And Today in my Sketchbook…

So, one of the perks of where I work is that I can borrow an SLR camera sometimes. Not that I have any idea how to use an SLR camera, but I am trying to experiment with decent blog photos, so I borrowed one last weekend and decided to photograph my sketchbook.

All things considered, I think the photos came out fairly well. So, here’s a little peek at what is currently in the sketchbook. I would say these were “coming up soon”, but let us all be realistic. I take forever to get things from “idea” to actually paper doll. It is probably best that I promise nothing.

A photograph of my sketchbook on a red background which contains outfits for the Poppet series. A 1940s paper doll outfit and a 1890s paper doll outfit.

If I were better at thinking things through, I would have moved the sailor suit up the page.

The Poppets are getting some historical outfits here with a dress and coat from the 1940s and a swimming outfit and sailor suit from the 1890s. I really like historical children’s clothing.

A photograph of my sketchbook on a red background which mermaid and female faun outfit pieces for the Mini-Maidens Series.

Remembering to leave space for tabs is something that happens to other people.

So, this started as a faun set and then I was like… I need more then just faun legs, so I added some mermaid tails, because that made sense. Okay, maybe not, but I am excited at the outcome. Of course, who knows when this one will be ready either.

A photograph of my sketchbook on a red background which contains drawings of armor for my Marcus paper dolls.

It’s hard to tell now, but those little squares of circles will eventually be chain-mail.

Marcus as a knight has been at the top of my “To Do” list for a while. I also feel like Marcus maybe needs some male friends to hang out with, so I am thinking about that too lately.

Which of these paper doll sets are you most looking forward too?

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Future Marisole Monday & Friend’s Paper Doll Sets: One Contemporary & Two Fantasy

Another sketchbook photo set this week. I feel a litle guilty posting these sometimes, because they are almost filler in nature, but maybe people like them? I really don’t know. They are easy for me and that makes them always a good option.

SO, I have become kinda obsessed with that store called- Free People. Most of the clothing is too revealing or too young for me, but I love the boho vibe. I decided, therefore, to do a boho paper doll set with a jumpsuit (because I hate jumpsuits, but I am trying to get over it).

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

I’ve seen the movie Newsies, but I don’t get it. I have friends who LOVE it with the sort of passion that I simply can’t understand. I feel similar about my boyfriend and his obcession with football, but I love him enough to try to at least sort of get the football thing. I watched 2.5 games last year which is a 250% increase over the year before. Anyway, I don’t get Newsies, but I was inspired by 19th century young men’s clothing to draw this steampunk paper doll set for Mia. It’s a long way out, I think, since I have recently set up a huge backlog of Marisole Monday and Friends sets and need to focus on other series.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Another Mia set, because she hadn’t gotten any love this year and I was feeling guilty. This one is inspired by ancient Chinese dress (Tang Dynasty- not unlike Jia- I drew this shortly after) and then a lot of just random stuff that I liked. I wanted to do pattern and lots of color. It’s a very bright set, now that it is done. The doll for it is going to be an elf with an over the top pile of braids. I’m actually really pleased with how it is coming together in Photoshop.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

And those are all the previews for today! Enjoy.

Meanwhile, I am going to go do laundry! (Laundry is more fun if you put an exclamation point after it.)

Marisole Monday & Friend’s Paper Doll Sets: Two Historical & One Fantasy

I draw a lot of paper dolls. Is that a shock to anyone? It really shouldn’t be.

Anyway, I inked a huge number of Marisole Monday & Friend’s sets a few weeks ago. They’ll start to go live starting next week, I think. Anyway, I wanted to share what I’ve been working on with people as a sneak peek at the future.

The first set here is Tudor era, specifically the mid-1500s in England. There’s two dresses, one set of underwear and two pairs of shoes, but I have the sinking feeling one of those pairs of shoes isn’t going to fit on the set when I do the layout. On the upside, I’ve gotten to practice drawing complicated patterns and I really love how the gowns both turned out. I think this is going to a dfun set, even though French hoods are hard to draw.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

I did a 1920’s set years ago, but I love that era- also I own like five books about it in my own costume book collection and that means I don’t have to interlibrary loan reference books. Periods of fashion that don’t require extra work are my favorite periods of fashion. This clothes set is for Monica. It’s being colored as we speak.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Lastly, here’s a contemporary set borrowed from March’s deluge of fashion magazines. Color blocking seems to be the in thing. I really love the dress, but there are some inking errors that I’ll have to clean up with Photoshop later. I’ll be coloring this set based on Pantone’s color reports.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

So, those are the future paper doll sets. I’ll show off some more next week. :)

Mini-Maiden Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

I’ve been working on developing a backlog of paper doll sets. Lately, I’ve been drawing a lot of Mini-Maiden sets. You can expect to see more of them popping up around here soon.

