Jai: A Fantasy Paper Doll

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll inspired by historical Chinese dress This isn’t an accurate depiction of Tang Dynasty dress. Though at times it seems to me that this would be obvious, most people (myself included) aren’t very familiar with the dynasties of China, let alone what they were wearing. Oddly, I never feel like when I draw stuff like this or this or this, I have to say it’s not accurate historical European dress, so perhaps my ned for a “disclaimer” is partly an assumption on my part about what my readers are familiar with.

So, anyway, these gowns were inspired by Hanfu and Tang Dynasty dress if anyone is keeping count. Of course, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t meant to be. I just had a lot of fun looking up gowns like this one and this one on Pinterest.

I find balancing research intense projects with non-research intense projects really helps keep me feeling sane. So, fantasy often seems to counter balance historical sets. I just finished, for example, penciling the largest 18th century set that I have ever drawn and then drew a space princess with a ray gun.

It’s all about contrast.

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll in black and white for coloring inspired by historical Chinese dress
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I went with a muted color scheme that I found on Design Seeds. I wanted it to feel a little less bright and more nature inspired than a lot of my color schemes tend towards. I have a lof of bright colors. I think the gray greens and soft lavenders go a long way to keeping things feeling soft and delicate.

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll inspired by historical Chinese dress in color. Part of the Pixie series, Jai can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
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I swear I had a reference from a contemporary Asian historical drama film when I drew her hair, but now I can’t seem to find the picture on Pinterest. Normally, I’m quite compulsive about saving these things, so I’m a little surprised to be so flummoxed.

Oh well… perhaps I shall find it later.

In the meantime, enjoy Jai and her fantasy gowns.

Chloe: A New Ms. Mannequin Paper Doll

Like to Chloe an Asian paper doll with two pairs of shoes in black and white and color. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, she can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing This sorta accidentally went up on Monday, but the files weren’t actually loaded on my server, so the links were kinda problematic and it wasn’t actually supposed to go live yet. I took it down when I noticed it and fixed the PDF files. So here it is as an actual real proper post. :)

I went back and forth about the order in which to post these sets. Technically, I drew the clothing first and then drew the doll to go with it. Since I had things to say about her clothing, so the paper doll’s Lolita inspired clothing got to get posted first. Now, I can post the paper doll who I drew while thinking that she would wear this clothing. Now, that doesn’t mean she has to wear that clothing she does have other options.

Chloe has the same skintone as Stella, my other Asian Ms. Mannequin paper doll. I did that on purpose, so the two paper dolls could share shoes. The colors of the dolls bases will indicate which dolls can share shoes, so Chose’s base is purple- just like Stella’s base. I hope that makes sense. Chloe’s shoes were designed to match the country Lolita inspired paper doll clothes from last week. Stella’s shoes are a little more neutral, so the two dolls can share.

Eventually, I’d like to have two of each of the current Ms. Mannequin skin tones before I branch out into other skin tones, though I do have an alien Ms. Mannequin in the works and her skin is going to be pink skinned or something equally odd.

Chloe an Asian paper doll with two pairs of shoes in black and white. Part of the Ms. Mannequin series, she can wear any of the Ms. Mannequin clothing

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I choose not to give today’s paper doll an over the top Lolita hairstyle (here a bunch of links to Lolita hair tutorials to show off some of the styles), because I wanted her to be able to dress down or dress up. I think versitility is really important in paper dolls. The variety of stories they can tell is a crucial part of the pleasure children (and adults) get from the toys. At least, I think it is.

So, there will be a sketchbook preview later this week. I hope everyone had a great Easter, if they celebrate, or are having a great Passover. As always, comments are all read and emails are usually responded too eventually. (Mind you… eventually can be quite a few days later.)

Faye’s Runic Adventures: A Printable Paper Doll

Black and White Printable Fantasy Paper Doll Nothing exists in a vacuum. This means that anything which is created inevitably is developed from previously existing content. This doesn’t bother me. I love combining diffrent parts to get a unique whole.

Today’s paper doll was primarily inspired by this drawing I found on Pinterest which is originally from what appears to be a live action role playing game in England called Empire from the fictional country of Wintermark’s costumes.

Who knew?

This image was not my only inspiration. I was also influenced by traditional Japanese hairstyles and vikings. Everything is better with vikings or pirates or pirate vikings….


Faye a Norse and Viking inspired fantasy paper doll page to print and color
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Seriously, I should do a set of pirate vikings. I can picture it now… horned helmets and jolly roger flags.

On second thought… maybe I shouldn’t do that.

Moving on… Faye’s world is a harsh one. Her people are known for their skill in leather and silver work. Of a fairly high status, she wears her hair in an elaborate style decorated with a metal ornament. The society travels long distances, mostly by river, and are known for their belief in astrology and careful tracking of the movements of the stars. Their calendars are prized throughout the world for their accuracy. They exist in small townships and a few larger groups. They do not have a centralized government, as we would call it, and form alliances through trade agreements and marriage. They are a largely matriarchal society.

