Curves: Fur Trimmed Gothic

So, this is a stupidly titled paper doll, but her sleeves are fuzzy, so that should be worth something. 🙂

Curves is a complicated series for me, in part because it fore fills two goals. I began it when I did all my paper dolls for the blog in the heavily shadowed style of Curves, but I wanted to do a full figured paper doll since the ones I had seen online were not very attractive and I thought I could do better.

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Two years later, Curves is my only regularly updating paper doll in the heavily shadowed style I developed in college and still often use for non-paper doll drawing. I like the style, because I believe it doesn’t need to be colored, it has a strong enough graphic presence without adding color. A lot of people color them, and that’s fine with me, but my goal was to make a black and white paper doll that didn’t need to be colored.

There were some side effects of this. The heavy shadows, strongly influenced by Frank Miller’s graphic novels, make for a fairly “dark” paper doll. In several ways, the details are often obscured and lost while the tone is also distinctly heavy. Being a bit of a noir movie lover, I don’t mind the tonal shift, but I do think it lends its self to some styles better then others. Gothic, vintage, and some fantasy clothing comes out looking wonderful, but the average jeans and t-shirt leave something to be desired.

I don’t want to give up my heavily shadowed dolls, because I do like them. I also don’t want to stop drawing a full figured paper doll since I think its important. Unfortunately, I also getting somewhat bored with Curves after two years. I think there needs to be a Curves 2.0. I just haven’t figured out yet how to pull that off or what it’ll look like when I do.

Progress reports and thoughts on the subject will be forth coming. Until then, enjoy the furry Gothic costumes for this new Curves doll and anyone’s thoughts on the matter are welcome.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Spencer and Day Dress

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The spenser is based on a fashion plate from 1819. The dress is based on a different fashion plate from 1811. I totally loved the sleeves and knew I wanted to draw it. The bonnet needs to have the back piece pasted on around the edges so that it can slip over the dolls head.

For another sort of paper fashions, check out Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave, a show organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco featuring fantastic costumes made from paper. The word “astonishing” comes to mind when describing them.

Curves: Spots & Dots

When I don’t know what to draw, I tend to fall back on casual contemporary clothing. It’s easy. I usually have plenty of references by looking outside the window or drawing from fashion magazines. Since I didn’t know what to draw tonight, and I was tired after a long day at work, I decided to go with my casual fall back position.

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I have to confess to not being totally happy with them. There is an argument to be made for only ever putting out your very best work, but I’ve never believed it. Part of the point of this blog is to make myself drawn more, so if I only posted my best work, I wouldn’t be posting much. I’ve been drawing for Curves for over two years now and I wonder if perhaps I’m just becoming tired of them. I love the heavily shadowed style and I think its important to have fuller figured paper dolls on the blog, but I won’t deny that they frustrating at times.

Perhaps its time for a Curves version 2.0… I shall have to give it some thought.

Marisole Monday: Gypsy Rose in Black and White

So… Yeah. I spent my weekend not working on paper dolls. I have many things sketched, but not many things any further along the process. The choice was between posting a black and white Marisole or posting a doodle.

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I settled on the black and white Marisole, a version of the Gypsy Rose paper doll, because at least it’s a paper doll- even if its not in color. And I know I have some readers who really like to color. Late posts like this make me wonder about the point of keeping a schedule when I continually fail to keep it. Does it help people? Do people care?

I suppose it rather helps me in so much as it gives me times when I should have things done, but I’m not sure how helpful that really is.

I will have to give the matter more thought. I have been thinking a lot about the site’s structure and layout recently. And even wondering if a blog is the right format for what I want to do with this site in the future… Considerations, considerations. But that’s thoughts for another day, I think.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Walking Dress and Day Dress

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There’s quite a few other Regency paper dolls out there. I thought I would call attention to a few of them along with today’s Flora post. Monica posted a regency dress of her own over at her blog. It’s a beautiful blue and brown one. I feel like I should promote other regency paper doll costume since that’s what Flora is all about. Liana has done some regency paper doll dresses as well with this white one being my favorite. Or, if you want something full color and beautiful, there’s always Helen Page’s Regency Lady of Quality which is lovely, if not terribly historically accurate.

