Beautiful Boho: A Black Paper Doll in Color

boho-logo-colorSummer in Alabama is probably my least favorite season. First of all, it is very hot and humid. Secondly, there are cockroaches. Thirdly, it rains in the afternoons, but the rain doesn’t actually cool anything down.

We are having a freakishly hot June. It’s been in the high 90s for the last week and it is not looking to cool down at all next week. I am miserable in this heat, but I suppose it could be worse.

Someone who is not miserable in the heat (or at least isn’t showing it) is Marisole in today’s colored version of Beautiful Boho. A big part of color selection for me is finding colors I wouldn’t normally think to combine. Part of this is instinct, but I borrow most of my color schemes from various sources around the internet and then alter them as needed. Design Seeds more muted palettes were what I used on this paper doll set. I wanted to use colors that felt like they were modern and came from nature.

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I went back and forth about what to do about Marisole’s glasses in this set. Originally, I had them plain silver, but it just seemed so… well, plain. So, after some debate, I decided to make them a soft grey-teal color. It’s a color that shows up a lot in the paper doll set, but it is also fairly neutral. I also had a lot of fun painting her toe nails with her different sandals.

I don’t think I mentioned this last time, but the paper doll’s hair is based in part on the last hairstyle in this fantastic video of 100 years of black hairstyles 1910 to 2010. My only complaint about the video is that it ignores wigs which were commonly worn by black women, particularly 1940s through the 1960s. Never the less, it is a fascinating time-lapse piece.

Later this week there will be the first Flock post of 2015 (embarrassing but true).

Beautiful Boho: A Black and White Paper Doll

boho-logo-bwIt has been a while since we saw Marisole, hasn’t it? I mean… at least since early April, I think.

As her friends grow, I find I sometimes miss her. She is the longest running paper doll on this site and I really do still have a fondness for her.

Today, Marisole is rocking a wardrobe inspired by the boho looks of brands like Free People. I have only recently discovered Free People and if I had a job where I could get away with wearing their clothes on a regular basis, I would. I also wanted to draw a jumpsuit. I don’t like jumpsuits, but they are in fashion and I am trying to be more open minded about them. Today’s Marisole paper doll also has glasses, because I think glasses are cute and I don’t draw enough paper dolls with glasses.

I also have horrendous eyesight and am blind as a bat without my contacts in. As a child, I had glasses and I hated them. Maybe a paper doll or two with glasses will help kids not dislike glasses so much.

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Over the years that I have been drawing paper dolls, which has been a fairly long time, I have come to realize that I really value diversity and variety in my paper dolls. I can’t imagine just drawing modern paper dolls or just drawing historical paper dolls or just drawing fantasy paper dolls. One of the things I like about paper dolls is that they can literally be anything. I’m about to get through the last of the backlog I have of Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper dolls. I have one more after this colored and one more waiting to be colored.

That means it is time for me to return to my sketch book. I’ve made a poll to help me decide what I should make next for them. Below I’ve listed my four major ideas. Vote on one of them and I might make it.

What Should I draw Next for Marisole Monday & Friends?

  • A ballerina or dancer. Tackle your fear of tutus. (38%, 36 Votes)
  • Space princess! Like a normal princess, but with ray-guns in space! (29%, 28 Votes)
  • Something for Marcus. Anything. Poor boy needs some more clothes. (19%, 18 Votes)
  • A warrior with armor. Lots of Armor. (14%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 95

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Sweet & Saucy in Color: A printable paper doll

logo-sweet-saucy-colorLast week, I talked about where this paper doll set was inspired from. This week, I want to talk a bit about color choices.

Color scares a lot of people. It scares me too. Truthfully, I use a lot of tools to help me develop color schemes. Some are as simple as searching Colour Lovers for a theme, but other times I use tools from ColourLovers to calculate diferent types of color schemes. My other favorite color scheme website is Design Seeds.

Normally, I try to keep my color schemes to five or six colors. There just aren’t enough pieces in the average paper doll set to justify more colors then than that. Even today’s set with all the pattern has only seven different colors, not including the warm soft brown of her skin tone. Choosing a skintone color is actually just as important as selecting a color scheme, because depending on the surrounding colors, all colors look different. I tend to think of the skintone choice as part of the color scheme selection, just as much as I am picking out colors for clothing, but I do try to keep to my palette, except with Asian skintones that generally have a strong yellow undertone. That can be very hard to not look jaundiced, so there’s often trial and error when I am coloring those paper dolls.

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In today’s paper doll, I knew I wanted a rainbow scheme and I wanted it to feel a little bit like candy- bright and sweet colors. Pink stands in for my red, but other then that I have a purple, a blue, a yellow, an orange and a green. White acts as a neutral, rather than black, and that keeps the set feeling light and bright. The only black appears as the soles of her boots. Her nails are multicolored as are her hair ties to keep the sense of mismatched style.

I really am quite pleased with how she turned out.

Sweet & Saucy: A Decora Fashion Inspired Paper Doll Coloring Page

logo-sweet-saucy-bwI first previewed this paper doll set back in 2014 when I did a preview of all the contemporary Marisole Monday & Friend’s sets that I had drawn in a clump. I tend to work in clumps, as my regular readers know.

The other three sets that were draw at the same time as Saucy and Sweet were, in no particular order, Southwest Boho (color and black and white), Simple Sophisticate (color and black and white) and A Bouquet of Florals (color and black and white). Unlike the other three sets, Sweet & Saucy didn’t come right out of the fashion magazines.

