Viola, A Paper Doll to Print from the 1890s

We’re traveling to the turn of the century today for Viola, a printable paper doll with her wardrobe from 1895 and 1900. She can be printed in black and white or in full color. Viola’s name was  selected from the Social Security Baby Name Index as popular in the 1890s. Fashion in the mid to late 1890′s exists between huge puffed sleeves and the rather horrid pigeon breasted look. Not being a fan of either style, I never thought I would do 1890s paper doll, but I found I liked the fashions at the end of the century, so here she is.

Honestly, the way I look at history has been heavily influenced by the historical paper dolls I had as a child, sparking my interest in social history and fashion history. So, I think historical paper dolls are great printable paper dolls for kids and I’ve only recently discovered that a number of people who use my paper dolls for home schooling activities. All of this increases the pressure to get the paper doll “right”, lest some child’s understanding of 1890′s dress be damaged by my paper doll creation. (Not that I think this would be devastating for the child in question- there are far worse things in this world.)


Viola, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in black and whiteViola's wardrobe, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in black and white{Download a PDF to Print and Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PNG to Print and Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PDF to Print and Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Download a PNG to Print and Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Click Here for More Pixie and Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

The mid to late 1890s wardrobe that Viola has is based on museum objects, primarily, and a few costume plates. The Met, The Museum at FIT and MFA Boston, as well as the UK National Trust were a few of my sources. When I am researching a new paper doll, I tend to collect my sources on my Pinterest boards (feel free to follow) and today’s printable paper doll is no exception. I gathered her clothing sources on my Turn of the Century board, before I started drawing.

Viola, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in full colorViola's Wardrobe, a printable paper doll from the 1890s in full color
{Download a PDF to Print in Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PNG to Print in Color of the Paper Doll} {Download a PDF to Print in Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Download a PNG to Print in Color of the Paper Doll’s Clothes} {Click Here for More Pixie and Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

The Sources, Left to Right: The pair of shoes from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1898. Her corset was an amalgamation of several corsets which you can see on my Turn of the Century pinterest board, however, this corset from 1900 and another corset from 1900 were big influences. I chickened out of making the corset patterned, a fact I regret.

One of her parasols was based on this one, but the other I rather invented based on a lot of various parasols I looked at. The Met actually has a really large collection of parasols, who knew?

Her seaside or yachting costume was inspired by this dress from 1895. There seems to have been a real “sailor” trend in the end of the Victorian period during the bridge into Edwardian.

A visiting or afternoon dress based on a gown from the National Trust Collections of the UK.

The carriage toilette in green is from this fashion plate I found on flickr, though I confess to usually trying to avoid finding things on flickr, since I don’t always trust the accuracy of the sources.

Her gym suit is based on this French one with the shoes borrowed from this gymsuit from 1893-1898.

The ballgown comes from a design by The House of Doucet circa 1898-1900.

Were I to draw today’s historical paper doll again, I would have included a pair of gloves and another pair of shoes, but that would have made her three pages and I wasn’t about to that. Of course, should you wish to add gloves, than I will direct your attention to the Regency Pixie Paper Dolls whose gloves could certainly be adapted here.

Black and White Printable Post Apocalyptic Paper Doll Named Isadora

Black and White Printable Post Apocalyptic Paper Doll Meet my new Mini Maiden printable paper doll named Isadora. This is the first Isadora paper doll, though there will, of course, be others. Her name is for Isadora Duncan, the famous dancer who died in a rather horrible car accident. A rather morbid name for a paper doll, perhaps, but Duncan revolutionized dance and I do really love the name Isadora. I loved the name long before I knew of it’s rather dark history.

My Isadora paper doll is not a modern dancer who revolutionized dance culture, but rather she is armed with several machetes and a knife and comes from a post apocalyptic wasteland desert where she fights mutants and scrounges for water.

You know, the usual things one does in bad B-movies from the 80′s with bombed out towns and questionable clothing choices.


