Last 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).
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.
Today’s paper doll is named for a very close friend of mine in childhood named Akemi. Akemi was a very talented singer and dancer. Also, her family kept ducks.
The ducks got carried off by bald eagles on a rather regular basis.
And Akemi had all of the She-ra action figures including the horse and the cloud palace. I can not express how jealous I was of this She-ra collection. Hours were spent in her backyard feeding ducks, chasing off eagles who wanted to eat the ducks, and having epic She-ra battles.
So, when I was looking for a good name for my fantasy warrior paper doll, I immediately thought of Akemi and She-ra.
I’ve no idea what happened to Akemi. (Also, I’m not positive she didn’t spell her name Akimi, but I think it was Akemi. Now, this is going to bug me… Short of getting my mother to pull my old middle school year book from storage, there is no way to easily answer that question.)
Moving away from my childhood for a moment, today’s paper doll is a fantasy warrior with five mix and match clothing pieces, two pairs of shoes and some serious weapons. I’ve done a lot of swords, axes and spears, so I wanted to some crazy scythe like thing. I don’t think it would be a very practical weapon in the real world, but it does look cool.
And fantasy warriors should get cool looking weapons.
All in all, I am pleased with the color scheme I ended up with.I knew I wanted to use red and gold, cliche though they are, for her armor. I added black and cream for contrast after trying out brown and disliking how it looked with the red. Her hair changed color several times over the course of deciding on the black and blond dip dye look (for a while it was red and blond, also blue briefly).
That is all I have to say about that. Enjoy the paper doll.
Marisole’s gone to the circus this monday, complete with makeup.
I have mixed feelings about circuses truth be told. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I find them deeply creepy. I’m not afraid of clowns or anything, but there is something slightly off dark and strange that runs through the whole idea of circuses and carnivals.
So, I’ve been drawing paper dolls for a long time and I always expect to run out of the ideas, but then I run into new things on a fairly regular basis that I want to do or try out. I don’t know that I’ve ever really done anything like this set. I started collecting circus images that I liked on Dark Circus Pinterest board and then eventually those images evolved into this set of doodles which evolved into this paper doll set.
I was going for fashion as much as reality with these outfits. I can’t imagine a clown wearing such insane high heels, for example. My Dark Circus board where I was collecting images evolved into being as much about fashion as it was about circuses.
I’m nervous about coloring this set. I was going to go strictly black and red, but then I really want her to have pink hair.
Problem, will the pink hair clash with the red and black? I just don’t know. Guess the only way to find out is to start coloring.
So, today the Poppets paper doll series is traveling to the 18th century and rocking some beautiful clothes. One of the great myths of historical costume is that children in the 18th century were dressed “just like adults” and while there is some truth to the fact that children wore very similar clothing to adults, it was rarely identical. Skirt length is a common way to tell that a dress was intended for a child, rather than an adult, along with simpler lines and decorations.
I must have colored and re-colored today’s Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set, a dozen times before I settled on this sort of dusty teal, cream and rose color scheme. Seriously, sometimes paper doll coloring is really quite frustrating.
I do love the way the paper dolls look when they are colored and I like choosing colors and playing with color schemes. I don’t think I could ever switch to just black and white.
I really wanted to do a sort of classic princess/fantasy look with this set. I don’t generally draw thinking about children, but sometimes after I’ve done some of my stranger paper dolls (like the dark circus paper doll I’m working on), I find I want to also do things that are strictly for kids.
Of course, I also stand by my rule that if you don’t think one of my paper dolls should be given to a child, than don’t give it to a child.
The next things down the pike are going to be a historical poppet set later this week and then a Marisole circus set and then I’m honestly not sure… Flock need some love and so that might be the next thing to work.
Over the years, I have done a fair number of steampunk or neo-victorian inspired sets of paper doll clothing. I’d name them all, but I really don’t feel like digging through the blog’s massive archives to track them all down.
Generally, I see the whole steampunk thing as an version of the Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century. A sort of call back to a fantasy of an analog time while ignoring major issues of the actual 19th century like lack of labor protection, colonization, and treatment of the mentally ill (to name a few), just as the Arts and Craft movement exalted the medieval and gothic periods while ignoring the plague. Within reason, I don’t find this troubling though sometimes I do worry that when we exalt certain periods of history, than it is far to easy to ignore their horrors.
And every period of history, including our own, has a few horrors.
Still, I have always found alternative fashion movement fascinating, be it goth, punk, steampunk or the dress reform movement and therefore have every intention of continuing to draw neo-victorian clothing for the blog.
Somehow today’s set got awfully Christmas looking with the red and the green color scheme. I was thinking more burgundy and olive while I started, but it came out a bit brighter than I’d intended it to be. Despite the small number of pieces in this set, there’s actually 18 outfit options and more if you include the shoes each of the Ms. mannequin paper dolls come with.
Okay, quick question to my readers. I’m debating working on Flock stuff this coming weekend or working on Pixies. Anyone want to express a preference?
First things first- Happy Labor Day to those in the United States who, like me, get it off from work.
Yay for holidays!!
Marisole is getting all fantasy today in some elegant dresses. I had originally planned on doing some patterns on her dresses, but in the end I just decided to leave them plain. After working on my new Lady of the Manor set, I’ve had these pseudo-renaissance styles of dresses on my mind as of late. Though, I confess, there is not much very renaissance about the dresses, unless you look really hard.
Still, I suppose a somewhat classic set of fantasy dresses and some shoes are nothing to be ashamed of.
I do really like all her accessories. Over the years, I’ve drawn a lot of books for paper dolls (and I don’t plan on stopping… I love books and I wish they still had clasps on them…), but I did want to give her some unique accessories. I am particularly pleased with how the fan came out.
I guess in the end I’d say that she’s not the best Marisole fantasy paper doll I have ever drawn, but she is pretty good and I am still trying to get back into my patterns after taking a bit of break to deal with less fun, back-end blog issues.
Speaking of backend blog issues, I am going to be changing up the way things look around here soon, so just be aware. 🙂