She was actually inspired by a Japanese steet fashion known as Decora or sometimes just Harajuku in the USA. Harajuku is actually an neghborhood where street fashion is pretty common, but the more accurate term for the look is, according to my reseach, Decora fashion. Truth be told, these outfits are pretty tame for Decora (examples here). I mean, I never thought I would say that they were tame, but they are.

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She also is a nod to some paper dolls I drew in college who all seemed to have pigtails and platform boots. I have no idea why I was so obsessed with that look, but I clearly was. I never dressed that way… well, once, but nothing on this planet will make me tell that story.

Anyway, as far as my paper doll sets go, she’s got a lot of outfit options. With six tops and five bottoms, there’s over 30 outfit combos before the two pairs of shoes double it to sixty and the dress makes sixty two. (Though the sweater doesn’t layer great with the fluffy skirts, so that might be a problem.) Anyway, if you want to get the Decora fashion look than I recommend coloring her in the brightest colors you can find and going for it!

Enjoy her! She’ll be up in color next week.

Lady in a Castle: A Printable Paper Doll

Marisole Monday & Friend's Logo. Fantasy paper doll. One of my pet peeves is that fantasy movies always default to the assumption that the characters involved are white-skinned. I just saw Into the Woods which I recommend highly- I am a huge Sondheim fan- and I noticed they had some brown-skinned extras which is great, but all of the main characters were white skinned.

I know one of the common arguments against skin-tone diversity in classic fantasy or fairy tales is that they are often European in origin and it wouldn’t be accurate to have brown skinned characters; however, I’m not sure the argument for “accuracy” really holds up. First of all, there was a lot more diversity in Europe a lot earlier than most people realize. Secondly, if there are going to be giants and magic, can’t we accept the idea that some of the characters might be darker skinned? Does that really deeply violate suspension of disbelief? We are talking about a genre of story with singing harps, talking animals, and pumpkin coaches.

This is all a really complicated way of saying that I try to give my fantasy paper dolls a variety of skin tones, including weird ones like green, more green and orange. Um… Is it bad I just noticed I have two green skinned paper dolls? I could have sworn one of those had blue skin. I should keep better track of these things.

A fantasy paper doll with brown skin and four gowns. She also has two pairs of shoes. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
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Moving on from her skin tone, I stuck with the pale scheme I had planned and tried to focus on greens, blues and purples while using yellow and pink as accent colors. I think it came out pretty well, though coloring those detailed patterns took forever. Every time I add a bunch of pattern, I promise myself that it is the “last time” and then I do it again- because I really do like pattern.

Changing topic a bit, one of the most common questions I get is “Why don’t you sell your paper dolls?” I decided to answer this question for Abby of While She Naps. Abby took my thoughts about hobby and business, combined them with those of some other very talented crafters, and created a really great post about business, craft, and why we do what we do. I recommend going and reading it post-haste.

Meanwhile, Vikings are winning my “What historical period should B&B visit” poll which means, I suppose, I should go learn something about Viking dress. If you have not voted, please do. It is highly likely that I will not totally ignore the outcome. It is also highly likely it will take forever for me to get it done, because I am me.

Lady in a Castle: A Paper Doll Coloring Page

Marisole Monday & Friends Logo- Lady in the CastleSo, I usually manage to get these paper doll sets up on schedule to post early Monday, but clearly today I wasn’t so on the ball. Never the less, I’m not technically late, just a little delayed I suppose with today’s paper doll coloring page of a princess and her four paper doll dresses- everyone needs paper doll dresses, right?

This week’s Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll features Marisole and some pretty traditional fantasy gowns. Fantasy sets seem to be the favorite of my readers and I enjoy them. I wanted to play with pattern for these, so they are heavily patterned- much more than I usually do with my paper doll sets. I’ve been challenging myself to use more patterns lately.

Should you think Marisole needs some paper doll friends, I’m sure she can hang out with Marcus the Warrior or the Coastal Princess. I know she’ll have a light colored, pastel based color scheme, though I’m not sure exactly what colors yet.

A fantasy paper doll coloring page with a princess and her four paper dresses. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
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The crown is less a “crown” and more a simple circlet. I wanted to do something simple that would accent her very patterned dresses.

And since it’s later than I usually get these done and I am very tired, I am going to call this post finished. Thanks everyone for your kind wishes while I was ill last week and hopefully we’ll have a normally updating blog this week.

If you want, let me know what you think of her in a comment. 🙂

Circus Paper Doll in Black, White, Red, and Pink

logo-circus-colorLast week, the circus came to town in black and white for coloring, but here the paper doll set is in full color. I am really very pleased with how she came out. Sometimes, I know what I am doing with a paper doll set before I start coloring. Other times, I have no idea what I am going do with colors. In this paper doll’s case, I had a pretty clear idea of where I was going to go before I got there.

One thing I noticed as I was collecting images on my Dark Circus Pinterest board was that there was a bunch of red and black. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the red and black, but I knew there was going to be a lot of it.

Creating a red and black paper doll set was kind a boring, so I did not go with a strictly red and black color scheme (though there is a lot of black and white here).


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With straight red, black and white, I got bored very quickly and worried about the scheme clashing with the paper dolls pink hair. Instead, I decided to try basically creating two sets in one. There is a black and red set and also a pink and black set. Both sets had a pair of shoes and there are some pieces which can be worn with either color scheme.

I think this effect of “two sets” in one works, because circuses are all about costumes and costumes tend to match more than normal clothing.