Isadora

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I have been traveling a lot lately, three trips in three months. One of the places I am visiting in Las Vegas. At night, the “strip” is all rather glitzy, but during the day it just feels fake. Never the less, as I flew over the desolate beauty of the desert before coming into the airport, I was struck by the vastness of it all. I was inspired to draw todays paper doll long before flying over the desert, but while I flew over the desert I was reminded that she was done and ready to post.

Paisely Summer, Printable Paper Doll in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Sometimes, I struggle to get started on things, especially when I don’t really want to do them. Saturday night came around this week and I really didn’t want to work on this paper doll. I admit it, the orange dress was giving me fits and I was starting to loath my Pantone Spring 2014 Color Report inspired color scheme.

So, I literally set a timer.

Instead of blowing it off, I took out my cellphone and set a timer for 25 minutes. I told myself I would work on today’s Monica paper doll set for 25 minutes and then I would go do something else. Surely, I could suffer through 25 minutes of coloring. Of course, once the 25 minutes was up, I was so far along that I decided I might as well finish.

And here she is, all colored and everything.

I use a timer to do all sorts of things. From cleaning my apartment in fifteen minute bursts to inking for twenty minutes, I find that once I have done something for a short period of time intensely, I often keep going since I’m already in the middle of it. I hate not finishing things, but sometimes I struggle to get started on them.


printable full color paper doll with summer beach clothing

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As I mentioned before, this set’s color scheme is based on Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Report and includes several of the Pantone colors. I’m not totally in love with the color choices, but I wanted to stretch myself beyond the colors I tend to naturally gravitate too. Plus, I have done other Pantone inspired color schemes like my Seagulls and Seaside that used the 2013 color report and my Fashion Girl set from 2010 that used the 2009 and 2010 Spring Reports.

The Contest Entries and The Winner of a Custom Paper Doll Is….

Before I announce the winner, I wanted to list all the contest entries, so everyone could read the wonderful ideas proposed by my readers.

