I have been traveling a lot over the last three months. One trip every month which has made for scattered time for myself. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog that I normally work from a long backlog and that having a backlog of paper dolls allows me to plan my life.
Well… I’m out of backlog, so the fact that today’s Alice in Wonderland paper doll happened was a shock to me. I did not think I would get her done, but I am pleased that I did.
Alice in Wonderland themed paper doll sets are something I have drawn before. I think in total I have done three paper dolls that I’ve posted.
Today’s Alice in Wonderland paper doll uses Margot, whose been a bit neglected. Her costumes owe a lot to both Neo-Victorian and Lolita styles, which could be construed to be the same thing… but that’s a whole different discussion.
I had an awful lot of fun putting together the rabbit pattern and the card pattern for the two skirts. I attempted to draw a more realistic top hat than I have in the past, but I’m not pleased with it. There’s something off about the perspective, I think. However, I shall eventually get over my problems with hats. I just have to keep trying, so expect to see more hats and more me complaining about hats.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are books I love, but that I don’t think have aged very well in many ways. The general lack of agency for Alice, not to mention the fact that most of the jokes don’t really resonate with modern life (how many of us had to recite in school? I mean… really?), means that when most of us think of Alice, we think of iconic characters and symbols without actually remembering the story. The Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, or Dweedle-Dee and Dweedle-Dum are all so familiar it hardly matters that the Mad Hatter is a reference to the mercury poisoning common to men in that profession during the Victorian era.
This is either a testament to the power of the original, or a comment on how pop-culture makes things into what they need them to be at any given time and place.
We’re traveling to the turn of the century today for Viola, a printable paper doll with her wardrobe from 1895 and 1900. She can be printed in black and white or in full color. Viola’s name was selected from the Social Security Baby Name Index as popular in the 1890s. Fashion in the mid to late 1890’s exists between huge puffed sleeves and the rather horrid pigeon breasted look. Not being a fan of either style, I never thought I would do 1890s paper doll, but I found I liked the fashions at the end of the century, so here she is.
Honestly, the way I look at history has been heavily influenced by the historical paper dolls I had as a child, sparking my interest in social history and fashion history. So, I think historical paper dolls are great printable paper dolls for kids and I’ve only recently discovered that a number of people who use my paper dolls for home schooling activities. All of this increases the pressure to get the paper doll “right”, lest some child’s understanding of 1890’s dress be damaged by my paper doll creation. (Not that I think this would be devastating for the child in question- there are far worse things in this world.)
The mid to late 1890s wardrobe that Viola has is based on museum objects, primarily, and a few costume plates. The Met, The Museum at FIT and MFA Boston, as well as the UK National Trust were a few of my sources. When I am researching a new paper doll, I tend to collect my sources on my Pinterest boards (feel free to follow) and today’s printable paper doll is no exception. I gathered her clothing sources on my Turn of the Century board, before I started drawing.
The carriage toilette in green is from this fashion plate I found on flickr, though I confess to usually trying to avoid finding things on flickr, since I don’t always trust the accuracy of the sources.
Were I to draw today’s historical paper doll again, I would have included a pair of gloves and another pair of shoes, but that would have made her three pages and I wasn’t about to that. Of course, should you wish to add gloves, than I will direct your attention to the Regency Pixie Paper Dolls whose gloves could certainly be adapted here.
Meet my new Mini Maiden printable paper doll named Isadora. This is the first Isadora paper doll, though there will, of course, be others. Her name is for Isadora Duncan, the famous dancer who died in a rather horrible car accident. A rather morbid name for a paper doll, perhaps, but Duncan revolutionized dance and I do really love the name Isadora. I loved the name long before I knew of it’s rather dark history.
My Isadora paper doll is not a modern dancer who revolutionized dance culture, but rather she is armed with several machetes and a knife and comes from a post apocalyptic wasteland desert where she fights mutants and scrounges for water.
I have been traveling a lot lately, three trips in three months. One of the places I am visiting in Las Vegas. At night, the “strip” is all rather glitzy, but during the day it just feels fake. Never the less, as I flew over the desolate beauty of the desert before coming into the airport, I was struck by the vastness of it all. I was inspired to draw todays paper doll long before flying over the desert, but while I flew over the desert I was reminded that she was done and ready to post.
Sometimes, I struggle to get started on things, especially when I don’t really want to do them. Saturday night came around this week and I really didn’t want to work on this paper doll. I admit it, the orange dress was giving me fits and I was starting to loath my Pantone Spring 2014 Color Report inspired color scheme.
So, I literally set a timer.
