The most commonly asked question I get on this blog is, “Can you make (insert paper doll title here) in black and white?”
The answer is usually… “Depends.”
Step back in time with me to when the world was young and the blog was fairly new before Disaster struck.
During the first few years of PTP’s existence, the paper dolls were only done in black and white and in the heavily shadowed style of Curves or Shadow and Light.
I drew Marisole in early 2009, long before the site crashed, and used her to teach myself how to color paper dolls in Photoshop. My plan, at the time, had been to add a color paper doll, Marisole, once a week to my black and white site.
But then… in December of 2009… Disaster.
I crashed the blog and my backups didn’t load properly and I didn’t know how to fix it. So, I decided to delete it and start over. You can read the public post about that if you like.
Even then, I never ever thought I’d publish Marisole in black and white. I never thought I would publish a Pixie in black and white. I never thought about any of this.
The result of my lack of forward thinking is that there are paper dolls on this site for which the original Photoshop files are long gone. I have PDFs and I might have random old scans, but rarely do I have the original Photoshop file. Tracking down the files, extracting the line work (if I can) and processing the new black and white version takes time.
The best candidates for this process have light colors and aren’t too complicated in their linework.
Sometimes, it works well and I get a good black and white copy. Sometimes, it doesn’t and I won’t post sub-par work on my blog.
This whole process can take an hour or two.
And that causes me some tension…
Do I work on converting old work to black and white or do I work on new work?
I don’t have limitless time (does anyone?) and so, I prioritize. For me, creating new work is more interesting and more fun than going back, dredging up old files and reformatting them, if I can. (It is totally frustrating when I can’t get a decent copy._)
Does this mean you should stop asking for paper dolls in black and white that you want to see?
Absolutely not, sometimes I can do it, but at this point I have done most of the “easy” sets (particularly for Marisole) and the remaining sets are much harder.
So, keep asking, but don’t be surprised if my answer is “Nope.”
Questions? Thoughts? Lemme know in a comment.