Drawing Entries

  1. I would love to see a vintage wedding dress paper doll. Perhaps a dress to represent each era, especially the 1920s and 1950s. She could also have some different bouquets, hairstyles/veils, and retro shoes.
  2. I would like to see something different i want to see a heather all dainty with makeup and her done in a French knot and her clothes must be all frilly and of course must be dry cleaned. she drives a fancy red mustang. she is something like your fashion=girl=
  3. Something Laura Ingalls Wilder-esque. Or, one with my daughter’s sense of style, 5 years old–short florescent yellow skirt, snake-skinned cowboy boots, pink shirt with paisleys. Seriously, I don’t know where she gets her fashion ideas from.
  4. I think I would want an ancient Greek paper doll with togas and things. Something like the Greek Chic paper doll, but historically correct, if you know what I mean.
  5. I’m all about jackets, so I’d suggest a set where the jackets are the show pieces and their are only a few other basic items. Leather, moto, tweed, sleeveless (also called vests), buckled, zipped, snapped, cropped, tailed, etc.
  6. A poodle skirt doll with red hair, blue eyes and tan skin. the poodle skirt is blue with a white poodle. Marisole style doll
  7. A female greaser or native American marisole doll. A military Flock doll with an outfit for each branch, maybe with Oriole?
  8. I would want a Hobbit paper doll. WITH FUZZY FEET AND CURLY HAIR!!!
  9. I’d want a doll to represent the 70th anniversary of D-day; complete with full army dress uniform, a civillian suit of clothes. He’d be in the tenth armored division with black hair, a striking set of blue eyes, tall, and little skinny
  10. i think a robin hood or knights templar themed marisole would be awesome. maybe throw in a nice dress for court events.
  11. “purple skinned mermaid action hero who fights with a scythe” yes! oh wait…. i’m still hankering for an Atzec fantasy (lots of jaguar and quetzal feathers)! : D
  12. I would also like an Aztec Marisole, or a red-haired Marisole, with her hair down to her knees in a french side braid with roller skating clothes, an ipod with headphones, and a dress with split sleeves.
  13. Rachel, I am giving you a challenge! I want an autism acceptance Marisole doll. (not awareness anymore–thanks to Sandy Hook, we are too aware) Here’s your challenge: -no puzzle pieces -ditch the ribbon -tone down the blue I hope you can do it. If you can’t, i’ll think of something
  14. Storm cleanup Marisole – someone who has all the things they need to clean up after a natural disaster. I realize the Tyvek suit won’t be too cool, but I like the idea of a paper doll willing to get dirty to help someone.
  15. I would like to enter. I’d want a Flock inspired by the fairytale Twelve Dancing Princesses which was one of my favorites when I was a child. (Via Email)
  16. I’d like to enter. If I win I’d like a dark skinned, ’70s-inspired paper doll, with huge Afro, hoop earrings and ’70s style clothing — bell-bottom pants, mini and maxi length dress or skirt, halter top in paisley, ’70s flair all the way.
  17. I would like for you to do a summer themed Marisole with some flowey, floral print sundresses and cute skirts and things like that.
  18. A Pin up doll that looks like Joan from Madmen mixed with a Lumberjack lady
  19. If I had to pick anything I would pick a doll based on Laura Ingalls Wilder from the Little House On The Prairie series. so the long brown plaits, white lace dresses, and maybe a raincoat to go with it. thanks ;)
  20. think that two paper dolls that are twins would be an awesome thing to have. I think that it would be cool to have the twins have opposite styles. Maybe one could have a rough and tumble style while the other is a cute type.
  21. I would love to see some of the Shadow & Light outfits for the Marisole’s. I would really like to see the more steampunk looking ones.
  22. I would love to see Marisole with clothing inspired by 1,001 Arabian Nights!
  23. I would love to see a Steampunk version of Amelia Bloomer’s Bloomer Costume. Just because it’s Steampunk doesn’t mean that you must have a bustle!
  24. I would love to see a Flock based on the Princess and the Pea, solely for my love of nightclothes.Or a a 1980s Marisol (or Mia, specifically).
  25. I’d like to see a historical doll, maybe from the Tudors with underwear and a few dresses. Thanks. (Via Email)
  26. Black and white, so I can color her myself, with nice firm dark lines to make bucket fills easier. I’m torn. I love the pixies, but marisols tend to have more clothes….A modern suburban homesteader. Gardening tools, chickens, blue jeans and boots and t-shirts with green slogans on them. Style taken from L.L. Bean with a generous admixture of thrift store finds. And she needs a buffalo plaid flannel shirt and a denim jacket and good old classic Birkenstocks with fleece socks, and of course glasses, preferably with short wavy hair (if there’s a colored version, the hair should be at least half grey).
  27. Would love to see a western/cowgirl themed Marisol & Friends. With denim skirt & pants, western boots, gingham, bandana print, western hat, etc. Or maybe a Cowgirl and Indian theme, so they could be either.
  28. I think I doll based on one of the major fashion icons would be a lot of fun to play with, and to draw! Isabella Blow, Diana Vreeland, Frida Kahlo, Catherine Baba, Iris Apfel – they all had/have such unique, wonderfully bold senses of style and there’s plenty of reference material to draw from. Imagine all the hats, and just the sheer abundance of colour and accessories – you could go nuts with it! :D

Thank you to everyone who entered. I really enjoyed reading the entries. The Winner, selecting using Random.Org is number 23. Congratulations Lina! Lina has her own blog which you should check out as well.

Meet Violet, A Paper Doll of my College Years

Last year, I posted two of my childhood drawings. One was of Ellie and the other was of Riven.

Here is another paper doll from years ago. When I was college in Oregon, my parents were having the boat refitted up in Washington. For spring break one year, I went with my best-friend up to visit them. It was a really fun, though at times a little crazy, trip and was the first time I had ever ridden the Greyhound Bus anywhere. While I was traveling, I drew and colored this paper doll using a set of permanent markers in lots of different colors.

Violet a paper doll drawn in college

I don’t remember much about her and her clothing certainly doesn’t resemble what I was wearing in those days. I spent my entire college life in a hooded sweatshirt, jeans and flip-flops, regardless of weather. Still, when I stumbled across her in my files, I thought she would be fun to share.

