When I was working on these double doll sets, I realized I hadn’t done any paper dolls for the Dames and Dandies with glasses yet. That seemed like a serious omission given that I wear contacts and can barely see without them. So, I knew I wanted a doll with glasses. The doll on the left has a hairstyle based on how a student who worked for me wore her hair and the doll on the right has blond highlights. That’s actually her second hair style. I really didn’t like the first one I designed, once I saw it on the doll.
That happens sometimes, because I draw all the hair separately and sometimes once I get it fitted to the dolls head, I’m not sure that I like it as much as I did in theory. Fortunately, it’s not hard to draw another one and through the “Power of Photoshop” there’s a lot of options.
Coloring wise, these versions of Beatrix have, of course, the same skin-tone as the other versions of Beatrix. I did however choose to match the paper doll’s glasses to her toenails, like you do.
Meanwhile, I posted a few progress images over on Patreon if you’d like to see some work in progress and my #100dressesproject continues on Instagram. Almost done! I’m in the 90s.
And, as always, I’d love to hear what you think about today’s paper dolls.
So, one thing I’ve kinda missed doing were theme weeks. So this week is all 1940s! We’re starting with a 1940s paper doll in this version of Beatrix, wearing a girdle and bra and with her four pairs of shoes. Wednesday and Friday will be 1940s dresses to go with Beatrix.
When I asked last week what people wanted to know more about, a lot of folks here and on the Patreon page said inspirations and sources. So, let’s start with Beatrix, her Hollywood inspired hair and 1940s underwear. I own several books on historical hair, but none of them discuss black hair styles. In fact, I don’t know of one that does (does anyone know of one?)
So, I went to look for the hairstyles of Hollywood black actresses of the time, as Hollywood was a leader in fashion during this era. I settled on this image of Theresa Harris. The still is from the 1948 thriller, “The Velvet Touch.” I don’t know much about Harris, except what I read on her Wikipedia page. She sounds like a strong interesting woman.
The paper doll’s 1940s underwear is based on a set sold from Sears in 1947. I used the Dover book, Everyday Fashions of the Forties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs. I chose this underwear to draw because I could draw the paper doll pants, someday. Most girdles I saw would not have made pants very viable and pants were finally coming into their own in the 1940s.
The first dress I designed was the lily ball gown, but this dress is what turned that dress from just as “this would be fun to draw” into a “oh, I could make this a series”. So, I really think of today’s Beatrix princess paper doll as the inspiration behind the whole week.
When I was planning the Dames and Dandies series, I new I was going to have a stable set of “faces”, but I wanted those faces to have many versions. So, this is Version 2 of Beatrix– The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll version.
Also, huge shout out to my Mom, who when I was describing the flower I was remembering from the garden as a child, recalled the name of it and spelled it correctly enough for me to goggle it. The formal name for bellflowers is Campanula, by the way, which is what she told me.
I just thought Campanula Princess didn’t roll off the tongue as well as Bellflower Princess, hence the name change.
In the order of this princess paper doll design, the dress came first. Once I had it drawn, I wanted a crown and I came up with the idea of the flowers coming out from a pair of buns.
Once I had that idea in my head, I had to figure out how to actually create in a way that would work for someone cutting out the paper doll. So, I drew the hair style and the crown pieces separately.
Than, I used Photoshop to create one version of Beatrix with out the crown and second version with the crown. So, the hair with the crown can be cut out and placed over the hair without the crown.
This also assures that this version of Beatrix can wear a hat without floral crown pieces getting in the way.
I don’t often share my process photos here, because I try to save them for my Patrons. So, if you want to see more images of the raw beginnings of paper doll sets, than donate and join Patreon. I try to post a few “behind the scenes” images every month. I also put them up on Instagram erratically.
This is Beatrix, a name I knew I wanted to name her the moment I drew her. I have no idea why, but she looked like a Beatrix to me.
She is also the first of the Pose B paper dolls for the Dames and Dandies series. This is version one of Beatrix, which I intentionally made pretty neutral. A doll and some shoes. There will, no doubt be a version 2 and a version 3 eventually.
But we are starting with version one.
My original plan for Beatrix version one was micro-braids, but I seriously screwed them up while I was inking them and I decided to do something different instead. I draw a lot of micro-braids, after all. Instead, I thought I would stretch my wings a little and try a side parted natural hair style.
I think it came out pretty well.
Let me know what you think on a comment about today’s paper doll? I’d love to hear from you.