In the Mid-1860s… Black and White Civil War Era Paper Dolls

black-white-1860s-marisole

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I have no real excuse for the lateness of this post, except that I was traveling yesterday and somehow I didn’t get as much done on for the blog on my vacation as I usually do. Something about traveling always makes me feel a little drained when I finally return to wherever is home. I’ve lived in several states and it always seems to takes me a year before one of them becomes home. As much as I love Alabama with it’s rolling hills (they call them mountains, but being from Alaska, I can’t honestly call them mountains) and it’s clear blue skies, but returning to Alaska still feels like going home. I suspect, eventually, Birmingham will become more homelike.

black-white-1860s-margo-day-dress

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

Moving onto paper doll related matters, away from rambles about travel, today’s set is much larger than any set of Marisole Monday paper dolls that I have ever done before. It was not supposed to originally be three pages, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to remove anything from the sets and therefore decided to keep everything together. The result was that I ended up with an extra page. The swimming shoes repeat because, once the dolls are colored, they will be the only thing that exposes skin and I know I don’t want to do the two paper dolls in the same skin-tone. The corset and drawers repeat, because I feel strongly that both dolls should get a set of underwear. The hoop-skirt doesn’t repeat, because it’s big and, frankly, going to be white.

As some of you might notice, the second paper doll with the freckles is a different face than the original Marisole. I have named her Margot and she’ll be showing up from time to time along with the Asian version of Marisole who I’ve always thought of as Mia, though I don’t know if I have ever mentioned that on the blog.

black-white-1860s-ballgown

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

All of these dresses are based on garments from the mid-1860s, hence the title. Something about being in Alabama has made me want to draw huge hoop skirts. Not normally my favorite period in fashion history, but it’s growing on me. I had an Addy doll when I was a child, but I honestly can not recall any exposure to real Southern History outside the standard Civil Rights stuff and a little on the Civil War. Strange how moving here has made me fascinated by all things Southern.

An Elf with an Obi: A Black and White Paper Doll

So, today I wanted to draw a paper doll that was a little edgy and inspired by Asian traditional dress with obi’s and mandarin collars (though there is some debate as to the evolution of the mandarin collar… and whether it evolved from Chinese contact with European military uniforms or European contact with Chinese dress… I’ve read both versions in respected literature on the subject, so I have no opinion except to say we don’t know and leave it at that), but I realized I tend to draw Asian looking paper dolls when I’m drawing Asian inspired costumes and that seemed a little… odd, so I instead made her an elf with braids, resulting in a sort of African elf in an obi.

I’m sure if I was more awake today and if I really wanted to, I could probably read some interesting orientalist thing into all this, but I’d rather just stick with the “it’s a paper doll and it’s neat” side of theoretical endeavors.

black-white-printable-paper-doll-23

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Anyhow… as you might have noticed on the right side of the blog a few things have changed. I’ve added tags in an attempt to try to create a genre sort of listing which crosses paper dolls styles. So, if a person wanted to see all the fantasy paper dolls or felt a need to look at every blond paper doll, the option would be available. The three tags I am sort of uncomfortable with are Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll. I did them, because I erratically get emails asking about paper dolls of one of those three groups and I thought the tag might help people find them, but I also feel rather uncomfortable applying racial labels to my paper dolls, especially with Marisole who only has two facial options to begin with.

So, I’m tossing this out to the peanut gallery: Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll tags are useful or awkward or likely to offend people? Thoughts?

Shadow & Light… Steampunk Paper Doll

Here we are at nearly the end of December and here is another Shadow and Light paper dolls. Today’s paper doll is a bit steampunk-ish (though lacks the gears and goggles that seem to be required), still I hope no one will hold that against her. Truth be told, I can’t draw a gear to save my life, though I have tried on occasion to mixed success.

black-white-printable-paper-doll-22

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

I forgot, living in Alabama, how pretty the snow is, but I also forgot how annoying it is to sweep off your car in the morning in the cold wearing black ankle boots. Toes freezing and fingers freezing and snow sticking to eyelashes under a grey sky with lights from the buildings flickering through, there’s nothing like winter in Southeast Alaska.

It’s a beautiful place up here.

Oh and by the way, there’s a poll on the sidebar. Please fill it out. I do actually pay attention to what people vote for and I use it to decide what I will do in the coming year. If there’s something you’d like to see and it’s not on the list, please comment.

Marisole Monday: Fruity Autumn

I don’t think I’m that great of an artist. This isn’t a plea to be reassured or an attempt to fish for compliments, I’m just being honest. And I say this because what I draw rarely looks like I wanted it to look in my head. I’m often satisfied with my work, but I rarely look at it and think, “Yeah, that came out just like I wanted it too.”

printable-paper-doll-fruity-autumn-BW

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

Marisole’s hair today is a rare case where I can say that it came out just like I wanted it too. It looks natural, bouncy and cute. I am quite pleased.

There were originally a few more pieces on this set, but than there was a tragic run in with a glass of egg nog and well… now there are a few fewer pieces on this set.

Opps.

Oh well… I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season.

