Fall always seems to come slowly to Alabama. It’s finally here now and I am very happy with the crispness in the air when I pad out of the house in the morning to drive to work. I enjoy this crispness and it makes me want to bake pies or cookies.
Her Ladyship, on the other hand, is strictly spring based this morning with a Spring frock and a Breakfast Gown. Taking my cues from Victorian dress, the Breakfast Gown would be the least formal sort of dress. I’m not sure about the formality of the Spring Frock. I had fun with the wigs in this set and wigs are some of my favorite things to give a paper doll set. I think every set is more fun with wigs.
I’m still debating if I will post one of these paper doll pages on next Friday or something more Halloween festive. I haven’t got anything ready for Halloween and, unlike Liana who writes wonderful tales about her gowns, I rather don’t have much of a story inspiration. I’m very jealous of the creativity behind the stories behind her paper dolls.
Mine can mostly be boiled down too… “Pretty dress.”
Or in the case of today’s dresses, “Two dresses that I don’t like that much, but posted because they were done and part of the set and I liked the wigs to much to abandon them.”
Not really stirring stuff, but perhaps I get points for honesty.
I remember my surprise when I first found out that archery was considered a socially acceptable sport for women of wealth in the 18th century.
Never the less, women have been doing archery for many years and I wanted to make sure that Her Ladyship had some sporting attire. So, I selected two sports I knew have long been considered “okay” for women of means- riding and archery.
(Plus the Hunger Games gave archery this strange new allure amongst the young folk, or so I am told.)
In page three here, we have the riding habit on the left, complete with hat and a slightly shorter skirt that would have been useful on a horse. I should add that I have never ridden a horse. In fact, horses are huge and they kinda scare me.
Her archery costume was inspired by similar costumes from the Regency period. I don’t know how practical it would be for archery, but I really think practicality is over-rated and paper dolls never complain.
I might be a little obsessed with the wigs. Not confirming that, just mentioning it.
As I know I have mentioned in the past, I just love the idea of having different outfits for different occasions. I want a dinner dress and a visiting costume and a carriage gown.
I simply love the idea of getting to change my clothes several times a day, plus trying to decide what exactly “business casual” means can be very trying. I think if my outfits were labeled than it would make getting dressed in the morning much easier.
Also, it should be noted I am not in anyway a morning person.
So, today in our second page of the mini-series, I am pleased to present a second dinner dress, this one perhaps more formal than last week’s version, and a visiting gown. I really wanted to make these gowns fun to color, so there is a fair bit of pattern in Her Ladyship’s wardrobe. For accessories, today there are two wigs, a choker, a book and a goblet of wine. Well, I think it’s wine, but it could be poison or water or the tears of the innocent. Whatever.
I have realized that I have not given credit where it is due. I was inspired to do this revamp of the Lady of the Manor, because one of my readers named Amy confessed that she had colored six different versions of that set. I remember reading that and thinking… Well, clearly I should do something like that again.
In life, there are certain rules, like stopping at red lights and not stealing library books. One of my rules is: Don’t waste blog content.
In that vein, I’ve decided to make my new fantasy set, Her Ladyship, a mini-series. There will be a new page every Friday until sometime in December. (I haven’t decided if I am going to skip Halloween to post something more festive.)
My plan (though we all know about the best laid plans of mice and men) is that I will post these Friday paper doll updates in addition to my regular two posts a week. For those keeping score, that means three paper doll updates a week.
She’s not a princess, though she may yet marry a prince. Rather, I imagine she is a noble women and she may or may not be married. Her dresses are all based on fantasy versions of Italian renaissance dress and, of course, she has wigs. Only one wig today, but I promise in later pages there are a lot more wigs to be had. Most of the wigs have floating tabs to help keep them on the paper doll’s head.
Thoughts? Opinions? Feelings about my ten week plan? Feel free to let me know.
I think everyone goes through a “drawing creepy things in college” phase.
This paper doll was part of my “drawing creepy things in college” phase. I was obsessed at the time with the Duino Elegies by Rilke. The First Elegy contains what remains my favorite Rilke quote, “Because beauty’s nothing but the start of terror we can hardly bear, and we adore it because of the serene scorn it could kill us with. Every angel’s terrifying.” I memorized the entire first elegy out of the A. Poulin Jr. translation I bought for a dollar at a thrift store in college.
Anyway, this paper doll was inspired by angels (the terrifying kind) and fairies (also the terrifying kind) and so she’s a little dark. She’s up in the Printable Paper Doll Index along with the rest of the random non-series paper dolls I’ve ever posted.