So, the first set here is part of a series of contemporary fashion paper doll wardrobes I decided to draw. One of reach of the Mini-Maiden base paper dolls. This is Hazel’s “girly” set. Her ladylike style is going to include floral shorts and polkadots. I am very excited about the short choppy hair style.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets
Next, we have a set for Greta. Inspired by my Weekend Denim paper doll set. While I was working on that paper doll, I was struck by how I tend to lean more towards high fashion. I’m out of the age range where I really follow teen trends, but I’ve been seeing a lot of over sized sweaters and skinny jeans around campus. There are no skirts in this paper doll wardrobe, just like Weekend Denim

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets
Last, but not least, here’s a preview of a paper doll warrior clothes set that I drew. I’ve not yet decided who gets this set. Probably not Faye, since she got to have Runic Adventures last year. I think this might be another Greta paper doll set. Secretly, Greta is my favorite of the Mini-Maidens, but don’t tell the others. They might get jealous.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets
Aren’t they fun? I am excited about all of them.

I also just finished penciling a set of tudor-era gowns for Marisole Monday & Friends. I’ll share those just as soon as they are inked. I am so excited by them, but I have to confess… 15th century clothing is hard to draw.

Fantasy and Sci-fi Sets in the Future!

It’s sketchbook preview time!

This is a totally random collection of stuff. Normally, I try to at least nominally theme these posts. There is no theme here except that htese are all sci-fi or fantasy sets.

This first one is going to be for the Ms. Mannequinn series. I’ve been watching a lot of 1980s sci-fi with my boyfreind lately, so I blame him for this set. Truth be told, I do have a place in my heart for cyberpunk, so this should be a lot of fun.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

One of my contest winners from January, Kitrona, asked for a Fallout inspired post-apocolyptic set with some armors and things. Here she is. I have this set colored and should have it up Monday. I haven’t done layout and I suspect not every piece is going to fit on the page. We’ll see how it goes when I get there I suppose.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Last, but not least is this set of two sets of Pixie paper dolls. Both fantasy themed. One is pretty classic fantasy and the other based on Chinese dress of the Han Dynasty. How is that for random?

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

So, here’s a fun little poll for the weekend…

Which of these paper doll sets are you looking forward too?

  • Post-Apocalyptic Marisole Monday & Friends (40%, 17 Votes)
  • Sci-fi Ms. Mannequinn Set (26%, 11 Votes)
  • Fantasy Pixies- Ancient China Inspired (26%, 11 Votes)
  • Fantasy Pixies- Traditional (7%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 42

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Four Future Pixie Posts

So, contemporary is the name of the game. (Blame it on September’s wealth of wonderful fashion magazines and my tendency to find drawing from them WAY easier than inventing my own stuff.) I thought I would take a break from my thrilling day of National Novel Writing Month 2014 to share some future Pixie stuff.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

The top set is another foray into athletic wear. That trend is still going strong. Not for me, really, I’m much more boho in my attire, but for other people.

The bottom set is all about coats. It’s been a while since I did a “coats” set for Pixie, so I thought I should do some. The last one was a cute little Asian girl with glasses in 2011.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

So, florals are the focus of the top set. Dark florals are, apparently, a thing for fall. I also keep seeing combat boots are back again. It is truly the return of the 90s. And I am a little afraid.

Below that we have a kinda random collection of clothing. I wanted to do a crop top, but I rather think they look stupid. Anyway, so I did one with a striped skirt (I have a vague feeling I based the outfit on something Taylor Swift wore once.) Anyway, there will be polkadots on the dress and the set will include a lot of black and white.

Contemporary Marisole Monday’s As Far as the Eye Can See

As I know I have mentioned in the past, I work in bursts. This is for two reasons. Reason one is that I just seem to work better that way and reason two is that I’ve figured out how many sketchbook pages a paper doll set is likely to take up and I loath wasting paper.

So, taking Marisole Monday & Friends as our example… I know that the average mix and match set for Marisole Monday & Friends contains 11 outfit pieces and two pairs of shoes. Feel free to check my math, but I am pretty sure that I’m right about this one.

