Short shorts and Some Questionable Sleeves… A Black and White Paper Doll

So, I went out to the movies tonight and saw “Snow White and the Huntsman” with some friends. I concluded that the Twilight Chick (whose name I had to look up on IMBD) can’t act, that I rather liked Charlize Theron when she’s evil and that the movie was better than Mirror Mirror, but I’ll take the Disney version over either any day. The costumes were pretty beautiful, especially the Evil Queens, but there’s apart where Snow White rides into battle not wearing a helmet- apparently being a princess means you’re immune to concussive head injuries.

 

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So, before I crawl into bed, I should answer a question.

Monica asked: Do you prefer online paper doll research, or real book research? Internet or Library? =]

Well, that’s a kinda complicated question. The answer is: It depends on what I am researching and why.

If I want inspiration for a modern or a fantasy set, than I usually stick to the internet. I use it for looking at clothing websites or checking out the latest designer shows a Style.com. It’s really useful.

If I want historical costume, I usually go to books. I own about a dozen different costume books in my own collection, plus I regularly have at least a dozen checked out from the library. The exception to this are the websites of museums and libraries, which often contain digitized primary source documents or photos of items in their collections. Books are great for context. The internet is great for pictures. Some of my favorite internet resources are linked on my Research Resources page which I just finished updating, though I have some more to add later.

The truth is that I don’t really like staring at a computer while trying to draw and I would much rather have a book open in front of me than a computer screen. Though I usually draw from drafted tumbnails, so even with fantasy costumes, I rarely have a computer open when I am actually drawing.

I hope that answers your question, Monica.

So, has anyone else seen either of the new Snow White movies and what do they think of them? Should I do so a Snow White paper doll? Or an Evil Queen?

Circuits and Fishnet: Cyberpunk Printable Paper Doll

Today Marisole printable paper doll is going cybergoth since there’s just not enough neon and shiny in Marisole’s eclectic paper wardrobe. This is the first new Marisole in a depressingly long time… I confess I spent time I probably should have spent revising a paper on this, but after five hours in the library my mind is pretty much non-functional anyway. And it’s nice to come home to paper doll coloring as a relaxing project to work on.

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Now, I did recently get my hands on Gothic: Dark Glamour by Valerie Steele. While I normally I like Steele’s work, I was a bit disappointed by this book. It didn’t have the lavish pictures I have come to want in any costume book I buy. Still, it did have a fairly nice description of cyber-gothic and helped me narrow things down to black with neon accents. The hair was the hardest part of this paper doll, but I am actually quite pleased at how it came out. The other piece I am most proud of is the shiny black corset. Shiny fabrics are something I am still practicing and I am totally excited at how perfect the corset turned out to be. It’s rare that I really feel like I’ve achieved what I wanted with texture. Texture is hard.

So, I’ve done a dark steampunk paper doll over the years, a gothic Lolita one and one punk paper doll, but I don’t think I’ve ever really done a traditional gothic paper doll unless you count my vampire paper doll in 2010. I wonder if I should? What do other people think?

Shadow & Light 14: Paper Doll to Print

Embracing the gothic once more, we have another Shadow and Light paper doll. There’s something very saucy about both her outfits. Also today is Friday the 13th, so it seems only fitting we do something suitably gothic here in paper doll land. It’s finally started snowing here and I wish it would stop all ready. Not to say I don’t like the snow…. I do, but I walked through it quite a bit today padding from and to work and getting things sorted before my classes start next week.

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I am not really ready for classes to start, but I am working on getting my schedule sorted out as I need to do that before classes begin. I have a big order of textbooks which I am waiting to come in from Amazon (along with a paper doll or two, I confess) and that’s taking what feels like forever.

Still, here we have a shadow and light paper doll and on Sunday there will be a Pixie and then Monday there will be Marisole and we’ll be off and running. In the mean time, vote in the poll if you haven’t and tell me what you’d like to see new for the blog in the coming year. It seems a male paper doll it getting the majority of the interest, so I might have to do what Boots suggested.

Shadow & Light 13: Black and White Paper Doll

And here we have the first Shadow and Light paper doll of the new year. And we are here going into the third year of the blog, technically the fourth if you count the total collapse the site suffered after its first year. Anyway, I’m pleased with how I’ve done and pleased with how things went.

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It’s been a good year for the blog and while I disappeared a bit, I was much better about posting this year than last year. We had a few contests, put up about 140 printable paper dolls (not inculding my magnetic ones), started two new series (Dictionary Girls and Shadow and Light) and retired two series (Flora of the Regency and Curves).

In the coming year, I would like to draw a male paper doll- a challenge from Boots of 19th Century Paper dolls and maybe try to post more sketchbook things. I’d also like to do some child paper dolls. Perhaps as erratically updating series rather then my weekly ones… would that bother people? Having both? Or should I just focus on doing more of what I’ve already committed too.

