Requests I’ve Gotten Over the Years…

I got an email a few days ago from a reader who wrote:

I was wondering if you ever do requests you get. Not to sound mean or anything, but I know people request things, but it seems like they don’t ever get done.

Now I know this excerpt sounds kinda snarky, but it wasn’t a snarky email at all. It was a very nice email. Anyway, I thought I should explain what happens to requests and why I promise nothing…

Requests get added to the List and what, you might ask, is the List? The “List” is a large piece of legal sized yellow paper that I have stuck in my Red Binder. A List of paper doll requests and ideas

So, what happens to things on the List?

Well, not a whole lot. I pull it out when I feel like I need an idea or I want to draw something, but I’m just not sure what. I use the List when I’m low on ideas. I use it to both keep ideas that readers have given me, but also ideas I’ve had myself that I want to remember. I used to keep a list in the beginning of each of my sketchbooks, but I found that I tended to forget about those ideas once I filled but the sketchbook. Ideally, the List should be the master-list of all the ideas I had or have had suggested, in truth it is closer to a list of things I think I should do someday.

Some of the ideas have been done, like a fairy Marisole Monday and Friends paper doll, while some haven’t and probably won’t ever be. At times I forget it exists for weeks, or I stare at it when I’m having a hard time doing art and decide I hate every single one of the ideas.

Every few weeks, or months or whenever I think the paper is too old or too crowded, I transfer everything I haven’t done on the old list onto the new list. Somehow ideas I have no intention of ever doing manage to migrate to the new list despite myself (Ballerina, Hogwarts), but the list continues.

Ever onward.

As for how long it takes, all I can say is it always takes me a long time to finish things. I posted this steampunk pixie in my sketchbook in October of 2012 and she was posted in January of 2013. Three to four months is a pretty normal turn around time for me.

As for requests, keep them coming. I love to hear from my readers and I love to get ideas from my readers. I just can’t promise anything. :)

Greta Trousseau Doodles

Lately, I’ve been working a lot on Greta’s Trousseau… mostly trying to come up with more ideas and make a list of planned outfits.

These are some plans for a ballgown for Greta. I want to do something summery and so I liked the idea of roses on the bodice and skirt. I think it will be short in front with a skirt in back which will match back to the styles of her wedding gown and a croquet dress I’ve drawn, but not yet posted. I have a fair number of dresses I still need to finish up with and post.

Greta's Winter Walking Costume Doodles

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking seasonally and therefore am working on a winter walking costume for Greta trimmed in lush fur, since that seems fitting. Her fur trimmed Promenade Costume (slightly more formal than a walking costume) is going to have a skirt and jacket and some sort of thigh high spats. I’m excited.

As I mentioned the last time I posted doodles, I actually draw these in a lined notebook, but I use a Xerox machine to scan them and it doesn’t scan the blue colored lines on the paper. Odd, but true.

Doodles of Future Paper Doll Sets

I had to make a tough call today.

I was working on my Marisole Monday paper doll, coloring the set, and I just didn’t like it. It was 8pm on Sunday night when I decided this. Now sometimes when I decide I hate things, I finish them anyway, but this set is for the one of the winners of my drawing and I would feel horrible giving as a drawing prize, as set I didn’t like.

So, instead, here are some doodles for future Marisole Monday & Friends sets.

Thumbnail Doodles of Marisole Scientist Designs

I have had some requests for “working” Marisole sets. The truth is that I don’t really know what would do into a working Marisole Monday set, outside of drawing a bunch of suits or something. But a lab coat seems doable, so I’ve been sketching and thinking about a scientist. I think this kinda set is all about the accessories, so I have to give some thought to that. Drawing lab equipment is hard.

Thumbnail Doodles of Flock Cinderella Designs

I’m very pleased with the plans for this set. I love the theme of Spring Showers with lots of fun florals. I’ve recently been learning and playing with creating repeating patterns in Photoshop from hand-drawn motif elements and so I think florals would be a fun way to play with that ability. So, I’m quite excited at the prospect of this set.

All right, I hope everything enjoys these doodles. There will be a real paper doll tomorrow (an Ms. Mannequin post, I think) and something on Thursday as well. :)

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Doodles… How Paper Doll Sets Begin!

One thing to start off with before I forget, I set up an email service that will email you when the site updates. There’s a place for an address in the sidebar.

During the January polling period, several people expressed interest in seeing more of the nuts and bolts of the paper dolling process. Eventually, I hope to write a full tutorial, but that’s a very time consuming process and I need to think about structure. In the meantime, I thought I would post some of my thumbnail doodles.

I carry a half-sized lined notebook (the lines don’t appear on the scans… I’m not sure why) in my purse and often doodle designs in it when I’m planning a paper doll set.

These designs are for a future Flock Fairytale set based on Cinderella. The Brother’s Grimm version in which she goes to three balls, people chop off parts of their feet and there are lots of birds.

Thumbnail Doodles of Flock Cinderella Designs

Birds are a major players in the Grimm version of Cinderella, as they assist her in a variety of ways. I wanted to feature birds as a motif on one of her ballgowns. Since the paper doll set will be magnetic, each gown needs to have a bodice and separate skirt for mix and match options.

Thumbnail Doodles of Flock Cinderella Designs

The bird gown was the idea that started the whole set, so it got several pages of doodles as I tried to figure out the placement of the shoulder mounted birds, so they wouldn’t look dead or like they were about to attack her or something.

Thumbnail Doodles of Flock Cinderella Designs

Cinderella also needs servants clothing. I wanted to keep with my “steampunk/neo-victorian” fairytales theme, so heavy soled boots, leather garters and patched stockings seemed typical. If the ballgowns are going to be very “girly”, I wanted the servant clothing to feel a bit more like Victorian street urchin wear, or maybe a reject from the cast of Newsies.

