Paper doll blogging: Setting the bar low…

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Disclaimer: I am not an expert on blogging, website design or anything else. I don’t make money doing this and I don’t have a ton of readers. Continue at your own risk.

The trick to blogging I think is this: Set the bar low, so you can achieve your goals.

And no, I am not kidding.

I might want to post every day, but there’s not a chance that’s going to happen. So, if I say I am going to post a paper doll every day and than I fail to post every day, I feel that I have let people down.

At which point, the spiral of self-doubt and guilt sets in. This is a bad spiral.

Instead, I say, I’d like to have post once a week. I know my schedule says four times a week, but my goal these days is a post a week.

I’m moving. I’m starting a new job. I can not keep to my old schedule.

And I think one post a week is about the minimum for a blog to keep itself running. So, that’s my goal. One new paper doll post a week. Sometimes I make this, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I go over it.

But if I felt like I had created an expectation that I would post everyday and failed to meet it than I would end up just feeling guilty and bad about neglecting the blog and I feel guilty and bad about that enough already.

This is supposed to be fun. When it stops being fun, I seriously need a new hobby.

Wanna Get a Custom Paper Doll?

custom_paperdoll

Lately, I’ve been feeling like all my posts are sort of sounding the same.

Blah blah blah paper doll blah blah blad dresses are pretty blah blah blah weather is nice blah… which is kinda bothering me.

I mean, yeah, this is a blog about paper dolls, but it should be a little more interesting I think… so I’ve decided to ask all of you for help.

Ask me a question in the comments of this post. Pretty much any question. If you ask a question, you’ll be entered in my drawing.

The prize is a paper doll drawn to your specifications. Previous winning paper dolls have been a Steampunk Marisole, a Chinese Street fashion Marisole (which has a mis-used apostrophe that bugs me…. I should fix it sometime) and a pair of Pucks in suits (normally, the prize is one paper doll, but since it took me so long to get the Pucks done, I was feeling guilty and did two). Drawing will be open for two weeks.

I’ll use the questions to spark ideas for blog posts. So, even if you don’t win a paper doll, you might get your question answered. And that could be cool, right?

33 Paper Dolls from Flicker

paper_doll_around_the_webFrom Santa to skeletons and vintage to Victorian, Flicker is full of beautiful, odd, interesting, antique and sometimes slightly worrying paper dolls of all stripes. I’ve collected a few to show off today. As usual, some of these might not be right for the kiddies. Enjoy. I’m sure I’ll find more for another post soon enough.

      1.

Licca Paper Doll

      2.

Paper doll and her clothes with use of a modern Russian ornament.

      3.

Jonathan Coulton Paper Doll

      4.

corsetted skeleton paper doll

      5.

Mod Paper Dolls

      6.

Lettie’s Mother and Several of Her Costumes

      7.

Poppy Paper Dolls

      &

two outfits

      8.

Paper Doll – Illustration

      9.

Ruby Bloom Paper Doll

      10.

Katy Keene Paper Doll 1956

      11.

“Marie” ~ Paper Doll

      12.

Ann Estelle sister paper doll Lilah

      13.

The Bionic Woman Paper Doll

      14.

Vintage Santa Paper Doll

      15.

“Downton Abbey” printable paper dolls

      16.

Women’s Weekly Paper Dolls – Libby

      17.

Paper doll Ann

      18.

Mon Petit Closet Magnetic Paper Doll

      19.

Paper doll owl

      20.

Paper Dolls- Fern Bisel Peat

      21.

Eden Paper Doll Full View

      22.

Gallarda Paper Doll

      23.

sailor moon4 paper doll

      24.

Boneca de papel / Paper doll

      25.

Vintage Paper Doll, Kangaroo

      26.

Paper Dolls from Jack and Jill,1962

      27.

Paper doll Patsy

      28.

Ddung Paper Dolls

      29.

Musical Bear

      30.

Vintage Ballerina Paper Dolls

      31.

Junko Mizuno Paper Doll

      32.

paper doll book for you to make

      33.

paper doll

African American & Black Paper Dolls Around the Web

paper_doll_around_the_webSince February is African American History Month (Or Black History Month, depending where you are), I spent some time searching around the web for paper dolls free to print that showed the browner side of the human spectrum.

Here are 14 that I found in my hour of searching, though I suspect there are more out there. Frankly, I was a little saddened at the lack of ethnic diversity in the paper dolls I could find on the web.

If you’d like to read about the history of black paper dolls, Arabella Grayson has a massive collection and some wonderful articles on her website about them.

1. Patty Reed Designs has two beautiful African American paper dolls as PDF’s to print.

2. Liana’s Paper Doll Blog currently on hiatus, has Grace who can wear any of the dresses Liana has drawn recently. There is also Iris who can wear any of the old series of dresses.

3. Phylicia Rashad from the Cosby Show is the free printable paper doll from Dover’s Classic TV Moms Paper Dolls.

4. Also from Dover, Ruby Dee, actress, and Beyonce, singer, from Famous African-American Actresses Paper Dolls.

5. And more Dover, Halle Berry dressed up as Storm and Cat Woman from Bruce Patrick Jone’s paper doll book Action Stars Paper Dolls. I own this one, and I can’t say enough nice things about it. The art is fantastic and the text is hilarious.

