And yet, I can live with them. Not the perfect male paper doll, but male paper dolls have never been my great strenght. (You want good male paper dolls, go check out Pop Culture & Paper Dolls.)
Like Monday’s Maeghan paper doll, today’s Mikhail paper doll was inspired by an older paper doll I designed called Akemi. Akemi was a fantasy warrior and I think of this version of Mikhail is a warrior king.
Also, in case you missed the news, I now have an Etsy Store! There is a coupon code good for 25% off an order of 4.00 or more until the end of March. Visit the shop and use the code: READER2017
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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Plate Armor Like This and This
The first time I ever tried to draw plate women’s armor, I was so nervous. Now, I find I still like to have reference photos, but I have a much better idea of how the armor goes together. Plus, I don’t actually expect anyone will be looking at my armor designs and being overly critical. Designing armor is something I really enjoy doing. Sometimes, I want to draw totally absurd women’s armor like I did a few weeks ago in this Xena inspired armor set for Marisole Monday & Friends.
Should, you know, there be a dragon out there that needed slaying.
The legging like thing she is wearing under her leg armor is really just there to make it easier for the paper doll to function. Plus, when I draw more armor (assuming I do) then you can mix and match the armor tops with armor bottoms.
Which brings me to this question: More armor? Yay or Nay? Let me know.
Also, today is the first day of Yule. Once, in high school, a friend of mine and I went in search of a Yule Log for her in the woods, because she had read that you shouldn’t buy a Yule Log. That, apparently, was bad luck. Needless to say, it was a cold, wet, rather miserable experience that involved Devils Club, a spiky poisonous plant, and falling into a snow bank. Now, whenever anyone mentions Yule, I think of that afternoon in December in Alaska.
So Happy Yule to anyone who is celebrating. May your search for a Yule Log be much less exciting than ours was.
Happy Friday! I try to save paper doll pieces that I really like for the end of the week. I think of them as a fun treat.
So, I know I have mentioned in the past my love of Xena: Warrior Princess. I also know I have mentioned my strange affection for absurd fantasy armor that wouldn’t really protect you, but darn it looks good. So, today I am pleased to provide both a nod Xena and a nod to “Wow, I don’t think that armor will work like you think armor should work.”
But seriously for a second, I think sometimes there is a lot to be said for embracing absurdity. And since I embraced absurdity with this set, I will not apologize for giving her boots high heels.
Along with the armor and boots, she has fun weapons- a pair of swords and a spear. I actually had fun trying to make them all match in design motifs. These are the thing I think about when designing paper dolls.
So, my dear readers, should fantasy armor be practical or absurd? Let me know what you think in a comment.
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Allow me to be blunt, I am not one of those people who gets upset about skimpy lady armor. I am far too big of a fan of Xena and Hercules for that, but I think there is a place in my fantasy world for skimpy armor and there is a place in my fantasy world for practical armor and mostly there is a place for stuff that falls in-between. Today’s paper doll is a female knight whose armor falls more into the practical camp than the skimpy armor camp.
But don’t worry skimpy armor fans, I’ve got a B&B set planned that falls into that camp, too.
I knew I was going to give my female knight short hair from the beginning, but that was because I originally had conceptions of drawing a helmet. Well, helmets are HARD, so instead we have her without a helmet, but with short hair. Actually, I think the paper doll, if not her clothing, could easily hop into the modern era and be a young stylish Black woman in 2016, but right she’s being a young stylish knight.
Over the years, I have always struggled with chainmail. I think this chainmail is slightly better than some, but I worry its too obvious where I patched together my swatches of tiny circles. Also, is it chainmail, chainmaile, chain mail or chain maile? Does anyone know?
That has been bothering me as I write up this post.
Anyway, happy Friday, y’all. Have a safe wonderful weekend.
Today’s Sprite is and elven paper doll named Willow in honor of Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (More on that later.) I was the biggest Buffy fan when I was in middle-school and early highschool. I stopped watching around season five, I think. Though I keep trying to get through the later seasons, the show gets so darn depressing.
As with many of my fantasy paper dolls, I try to think about “setting” when I designed these outfits. I have decided both of these elves (Xavier and Willow) are warriors, so Willow has armor to go under her silken tunics and a bow as well. I was also thinking about Ancient Grecian tunics when designing these paper doll pieces. Sure, they’re not really practical, but we all know how I feel about practicality and paper dolls. (Never the two shall meet.)
