Spring: A Fashion Paper Doll

I drew this paper doll three years ago. I was living with two wonderful roommates in college. It was a wonderful year. It brings back fond memories of my senior year of college. Also, of trying to teach my friend how to cook… or trying. I don’t know how successful I was. I’ve lived by myself for two years now and I find I miss the company.

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Whenever I draw a paper doll that I know is only going to be one page, I find I think carefully about what sorts of clothing she would need. I imagine Spring is a model or at least well enough off to afford beautiful clothing. She has her casual carpi pants, her afternoon dress for lunches or other more formal events and then her long evening gown for when she needs to go to some sort of paper doll black tie event. I like drawing evening gowns, so my paper dolls go to a lot of black tie evening events. My favorite is her evening gown, but what do the rest of you think?

Fashion Doll Friday: Reception Gown

So, there are a few scheduling changes happening which are explained over on the About Pages. Mostly, just me explaining how thing actually are working vs. how I thought things would work eight months ago when I started this mad crazy thing up after the site collapse. Oh, the adventures of a website owner.

A Victorian reception gown for the Florence printable paper doll.

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Somedays, I love my scanner/printer thing. It does what I ask it. It doesn’t complain. It fills my heart with joy and happiness and then there are they days when it refuses to scan, scans at an angle or simply does weird and mystical things as though it were possessed. Outside of striking it with incense and casting out the demons, I have no idea what to do about it and I don’t plan on using the incense solution. Today was one of those days, but eventually the stars aligned properly and I got a scan to turn into a printable paper doll.

Go me.

Despite by frustration with the scanner, or perhaps because of it, I’m just not pleased with this paper doll dress. I don’t like the fringe even though it is very very period and I don’t really like the folds of the bustle and I’m not pleased with the train and… Yeah, I could go on and on. I do think when I feel like I’m on a time press, I let myself get sloppier then I like. Still, they can’t all be winners, right?

Need the paper doll for this gown? Here she is.

Flora: Black And White Paper Doll

Here is a fairly old paper doll from the exciting depths of my boxes of drawings. Flora actually dates from 2006 or so. I remember drawing her in college while I was living in an apartment with three other people and changing majors. It was a rather hectic time in my life.

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The original paper doll has a fairly complicated black background. I wanted to keep that appearance when I reformatted the paper doll for the blog, but I fear the background might overwhelm her. I think you can see hints of Marisole in her design, though she far predates any Marisole. Like Dot, she’s just black and white without any grey or color.

I’ve been checking out A Paper Closet for a while and I haven’t actually mentioned it here, because I am a space cadet. (Actually, I have been told that I am probably high ranked in the space case navy. Perhaps, nearly a captain.) Never the less, I am linking A Paper Closet now, because I do think it’s a really wonderful blog and I should have done it soon. Better late than never, right? Among the things I love are the fact that she posts the paper doll’s clothing on the actual paper doll, so you can see how it would look. Her paper dolls have the most amazing faces- simple, but really… pure, somehow? I’m not much of an art person, really, so I don’t know how to describe what I’m talking about, but they have a really great simplicity that I love.

Fashion Doll Friday: Afternoon Dress

Today was full of errands and craziness and being late with my Friday Florence paper doll post. These things happen. My classes start on Monday and I am looking forward to it. I do love class, but it’s also a little scary as I inch towards graduation.

An afternoon dress for Florence, a printable paper doll of a French fashion doll from the 1870s.

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Afternoon dresses were worn when receiving guests in the afternoon. They weren’t worn out, so they didn’t need a hat, but since they could be worn as visiting dresses, I decided to include a hat as well. I loved the boots which are based on these wonderful shoes with lots of little straps that button up the leg. I’ve always really liked them. The dress is based on a real afternoon dress from the V&A Museum.

Need the Florence base doll? Here she is.

Curves: Skypirate

So, I was talking to my friend and I said, “I think I want to draw pirates, but I’m not sure…”

And he said, “You should draw Skypirates.”

And I said, “Sure.”

