Pixie & Puck: Delia

I wanted to do a set based on winter clothing, but I liked the idea of playing with color. Rather then doing the traditional color scheme, I wanted to do something in pastels and spring colors.

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It’s slowly becoming spring here in the mid-west. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the idea of seasonal change happening so rapidly. It seems like only a few days ago I needed my hat, gloves and boots to go out and now I can wander around in jeans and a sweater. It’s nice to be coat free, but I always liked the winter, so I shall miss it.

And since it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, I doubt I will miss it for long. 🙂

Pixie & Puck: Clementine

Obviously, today’s paper doll is partly named after the orange. One of the fun things about the Pixie paper dolls is picking out color schemes to work with for them. It’s always a blast. I enjoy that part of the creative process even though I don’t think I’m that good with color. I’m learning which I guess is the important thing.

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As I suspected she would, Marisole won my poll by a wide margin, but I didn’t get a Curves up last week and I wonder if that skewed my results. I shall have to give it some thought. I was surprised by the large margin that she won by. Half the votes went to Marisole, which is a huge difference.

I wonder why… Anyone care to enlighten me?

Esther: A Purim paper doll!Also, since today is Purim (well, technically it began at sunset yesterday, but that’s all right), I thought I would post a paper doll.
I openly confess to not being an expert on Ancient Persian dress, though I found no one else seemed to be either. It was one of the most challenging research tasks ever. The result was a paper doll that I think looks pretty, but I don’t think is at all historically accurate. Mary Houston’s Ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, and Persian costumes and decorations was published in 1920 and unfortunately doesn’t have much on women’s dress in Persia, but I used her illustrations of a crown for my purposes. I did find some wonderful pictures of Persian Statuary which I used and, of course, there is always Braun & Schneider’s The History of Costume which had several illustrations, unfortunately Braun & Schneider is not a very accurate source of a whole slew of reasons starting with its age (it was published from 1860 to 1880) and it’s target audience of the general public, not scholars. Still, one makes do with what one can find on short notice and I was not going to pull an Edwin Long and make Esther greek. You can, of course, get the printable version of Esther from the Printable paper doll index or here is a PDF of Esther to print.

Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Set in Black & Purple

Inspiration for today’s printable paper doll includes the Victorian era, gothic fashion, fantasy gowns, and playing with ruffles. I have been practicing my ruffle drawing skills lately and I think I am improving. Maintaining my gothic inspiration, I gave today’s Marisole paper doll piercings and some red hair to set off that purple. (I don’t know how I feel about the skintone though. I’m not totally keen on giving Marisole fair skin.)

There were a few more pieces of clothing for this printable paper doll then could be easily fit on the page, so I lost the title and just sort of went for it. I intended the white dress to be a slip to be worn underneath the other costumes, but, of course, it could also be a sun dress. I’m not totally pleased with how the ruching turned out on the hem of it, but what can you do?

A fantasy printable paper doll set with a redheaded paper doll and several pieces of black and purple mix and match clothing options. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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This Marisole Paper Doll came out of the same doodle session as my Tokyo meets Georgia paper doll, though I finished the Tokyo meets Georgia one sooner. I tend to do a lot of thumbnail doodling and then those doodles become paper dolls, but sometimes not until weeks later. Paper doll creation is actually a very slow, multi-stepped process and I am nearly always working on several things at once. I mention all this, because sometimes I think people assume that it’s a “one set” at a time kinda gig when, in truth, I am usually working on five or seven or nine sets at one time and they get finished when I feel like it.

This is mostly because sometimes I feel like drawing, sometimes I feel like coloring and sometimes I feel like doing layout work. (Okay, I never “feel” like doing layout work, but it has gotta be done.)

Perhaps not a perfect system, but it works for me. 🙂

Puck: Dillon

So, I got to have an epic adventure today. I tried to clean my scanner bed. Recently, I have been getting dust marks on my scans and since I’ve never actually cleaned the scanner bed, I decided I should do so.

This is what I learned: Cleaning a scanner bed is scary.

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Maybe I’m just a coward, but I’ve had the same scanner since freshman year of college and while I love my scanner, it’s fairly cranky. I could probably afford a new one by now, but since it still works I don’t see the point in replacing it. Anyway, I was scared of somehow damaging it. After reading all sorts of horror stories on the internet, I finally got up the nerve to spray a little cleaner on my rag and rub it on the bed and then let the bed dry.

