Since the Dames & Dandies are a new series, one of my goals is to try to get a paper doll outfit done for the holidays. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was a child, my grandmother would send us holiday cards with paper dolls in them all the time. Here is a scan of one, I remember getting. I’m sure it says something about me that I can remember that card after 20 something years.
Anyhow, I love drawing over the top heart covered gowns for Valentine’s Day paper dolls. So, it wasn’t hard to decide to draw this one. I’ve been working on an 18th century paper doll with period underwear, so I thought I would design a dress that could go over the set of hoops. That’s how we ended up with this over the top rococo influenced Valentine’s Day paper doll dress.
By the way, I have no idea when that 18th century doll will be done. So, don’t hold your breath.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone has an amazing Valentine’s Day!
When I was first drawing and prepping content for the new Dames and Dandies series, I made a list of what I thought might be the first nine clothing sets to draw for the new paper dolls. Both my Patrons and folks who follow me on Facebook got to see this list at the top of which was “Winter Big Princess Gown.”
For those of you who don’t know, “big gown” is my short hand for these sorts of full skirted over the top dresses I am fond of drawing. Wenesday’s Valentine’s Day dress is another “big gown”. I just like to draw things with huge skirts, because the size of the skirt allows for layering and over skirts and all sorts of other decorative elements.
It’s hard to draw a super over the top mini-dress. You just don’t have as much room.
So, anyway, I wanted to create a winter princess dress. You know, a sort of over the top, full skirted dress that would feel like the sort of thing a fairy tale princess might wear while wandering through a snow covered landscape. Possibly to meet a prince or possibly just because, she felt like it. Princes need not always be involved.
Today’s winter princess dress is trimmed in fur. The bodice feels a little military influenced, with the trimming, buttons and cuffs. The skirt is three layers. There’s an over skirt, an under skirt and a wide pleated bottom skirt.
The motif on the over skirt is supposed to be a snowflake, but I’m not sure that’s obvious. In fact, the first color scheme had a gold snowflake and it looked more like a star to me. So, I ended up recoloring the whole dress. I was thinking of snowy winter days when I colored this- blue-grey is a color I associate with the winter time.
The first dress I designed was the lily ball gown, but this dress is what turned that dress from just as “this would be fun to draw” into a “oh, I could make this a series”. So, I really think of today’s Beatrix princess paper doll as the inspiration behind the whole week.
When I was planning the Dames and Dandies series, I new I was going to have a stable set of “faces”, but I wanted those faces to have many versions. So, this is Version 2 of Beatrix– The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll version.
Also, huge shout out to my Mom, who when I was describing the flower I was remembering from the garden as a child, recalled the name of it and spelled it correctly enough for me to goggle it. The formal name for bellflowers is Campanula, by the way, which is what she told me.
I just thought Campanula Princess didn’t roll off the tongue as well as Bellflower Princess, hence the name change.
In the order of this princess paper doll design, the dress came first. Once I had it drawn, I wanted a crown and I came up with the idea of the flowers coming out from a pair of buns.
Once I had that idea in my head, I had to figure out how to actually create in a way that would work for someone cutting out the paper doll. So, I drew the hair style and the crown pieces separately.
Than, I used Photoshop to create one version of Beatrix with out the crown and second version with the crown. So, the hair with the crown can be cut out and placed over the hair without the crown.
This also assures that this version of Beatrix can wear a hat without floral crown pieces getting in the way.
I don’t often share my process photos here, because I try to save them for my Patrons. So, if you want to see more images of the raw beginnings of paper doll sets, than donate and join Patreon. I try to post a few “behind the scenes” images every month. I also put them up on Instagram erratically.
I grew up in Alaska. And if there is one thing that is true about Southeast Alaska, it is a super green place. There’s so many trees and foliage and moss. It’s as though the whole forest is shades of green.
Among all these mounds of different green things, there were many ferns. I grew up referring to most of the ferns as fiddlehead ferns, only to learn recently that there are several species that have that common name.
The “fiddlehead” of the fern is the coiled part that develops as the fern is growing.
I wanted to design a men’s suit to go with all the floral theme, but I couldn’t think of a masculine flower. So, instead I found myself reminded that the top a fiddlehead fern looks a bit like the top of a cane.
Once that occurred to me, today’s 18th century inspired men’s suit for a paper doll prince was born. It’ll fit the C Pose paper dolls, FYI.
Yeah, I confess my brain works in strange ways sometimes.
The fiddlhead ferns trim his cutway coat, decorate the cane and his crown. Full blooming ferns decorate the sleeves. The shapes on the edges of fern leaves echo the trim on the vest. The colors of ferns inspired the green color scheme.
I mean, I could hardly make a “fiddlehead fern suit” and then turn it bright red.
Also, I should add, that fiddleheads are edible and are quite tasty sautéd with butter and garlic. On the other hand, what isn’t tasty sautéd with butter and garlic? I think I would eat shoe leather if it was covered in enough butter and garlic.
This suit was designed, of course, for the C Pose dandies and goes with yesterday’s lily ball gown. I don’t draw a lot of prince paper doll clothing, so I had fun designing this suit and crown for a paper doll prince, or king, I suppose.
It feels at this time of the year as though Spring will never come. The weather in Alabama has been unusually cold and while I try to look at the bright side (fewer bugs), it has been a long grey winter. So, let’s look at paper doll clothing inspired by flowers.
This whole week will be devoted to the floral fantasy ball. Today, we have a Lily ballgown for the A pose paper dolls. Wednesday will be a Fiddlehead Fern inspired suit for the C pose gents. Friday Beatrix will debut as the bellflower princess with her own paper doll princess dress.
