Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Stars, Stripes and All Things 4th of July
Happy 4th of July!
I didn’t really design this paper doll clothing set to be 4th of July themed. I just wanted to do red jeans and a shirt with stars on it. Somehow once I was coloring the set, the patriotic theme seemed inevitable.
The truth is that I tend to forget most holidays. I think I have all the time in the world and then suddenly they are upon me and I panic. The entire Mini-Maiden series owns its existence to my holiday panic.
Despite that I want to do holiday themed sets. I just seem to forget a lot.
Maybe the thing to do is start planning for Halloween today and then I might not end up scrambling. I’ve always admired Liana’s October themed months. I need to some up with an idea for the month or maybe just something for the 31st.
I hope everyone in the United States has a great 4th of July. I plan to spend mine playing board games, eating barbecued chicken and peach pie.
So, I decided that my ignorance was no excuse to not give it a go. I did some research on 1970s black culture and set to work on creating today’s paper doll.
The 1970s were an interesting era for black culture. The Black is Beautiful movement was in full force bringing with it respect for traditional hairstyles like the afro and dutch wax print fabrics. There were even Black is Beautiful paper dolls produced in 1969, another thing I learned from Debbie’s blog. Black owned toy companies, like Shindana, were bringing out black dolls for children. Meanwhile, blaxploitation films began flourishing in Hollywood when Shaft came out in 1971.
Now, that we’ve all learned about the 1970s, let’s talk today’s paper doll.
Her hair is the first afro I have drawn that I am actually pretty proud of. It’s a little big perhaps for the 1970s, but maybe not? There is that famous scene in Foxy Brown where Pam Grier pulls a gun from her afro.
Normally, I steer clear of brown shoes on brown skin, but I actually really liked how the shoes colors (from Peacock’s book) coordinated with the paper doll’s ebony skin-tone.
In my research, I watched Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, which wasn’t very helpful about historical black fashion, but it was a fascinating window into a world I know nearly nothing about. It also made me feel super cheap for complaining at how much my hair cuts cost. If you haven’t seen it and you’re interested in fashion or culture, I strongly recommend it.
Meanwhile, I’d love to hear what you think of today’s paper doll in a comment. I love to hear from y’all.
Today’s B&B paper doll gown is part of the Sorceress Gowns Project in which I am drawing gowns for sorceresses (a fact that might be obvious from the name). The theme for this project was chosen by my Patrons. I’ve started the series with a doll and the four elements. This is the element Earth. I’ve also done Water and Fire.
Earth was a surprisingly easy dress to conceive of. I knew I wanted to focus on rocks rather than plant life. The pattern on her under-gown was inspired by the layers and veins in rocks.
The bottom of her over gown is supposed to look like mountains. On her staff, I put a faceted crystal, because I wanted to capture more rock imagery.
While this was one of the easiest of the various Sorceress gowns to draw, it was one of the hardest to color. I went through three color schemes. I will confess I am still not completely satisfied, but at some point you have to say, “Well, I’m not redoing this again!”
There is an Air gown forthcoming, of course, and then another Sorceress doll.
After that, I’m not sure what I’ll do next. I do have an idea for an arctic/snow themed gown, so maybe I should do a desert/sand themed gown to counter balance it?
Let me know what you think about that idea in a comment or what you think about today’s gown.
Tomorrow there will be a new installment in the Fairy Tale and Nursery Rhyme series for the Poppets.
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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Princess Lolita Or Hime Lolita Dresses
Today’s paper doll dress is my first attempt at Hime Lolita or Princess Lolita, because a Patron asked for it and I believe in doing what my Patrons ask for. Princess or Hime Lolita dress is even more over the top than regular Lolita and is often accessorized with crowns, gloves, and that sort of thing.
I decided for my foray into Hime Lolita to keep it a bit sedate. A lot of the dresses designed for this style feel a bit 18th century to me, so I designed this dress to have the look with flounced sleeves and a false stomacher. I chose yellow for the roses, because I liked how it looked with the teal dress. I’ve always had an affection for yellow roses. I based today’s dress on this dress and this dress.
Like most street styles, Lolita is rife with nuance and narrow variation.
Nearly everything in the world is more complex than it seems on the surface. Years ago, I was good friends with a guy who worked in a record store, back when such things still existed.
He was a huge fan of metal music, so one day I confess that I knew very little about metal music and asked him to explain the genre to me. I discovered, to my surprise, dozens of sub-genres that I had never known existed. It was actually totally fascinating.
I feel the same way about Lolita fashion. I’ll probably never “get it” as much as an insider would, but I’m always up to the challenge of learning something new.
My question for all of you is, what do you love that has nuances in it that might surprise people?
For me, I can wax for hours about historical books. I love the tiny details. I realize most people don’t get super excited by goffered edges or booksellers stamps, but it makes me happy.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Sleepwear!
At the end of 2016, I asked all my Patrons for requests for 2017. A patron who chose to remain anonymous asked for pajamas and a teddy bear. Well, who was I to argue?
Plus, I’ve noticed that I have done very few sets of pajama’s over the years. I do have a nightgown tag where you can see the few nightgowns I have done. I probably should change that tag to something like sleepwear, since this isn’t a nightgown, but there you go.
In fact, now that I mention it, I think this might be the first pair of pajama’s I’ve ever drawn. Hmmm… I could go through the archives and try to prove that, but I’m not sure I feel like it.
