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Tag Archives: 18th century
Several months ago, it was pointed out to me that I had done several fantasy princess Pixie paper dolls, but there wasn’t a princely Puck paper doll to accompany them. I was going to get this done in color, but since I am behind on my coloring, I thought it was better to post it up today and then worry about finishing it up in color later. So, the color version will be up as soon as I finish it, either later this week or early next, I think.
This month has turned out busier than I thought it would be. I traveled for the first week of January, got back to Alabama and then work picked up. I’d far rather be busy than bored, but when my life gets complicated, the blog sometimes suffers. I’m trying to keep up with the blog, as best as I can, though I feel like I have a lot of stuff “sort of done” and very little actually completed.
Plus I owe my grandmother a set of magnetic paper dolls. She sent me a tin for her “paper dolls” to go in and I think if I don’t get them done this weekend, I may get another hint. She’s far to mid-western to flat out tell me do “get her damn paper dolls done”, but I suspect I will get further nudges down the line.
So, for her, I’ll be working on a curly haired, red-headed Marisole (my grandmother has red curly hair) with some vintage inspired costumes. That may go up Monday or I may finish up a Punk Marisole that’s been waiting in the wings for a while (if I do the punk doll, I think I’ll use Margot for a little variety. She’s new after all.)
Just for Boots, I didn’t make anything pink in this set.
Originally, there was pink in it, but I do use a lot of pink… which is odd, because I don’t like pink that much in the real world… So, I decided to be anti-pink for a while. Plus I think these dresses are fro-froo enough without adding pink into the mix.
Not that I have anything against pink, mind you… just a thought, really.
And now for a question:
Julie asked: What advice would you give an aspiring paper doll artist? Are there Fashion Illustration books you recommend? How about Figure Drawing books?
To aspiring paper doll artists (and I’m not sure I’m not that far from ‘aspiring’ myself), I’d say the following:
Draw a lot
Look at paper dolls you like and try to figure out what you like about them
Don’t be afraid to copy a style you like- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
Reference images are your friend
Draw what you like and what you love, not what you think is popular or other people will like
Have fun and stretch yourself… even though that’s scary a lot of the time
As for books, I would recommend… I think that’s worthy of it’s own blog post. So, I will work on putting together a list. If i had to name one, it would be Drawing the Head and Figure by Jack Hamm. It’s old, but it’s solid and I still use my copy when I need to draw a face in profile. (You might notice, I don’t do that much… cause I suck at it, but I use Hamm whenever I think I want to try again.)
Here’s a question for my readers, would you be interested in knowing what books I use and/or recommend about historical costume or figure drawing?
First of all, Happy Labor Day to those in the USA who get the holiday off. Had I realized it was going to be Labor Day when I posted this paper doll, I would have come up with something thematic… but instead we have crazy Rococo dresses. This is what happens when I work several weeks a head.
Though not Labor Day thematic, I love the 18th century… not historically speaking (I really don’t care much about the French revolution or the American revolution or… I digress), but the period is full of wonderful over the top dresses and wigs. I love the wigs.
Not that I would have wanted to wear them, since they were nearly impossible to clean and made of human hair or sheep’s wool…. and that gets gross fast. There are even reports of rats living in women’s wigs…. All I can say to that is “ewww”
Still, crazy wigs are cool in theory, if not in reality.
Now, for a question:
Dorothy D Lafferty asked: So when will you do a “librarian” paper doll?
Probably not anytime soon… though I do seem to draw a lot of books as accessory items for my paper dolls… so that might say something about me.
I suppose I should eventually do a librarian paper doll, but I don’t know what she would wear. What does a stylish librarian wear?
On the other hand, I got to say, Yvonne Craig is pretty darn hot as Batgirl.
And I do have one friend for whom the idea of a Batgirl paper doll would make absurdly happy.
What do you all think a librarian paper doll (Batgirl or not) ought to wear?
Since my primary concern for the next few weeks is class work, thesis writing and job searching, I thought I would just post some Pixie paper dolls I have already posted in color, but post them in black and white. I felt a little guilty doing it as just one, so there are two this week- Blossom and Masquerade- both are paper dolls which I think would be fun to color as they have some pattern in their clothing and bows.. a lot of bows…
Plus I have been getting requests for paper dolls in black and white, so I guess I could pretend I was listening to people rather than just doing what I knew I could get done and posted without having to spend too much time on it. Despite the practical concerns of getting something up to, as I like to say, “feed the blog”, I know people like to color and I think its important to give people the chance to do that. These are also both paper dolls which I really liked the full color versions of (which you can see here and here), so I hope people also like the black and white versions.
I showed this paper doll as a sketch about a month ago, the reality is that it can take a long time before a paper doll goes from sketch book to blog. Largely, because I tend to draw a lot for one doll, lose interest and move onto another, so the drawing always happens in fits and starts. I post on a schedule since I think it should be more even for the dolls and since it helps me not have long gaps in my posting. Plus inking is really boring, so I tend to do it in while I’m hanging out with people (who don’t mind chatting with me while I’m bent over a sketch book), watching TV or have an extra half an hour between classes and no homework to get caught up on. I have learned though that if I don’t keep up with my inking, I suddenly find myself with 15 pages to do and that always seems utterly overwhelming.
While these dresses have no real relation to historical costume, I did do a lot of reading up on the 18th Century for my Marisole paper dolls for the 4th of July and I used those books here too. Below I’ll talk about the books I used and why I used them and what I thought was helpful and not helpful about them- for paper dolling, I mean. This isn’t about academic costume research (though many of these books are good for that too). So, if you’d like to know my favorite 18th century fashion books, continue reading below.
To celebrate the 4th of July, I thought I would check out books from the library, sit down and set to work on drawing some historical costumes for Marisole set in the 18th century since the Revolutionary War (Or, as the Brits call it, the Rebellion of the Colonies) was in the 1770s. I’ve only done one other set of historical costumes for the paper doll and they were regency dresses (One set one in July and one in August in 2010). This is about as far from the Regency aesthetic as you can get- the French Revolution did have a way of changing fashion, also of decapitating an awful lot of people. Those wiley French.
So, I’ll confess that when I have to name my favorite periods of historical fashion the 18th century doesn’t get a lot of attention. I’m just not that huge of a fan, but when I was in England I went to the Fashion Museum in Bath and I saw an actual 18th century gown in person. Despite my tendency to dismiss such costumes as too poofy, too over the top, too absurd for my taste, the actual dress was among the most astonishing pieces of craftsmanship I have seen.
The frustration of drawing historical costumes for Marisole is that her proportions are so darn strange. While I like how she looks, it means that historical dresses (which rely on a specific silhouette) look off. As I drew these costumes, I realized I was going to a have to allow myself to be a little more liberal then my natural leaning for historical accuracy allows and, besides, I don’t really know enough about the 18th Century to be hyper critical of my own work. I won’t say these costumes are historically accurate, I will say they are historically inspired.
Anyway, if you’d like to read more about 18th century costume, I recommend the excellent 18th Century Blog which is full of beautiful pictures and things, as well as, the exhibit Historic Threads. As for books, I used An Elegant Art, Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail and, of course, Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction, even if you never plan on sewing one of her patterns, this book is worth every penny just for the historical information. Someday, I will own all of Janet Arnold‘s books… Someday.
Enjoy the paper dolls and, for those in the United States, have a great 4th of July.