Pixie & Puck: Roxanne

The purple paper doll dress was based on Natalie Portman’s Oscar gown, though truth be told I don’t think I did a very good job on it. I was drawing it without reference images which always means I’m a little less accurate then I would like. Liana did a wonderful version during the night of the Oscars. I recommend it highly. It’s looks much better then mine.

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I’ve mentioned in the past that I can always tell when I’m drawing on auto-pilot and this is a set I drew when I wasn’t really prepped for. I didn’t have any reference images, or thumbnails, I was just kinda winging it. Personally, I think it’s weaker for the lack of prep work. I always draw better when I have something (thumbnail doodle or photo reference) to work from.

On a semi-unrelated note, I love paper dolls with fronts and backs like these ones from 1935. I wish I had the paper engineering skills to draw some of them on my own.

Also, I have a poll in the sidebar. The future of Curves 2.0 is in your hands.

Marisole Monday: Tones & Shades

I gave a preview of these paper doll pieces a few days ago, though I had to stay up fairly late to finish them. Han Chinese clothing was a major influence over this set, particularly the quju. I also wanted to do with some Asian costumes what has, traditionally, been done with European dress in most fantasy. I’ve been sort of on this fantasy costumes inspired by regional dress kick. There’s even this elf inspired by Africa which I just finished, though she’s not ready for posting.

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The major delay for me with these was so much pattern and how to make it look good together while still keeping the color schemes interesting. Color used to scare me. Actually, it still does scare me a little, but I think it can smell fear, so I keep up a brave face. Color Scheme Designer is one of the tools I use to help be figure what colors go together. It’s fun, fairly simple, and usually I don’t feel like a complete moron while using it.

Usually.

Did I mention I think her wigs are nifty? Because I do. That is all.

Pixie & Puck: Irene

Writing is hard. Drawing is hard too, but somehow less hard then writing. I think it’s because I draw in stages- pencil and then ink and then shade and then scan and then re-size and then color and then add tabs and then do layout and then re-size again and then post. Sometimes those events occur in a slightly different order, but I always have multiple pieces in multiple stages of work (at least I do when I’m on the ball and things are going well). Yet, writing I find I stare at a white screen and have to think of something to say.

pixie-irene

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Ideally, something intelligent and nuanced to say… Okay, maybe not nuanced, but at least intelligent. Or coherent. I think I at least get coherent. Most of the time.

All I can really say about this paper doll is that I am pleased with how she came out. I really love the muted color tones- achieved by using a mostly transparent wash of grey over all of the clothing after it was colored. I find getting muted tones is a lot harder then getting obnoxiously bright tones on a paper doll and everything looks different on different screens of course. Her toenails in her sandals are another little favorite of mine-rainbow toes.

Marisole Monday: Stylish in Denim

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I had realized I hadn’t done a blond Marisole paper doll in a while, so I thought I would do so. I’ve also been working on a Marisole side project which made me realize how few pairs of pants I had ever drawn for the paper doll. To solve both these problems, I offer up and pants wearing blond paper doll. I never said my justifications were entirely logical, I just said they existed.

Maybe it’s because I am in library school, or perhaps simply because I tend to be analytical by nature, but I think a lot about what I could do to improve PTP. So, I made a list and my goal is to try to do these things over the next few weeks months.

1. Post more regularly. (I do think I am improving on this one.)
2. More process content. (Things like the post about inspiration for Curves that I did.)
3. Links to museums and libraries in an organized fashion or maybe posts about historical costume. Is that something people would enjoy? I’m not sure…
4. Tutorials (?) I don’t know what I would do tutorials about, which is part of the problem.
5. Additional access points to the site. I’d like to do some sort of theme and subject based indexing, but I’m not yet quite sure how. Thoughts are ongoing.

That’s my list of things I think the site could use. What would other people ask for if they could?

Update 8/11/2014: This paper doll is now available in black and white for coloring. You can find her here.

Pixie & Puck: Thorne

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I sort of think of Thorne (named after a friend from high school who looked nothing like this, but that is not here nor there) as perhaps the boyfriend of Jay or at least that they come from the same world. It’s the same world I tend to assume my Cyborg and Vera come from. Perhaps a futuristic place with lots of neon and flying cars.

Sort of Fifth Element meets Mad Max. Of the two, I’d take the visual style of the Fifth Element over Mad Max pretty much any day.

Marisole Monday: Beneath the Waves

I was going to call this post Under the Sea, but I called my last mermaid paper doll Under the Sea. I didn’t think I could use the name twice, so I did the best I could with another, basically the same name. Synonyms… wonderful things.