Also, last note, the drawing ends at midnight central time tonight. Enter if you like. :)

Paisley Summer, A Printable Paper Doll

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Happy Monday everyone. Today’s paper doll is a beachwear set, which has been a very common request. It is modeled by Monica who I’ve felt is rather neglected over the last while. I try to give all of the Marisole Monday and Friends paper doll styles some love. Monica is the newest member of the family and therefore has the fewest doll sets to her name.

So, today’s paper doll has a fair bit of paisley. I wouldn’t have attempted these patterns until I was comfortable using Photoshop to make complex patterns since redrawing the same paisley shape would have been killer. Instead, I drew one of each design and then placed them using photoshop. Paisley is one of the classic patterns, up there with polkadots and plaids. Paisley originally comes out of Persia, but it’s been being used around Europe as well for centuries.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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I have to confess that while I am happy at how the patterned pieces in this set came out, I am not looking forward to the complexity of coloring those detailed patterns. I wanted the pants to be like the loose patterned pants which seem to be popular this season, but I rather think they came out just looking fairly clownish.

Never the less, it’s not uncommon for me to dislike one or two pieces of any paper doll set. I guess if I have to dislike one piece than this isn’t such a bad piece to dislike. Also, I didn’t give her any heels which is very odd for me. I rather like heels, but I suppose even paper dolls need to be comfortable sometimes.

Lastly, the current contest/drawing for a custom paper doll is open until Midnight Central Time on the 18th. Enter if you like.

Reviewing the Blog Goals for 2014

Creating Concrete Goals for Paper Thin Personas

Wow… it’s already June. This year has just zipped by. However, since it’s nearly halfway over, I suppose it is time to consider how I am doing on my various blog goals for 2014. When I started this post, I set out to find if I had ever actually posted my goals for 2014 and found, much to my own embarrassment, that I hadn’t. Opps.

However, I do have some goals and they were saved in my Red Binder.

When I looked at the list it was a little upsetting, because I hadn’t succeeded at any of my goals. So, I decided that I would try to make my goals more concrete with specific things I would try to achieve.


The Goals for 2014


Original Goal: More male paper dolls.

I look at Boots wonderful men and I feel such guilt over my lack of male paper dolls. I gotta get better at drawing dudes, so that has been one of my big goals which I have to admit I haven’t succeeded on very well this year. I’ve barely attempted it. You can see my male attempts for the past few years.

The Concrete Goal: In the next six months, I will create at least ten male paper dolls.


Original Goal: Create monthly featured artist pages.

I’ve missed two months. However, I am climbing back on the wagon. I have emailed two paper doll artists to see if they would be willing to be featured on my blog. It’s a slow process, but I am doing my best. :)

The Concrete Goal: I actually think I have a pretty concrete goal here… I’d like to have at least six of these a year, maybe more if I can do it.


Original Goal: Create a paper doll tutorial.

Wow, this has been hard. I’ve got the first part written, but I need to illustrate it. I thought this would be easy and I was SO WRONG.

The Concrete Goal: Have the first part of the tutorial finished by the end of July.


Original Goal: Encourage more paper doll artists online.

So, one of the things I have been trying to be better about is going to other people’s paper doll blogs and posting comments on them. When I started PTP, before the big crash of 2009, I went nearly a year without any comments. I still remember my first comment and it was from Liana and I was proud that Liana (whose blog had inspired mine) had seen my work and she had said something nice about it. It made my day. I remember that feeling and I want to support other paper doll artists who are beginning their blogging journey.

The Concrete Goal: Visit other blogs weekly and, if there is new content, comment on it.


Original Goal: Provide more “behind the scenes” looks at my process and work.

I am so not doing well at this one either. I am trying and I like writing those posts, but they always seem to take more time than they should.

The Concrete Goal: Post one “behind the scenes” blog a month.


Original Goal: Create more historical paper dolls from periods prior to 1700.

Okay, so it took Gwendolyn’s 10th century anglo-saxon paper doll to kick me in the butt, but I loved working on that paper doll. I learned so much about the period and I had so much fun doing it. I want to do more of historical dolls. Right now, I am researching the 1300s and German costumes from the 1500s. I really want to do something Tudor, but the complexity of the fabric patterns make me whimper in fear.

