Somehow, I’ve managed to finish up all my homework for the semester (yay!) and now I have a few weeks off before summer classes rear their ugly head. I am not looking forward to another batch of classes, but the end is in sight and I can only hope I’ll get there soon. As much work as grad school was when I was working part-time, it is so much more work when I was working full-time.
But none of that has anything to do with today’s paper doll. Today’s paper doll is an A Pose girl named Aisha. Aisha is an Arabic name meaning alive, according to Behind the Name.
All right, so as I often do, this is first version of Aisha as all contemporary shoes. Eventually, I’ll add some more specialized versions of Aisha. I actually already have a cyberpunk version in the works.
Years ago, I collected a bunch of photographs of people from around the internet to try to create a skin-tone palette. I ended up with seven colors and you can see that palette here. I recently discovered the work of Angélica Dass. She’s been photographing people against the Pantone color background that matches their skin. You can see her work on the National Geographic Website. It’s really amazing.
I don’t think I’ll be creating 4,000 skintones to use on the blog. It wouldn’t be very mix and match shoe friendly, but I do find her project super neat and work checking out whenever you have a moment.
Meanwhile, go grab some clothing for this poor naked paper doll. She needs something to wear. After you do that, leave me a comment and let me know what you think of today’s paper doll.
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.
Part of the fun of the Dames and Dandies has been restarting from scratch, but that also has been a point of tension. I want to already have done all sorts of things I just haven’t gotten around to yet. I value diversity in my paper dolls. I want paper doll aliens, cyborgs and mermaids that are all the colors of humanity (and some colors that humans aren’t- blue anyone?)
But since this series is only three months old, I’m settling for just trying to get a variety of human skin-tones and then branching out. Don’t worry, I plan to create my fairies and aliens soon. I’m just not there yet.
So, today I’m pleased to introduce the first white C Pose Dandy. This is Cyrus. I went through a bunch of names for him before I settled on Cyrus. I originally was going to name him Chester, but I decided I didn’t want another ‘Ch’ name.
Now that I have a set of four C pose guy paper dolls finished, you can expect to see some more versions of them soon. I really want to do some elven versions with pointy ears and some pirates and maybe a cyborg or two. This is all in the planning stages, so it might be a while before I can roll them out.
Wednesday, there will be some steampunk action for the A Pose Dames and then some medieval fantasy fun for the B Pose Dames. I finally have enough backlog to feel comfortable and I am some much more relaxed. Let the paper dolls continue.
And, of course, I always love to hear from you, so leave me a comment.
This is Cameron the new member of the C pose Dandies family. He’s a black guy paper doll, as you can see, and I had a lot of fun researching black men’s hairstyles for him. I noticed this very square hairline seems to be the trending thing (as much as I know anything about men’s trends in hair) and I based the look that Cameron is sporting on this picture and this picture. Drawing men’s hair is something I am still working on getting better at, but I won’t get better if I don’t practice.
Along with his hair, Cameron has three pairs of shoes and can wear any of the C Pose outfits.I wanted to have more skin-tones and ethnicities represented in the Dandies, so along with Cameron here, I have a white paper doll named Cyrus who’ll be shared next Monday. Stay tuned for that.
I always feel bad for my paper dolls who end up with only shoes. I mean, I get it. It’s done so they have shoes, but really… give this poor guy some clothing, stat. Personally, I think he’d look great in the sci-fi set or in this warrior outfit.
Meanwhile, it’s after my bedtime and therefore time to sleep. Let me know what you think of the new paper doll in a comment if you like!
On Monday, I posted some 1930s dresses, but paper doll dresses aren’t much use without a 1930s paper doll to wear them. So, here is Benedita, being a 1930s paper doll today! Never has the “dames” title for this printable paper doll collection been more fitting.
Benedita’s 1930s corset was based on this one from The Met. The original corset has a ruffle at the bottom. I had drawn it that way, at first, but to make the slim skirts of the 1930s work over the ruffle was basically impossible, so through the Power of Photoshop, the ruffle went away. Sometimes, paper doll creation requires editing changes, because fabric can fold and paper… doesn’t.
And yes, today’s 1930s paper doll is wearing shoes. Why? Because I thought it would be easier to put her in shoes than deal with the fact that she can’t be barefoot (she’s wearing stockings) and I didn’t want to deal with the whole “toes under stockings” thing. So, the solution? A nice neutral pair of black shoes.
(And you can always put something over them, if you think she would secretly like to be a fantasy warrior or something.)
Now, just like my 18th Century Alice, 1930s Benedita can’t wear all the clothing I’ve ever drawn for the B Pose paper dolls without her underthings showing. So, if she does decide she wants to go slay a dragon in this ridiculous get up, than she may need need to be okay with her corset showing. Or you can always cut her head off and paste it onto another Benedita’s body. It’s a little gruesome, but no one will judge a bit of paper doll decapitation.
Love her? Hate her? Have an opinion on what decade I should do next? Let me know in a comment!
One of my goals of 2018 was to try to do a paper doll for each of the major holidays. I missed Purim, but I have gotten most of them so far. Today’s paper doll is to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I have only drawn one other St. Patrick’s Day paper doll, so here’s my second one ever.
As many of you know, St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day for St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. It’s said that he used the clover to illustrate the concept of the trinity (father-son-holy ghost) and that he banished the snakes from Ireland. Interestingly enough, the earliest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States happened in Boston in 1737 and in New York in 1762. That means that the holiday was being observed in the United States before there even was a United States.