Instead of blowing it off, I took out my cellphone and set a timer for 25 minutes. I told myself I would work on today’s Monica paper doll set for 25 minutes and then I would go do something else. Surely, I could suffer through 25 minutes of coloring. Of course, once the 25 minutes was up, I was so far along that I decided I might as well finish.
And here she is, all colored and everything.
I use a timer to do all sorts of things. From cleaning my apartment in fifteen minute bursts to inking for twenty minutes, I find that once I have done something for a short period of time intensely, I often keep going since I’m already in the middle of it. I hate not finishing things, but sometimes I struggle to get started on them.
As I mentioned before, this set’s color scheme is based on Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Report and includes several of the Pantone colors. I’m not totally in love with the color choices, but I wanted to stretch myself beyond the colors I tend to naturally gravitate too. Plus, I have done other Pantone inspired color schemes like my Seagulls and Seaside that used the 2013 color report and my Fashion Girl set from 2010 that used the 2009 and 2010 Spring Reports.
Happy Monday everyone. Today’s paper doll is a beachwear set, which has been a very common request. It is modeled by Monica who I’ve felt is rather neglected over the last while. I try to give all of the Marisole Monday and Friends paper doll styles some love. Monica is the newest member of the family and therefore has the fewest doll sets to her name.
So, today’s paper doll has a fair bit of paisley. I wouldn’t have attempted these patterns until I was comfortable using Photoshop to make complex patterns since redrawing the same paisley shape would have been killer. Instead, I drew one of each design and then placed them using photoshop. Paisley is one of the classic patterns, up there with polkadots and plaids. Paisley originally comes out of Persia, but it’s been being used around Europe as well for centuries.
I have to confess that while I am happy at how the patterned pieces in this set came out, I am not looking forward to the complexity of coloring those detailed patterns. I wanted the pants to be like the loose patterned pants which seem to be popular this season, but I rather think they came out just looking fairly clownish.
Never the less, it’s not uncommon for me to dislike one or two pieces of any paper doll set. I guess if I have to dislike one piece than this isn’t such a bad piece to dislike. Also, I didn’t give her any heels which is very odd for me. I rather like heels, but I suppose even paper dolls need to be comfortable sometimes.
Lastly, the current contest/drawing for a custom paper doll is open until Midnight Central Time on the 18th. Enter if you like.
I don’t really do balance that well. I tend to work in the grip of obsession and then realize I’ve just spent five hours looking through images of medieval manuscripts in the hope that one of them might show a 10th century women’s neckline which, of course, none of them did. (By the way, you can read all about my adventures in the 10th century here and see the paper doll result.)
So, when I want to draw and I don’t want to get wrapped up in fretting about whether or not my choice of red is the right shade for Turkey red of the 1800s, I often turn to contemporary fashion magazines, as I know I have mentioned before. I find these paper dolls are fun, because in many ways they are easier than fantasy or historical dolls. I can just draw what I see, which is simpler for me than trying to draw from my minds-eye or from actual historical garments.
Amaryllis’ evening gowns are based on actual evening gowns of the “real world”. I wanted to use a spring color scheme that wouldn’t be to heavy and dark. I feel like Clarissa, my last Pixie, had an awfully dark color scheme for a summer paper doll post. I wanted to make Amaryllis’ shoes neutral enough that she could wear them with other outfits in case she wanted to borrow some evening gowns from another paper doll or felt like rocking some jeans. 🙂
Today’s paper doll is, as expected, a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll in full color with a stylish spy wardrobe.
My mother wanted me to mention, after reading my last post about Secret Agent Man, that she did not like Johnny Rivers and it wasn’t her fault that it came on the radio. And that in the days before playlists I should be happy that I get to pick what music I listen too.
Apparently suggesting that she was a Johnny Rivers fan was a deep insult to her hippy, anti-establishment ways.
So, I went back and forth about the right color scheme for this paper doll set. Part of me thought that yellow and pink were a little bright for a super spy, but then it occurred to me that no one would expect a super spy to be wearing yellow and pink. By the way, the short hair style Marisole is sporting is actually her base hair. These days I often draw my base dolls bald which helps when I have to draw hair for them, but back when I drew Marisole I didn’t do that. In her first post ever, she is sporting this hair style. That was back in January of 2010, though I actually drew Marisole sometime around 2008. She sat in a pile of unused base dolls for years before I finally decided what I was going to do with her. I think that’s sometimes the odd thing about working with her. She’s drawn in a style that I don’t know if I would, or even could, use today as my art has evolved.
Oh, by the way, something I am curious about this whether people like colored paper dolls or back and white paper dolls better, so I have changed out the poll in the sidebar. Vote if you want and also consider entering my current contest/drawing if you haven’t. 🙂