Curves: Skypirate

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And I thought, but I don’t know what a skypirate is, except perhaps a pirate who rides around the sky. I decided that skypirates would need flying ships, obviously, and so I turned to an old Russian folkstory called The Fool and The Flying Ship where in a fool gains a ship which will fly and proceeds to win the hand of a princess. I really loved the book of it we had when I was a kid.

The result is a little less pirate-ish and a little more Eastern European nobleman-esque. The outfit on the left is based on a vest from the Serbiadating about second half of the 19th century which lives in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The pants are from traditional Cassock uniforms and the boots are based on those worn by hot air ballooners in the Victorian era. How’s that for an eleclectic collection of sources?

The outfit on the right’s jacket comes from Albania, also thanks to the V&A Museum. The trousers are based on those worn by sailors and young boys in VIctorian England and the shoes are just a pair of riding boots.

Dot

This is an old paper doll. I think I drew her a few years ago. I seem to recall planning on doing a series- one with stripes and one with plaid to go with this one, but it never happened. Dot is the only survivor of that idea and I doubt I will be going back to create the other ones.

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I love black and white. I love the contrast. I love the clarity and crispness and simplicity. I really am pleased with how she turned out. Though you can color her if you wish, I must admit my intention with the heavy shadowing on my paper dolls was to create a black and white paper doll that didn’t need to be colored. Of course, once she’s printed, I have no control over what happens to her, so feel free to color her if you wish.

I just won’t be coloring mine.

Fashion Doll Fridays: Florence’s Riding Habit

A riding habit for Florence from the 1870s.

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It’s so humid here, I feel as though I live in a pond, under water, fully dressed. Kinda makes me unhappy. On the flip side, I have a riding habit here. I have to confess I’ve only ridden a horse two times in my life and am sort of scared of them.

They are very large. Also, they always seem to be planning something.

However, riding was a typical and socially acceptable activity in the Victorian era and a good excuse to wear boots with tassels on them. Interestingly enough, riding habits were one of the only things Victorian women bought from tailors, not seamstresses. Partly because of this, they always have obviously masculine influences attached to them- hence the jacket and necktie.

Florence, who can wear this riding habit, can be found over here.

Truly Trudy Three

Today we have the last of the Trudy paper dolls. I haven’t yet decided what I should do for my next short run doll. I’ve been combing through by own old file folders of paper dolls looking for things I can post and for things which are nearly done and it would only take a little work to make them totally usable for the site. It is neat to see how my own art has improved and how my style has changed.

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The more I learn about the comic paper dolls that inspired Trudy, the more impressed I am by the artists. A few of my favorite Katy Keene paper dolls are the ones in neat poses that you wouldn’t expect to see a paper doll in. Also you can find Katy on a horse. You can tell Bill Woogon, the artist, was having a lot of fun with these. Maybe someday I’ll have the nerve to draw a paper doll in a strange pose though I think if I do, she wouldn’t be on a horse.

Non-Katy Keene dolls which impress me are generally the newspaper paper dolls that were printed in one color without shading. Not being a huge fan of shading myself, I love the sparse line work that makes these paper dolls fantastic examples of how you don’t need a lot of times to make an impact. Some neat ones can be found from Boots, a blog devoted to these newspaper images to color, many of which are paper dolls, and from The Paper Collector and Marge8’s Blog which I’ve already written a bit about.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Croquet Costume

A croquet costume for Florence, a paper doll of a french fashion doll from the 1870s.
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There’s an excellent article about croquet costumes from the Machester Art Gallery and it includes some wonderful Victorian croquet costumes including the dress in blue white and red I based Florence’s croquet dress off of though it dates from a bit later then the rest of her attire being from 1875-1878 which is after my usual 1875 cut off date. In the Manchester Art Galleries wonderful costume collection, there is an archery jacket from 1787 which is beautiful. I never realized archery was considered an acceptable female sport in England as early as that or that the Royal British Bowmen allowed women full membership with voting rights and a snazzy official uniform.

Maybe Florence needs an archery costume. I like to think she’s the sort of adventurous lady who would do well in archery. On the other hand, I already have a skating costume sketched and a riding habit for next week, so perhaps putting more on my plate is not an entirely wise idea.

Here is Florence, the paper doll that wears these dresses.