Shadow & Light 11: Black and White Paper Doll

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Today’s paper doll reminds me of Marlyn Monroe… a dark gothic Marlyin Monroe, I suppose. For those of you who want a far less gothic paper doll- something a little lighter, Lily & Thistle has this darling little girl printable paper doll with two dresses. There’s versions you can pay for as well, but the free version is enough for me. 🙂

I hope everyone is having a great holiday for this lovely time of the year. I’m visiting family, so things might be a little erratic around here. I’ve been thinking a lot about goals for next year for the blog- what I would like to improve and do better at and have more of. The list is long and expensive, but I have high hopes for things going well here in paper doll blog land.

Shadow & Light 10: Black and White Printable Paper Doll

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Today, I had my last finals and my paper due. Classes for the last semester are officially over and I am extremely happy. If you haven’t spent time on Teri’s Paper Doll Scans, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a wonderful collection of paper dolls.

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The best thing about the Shadow and Light paper dolls is that I decided to number them rather then title them. Perfect solution to my natural problem of coming up with titles.

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I’m always excited when I stumble across paper dolls in while I’m not actually looking for them. Final Fashion is a great fashion illustrators blog which features lots of beautiful fashion paper dolls. They are available for purchase, but every one can also be seen to just gaze longingly at. One of my pet peeves is when people have paper dolls for sale, but you can’t really see each page of the paper doll or the clothing. There’s a few artists I will buy on faith, but generally I like to see what I am getting. My favorite is her Vionnet paper dolls. Madame Vionnet is a somewhat under appreciated designer from the early 20th century who introduced the world to the bias cut dress. Unfortunately, her style was very much of its time and hasn’t really survived to be present which is a pity.

On a semi-related note to the Madame Vionnet ramble, I am curious if people would be interested in knowing which fashion books I use when I’m doing research. I’ve been on this Japanese kimono book kick for a few weeks (literally, my table is covered in them) and I’m trying to decide if fashion/costume book reviews are something people would like to see. Thoughts from the masses?

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I love contrast of heavy structured pieces with light draped pieces. So, I wanted to sort of play with that and draw nifty harness looking things. See… I was trying to justify my wacky-ness with some sort of artistic statement, but I don’t really take myself that seriously.

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On a semi-unrelated note, I’ve become rather obsessed with Blythe dolls lately. At first, I thought they were creepy- all big eyes and weird mouths, but lately I’ve come to actually think they are sort of cute. Mostly I like their little tiny clothing. Not surprising to anyone who knows me, I’ve always been more of a doll clothing, then a doll sort of person. The same is true for paper dolls. As a child, I was just as happy to have just one paper doll and lots of dresses (if not more happy) then to have a lot of dolls.

I’d like to do some sort of Blythe paper doll, but I’m still working on keeping up with what I’ve committed too and I don’t think I’m ready for that quite yet. If I do decide, it might not be serial which brings back the “What to do with non-serial” paper dolls problem.

On an utterly non-related note, I am now going to walk away from my laptop and curl up on my couch with fresh sweet corn and Harry Potter movies. Summer classes are over and life is good.

Pixie & Puck: Thorne

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I sort of think of Thorne (named after a friend from high school who looked nothing like this, but that is not here nor there) as perhaps the boyfriend of Jay or at least that they come from the same world. It’s the same world I tend to assume my Cyborg and Vera come from. Perhaps a futuristic place with lots of neon and flying cars.

Sort of Fifth Element meets Mad Max. Of the two, I’d take the visual style of the Fifth Element over Mad Max pretty much any day.

Curves: Fur Trimmed Gothic

So, this is a stupidly titled paper doll, but her sleeves are fuzzy, so that should be worth something. 🙂

Curves is a complicated series for me, in part because it fore fills two goals. I began it when I did all my paper dolls for the blog in the heavily shadowed style of Curves, but I wanted to do a full figured paper doll since the ones I had seen online were not very attractive and I thought I could do better.

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Two years later, Curves is my only regularly updating paper doll in the heavily shadowed style I developed in college and still often use for non-paper doll drawing. I like the style, because I believe it doesn’t need to be colored, it has a strong enough graphic presence without adding color. A lot of people color them, and that’s fine with me, but my goal was to make a black and white paper doll that didn’t need to be colored.

There were some side effects of this. The heavy shadows, strongly influenced by Frank Miller’s graphic novels, make for a fairly “dark” paper doll. In several ways, the details are often obscured and lost while the tone is also distinctly heavy. Being a bit of a noir movie lover, I don’t mind the tonal shift, but I do think it lends its self to some styles better then others. Gothic, vintage, and some fantasy clothing comes out looking wonderful, but the average jeans and t-shirt leave something to be desired.

I don’t want to give up my heavily shadowed dolls, because I do like them. I also don’t want to stop drawing a full figured paper doll since I think its important. Unfortunately, I also getting somewhat bored with Curves after two years. I think there needs to be a Curves 2.0. I just haven’t figured out yet how to pull that off or what it’ll look like when I do.

Progress reports and thoughts on the subject will be forth coming. Until then, enjoy the furry Gothic costumes for this new Curves doll and anyone’s thoughts on the matter are welcome.