So, then I nearly re-colored the whole set feeling like I wasn’t trying to make my elf look like someone else’s elf and then I decided that I had wanted to make her a redhead ever since I named her in honor of Willow Rosenberg from Buffy:The Vampire Slayer and no random elf chick from a rather bad movie was going to stop me.
There will be other Willow paper dolls, so they won’t all be elves, but that’s what I’ve started with.
I have realized there are five Friday’s in January. So, should I end January with a non-Sprite or should I have a Sprite in the beginning of February? Since they always come in pairs. Let me know thoughts in the comments.
Xavier is the third paper doll in the Sprite paper doll series. Xavier is getting to be an elf paper doll today, though he won’t always be an elf. And since he can share clothing with Zachary, should you decide he needs to be a cyberpunk elf (Shadowrun, anyone?) that’s totally an option too.
Like any good elven archer, our elf paper doll has a back up plan in the form of a sword. Since, sometimes you need to fight people up close and personal. I chose a bird and leaf motif for the weapons and the armor which I thought would seem suitably nature oriented. I always thinks of elves as being nature oriented which might be a horrible stereotype. (Is it possible to stereotype a fantasy creature?)
I think the bird and feather motif his more obvious with the female elf which I shall be posting next Friday as we continue January Sprites! (Yeah, I totally just decided to call it that.)
So, I like the Lord of the Rings movies, I really do, but it’s tough to not feel like one has to interact with them when designing elven stuff. My main goal was to create two outfits- one casual and one military. After all, you can’t just walk around in armor. Well, I suppose you can… but it wouldn’t be very comfortable.
I wanted to chose colors that were not too bright, but also felt organic and natural- colors from nature, I guess you might say.
I’m gonna be honest here now. I have been really struggling with artist’s block the last few weeks or, as I like to call it, “the wheel is spinning, but the gerbil is dead”. In short, I just have no urge to do anything blog related, let alone actually draw new content.
But I’m trying to stay on track and stick to my guns about getting two paper dolls up a week. I do have a tiny bit of backlog waiting, so I think I’ll be okay.
As always, comments are appreciated. Thoughts on other themes I should explore with the Sprites?
This holiday season I’m visiting family in Arizona. My mom and I went to Tucson to see the miniature museum called The Mini-Time Machine.
It was absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend it to anyone in the area.
Anyway, onto paper dolls… I had a lot of trouble coloring this paper doll set. I didn’t want to do bright colors, but I also didn’t want to do everything grey and gold. I ended up developing a color palette based on mossy green and eggplant purple. I named it Watcher at the Gate. I knew I wanted the armor to feel as much leather as it did metal, so I added grey-browns. You can see all my palettes on ColorLovers, though I confess I only recently started saving them there.
I have created a lot of different paper dolls over the years, as anyone who spends any time digging around the archives could tell you. My favorites are ones where I get to do something different that I haven’t really done before. I think today’s set falls into the category. I can’t think of another paper doll I’ve drawn for the blog which is quite like this paper doll.
So, on Wednesday, there will be a round up of every historical paper doll I have ever posted on the blog (kinda amazing list, actually) and then on Friday… well, actually, I have no idea what goes up Friday. I need to work on that. 🙂
As always, comments are always appreciated and if you would like to support the blog than consider becoming a patron. There’s fun perks like the Vivian Project and early previews of paper doll sets.
Now, I think knights (and therefore knight paper dolls) come in several stripes. There’s the noble white knight on the noble white steed doing whatever noble white knights on noble white steeds do, but then there’s also the down and dirty, rough and tumble knight who will bite you if that seems like the best to survive the night. This knight
As you might have guessed, today’s Mia knight paper doll is definitely of the second variety.
You see, this version of Mia grew up in the rough streets of a fantasy city. Her choices were to become a criminal or become a Guard and she went the guard route. She’s a graduate from the school of hard knocks, but she’ll defend the city and take down anyone who doubts her ability to do so.
(I always feel a tiny bit absurd when I write this stuff about my paper dolls.)