Anyway, I had planned to do a St. Patrick’s Day outfit like I did for Valentine’s Day, but then it occurred to me that I didn’t have a redheaded paper doll yet and something about a redhead for St. Patrick’s Day just made sense. So, I did a full St. Patrick’s Day paper doll and an outfit. I named this new B Pose face Bridget, after the other patron Saint of Ireland, and she has jeans, sneakers and a clover t-shirt. She can, of course, wear any of the B Pose clothing, but she has a different skin-tone from Benedita or Beatrix.
I hope anyone celebrating tomorrow has a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! I’ll probably be having a quiet day at home. Does anyone have neat St. Patrick’s Day plans? Let me know in a comment.
I love costume history and the 18th century is a favorite era of mine. I wanted to design an 18th century paper doll and I chose Alice as the model. Because of the paper doll’s historic underwear, she won’t be able to wear all the A Pose clothing. I made the decision that I was more concerned with having period underwear than with having versatility.
So, what underwear is she wearing? Well, Alice is wearing a shift, a strapless set of stays (like these or these) and has a pocket tied around her waist (like this or this). She also has a separate set of hoops. I based them on this set of hoops from LACMA. Hoops were only worn with the most formal of gowns in the 18th century, so they won’t fit under all the 18th century paper doll gowns I ever draw.
If you look at enough pairs of mid-18th century shoes, they do start to flow together at after a while. I could literally link to dozens that are in the same basic style as Alice’s brown shoes, her red shoes and blue shoes with pattens. Here is one example, here is another and here is another. The differences come from the shape of the toe and the heel.
By the 1780s, other styles were coming into fashion. So, her brocade shoes are based on this pair from 1785 from Historic New England. By the 1790s, shoes that look more like modern kitten heels had taken over like this pair.
Her blue shoes have attached pattens, which were leather and wood oversoles meant to protect the shoes from the muck and mud. This set was my main inspiration, but here is another example of the same idea.
Historic hairstyles are a challenge for me every time. I’m still learning enough to illustrate them properly, but for today’s 18th century paper doll I really wanted to draw something that was as not too over the top. I used my historic hair style books and portraits, including this one, this one and this one. I could have gone gray with her hair, but I just didn’t really like how it looked.
Wednesday, there will be a gown for today’s 18th century paper doll version of Alice.
Today’s version of Benedita, my Latina paper doll, has a formal hair style and an evening gown inspired by a design from Marchesa. Marchesa’s designs are usually elaborate and romantic. I simplified the gown a bit, bit kept the intense lime green color. Some of Marchesa’s stuff is a little too embellished for my taste, but I loved the drape of this gown.
I went back and forth on the shoes, but ended up deciding that one pair of black shoes and one pair of white shoes would be the most versatile for future designs. I try to think about what increases the play-ability of a set. Plus all of the Benedita dolls will have the same skintone, so Benedita 2 here can share shoes with Benedita 1.
Eventually, there will be a Benedita 3 (she’s already in progress and going to be a 1930s historical version).
Really what I wanted with version 2 of Benedita was to have a dramatically different doll than I created in version 1 of Benedita.
I have no idea how convoluted this will get when I’m at like Benedita 12 or something, but I’m up for it.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone has a super great weekend. This has been a crazy busy week, but I am hoping for a quiet weekend of drawing paper dolls. Frankly, I’m kinda out of content, so I really do need to get some things done. However, the things in progress are pretty cool (I think) and feature a lot of historical content.
Today, I am pleased to share version 2 of Akiko whose rocking a Sweet Lolita dress and ringlet curls. For those of you not aware of the Japanese alternative street style known as Lolita, here’s a brief run down- It’s a alternative fashion style from Japan- think Gothic fashion or Punk fashion in the United States and the UK. According to Lolita the influences are Victorian children’s clothing. As someone whose seen a lot of Victorian children’s clothing, I don’t quite agree, but you can decide for yourself if you want by looking through my Lolita Fashion pinterest board.
One thing I adore about Lolita is that it is not just about the dresses. Rather, the idea is to put together a “coordinate” which is a perfectly coordinating outfit from the tights to the dress to the bonnet. This is not surprising given that this style came from the country that developed a system of colors and motifs for kimonos based on the seasons when they were to be worn. Talk about matchy-matchy.
For my first Dames and Dandies foray into Lolita (and not my last, never fear) I went with Sweet Lolita, though there is a Gothic Lolita variant on my Patreon page that I hope you will download and play with as well. I tried to capture the bell shaped skirt and I designed what is known as a JSK (Jumperskirt) which is a sleeveless dress designed to go over a blouse. I made 2 matching pairs of shoes and one purse.
So, I did my usually research hunt for reference photos when I started my latest Lolita fashion paper doll. My previous favorite fashion blog devoted to Lolita, F Yeah Lolita has not updated in a long time. So, I dusted off my librarian searching skills and found a few new ones that I really liked. Magical Girl Me, Lolita Fashion on Tumblr and Miss Carol Belle’s Lolita Fashion Sewing and Pattern Advice all appear to be currently active, if you’re looking for more information on Lolita styles. I also had fun reading through Lolita Tips. Reading through that led me to the amazing Loli Library where I think I could easily get lost for hours staring at pretty dresses.
So, let me know if you like this Sweet version or the Gothic version better in a comment. I’d love to know! And if there’s a great Lolita fashion blog I don’t know about, I’d like to know that too!
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.