As for the current set of dresses for Flora, we have a walking costume based on a fashion plate from 1812 and a day dress based on the fact that I have a circles template that I don’t use often enough. Also, I wanted to do something with a pattern. Patterns kinda scare me, so I am trying to do them more often, but they are time consuming. Despite the tendency to assume the entire Regency era was white, there was actually quite a bit of color in fabrics. Turkey red fabrics were especially popular.

Curves: Down an Rabbit Hole

I have always loved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s been a favorite novel since I was a child. Over the years, I have done a few different Alice inspired paper dolls, there’s one in the Gallery as well.

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This was supposed to be posted last week, but illness and finals put it off until today. The semester is finally over, thank the Gods, and I can now settle into my summer routine of working full time at the library and taking a few summer courses.

My hope is that over the next week I’ll have time to finish reformatting the site. Once it’s done, I’ll be asking that people email me with broken links and other problems as I’m sure there will be some. I can’t really focus on the “housekeeping” side of the blog while I’m trying to keep up with my weekly schedule, but with classes over I have some free time to devote to all things blog related.

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s French Ballgown from 1812

I usually don’t go for Rose Ballgowns but I liked the grace of this costume and I really liked the sleeves. I didn’t mimic the plate exactly and I sort of invented the front of the dress since I only saw the back of the dress. I included gloves, which were needed since the sleeves of this era were so short, shoes to match and a wig styled with roses. So, it’s pretty much a whole Flora outfit.

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Really this outfit happened because I have wonderful friends. As I wrote before, I have supportive friends who seem to be fairly relaxed when I say things like “Yeah, I’m thinking about buying Instyle so I have some paper doll fodder.” And they nod as though this is a normal thing to say while standing in a drug store at 10 pm on a light night chips run. In fact, sometimes they go through it with me telling me what I should draw though usually their picks are more hilarious than practical.

(I don’t really fancy the idea of drawing nine million sequins. Sorry guys.)

But when one of them told me this was the dress I should draw of a set of dresses I was looking at, I decided to go for it. It was the right period and fun, if a little fancier then what I usually draw

Curves: Fantasy Lady

Two quick things before I crawl into bed and call it a night. The first is that I didn’t forget about your paper doll Monica, it’s just taking a little longer then I planned. It’ll be up on next Monday. Secondly, I have realized it might actually be possible to reformat the site to a standard blog format in a way that won’t take hours upon hours of work. So, that will be happening in the future, but this also means as I play around with format there might be times when links get broken or things seem a little odd.

I promise these things will be fixed as soon as I see them (or more likely), someone else sees them and tells me.

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As for the paper doll post today, um… I’m not totally pleased with this set. I drew these paper doll pieces around the same time I did a few others and this was the last set I drew. I tend to draw paper doll series in clumps, so for a few weeks I draw a lot of Curves or I draw a lot of Marisole or Pixie and then I post them as I clean them and polish them up for the site. These groups of images are always mixed. There are some that I’m really proud of and some that I’m less so.

These guys, I’m less proud of, but I really liked the paper doll herself and wanted to post her. I’m just not a huge fan of the dresses. But maybe other people will like them more then I do. What do people think?

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Promenade Dress and Ballgown

So, we’re a little late today and I am sorry about that, but as I’ve said a few times around here. School comes first. Flora’s costumes are often challenging, because I like to have lots of reference images before I try to draw anything. I’m always looking for more information on the right era of costumes for the paper doll.

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The ballgown on the left is based on a plate from 1812. It is one of the costumes I have wanted to draw for a long time, but it was a challenge for me. I love the yellow trim. Her promenade costume is based on a different plate from 1814. The popularity of the ruffs around the necks of costumes in this era are very interesting. I don’t know if I like the look, but I feel like I have to include them as a matter of keeping things accurate.

Curves: Winter Diversions

So, it’s nearly spring here and I thought I should post this before it becomes totally inappropriate, because of the weather. I didn’t wear a jacket today, though it was a little chilly for that I still enjoyed having the sun on my face. I don’t have a lot to say about these costumes except that they were fun to draw. I really like ice skating costumes even if I don’t ice skate much.

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I do a little, but I wouldn’t call myself skilled… let’s say that I have, in the past, ice skated and leave it at that.

Beyond that, I don’t have anything really intelligent to say tonight. Sometimes, I feel like my posts are afterthoughts and that’s a little bothersome. I should work on it.