I love lilies. There were a bunch of yellow and orange lilies that grew by the door of our house when I was child. My mother is a wonderful gardener, but nothing else would grow in that corner. Those lilies grew there when we bought the house. As far as I know they are still there.
I wanted this paper doll princess dress to be elegant. It was also a chance to practice drawing lillies. I didn’t want the paper doll dress to feel to bridal, so I chose a rich color. It started out as purple, but I changed it to teal once I realized I was going to end up with two purple dresses if I kept it purple.
Anyway, to talk about the paper doll gown, I wanted to design this gown for weeks. I originally doodled it out in my notebook and I knew I wanted to make it a huge skirted sort of ballgown. The crown was partly inspired by something sort of Art Nouveau. Hop over to the Patreon page to see the original thumbnail doodle I did of this gown and the subsquent sketchbook pages.
Every once in a while, I draw something that I can’t wait to share. This was one of those outfits. It’s kinda funky, detailed and a little sexy, I think.
Okay, so to start with I guess you could call this a steampunk suit. I mean, it’s definitely in that genre, but the silhouette is very much Regency, not Victorian. Here’s a few source images to show what I mean. There’s this famous drawing of “Beau” Brummel and this lovely men’s fashion plate as examples.
So, as you can see, the shorter double breasted jacket and the vest and such are all very Regency, as are the fitted trousers tucked into boots. But I made my jacket shorter than would have been common and my vest longer to really show off the style. And, of course, thigh high boots were probably not that common in the period.
I had some trouble coming up with a color scheme. I really wanted to use a lot of brown, but I didn’t want to just use browns. That seemed boring. So, I accented my browns with orange and teal.
To go with my suit, I drew a top hat and a cane, because it seems to me that any well dressed steampunk gent should have those accessories.
After I’d drawn this outfit and colored it, I decided to try out a second color scheme in blacks and reds. You can head over to the Patreon page and see that version. It’s very Gothic feeling. Sometimes, I think most steampunk outfits would look gothic if you just made them black, not brown.
But the steampunk entranced friends seem to always get irritated when I point that out.
Anyway, check it out if you like and let me know which color scheme you like better.
When I first started this whole new Dames and Dandies series, I knew I wanted to create at least two paper dolls for each of the poses. The C Pose gents were the hardest to work with, because I struggle with drawing men. Men and I… well, I’m getting better, but they remain not my strong suit.
Today’s guy paper doll is Carlos. Like all the “dandies” Carlos is in the C Pose and can wear any of the clothing drawn for that pose.
The name Carlos is, of course, the Spanish version of the name Charles. It’s pretty common, just as the name Charles is pretty common in English. I’ve known several different people named Carlos over the years and I’ve always liked the name.
Did I mention that I have more C Pose content than any of the other poses at the moment? I think having more guy stuff done than girl stuff might be a first for me. I literally can’t ever remember it happening except now. It’s a very strange feeling.
So, as a result there will be another C Pose post this Friday. It’s a super cool Regency/Steampunk suit that I am totally in love with and if it was real, I would wear it.
There are themes I tend to return to over and over again. One of those themes is steampunk clothing. I have for as long as I can remember loved Victorian fashion. I was drawing modern styles influenced by the Victorians long before I ever heard the term “steampunk.” For years, oppositional as I am, I refused to use the term “steampunk” as a matter of principal.
Today, I don’t mind so much. I’ve adopted the philosophy that it is better to use a more universally recognized term “steampunk fashion” than my own personal preference for “neo-Victorian fashion”. This is probably the metadata writing librarian in me.
Anyway, today’s steampunk paper doll outfit was influenced by this lovely photo, particularly the women’s jacket. I also really wanted to experiment with drape while designing this coat and I had a lot of fun drawing the hem line.
The leggings and the boots are fairly “standard” styles for me. I’ve drawn a lot of lace up boots with straps over the years. I was thinking long term a bit though with these pieces. As the first steampunk designs for the A Pose Dames, I wanted to make sure they would be mix and matchable easily with future steampunk designs.
And fear not my steampunk loving readers (I know there are a few of you out there), there will be more steampunk designs. In fact, tune in on Friday for a Regency steampunk suit for the C pose gents.
Today’s paper doll base was drawn by Miss Missy of Miss. Missy’s Paper Dolls. I drew my own face and head. For the hair, I was inspired by Boots paper doll Genevieve’s hair . It’s a way of drawing hair I used to do more of and I really like how it looks for a black and white paper doll. So, I thought I would explore it for this 2018 Paper Doll Collaboration.
The theme for January was “Favorite Fairy Tale.” I confess that while I drew a mermaid from The Little Mermaid, it is not my favorite fairy tale. My favorite fairy tale is actually The Twelve Dancing Princesses or possibly East of the Sun, West of the Moon. And then I also adore a lot of the fairy tales written by Oscar Wilde… Anyway, picking a favorite fairy tale is clearly not easy for me.
However, the moment I saw the base doll Missy had drawn, I knew I wanted to make her into a mermaid. Something about the dolls long lean shape just reminded me so much of mermaids. So, I thought the Little Mermaid was a perfect fairy tale choice.
Like all Japanese names, the meaning of Akiko changes depending on the kanji characters selected to combine to make the name. The “Aki” part of the name can come from kanji meaning “clear, crystal”, “bright” or “autumn” while the “ko” comes from the kanji meaning “child” according to Behind the Name. Someone with more knowledge of Japanese will have to update me if I misunderstand how this works. It’s also the name of one of the princesses of the Imperial House of Japan.
Akiko has three pairs of shoes and can wear, of course, any of the clothing for the A Pose paper dolls. I think my favorite of her shoes are her pink sandals.
I hope everyone is having a good week. I’m still in recovering from illness mode, so I’ll keep today’s post short. Enjoy the paper doll!