Of course, nothing went wrong and the scans are coming out much clearer now. I wonder what I was so worried about. The mind can be a funny thing sometimes, I think.

Today’s paper doll is another Puck paper doll. Someone remarked that his arms are a bit long which is true or his legs are a bit short, I haven’t decided which yet. Now, of course, I must decide if I want to re-draw him and there fore render useless the several other Punk paper dolls I’ve already drawn and scanner for later use or maybe do some other male paper doll. I haven’t decided what to do yet with him.

Oh, and I have a poll.

Marisole Monday: Superhero/Supervillian

So, we’re up a little late this time and I am sorry for that. This weekend has been nothing short of insane here in the land of the corn. I’ve had classes (yes, weekend classes) which were educational, but time consuming. I finished this paper doll close to midnight and decided to crawl into bed rather then finish the posting.

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But that’s okay, we now have a paper doll. Drawing a superhero paper doll was a suggestion of a friend who reads far more superhero comics then I do. The only superhero comic, I’ve ever really enjoyed was Deadpool and Cable. Mostly, because Deadpool is hilarious and extensional and everything I enjoy when reading a comic.

And also, I’ve been trying to get a good “shiny” effect on the clothes. This is the first one I’ve posted like this. I think it came out all right, but what do others think?

Pixie: Vera

I have such mixed feelings about this paper doll and I have such mixed feelings about starting a post with the words “I have such mixed feelings…” I usually try to not talk about what I dislike, but I must confess I don’t think the face of the paper doll Vera was very successful. I love her black and gray kimono-esque costume with the pink flowers though, I think that one came out beautifully.

So, I guess maybe you win some and you lose some when it comes to paper dolls.

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One of the unique features of paper doll blogging vs. standard paper doll drawing is that I find I hate going to the trouble of inking something only to decide I don’t like it. Don’t mis-understand me, there’s plenty of things in my sketchbooks that will never see the light of day, but I often feel that the goal of posting on time and regularly is more important then the goal of always being in love with what I post.

While my natural inclination is not to post anything I don’t like, the actual practical consideration is that if I never posted anything I wasn’t totally satisfied with then I would likely only update once a month at most. As it is, I’m learning to be okay with posting paper dolls even when I have mixed feelings about them.

Especially when I really adore their strange futuristic kimono costumes.

Dark & Steamy: Gothic Steampunk Printable Paper Doll

Today’s paper doll is a little gothic and a little steampunk. That’s okay right? It’s not like mixing oil and water or something.

Erin, who won my little Trivia contest from last Monday, wrote me the following description of what she wanted for her custom Marisole paper doll.

I know that I want my doll to be very pale with brown hair… As for style of clothes and what not, I know that I love Victorian and Steampunk style. Belts, buckles, zippers, lace, keys, and corsets. That kind of stuff. I have included a few links as inspiration I guess, but feel free to disregard them. I dislike the color yellow, LOVE red, black and purple, but other than that… I’m not overly picky.

I asked for a little clarification on shades of brown (she said red brown) and exactly what sort of colors for metals she liked and then set to work. Like a deadline, it was oddly liberating to be paper dolling based on someone else’s guidelines. I’ve done other steampunk sets, but this one quickly got a gothic steampunk paper doll flare- I think the color scheme is what pushed it into gothic territory for me. I’ll always think of those as a gothic colors. I do hope she’s pale enough, because outside of doing another vampire paper doll, I couldn’t imagine going paler than this color. I think it reads as “pale” rather than reading as “corpus.”

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Since one of my favorite features of Victorian dresses was the fact that women got to wear all sorts of different clothing for different activities, I decided to treat the paper doll as though she was an actual Victorian lady- all be it in an alternative steampunk universe- in need of costumes for the range of standard Victorian lady activities.

Here we go.

The Morning Dress: Morning dresses were always more casual then other costumes. Erin sent me a reference link to this beautiful costume. I loved the colors and the drape. To make it a little more Victorian feeling, I added sleeves. Though technically a morning dress would never be worn outside the house, I added a hat since the reference costume featured one. Also, I like hats.

The Walking Costume: The other set of reference images I got was for a beautiful 1880’s reproduction bustled suit and I confess the early 1880’s when skirts were tight, before the huge bustle emerged is one of my favorite times in Victorian fashion. I made the suit purple (to match the purple/red color scheme), created a totally non-period hat and added some accents in silver and brass.