I will confess that I think the sheep on these pajama’s look a little deformed, but then I’m not really a sheep expert.
Personally, I think her mug is full of coffee, but it could be hot chocolate or whatever other brown liquid you might like. I am super proud of the teddy bear. I think he’s darling. I don’t draw toys enough, because I struggle with them. There were three deformed teddy bear versions, before I ended up with one I thought was cute.
I went back and forth on the color scheme. I wanted something girly and kinda cute. So, I settled on lavender and aqua blue trimming.
What do you think of today’s pajamas? Cute? Strange? Would you wear them?
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Retro Space Aliens and Pink Boots
I like retro sci-fi. I like all sci-fi really. I’m loving Dark Matter at the moment and I have a deep spot place in my heart for Star Trek and Star Wars. Still, as much as I enjoy Dark Matter, I don’t really enjoy drawing the “gritty” sci-fi aesthetic.
There’s only so many pairs of black pants you can draw for a paper doll.
So, today’s sci-fi paper doll is very retro inspired. She’s blue skinned and her dress is very much of the 1960s retro feel. She’s got pink boots and shaggy hair. Now, my only major regret about her is that to make her hair “work”, you really need to print two, cut one’s head off and paste the head over the first head, because the drape of the hair would cover the high neckline of the dress.
Almost makes me wish I used Boot’s separate head method of paper doll creation.
Anyway, the pink dress is designed to wrap around the dolls legs and be visible from behind. There’s something kinda Jane Jetson going on with the dress. Maybe a bit to sexy for Jane, but you know what I mean.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Tridents, Water and Ancient Greece
So, back in early April, I posted the first part of my Sorceress’ Gowns Project (I always come up with the most creative names.) In that intro post, I explained that I had a variety of potential long term projects, tossed them out to my Patrons and this was the winning idea.
I had kinda been hoping Space Princess would win the poll, but you can’t have everything in life. And nothing is stopping me from embracing Space Princesses as a future plan.
Anyhow, today’s sorceress gown is based on Water, just like my last gown was based on Fire. I wanted to pair fire and water with a similar ancient Greek influence. Mind you, this a very Hollywood idea of Ancient Greek clothing owing more to Xena: Warrior Princess than actual history.
I wanted to capture the shades of water I tend to think of which are not light blues. I tend to associate water with such a dark teal that it looks nearly black which is what I remember from Southeast Alaska where I grew up.
Her magical staff is based on a trident which is a nod to Poseidon, the Greek God of the Ocean. It’s probably not a very functional trident, what with the center prong being a jewel encrusted thing, but there you have it.
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My first four gowns (three of which are done) are all based on the elements- fire, water, air and earth. I have fire, water and air all finished. Earth is… well, giving me some trouble.
I have faith I will finish it eventually.
Each gown has two accessories- a staff to channel magical power and a pair of boots.
Today’s fire gown was inspired by ancient Greek dress. I start most of my paper doll creations with a thumbnail doodle and I did the same here. Then I expanded the doodle into a full on paper doll dress.
I share my doodles mostly on Patreon, but once in a while one appears on Facebook, usually after I’ve shared with it my Patron’s first.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Sorceresses, really. Just Sorceresses.
So, a few months ago I posted this outfit which I had originally drawn to be part of the Greta’s Trousseau project and I realized how much I missed doing longer term themed projects.
I polled my Patrons asking what they would like to see and while I secretly hoped the Space Princess idea would win, the Sorceress ended up winning. I’ve opened the post up, so you can see the options that I offered.
Frankly, all the ideas would have been fun.
Anyway, I didn’t draw this first, I started with some dresses based on elements- fire, water, air, earth. But I really wanted to post a doll to go with the dresses and I thought she should go up first.
She is the Sorceress doll. She has two books for recording her magical experiments, a hair style to keep it out of her face and a layered gown.
The colors of the gown were inspired by moss and wild flowers. Muted colors and soft shades, I settled on.
I was playing around with my camera when I sketched this doll’s face, so you can watch me draw it in time-lapse (though not great timelapse, let’s be clear). I posted it on the blog’s Facebook page back in February.
I hope to do more of these time-lapse things, but I need to get a better set up and use my tripod. Otherwise, the camera will shake as it does in the facebook version.
By the way, what do people think? Do you like the idea of a series of sorceress gowns? Is there something I should draw after I finish the four elements? Other theme ideas?
Let me know in a comment. I love hearing from you all.
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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Vikings… Kinda, But Not Really That Much
I am not a big Viking fan-girl. There are people out there who are just obsessed with Vikings and, mostly, I respect that. I’ve done my fair share of Viking research and drawn Viking women’s garments based on that research (read that here). You can check out those historical Viking paper doll outfits over here.
And I am here to say that this paper doll ain’t that. Vikings inspired today’s warrior paper doll outfit to have the same accuracy as a Wagner opera about vikings. In other words, not a whole lot of that.
Rather than accuracy, I wanted to draw fur and fantasy armor. Not practical fantasy armor, but absurd fantasy armor. Made more absurd, because this armor wouldn’t keep you warm in the cold northern climate anyway.
There is fur there, but it is pretty decorative rather than actually practical. Still, I had a bunch of fun drawing it. It was a hoot to create.
I am happy to create things that are just fun and not really realistic or practical.
Want to see more Viking paper doll stuff? There’s a whole category called, “Viking inspired.”
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