior paper doll in color
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Maristela has two gowns and two pairs of shoes, giving her a total of four different outfit combinations. Her hair is long and wavy. I had fun drawing her harp, a rather unusual accessory for me to draw. I was going to draw a flute, but I was not successful.

I decided against drawing her a crown. I think my crowns usually come out poorly.

Printable female warrior paper doll in color
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Intitally, I was going to go with pink as my color of choice for this monochrome color scheme. Really embrace the idea of “girly” paper doll sets. Instead, I decided to go with purple. It’s fairly girly, but it’s also not too girly.

In my mind, Maristela is latina, but there’s no reason she has to be.

Also, I’d like to say that I have been overwhelmed and very grateful to the wonderful responses to Marcus 2.0.

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