In sketchbook pages, that is roughly 1.5 pages. This is why I trend to draw Marisole Monday & Friends posts in sets of two, but ever since I stopped drawing stands and started using “The Power of Photoshop” to place shoes on their stands, I have found sometimes sets take up much less room.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

This is the page of hair and accessories for the four contemporary sets I drew in September. One of them posted earlier this week “Southwest Boho” and the others will post as I finish them. Obviously, I tend to leave hair and shoes out when I am first starting to sketch.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Lady-like is a thing I’ve seen a lot of in the fashion magazines for fall. I’m dreading putting together the complicated floral patterns that this set is going to need. The small afro and ankle boots from the first image are going to go with this set and it will be modeled by Monica.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

One of the trends for fall is for bright colors, but simple shilouettes. This set is going to be all about the bright color scheme. The ladylike hairstyle at the bottom of the first image will go with this set and it is going to be modeled by Margot.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

The only one of these sets not based on September fashion magazines. I wanted to so a fun, bright colored, sort of Harajuku street fashion thing. The pigtails on the first image in this post are going to go with this set. It was also inspired by some of the outfits worn by Blythe on my Pinterest boards.

So that people don’t get totally sick of contemporary sets, before the end of the year, I will be mixing in some fantasy and other things. I’d get sick of contemporary sets, I think, before my readers.

Considering how long it sometimes takes me to finish things, it might be next fall before some of these make it onto the blog, but that’s neither here nor there.

Check out the Future Plans…

So, I actually filled out up my latest little steno book. I’ve drawn almost everything in it that I had planned, so it will soon get tossed into the recycle. I’ve never been very much of a packrat. I think it’s a side effect of working with manuscripts and archives. After going through other people’s old papers, I really want to keep as few of my own as possible.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

This is one of two Marisole Elven set designs. I think this set is going to go to Monica of the Marisole Monday family. I’ve sketched and scanned the set, but I think it’ll be a while before I get it cleaned up and colored. I was very productive scanning last night while watching season 3 of Grimm.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Another “elven” set- I am thinking Margot or an Other Friend will model this one. It’s been scanned as well, but it will be a while before it is ready to be colored. I have other things ahead of it in the queue.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Poppets are getting some love here. I’ve just finished up a historical set for the Poppets which will be up next week. I have a bunch of contemporary stuff those paper dolls in progress, so I feel like some fantasy things will be next in line.

So, these are things that maybe coming down the pike soon enough. Plus I’m trying to do some fun Halloween planning. Usually, I don’t think far enough ahead to really get into the holiday, but this time I really want to.

The Sketchbook Cometh

The best thing about the photocopier at my job is that it can scan and email me things. I don’t use it for paper doll scanning (the resolution isn’t high enough), but it makes these sketchbook and doodle posts really easy.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

Some contemporary clothes for a Mini-Maiden. Don’t ask me which Mini-Maiden. I haven’t a clue, yet. I really am pleased with the set through. I really like the curly hair, especially.

Doodles of Future Paper Doll Sets

Here’s the doodles I did for a dark circus inspired Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll set. As it turned out, I didn’t use all of these designs, as you can see below.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

A page of the dark circus Marisole Monday & Friends set that I inked last weekend. I really love her shoes and her wig. We’ll see how all the whole thing comes together. I am thinking a black, white and red color scheme with some gold to accent it. I also might do some clown makeup on the paper doll’s face for this set.

Doodles…. Lady of the Manor Version 2, Mostly…

I am someone who struggles with expectations. What are people expecting me to do or expecting me to complete? I worry often that I am letting people down, though I know intellectually that I am my harshest critic. At times like this, when my actual real life and my blog are in conflict (as they are at the moment), I struggle with letting go and relaxing enough to get anything creative done.

As I post doodles rather than paper dolls, a part of me feels guilty. This is not, a little voice in my head says, what people come to your blog for. This is not what they want.

I do my best to ignore little voices like that, though today it feels harder than other days. (Also I know it’s not true, because I have had readers tell me that it is not true.)

A while ago, I posted Lady of the Manor V.2 sketchbook images. So here are two pages of the doodles which lead to those sets. I’m still working on cleaning up the line work, but I have high hopes that she will be up soon.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

So, the dress on the left never got drawn, but became a different dress. The riding habit on the right pretty much looks like it does in that little doodle. The dress with the layers of ruffles came out wonderfully (I can’t wait to share that one). The one of the right… I actually have no idea what that was supposed to be now… I should do better notes.

Sketches of Future Paper Doll Sets

The dress on the left came out nearly just like that dress with a few additional pattern details. The dress on the right was the first design for several “casual” dresses of a similar style. As the first “stand alone” paper doll set of the year, I couldn’t be more pleased with how she’s coming along. I should let myself do more of these, because I do have fun with them.

The blog will continue. It’s been around for a long time… longer than really any other project of mine. I have no intention of abandoning it, I just am having some pretty serious trouble getting motivated at the moment.

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