6. African American Paper Doll 1 and African American Paper Doll 2 from Twopeasinapod123’s Blog.

7. Brenda from the Paper Doll Garden is an adult African American woman paper doll with 10 pages of beautiful clothing.

Also from the Paper Doll Garden, Brittany, Sandra, Kim and Addy are all from the Little Girls series along with a few other cute friends (my favorite is Mandy with her glasses).

8. Andy Swist has drawn a set of True Blood paper dolls which includes the wonderful Tara and Layfette, complete with his glittery speedo underwear.

9. The only thing maybe better than True Blood paper dolls are Red Dwarf and Fire Fly paper dolls. These hand drawn ones from Anita’s Paper Dolls include the ever stylish Cat from Red Dwarf, played by Danny John-Jules and all the ladies of Fire Fly including Zoe played by Gina Torres.

10. Jackie Ormes is considered the first African American woman cartoonist. Along with the cartoon, she drew beautiful paper dolls illustrating a stylish well dressed African American woman named Torchy Brown. You can find Torchy paper dolls scattered around the web from sites like Marge8’s Paper doll blog and Token Black Girls. More information on Jackie Ormes can be found in the 2008 Paper Doll Convention blog.

11. The 2008 Paper Doll Convention Blog also has a work by Peggy Jo Rosamond who was a wonderful paper doll artist (I own three of her books and wish I owned more) did The Lady of Sudan Goes to Paris which is a paper doll of an antique doll.

12. Another newspaper paper doll, Siberia appeared in the comic strip Brenda Starr, Reporter in 1942 as maid for the heiress Daphne Dimples, Brenda’s rival. Siberia had a boyfriend, Dusty Rose and both were shown in stylish clothing and accessories. I haven’t found a lot of Siberia paper dolls on the web, partly because I don’t think a lot were made. And newspaper paper dolls were rarely kept. Both of these Siberia paper dolls are from Paper Collector.

13. 19th Century Paper Dolls features the beautiful work of Boots whose complicated story line for the family from before, during and after the Civil War I can’t even begin to follow. However, her art is beautiful. She has one fully finished African American paper doll named Olivia whose available as a PDF to print and Sandy who isn’t yet a printable PDF.

14. Shannanigan on Deviant Art has Eloise a beautiful sexy witch paper doll. I love her art. Someday I hope to color my paper dolls with the same skill that she does hers (and hers are amazing). You can purchase her work on Paper Betties, her personal website.

Quick Note

Hello all,

I just wanted to say that I’m traveling for the rest of this week and might be out of town for a bit of the week after, so things are going to be sort of on pause here until I get back and possibly longer. I will update before the end of the month, so keep checking back and I’ll be replying to comments as I can.

I hope everyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving has a wonderful one. 🙂

– Rachel

25 More Paper Dolls from Deviant Art

paper_doll_around_the_webToday we have the sequel to last weeks, 25 Paper Dolls from Deviant Art. After I did the last one, I was sent a few other links by people and I started digging through Deviant Art once more. There is a lot of stuff on Deviant Art, but I had fun looking through it. Many of these artists have more paper dolls then this in their galleries, I just selected the one I liked the most to link. And just like last week, some of these are a not really meant for the kiddies. You have been warned.

1. Mermaid paper doll by ~ranunkel
2. Gothic Lolita Paper Doll WIP by ~steam-mouse
3. Marie Antoinette & Her Clothes by ~beriquito
4. Paper doll commission example by *ayeshauzmakhan
5. Miss Pinky paper doll by ~siyilin
6. Paper Doll by ~emeraldpanda
7. paper doll birthday postcard by ~feelgooodlost
8. Christmas Doll by ~Valky
9. Blythe paper doll by ~vampireintherain
10. +10-12-2010+ by ~BloodyPhoenix
11. Callista – dress up doll by ~Dedasaur
12. 100 Watchers Paperdoll Freebie by ~catiniata
13. Paper Doll by ~UnstableWings
14. Taylor Lautner by Mimi by ~MilkyName
15. edie sedgwick: paper-doll. by ~fish-popsicle
16. Mia – Paper Doll by =RomanticFae
17. PaperDoll by ~IvyHill
18. Jone Paper Doll – Regular & Jone Paper Dolls – Death kit by ~Heart-Bird
19. wha-? paper dolls?? by *Ronnie1996
20. paper doll by ~Svampkungen
21. Naruto Paperdoll by ~narcissusblossom
22. PAPERDOLL by ~fragilesandy
23. The King – Paperdoll by ~no-alternative
24. Paperdoll by ~artistscompany
25. Darcy Paperdoll by ~supersuper

Twenty-Five Paper Dolls from Deviant Art

paper_doll_around_the_webSo, this is the first of a set of posts I want to do high lighting other beautiful paper dolls out there, plus I don’t have a Pixie Paper Doll for today. Instead, I spent some time on Deviant Art and came up with this list of 25 different paper dolls, each from a different artist on Deviant Art. I get the feeling a lot of these are from various anime or things, that I am not familiar with. I choose what I came across in my searching that I liked or thought was unusual. While I think all of these paper dolls are neat, some are a little dark and some have a little nudity. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
1.Paper Dollby *twelveofdecember

Twenty Minute Doodle

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Obviously, this is not a Flora post, but it was this or nothing and I figured something was better then nothing.