I’ve been hesitant to post doodles like these before, because I doodle a lot of paper doll sets that never get made. Still, I’ve scanned some sketchbook images that never got posted or finished, so I think that’s okay. Would people like to see more of these?

Sketchbook Once More… Paper Dolls of the Future

The first preview from the my sketchbook in a while. As usual, the photos are poorly taken by my iPhone, but the advantage of the sketchbook is that it doesn’t move or complain about being photographed.

So, sometimes I draw fairy things… I’ve had a few request for this set over the last few months and I finally decided to sit down and go for it. The fairy mix and match wardrobe should be up really soon…. possibly as the next set of Marisole Monday posts. I don’t know yet, it just got scanned yesterday.

Fantasy dressed for Marisole Monday and Friends. I love the elaborate hairstyle, it was inspired by my Africa Elf paper doll from so long ago.

Remember the new curvy printable paper doll series I mentioned a while ago? Well… here’s some clothing for her in the future. An Alice in Wonderland inspired set of outfits.

Do any of these potential paper doll sets excite you? I’m excited about the fairies, personally.

Sketchbook Preview of Paper Dolls to Come

The first preview from the my sketchbook in a while. As usual, the photos are poorly taken by my iPhone, but the advantage of the sketchbook is that it doesn’t move or complain about being photographed.

Preview of a paper doll set I’m working on still. I showed off the dolls a little while ago. The series is going to be named Poppet once it’s done, though I probably won’t get it up until November.

Well, it’s been a while since I did a Puck post. I did some more modern clothes for Puck, though I confess to finding boys clothing pretty boring. I’m trying not to find it boring, but I always do.

And to go with the new Pucks, here are a few sets of clothing for a few Pixies. I’ve been playing around with pattern again, as you can see. So, nothing to exciting here.

Sketchbook Pics on a Wednesday

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Sketchbook preview post. I thought I might actually get around to doing it. I used an old red woolen shawl as a background, but I think it was not the best choice. Still, here they are.

Sketchbook Photo

So, one of the requests I got during my New Year poll was for a child paper doll. I have really no real interest in drawing children, but I do like drawing paper dolls based on dolls, so this is as close as I am likely to get to drawing a paper doll of a child.

Sketchbook Photo

Some clothing for the paper doll above. I haven’t really figured out if it’s going to be a stand alone piece or something more serial or even when it will be done, but here some of it is.

Sketchbook Photo

I recently stopped my current curvy set, and I rather liked the idea of the curves. This new curvy doll is here. I don’t know if she’s going to be a series or what. But I rather love her hair.

Sketchbook Photo

A bit of sci-fi cyberpunk clothing here. :) A theme I rather often use, I must confess.

The Sketchbook Rises from the Depths…

I haven’t done one of these in forever, but since I just filled a sketchbook, I thought I should share some of it before I start on my new book. If anyone cares, I use Canson Universal Sketchbooks in nine by twelve inch size. Each book has a hundred pages, though I usually tear out a few and quite a few never get onto the blog, since I do some drawing that isn’t paper doll related. I like the Canson books, because they are fairly inexpensive and they take both ink and pencil well.

Some Pixie costumes in a Steampunk/Neo-Victorian style. The skirt was going to have a pattern on it, but I think I decided against it in the end.

Speaking of all things Neo-Victorian, here is a set for Marisole Monday and Friends in a similar theme. I’m not totally pleased with the trunk and it might not survive the coloring process. I hope to have this set up next week. I plan on making this set for Mia who I feel like doesn’t have enough sets.

Another Flock set, this one for Snow White and Rose Red. The idea is to have the two sets of clothes match with different color schemes. One in a blue and white scheme (Snow White) and the other in a red and white scheme (Rose Red), though I have begun coloring them and they’re not coming out terribly well. We’ll see how long I can keep up my theme ideas.

So, that’s all the previews for this sketchbook set.

The Skintone Pallette

Skintone Pallette for the Printable paper dolls So, several months ago I mentioned that I was collecting skin-tone colors. To the right is the palette I pull nearly all the skin tones I use on the blog. On top of each color block is the alpha-numeric hex code that defines each color. These tones were collected by looking at photographs of actresses and models from a variety of different ethnicity and than simplified from an original image file of over fifty different colors.

After a while, shades of peach and brown start to meld into each other until they all look the same.

Generally, I don’t think in ethnicity when I’m coloring paper dolls. I think in color. How much red is there? How much yellow? How much grey or blue? Is it a warm color or a cool color?

The human species is hundreds of colors, the differences subtle and complicated. Paper dolls on the other hand, especially those who are supposed to share shoes, need to be a smaller collection of colors. I thought someone other than me might find this set useful, so here it is. The other nice thing about this set is this: Each of the colors prints out clearly different from the others on my cheap color printer. That is an advantage which is well worth the limited palette to me.

Flock’s of the Future…

It’s all Flock stuff today in the preview department.

Sketchbook photo- Flock Fantasy

I’ve been working on a set of Flock’s based on the classic “warrior, thief, wizard, cleric” thing from epic fantasy novels (also Dungeons and Dragons, but I was trying to avoid admitting that). These pieces are part of the “cleric” set which is inspired by the cliche oracle who sends hero on their missions.

Sketchbook photo

I generally don’t think a lot about children, but I wanted to work on a set of pieces that would be easy for kids to manipulate. That’s why I created these fantasy dresses in one piece rather than layering the elements like I did for the Oracle above.

Sketchbook photo

To go with my Little Red Ridinghood, this is a different set of fairytale clothing. I think the story is obvious, but I was told by others it wasn’t. Anyone care to guess?

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