Given that I had already got quite a few warriors, I wanted to do something different. So, I pawed around Pinterest for a while looking for ideas and settled on a city-guard like character. Maybe I’ve ready to many Terry Pratchett novels, but I really liked the idea of a city-guard/policeman type character. That’s how we ended up with this particular paper doll design.
I am particularly pleased with how her chain-mail came out.
Now, I will confess that I had planned to end the year on a modern paper doll, but I asked my patrons on Patreon what I should wrap with and several of them suggested a fantasy set. Anyone is, of course, welcome to join the Patreon to support the blog.
One of my good friends has nicknamed this paper doll, “Beardy Swordsman!”. I have decided to go with the poll name winner and call him Mikhail. Personally, I was rooting for Mikhail to win and that was my vote. I feel a little guilty because Mikhail won by just one vote and that might have been me. Still, I’m allowed to vote in my own polls, right? I didn’t vote more than once…
I decided to make a knight paper doll as the first of the Mikhail paper dolls, not out of any particularly grand plan, but because I think a lot about the sort of stories you might want to play out with the paper dolls. Back when I was a kid and I played with paper dolls, the narrative provided by the paper doll book rarely worked out as written. With a wedding set, I might decide I actually liked the Maid of Honor paper doll better than the Bride paper doll and she was going to run off with the Groom and the Best Man was actually the older brother of the….
Well, you get the idea.
So, when I create paper dolls I think about the types of stories you might want to tell. Since every doll of a series can share outfits with every other doll of the same series, Mikhail and Marcus can exchange clothes. Now along with being airship mechanics or casual dates, they can also be knights who rescue princesses or knights who get lost in swamps and need to be rescued themselves.
Several years ago, I met a young lady who was four (I think) and who very much wanted to be a knight. I thought to myself, “Good for you.” I drew a knight paper doll for her, but every time I draw a knight, I think of that young lady.
I have done a lot of dark haired guys, so I decided to make Mikhail a blond. Frankly, coloring armor is fairly dull. It is made of steel. It is going to be silver. There’s just not a lot of variability in that. I went with a lot of gold accents on the armor, because I have decided that Mikhail is a noble night and can afford to spend a fair bit of cash on his armor. Plus it broke up the grey.
In a totally unrelated note, as many of you know, I am currently conducting a survey. (At this point, my daily readers are like… Can she shut up about the Survey already?) I would ask that if you haven’t filled it out, please do so. It’s about developing products to open a Paper Thin Personas store in the next year. It should only take about 15 minutes and would be uber-helpful and I’ll send you a thank you paper doll if you leave me your email at the end. (The emails are deleted out of the survey results immediately to keep things as anonymous as humanly possible. So, don’t worry about that.)
Thanks again to everyone whose already done the survey! I’ve learned a lot from everyone’s comments and responses. Maybe at the end, I’ll do a post about some of the stuff I learned? I don’t know… does that violate the principle of an anonymous survey? Thoughts from my readers?
Meet the first Friend of Marcus! He doesn’t have a name yet- there’s a poll to vote for one below. Once he has a name, I’ll start calling him by it. For now, I think of him as Marcus’ bearded friend.
I’ve been wanting to do a knight with armor male paper doll since I added male paper dolls to the Marisole Monday & Friends collection. I waited a while though, because armor is actually rather hard to draw. I do think knight paper dolls make great paper dolls for boys and I am trying to be diverse in my paper doll creations.
I was complaining about how boring men’s hairstyles were and then I remembered- facial hair. Mustaches, beards, goatees, soul patches- There are many fun options for paper doll facial hair. So, this guy got himself a beard.
After doing some experimenting, I think the helmet works best for the printable paper doll if it is placed underneath the armor, rather than on top of it. He’s got a broad sword and an axe.
So I have narrowed my options down to four different names. Help me decide which one I should choose by voting below. The poll is open until Sunday.
What should I name my new male paper doll?
Mikhail (38%, 31 Votes)
Maxwell (37%, 30 Votes)
Maurice (20%, 16 Votes)
Murphy (6%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 82
One last thing I wanted to mention- I’ve decided to do a survey of my readers about potentially opening a shop to sell my paper dolls and setting up a Patreon account for Paper Thin Personas. The survey should only take about 10 or 15 minutes of your time. If you complete the survey and include an email at the end, I will send you a “THANK YOU” paper doll within the next week.