Since it’s the last day in May, this also begins my month long hiatus. I will still be checking in on the blog, and checking my email, but I have conferences and work obligations that are going to make this coming month nearly impossible for my usual update schedule.
I hope that when I return on the first of July, I’ll have had time to make some changes to the site, built up a big of a backlog and be able to continue out the year strong. We’ve had 55 posts over the last five months and I’m quite proud of that. See you all in a month.
My best friend in middle school and in high school and college was a girl with a distinctly punky style. I admired her guts at wearing vynal pants in our small Alaskan town. This was before the days of days of universal internet shopping (we had Amazon and it pretty much only sold books back then), so the school was pretty sedate in style. (Not from desire, as much as lack of access.) Her style, on the other hand, was loud and bright and adventurous. I’ve always admired her for having the gall to go for it when I didn’t.
Since I wasn’t going to actually wear the clothing I admired so much, I made up for it by drawing paper dolls. This was dates from my college years, back in 2005. I remember planning on doing that brick pattern, by hand, for the entire sheet of clothes and then concluding life was way to short. Unlike a lot of my stuff from college, I’m still pleased with this one, though I see a few flaws that I would correct now, except that I want to keep the integrity of my old art.
I have also, quietly, migrated the Dictionary Girls into retired status. The series hasn’t been updated in six months and I hate to leave it hanging as a “possibility” when I know, secretly, that it’s probably not. I do want to have a full figured paper doll series, I just need to think about how to handle it. Having said that, inspiration might strike and they might return. I just don’t want people to think they update often when, in truth, they don’t.
I don’t have very many Asian paper dolls, partly because it took a long time before I was comfortable drawing epicanthic folds, which are a characteristic of many East and Central Asian people, though are by no means exclusive to those groups. There is a huge variety the shape of the epicanthic fold and I never felt like it looked right until I got to grad school and ended up sitting across from a Chinese student for an entire semester. I don’t know what she did to stay awake, but what I did was use her as a model for my first Asian Pixie paper doll, named Zoe. Of course, she didn’t have blue hair or such a huge head, but I digress.
So, the Poll is over, since January is done and a child paper doll won to my own astonishment. So, I’ll get on that. In the mean time, enjoy Madison.
I have to confess that this was a paper doll of contrasts. I like certain parts (her hair and her shoes) and I dislike other parts, but I think all in all, it came out well enough for me to post it. I wasn’t totally pleased with her mouth, so that got changed a bit with Photoshop to make her look less angry. Her hair style is based on one a student in one of my graduate courses wore her hair in. I always thought it was neat and I loved how huge the side buns were with her hair teased out a bit.
Somehow, she made it look sophisticated rather than absurd.
Enjoy the paper doll. There will be another one up on Monday.
In a fairly unrelated note, check out these beautiful kimono’s made from African fabrics. I am totally in love with these, but then I am obsessed with anything which mixes cultural garments.
College paper doll, I believe. Actually, I’m certain it’s a college paper doll, because I distinctly recall drawing her while sitting at a very large table and playing Dungeons and Dragons. I’m not sure which is more geeky- the paper dolling or the D&D playing… Hard to say really.
I went through a phase of drawing lots of paper dolls wearing knee high boots and thigh high stockings. I’d say I’ve gotten over it, but I haven’t really. I just came to dislike the limitations it put on their colothing options. It is odd to think that I probably drew this paper doll seven years ago.
My art is still improving, but I have a long way to go before I feel totally comfortable about where I am.
By the way, I wanted to thank everyone who sent me such lovely links during my search for Native American paper dolls. I need to go through them carefully, but I hope to have a better post on the topic with a little lest annoyance and a little more substance before the end of November, but it probably won’t happen until December.
So, this is going to be a Big Image, Small Post sorta day.
Here are the eight pages which make up the Best Friends paper doll set. (Yeah, I need better names for these things… I’m not good with names…)
My goal with this set of paper dolls was to experiment with slightly different body builds and poses while maintaining a similar enough over all style that the paper dolls would seem cohesive. I’ve never tried to draw this way before. I think I succeeded, but only because I drew them all at once. I can’t imagine trying to do this any other way.
Eventually, this set might get a sequel, but probably not for a little while.
I was going to wait until Monday to have my first paper doll post since I went on haitus, but I felt like people waited for two months and the least I could do was give some rapid paper doll gratification.
I hope everyone in the United States is having a fantastic Labor Day weekend. I have spent mine getting caught up with some work things, eating delightful barbecue and tomorrow I might do something radical and go see a movie. Mostly, I’m enjoying getting the time off work to get a little more settled here in Alabama.