So, I’ve been trying to do these ten or twenty minute little doodles a few times a week to practice drawing. I thought if I posted one of them here then maybe I would be more motivated to do them. So, we shall see how well that works out. I tend to draw in stages and I often feel very stiff and worried about my work, I don’t tend to freehand anything- there’s always drafts and templates and futzing. I’m hoping by doing doodles like this my more formal paper doll doodles will become more relaxed.

I also wanted to post to assure people that I’m not dead. I’ve just been really busy. I got back from a wedding and then had class and somehow everything else had to come before paper dolls. I hope to have the blog back to normal next week complete with either a preview of the new Curves series or the actual first paper doll in the new Curves series. We shall see. I also have a new shadowed series in the works to replace Flora and a magnetic version of the Pixie paper dolls along with some stand alone paper dolls which I can’t wait to put in the Gallery. Such fun.

Until all that is finished… we have a doodle.

Curves 2.0 Template Sketches Or What Happens When I Try to Scan Pencil

 

template1So, the last post about this new paper doll series was about the inspiration. This one is about the template. Every paper doll I draw is traced from a template that I usually draw on lined paper. It’s cheap, has lines for portions and I don’t feel guilty if I go through like seven or twelves sheets of it. I actually ended up with like fifteen versions of this template before I had one I thought was final.

Rather then sharing all fifteen (because the differences become pretty damn minor at some point), I’m only sharing three. I’d say this was because I think these three most well illustrate my process (and they do do a fairly good job of that), but really it’s because the idea of scanning 15 of basically the same thing was enough to strike fear into my heart. Not that I don’t love to share, but there is a limit.

template3

So, on the left is the first doodle with lots of lines and a rough idea of the size and the pose. I knew I wanted to have the legs together, so she could be easily turned into a mermaid if I wanted too. On the right, is the second stage of the process around midway, I’m a little unsure about the feet though… it does make shoes difficult and I love shoes. I always fret a bit about paper doll poses and I have to think about the type of doll and what I plan on drawing. I never know exactly what I plan on drawing for clothing, so that becomes another issue entirely.

template2

Lastly, here’s the final. She’s not perfect yet- there will be a few more changes when I actually trace her onto sketch book paper. I want to give her larger breasts and a slightly fuller hips. I’m also unsure about her left hand placement. More editing is fairly inevitable.

I know I’ll probably put her into some sort of polka-dotted swimsuit and I think she’ll have wigs which means she’ll need a short hairstyle of some sort to start off with. I’ve only ever done one bald paper doll to give wigs and my friend informed me that she looked like a chemotherapy patient. I never did that one again.

Now that I’m getting ready to really start drawing, I need to make decisions about things like- do I want to work in color? Will I have heavy shadows? what size do I want the paper dolls to be? How many dresses per post? Do I make them mix and match or outfit based? Are they going to be a new doll every post or will I have a set of dolls and just draw new outfits? Is there going to be a theme? Will I step out of the vintage feel for costumes?

Ugh… I hate making decisions. Maybe I’ll have a poll.

From my Sketchbook…

I had a request to show some pages from my sketchbook. I openly confess to not being much of a photographer and I have learned a few useful things about photographing sketchbooks after a day of frustration. Mostly, I’ve learned that I’m quite bad at it. Of all the pictures I took, only two really came out decently, both of the same set of paper doll costumes.

sketchbook-1

Obviously, this is the penciled set. The costumes were an attempt to do with traditional Asian costumes what fantasy normally does with Western European costume- make them identifiable, but obviously not really period. I usually think of this stage as “detailed pencil” which is the stage right before I ink. There’s lighter penciled outline stage before this, but I’ve never been able to get a decent photograph or scan of it. I draw really really light.

sketchbook-2

The same set of paper doll costumes inked. Slightly abnormally for me, I pretty much followed my pencil lines exactly on this set which isn’t usually how I draw. The background is a crocheted blanket my good friend made for me which was sitting on my couch and made a more attractive thing to photograph then my plastic topped table or the couch itself- a unattractive relic in burnt orange and khaki plaid.

Anyway, assuming I get them finished (and they are nearly done) these costumes should be viewable in full color on Monday as a Marisole post, along with another dress which belongs to this set that I completely forgot to photograph. Opps.

I posted these largely because I had access to a digital camera and a specific request for them. I’m not sure I’ll do another post like this… while this one has had a fairly fast turn around (I took the pictures on Thursday, got them posted today and have already begun to color the paper dolls), sometimes there are weeks (or even months) between a drawing, inking and scanning before I get around to posting things. I even have some scans from last year that I doubt will ever see the light of day. I hate to post images of something in progress and then not post the finished piece until months later (or never), so I don’t know what to do about that possibility.