The Concrete Goal: Create three paper dolls from before 1700 this year.


Original Goal: Build stronger ties to others in the paper doll community.

Honestly, I wrote this down, but I’ll be darned if I know how to do it. I have to think about this and I did and so I came up with some specific things.

The Concrete Goals: 1. Do some more collaborative paper dolls with other artists. 2. Send some art into the OPDAG magazine. 3. Contact someone to be a featured artist whose work I admire, but who I can’t imagine would say yes to being on my tiny little blog.


So, these are my goals. Now, that I have them written down publicly, I guess I better actually achieve them.

Amaryllis, a Paper Doll in Evening Gowns

I don’t really do balance that well. I tend to work in the grip of obsession and then realize I’ve just spent five hours looking through images of medieval manuscripts in the hope that one of them might show a 10th century women’s neckline which, of course, none of them did. (By the way, you can read all about my adventures in the 10th century here and see the paper doll result.)

So, when I want to draw and I don’t want to get wrapped up in fretting about whether or not my choice of red is the right shade for Turkey red of the 1800s, I often turn to contemporary fashion magazines, as I know I have mentioned before. I find these paper dolls are fun, because in many ways they are easier than fantasy or historical dolls. I can just draw what I see, which is simpler for me than trying to draw from my minds-eye or from actual historical garments.

Black and White fantasy paper doll

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Amaryllis’ evening gowns are based on actual evening gowns of the “real world”. I wanted to use a spring color scheme that wouldn’t be to heavy and dark. I feel like Clarissa, my last Pixie, had an awfully dark color scheme for a summer paper doll post. I wanted to make Amaryllis’ shoes neutral enough that she could wear them with other outfits in case she wanted to borrow some evening gowns from another paper doll or felt like rocking some jeans. :)

One last thing, the latest drawing is still open. Consider entering if you like. :)

Marisole Monday: Secret Agent Girl Printable Paper Doll in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Happy Monday all!

Today’s paper doll is, as expected, a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll in full color with a stylish spy wardrobe.

My mother wanted me to mention, after reading my last post about Secret Agent Man, that she did not like Johnny Rivers and it wasn’t her fault that it came on the radio. And that in the days before playlists I should be happy that I get to pick what music I listen too.

Apparently suggesting that she was a Johnny Rivers fan was a deep insult to her hippy, anti-establishment ways.


Thumbnail of full color printable paper doll- Marisole as a Spy

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So, I went back and forth about the right color scheme for this paper doll set. Part of me thought that yellow and pink were a little bright for a super spy, but then it occurred to me that no one would expect a super spy to be wearing yellow and pink. By the way, the short hair style Marisole is sporting is actually her base hair. These days I often draw my base dolls bald which helps when I have to draw hair for them, but back when I drew Marisole I didn’t do that. In her first post ever, she is sporting this hair style. That was back in January of 2010, though I actually drew Marisole sometime around 2008. She sat in a pile of unused base dolls for years before I finally decided what I was going to do with her. I think that’s sometimes the odd thing about working with her. She’s drawn in a style that I don’t know if I would, or even could, use today as my art has evolved.

Oh, by the way, something I am curious about this whether people like colored paper dolls or back and white paper dolls better, so I have changed out the poll in the sidebar. Vote if you want and also consider entering my current contest/drawing if you haven’t. :)

Melissa Smith Colors Vivid Victoriana

Melissa Smith of Miss Missy Paper Dolls colored my Vivid Victoriana paper doll and did a lovely job. I’m always so flattered when people send me their colored in paper dolls. I have a few more paper dolls colored by other people to get up which I am going to try to do in the next few weeks.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

I love Melissa’s coloring style. It feels very painterly to me, which is something I very much admire in other people’s coloring styles.

You can see the original black and white version of Vivid Victorian and the full color version are on this site of course.

Meanwhile, there’s a drawing/constest open for a custome paper doll. Check it out and enter, if you like.

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