By the way, this is the 100th Marisole paper doll post… though not the 100th Marisole design, since she has been posting in both black and white lately… still, not a bad achievement.

Meet Octavia- A New Printable Paper Doll In Black and White

free-printable-paper-doll-octavia

 

{Link to a printable PDF of the Octavia paper doll}

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.

Puck Paper Dolls… For Boys?

Back in May, a reader named Harper told me that I would make a little four year old boy really happy if I did this set. Since I’m always in favor of making small children happy (and because I always need Puck ideas) I decided to go for it. Here we have two Puck superheros in black and white. Tomorrow they will go up in full color, so that people who prefer their paper dolls in color can get their fix as well.

puck-superhero-paper-doll-2-BW

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

I am going to confess right now that I have no real idea if the cape will really work. I tested it once with scrap paper and it sort of worked… I think the application of tape might assist in it’s functionality for the average child. Sorry about that. It seemed like a cool idea at the time, but in hindsight, perhaps it needed more testing. I usually try not to post things which I know don’t really work quite right. Placement of the slits might also need to be altered to accommodate the tabs properly.

puck-superhero-paper-doll-1-BW

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Additionally, I’d like to wish a very Happy Hanukkah to those readers who, like me, will be lighting candles tonight and mumbling things in Hebrew while trying to fake remembering all the words to those darn prayers you only say once a year. (Maybe I’m the only one who fumbles through the second verse, but surely, I’m not.)

Anyway, best wishes, happy holidays and feel free to drop me a note in the comments. I love hearing from you guys (and see… eventually I do actually do the ideas people suggest… it just takes some time.)

Marisole Monday: In Space!

Today, Marisole is an alien. I’ve been wanting to draw an alien futuristic set with guns and platform heels and absurd over the top clothing, so I did. I previewed it a while ago when it was in my sketchbook. As sometimes happens, I drew more clothing for this set than could fit onto the page, but these things happen sometimes.

printable-paper-doll-alien-Marisole-BW

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}
In all the years, I’ve been drawing Marisole paper dolls (three now, I think… I started in 2010) and I have very rarely changed her appearance as dramatically as I did for this paper doll. The eyes I’m not totally pleased with, but I like the rest of it. The last time was when she was a zombie, I think. Anyway, I decided she was so different that she almost wasn’t a Marisole paper doll at all.

Playing around with Marisole’s face is a continuation of my thinking about where the series is going in the next year. December is usually the month when I start thinking about these things. Chances are the blog will be a little slow this month, I am traveling to visit family around the the holidays.

Enjoy my alien paper doll.

Cora: In Stripes!


cora-paper-doll-150

{Link to a printable PDF of the Cora paper doll}

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.

Let’s be honest.

Happy Halloween! A Group Paper Doll Project

So… back in August I sent an email to Toria of Paper Closet and Boots of 19th Century Paper Dolls inviting them to join me in a project to draw a doll and then share responsiblities for drawing her clothing. They both kindly said yes.

Later, we asked Liana of Liana’s Paper Doll Blog to join us and the Halloween Paper Doll was born.

This was the outcome:

combined-paper-doll-1

{Link to Printable PDF of the Halloween Paper Doll}
The project worked like this: I drew the doll and then with the guideline of “something Halloween oriented” they all drew a costume or two, as did I. I can not express how pleased I am with how she turned out and with all the hard work of my co-artists. Everyone did such beautiful work from Liana’s creepy scull encrusted regency dress to Boot’s (AKA Elena) even creepier La Llorena to Toria’s delicate Wilis. Download her and you can find out about mythological creatures from Morocco to Mexico.

Seriously, I can not thank Toria of Paper Closet, Liana of Liana’s Paper Doll Blog, and Boots of 19th Century Paper Dolls all enough for their hard work. Thank you guys, you made this happen and please please check out their blogs. They are all skilled and talented artists.

Patterns & Grace: A Black & White Fantasy Paper Doll

This printable paper doll set began as a chance to experiment and practice drawing pattern. It ended as an experience best summed up as… “Why did I ever decide I wanted to draw that stupid scrawling floral pattern and it’s a total pain to ink and it’s a total pain to color and I hate my life…”

Not shockingly, this set took me longer to finish than it should have. The full-color version goes up next week and you can all decide if it was worth the agony of the floral pattern from the pits of Hell.

Seriously, my hatred for that floral pattern is still fresh and warm.

pattern_grace_marisole_printable_paper_doll

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

Moving rapidly along, the paper doll that was supposed to go up with week was going to be Halloween themed, but since she didn’t get finished, we have a back up fantasy paper doll set instead.

Also, can I add, that from this paper doll’s accessories she leads a really surreal life- a sword for fighting, a letter for writing, a book for reading, yarn for knitting and a pitcher for… I don’t know… recreational water pouring? There’s no glass so I guess… she drinks from the pitcher? Hmm…

Clearly someone (and that means me) didn’t think this through. She wasn’t going to have a sword, but I had an extra from Silk and Steel and I figured that she could share the love.

By the way, if you have an opinion on the fate of the Dictionary Girls let me know.