Usually, I come up with a color scheme for a post and then work it into the costumes. There’s almost always something with a pattern which I can use multiple colors in. Addison (one of the Pixie paper dolls) and Marisole: Wings & Petals are both good examples of this principle at work. However, since there wasn’t any pattern on today’s Marisole and no ways I could imagine incorporating a coherent color scheme, I just sort of picked colors that reminded me of winter and went with them.
Winter always makes me happy, because I means I can break out my gray clothing and not feel guilty about it. Of all the neutral colors in the world, gray is my favorite. It has all the features I like about black, but it’s not black. It’s like a delightful lighter better black (which I rather suppose is the definition of gray).
Update 8/11/2014: This paper doll is now available in black and white for coloring. You can find her here.
Every time I do a two color version, I always swear I won’t ever do it again. It always takes twice as long as I think it will. However, I think it’s kinda fun to play with color and I think people like it, so I keep doing even when I should know better.
This paper is sort of a gift for a friend who very much likes retro-vintage styling. Sometimes, when I don’t know what to draw I ask my friends what they think I should draw. This has caused some totally unusable suggestions, but mostly the suggestions are good if a trifle odd. These are the people who can be blamed for my zombie paper doll and my attempt at a Gothic Lolita paper doll, both of which I rather like (the zombie more then the Lolita, to be honest).
This one came out with a series of suggestions that included Ninja Vs. Pirate (I’m not even sure how I would draw that), superhero (well, actually Batgirl from the 1960’s.. ideally, Batgirl tied up from the 1960’s, but I think this says more about the guy making the suggestion then anything else), and retro-pin-up. Obviously, the pin-up was the easy one.
Unlike many of my vintage costumed paper dolls, this doll has more in common with people’s ideas of what was worn then what was actually worn. I borrowed designs from Pinup Girl Clothing and a few others who I don’t recall. I use online stores a lot when I’m looking for ideas.
Sometimes I don’t know what to say about a paper doll. I sort of started drawing Addison with the head- since each Pixie paper doll gets a new head, that’s often where I start- and I knew I wanted her to be a black paper doll with afro-puffs and big earrings. The paper doll’s wardrobe sort of evolved from there. The color palette for her clothing is distinctly fall and autumn oriented which seems fitting for this time of the year. I think it looks warm and cozy. Her striped shirt was confusing as far as which colors and in which order to put them in, but I think it turned out well, though I can’t shake the feeling I messed up the stripes of one of her sleeves.
I, obviously, got bored and ended up playing with her a little- you can see the results of my time wasting on the left with a dressed up version of this Addison paper doll.
Way back in June, I did a paper doll set roughly based on some Asian costumes and mostly based on what I draw when I’m bored in class. Lindsey asked if I would consider doing an African inspired set in the same style. Now, I wasn’t against the idea, but I didn’t know anything about African dress. After several months of looking at pictures, many books borrowed from the library and a fair bit of internet searching, I can now say I know a little bit about African dress.
The black dress with the gold is based on a dresses worn in Tunisia, usually over white blouses and loose trousers. I have included a white dress to wear under it. The two poncho like robes (the cream one and the blue one) are based on robes worn by men in Nigeria made up of strips of cloth. Mine are much shorter and slightly more fitted. As I said, it was a fantasy interpretation of African costume. The book I adapted these costumes from is called African Costumes and Textiles: From the Berbers to the Zulus. It’s a wonderful look at original garments. This paper doll set is an utterly inauthentic collection of fantasy garments. Enjoy. 🙂
Edit: It has come to my attention that some sites are linking this post as actual African traditional dress. It is NOT. Please don’t pro-port that it is.
The Pixie paper dolls will go up every Sunday. They are, obviously, full color printable paper dolls inspired partly by Marisole and partly by the desire for another full color series. There will also be a few other major changes for the new year, but we’ll get to those as we do. I don’t want to say things and then have them not happen.
Unlike Marisole (whose hair is redrawn each time but nothing else is), the Pixie’s have their whole heads changed each time and this lets me play with characters and expressions and things in ways I can’t really with Marisole (well, I could, but I don’t cause it feels weird).
The first of the new paper doll series is Zoe.Zoe is named for a girl who I played with when I was in middle school. Since I live in graduate and international housing, the paper doll was also inspired by a Chinese girl who sat across from me in class for a semester. I really doubt she knew I was examining her face for future paper doll fodder or even noticed. The resulting doll looks nothing like her, but the early doodles did give me the confidence to try to draw epicanthic fold (I think it’s called) on a paper doll.