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It took me a long time to decide to do a mermaid version of Marisole. It was requested by a few different people, but I put it off since I wasn’t sure how to make tails work with the paper doll’s leg pose. In the end, I drafted both tails in full size several times, before settling on these designs. I wanted to do one traditional green tail and one more tropical exotic tail in the colors of my pet beta fish, Levi. (His full name is Levithan, but I call him Levi for short.) He has more blue in him then the pink and gold of the tail, but I liked the bright colors and though the pale yellow looked wonderful with the pink.

I strongly recommend taking an exact-o knife, or a pair of scissors, and cutting up along the side of the paper doll’s body between her arm and stomach. That way the tops and tails will both fit much better. The placement of the right arm is one of my major frustrations with Marisole. She needs to be redesigned, but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Edit: This paper doll is now available in black and white to be colored.

Pixie & Puck: Blossom and Pavall

Blossom is not named after the show from the 80’s, though after I mentioned what I was going to call the paper doll my friend commented about that and I almost renamed her. I can’t really say why I named her Blossom, except that she looked like a Blossom to me. I suppose that answer will have to do. Her costumes were inspired by anime costumes, more then anything else. Several of my good friends are heavily into anime, though I openly confess to not being much of a fan. I do like the outfits though.

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I have been thinking a lot about process lately and about ways to make this blog about more then just the paper dolls I post every few days, so I thought I would also scan the thumbnail doodles that became these costumes. As you might notice, there are some differences between the finished product and the draft. PallavtheElfThat’s fairly common for me. I tend to change things as I am working on them. My only frustrating with this paper doll was the color schemes for the dresses. I went through several dozen and I am still not sure I like all of them. Maybe I’ll published a black and white version as well… Something to think about.

Also, I am very excited to present two paper dolls today. Along with Blossom, there is a version of the Puck paper doll done by Toni L.A. Cross, www.thinkinlikegavroche.wordpress.com, with a much different chin and a quirky expression. He’s an elf and his name is Pavell which is apparently Sanskrit and I think he’s wonderful and very inspired. I especially like what was done with his hand, so he could hold the bow. I want to thank Toni for kindly letting me share him with all of you. It was really fun for me to see what someone else had done based on my work and quite flattering.

Marisole Monday: Enchanting Evening

It’s 90 degrees here today and while I’m enjoying my day off, I do wish it wasn’t quite so hot. I spent most of the day roasting in my apartment debating turning on my air conditioner- I am glad I eventually did- and working on this post.

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I could have done it yesterday and had it up by midnight, but I decided to go to a friend’s house and play board games and eat burgers. I do not regret this decision. I did have my sketch book with me which caused the following conversation.

Random guy: What are you drawing?
Me: Paper dolls.
Random guy: Long awkward pause.

I love that pause. 🙂

In other news, Paper Doll Garden is a new paper doll blog I found (Okay, new to me, it’s actually been around for a while) and the art is very good, plus there are males. Males, I tell you. This is highly exciting to me. I do wish she’d post in larger images as well as PDFs since I don’t usually print out, I just like to look. Though there was a time when I only had PDFs on the site, so I won’t judge too loudly.

I love her watercolor based style and I wish her much luck with her blog. The more paper doll bloggers the better, I say. Speaking of paper doll bloggers, if you have a blog of any kind, paper doll or otherwise, please comment and let me know. I’m always looking for new paper doll or paper doll related blogs.

Also, I have a poll as many of you know. It can be found on the sidebar. Is sticking a poll about my blog schedule on a late post ironic or just amusing?

Edit (10/7/2013): I just posted this paper doll set in black and white, so if you want to color her- now you can!

Pixie & Puck: Jay

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Obviously, I have been watching to much of Demolition Man while practicing my shiny textures. Actually, on Friday, I did just that. A girlfriend and I got together for pizza, a cupcake each from the bakery and movies.

First we watched Demolition Man which is basically everything good about a Sylvester Stallone movies distilled down in to a thick glorious syrup. After Demolition Man (I kinda want to draw the police uniforms from the future now, but I need to make more notes before I try), we watched My Fair Lady.

Yes, a bit of a change of pace but there’s dancing and singing and Rex Harrison in tweed. How can Rex Harrison in tweed ever be a bad thing?

I might have a thing for tweed.

Moving gracefully away from my thing for tweed, I have a poll right now up about the blog schedule. People should vote. Its more for my information then for any major site changes.

Pixie & Puck: Gloria

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I was in middle school in the early 90’s and, being stuck in Alaska, I tended to believe the outside world really was like what I saw on Saved by the Bell (for those of you too young to remember Saved by the Bell, you have missed out on some classic high school tv soap action). Anyway, a big part of that was beach life and the belief, however grossly incorrect, that extremely tanned bleach blonds were both A: very beautiful and B: very common.

Since then, I have come to feel that very tan bleach blonds are A: Asking for skin cancer and B: kinda wonky looking.

Despite this, I felt a need to relive my childhood with this post. There is no better excuse.

On the upside there is a towel and a pink drink and lots of swimsuit pieces.