The Afternoon Dress: Mostly an excuse to draw a wild leather corset (well, I imagine its in leather, I suppose technically it could be any fabric you like), the afternoon dress was inspired by the corsets of 1910. The net/lace overlay was my attempt at lace, though I have mixed feelings about how it turned out. Afternoon dresses were also often visiting costumes, so she had to have a hat.

The Ball Gown: No costume set could be complete with out a ballgown and as I love drawing corsets, no ballgown couldn’t not have a corset top. The far left costume of this fashiion plate inspired the oddly bondage-esque skirt. I got a little carried away with my lock and key motif I think, but I had fun doing it.

As regular readers know, I’m a wee bit obsessed with Victorian inspired costumes. I’ve done two other steampunk/neo-Victorian Marisole paper dolls. There was the slightly candy like one (a lesson in how colors don’t look so bright before I process the images for Web and then seem to get brighter) and a more traditional color scheme.

I will probably do another trivia contest thing next week. So, keep your eyes open for that.

Pixie: Amelia

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Of all of the Pixie paper dolls I have done over the last few weeks, this is perhaps my favorite. I love how her hair came out and I think she looks fun and cute and interesting. I also think her wardrobe is fairly versatile. All in all, I’m pretty proud of her.

I hate that I don’t have much else to say intelligently about this paper doll, but sometimes all I can offer up is a few sentences. Also, I have papers to write and a custom Marisole Monday to finished (which, though I am only halfway done, is coming out quite nicely I think.)

Fashion Doll Friday: Flora’s Dresses From 1800

So, the question on the table should be “How are these regency dresses unlike all other Regency dresses?” and the answer is ‘Because they are from an earlier period.’ (I realize this is kinda a Passover Seder joke and those of you who have never had to sit through one will not be as amused as those who have). The answer is not because we get to recline while coloring them (another Passover joke), but rather the shape of the dresses. At the turn of the 19th Century when it was just beginning (around 1800), the shape of the dress was nearly flat on top with a fair bit of fullness in the bottom though it shifted away from this form fairly quickly.

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As the fashion plate from 1800 shows, the shape of these dresses was slightly different in the late 1790’s and early 1800s. The plate I based these costumes on, as well as many others, can be seen in the Claremont Colleges collection. It’s a wonderful collection of fashion plates.

In other news, Erin (who doesn’t have a website I can link, I don’t think) correctly identified my favorite holiday as Purim and therefore as won my contest. Purim is coming up in March (like all Jewish holidays, it starts at sundown and then goes until sunset the next day). There will be a Purim paper doll, I just haven’t decided if I want to make it a Pixie or a Marisole doll or something totally new. Thoughts continue…

Erin, if you could please send me your request (paperthinpersonas(at)gmail(dot)com). I’ll need hair color, eye color, style and anything else you want to tell me. Thank you.

Curves: Princess of the North

As I wrote before, I have wonderfully 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.)

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I also did a poll a while ago to see what readers wanted and they said Fantasy by a wide margin. Fantasy dresses are harder then casual contemporary clothing I can just people watch for ideas, but I do want to try to stretch. So, I decided to go a little old school epic fantasy for this set of Curves paper dolls.

I’m running a little Trivia contest, as some of you probably know from Monday’s post.

The question is:

What is my favorite holiday?

The Rules:
1) One guess per person per day (that means each day, not each post).
2) If no one guesses right by Monday, I’ll give a hint or pick the closest.
3) Anyone who knows me well enough to make a very informed guess, doesn’t get to enter. Sorry guys.

The Prize: a custom Marisole paper doll, so you tell me the hair color, skin color, hair style and basic theme and I’ll draw the paper doll.

Now, no one has gotten it yet and I think I need to offer a hint. So, I’ll say this- the holiday in question is coming up in the next two months. I’ll had another hint on Thursday if people haven’t guessed it by then. And you might want to check out the comments on Monday’s post to see what people have guessed already.

Good luck. 🙂

EDIT: Due to a higher level of difficulty then I have originally intended, I’ll offer another hint. The holiday moves on the solar Calendar each year and traditionally cookies are baked, children dress up in costume, a story is told and a lot of liquor is drunk.