I do have a lot of fun inventing this stuff. :)

Sylvia: An Asian Printable Paper Doll with Contemporary Clothing

Link to Sylvia, an Asian Printable Paper doll Continuing the contemporary theme from Monday’s paper doll, today’s paper doll set is Sylvia showing off her wardrobe. I previewed the paper doll a few weeks ago when I showed the scan straight from my sketchbook. Today, she’s all colored and ready to be printed.

As I always do, there’s two versions of this printable paper doll and her clothes. One is in black and white for coloring and the other is in color for those who don’t like to color. I was never a big “coloring” kid, so I tend towards the full color versions, but I know some of my readers really like the black and white paper doll sets. Mostly, I remember drawing my own paper doll clothes for store bought paper dolls. That was a big part of my childhood.

Sylvia, an Asian printable paper doll with several outfit pieces in black and white for coloring
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Contemporary paper doll sets, like this one, really don’t come with stories. The goal is to create a coherent collection of mix and match clothing pieces. I rarely think much about the history or personality of the paper doll wearing the clothing. Fantasy sets tend to gain back-stories during creation, but contemporary sets rarely do. Fantasy paper dolls require more creativity. I can’t just copy out of a magazine, after all.

Sylvia, an Asian printable paper doll with several outfit pieces in color
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Sylvia’s color scheme is very pink. I wasn’t planning on making it this pink when I started, but somehow pink seemed to fit. I think there’s a little bit of a vintage vibe to this set that I didn’t intend, but ended up pretty cute in the end.

All right, just because I am curious… 5 second poll…

Which are better fantasy paper doll sets or contemporary paper doll sets?

  • Fantasy sets. (79%, 31 Votes)
  • Contemporary sets. (15%, 6 Votes)
  • Actually, I don't really like either one. (5%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

Loading ... Loading ...

Southwest Boho Paper Doll Set in Full Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with a Southwest inspired wardrobe So, with last week’s paper doll I spoke a little about why I decided to dabble in the Southwest trend this season and today I wanted to show off the colors I used for the paper doll set. I knew from the start that I was going to be using a desert inspired color scheme. It is the Southwest, after all.

As a child, we visited the Grand Canyon. I will always think of reds, browns, ochre and sandy khaki when I think of that landscape. I confess to not being much of a desert person by nature; however, I do think they can be astonishingly beautiful.

I did not want to fall into the trap of just using a monochromatic warm color scheme though, so I also decided to include a pale turquoise, a very pale bayleaf green and a darker green for contrast. Normally I try to keep my color schemes to five colors, but this set needed a lot more. (I blame it on that patterned pencil skirt.)


Printable Asian paper doll in full color inspired by the Southwestern fashion trend of Fall 2014
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Things I love: All the skirts. The bag. Those shoes. That cardigan.

Things I’m not sure about: Her hair. The V-neck top. The choice of base color.

Still, I am going to call this one a win.

Southwestern Boho Paper Doll Set to Print and Color

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with a Southwest inspired wardrobe According to one of the fashion magazines I bought in September, Southwestern is the new Boho.

Personally, I sill like Boho better and a lot of Southerwestern inspired fashion gets dangerously close to worrying cultural appropriation of the area’s Native peoples and that kinda bothers to me.

Never the less, I wanted to get to play around with some of the geometric patterns that are common in the style while steering clear of directly borrowing anything, because there’s a lot of Pendelton blanket patterning in this trend and that gets complicated.

Pendelton woolen mills, their blankets, and their relationship to Native peoples is written about eloquently by Beyond Buckskin, Slate (posted on Beyond Buckskin, I couldn’t find the article on Slate) and Native Appropriations. I am not even going to get into that conversation, but I think consideration should be made when dealing with anything “tribal” and fashion related.

Anyway, these were all things on my mind as I stepped lightly into the Southwest Boho trend of fall 2014.

Printable paper doll with clothing based on the Southwestern trend of Fall 2014

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Mia’s modeling these costumes, because I drew three sets of contemporary fashion at once. There’s going to eventually be a brights set for Margot, a girly set for Monica and then this set which got assigned to Mia. Had someone asked me which of these I was going to finish first, this would not have been the winner, and yet here we are.

Sometimes my paper dolling works in mysterious ways.

Akemi, A Fantasy Warrior Paper Doll

Image link to a printable female warrior paper doll with armor and weapons in color or black and white Today’s paper doll is named for a very close friend of mine in childhood named Akemi. Akemi was a very talented singer and dancer. Also, her family kept ducks.

The ducks got carried off by bald eagles on a rather regular basis.

And Akemi had all of the She-ra action figures including the horse and the cloud palace. I can not express how jealous I was of this She-ra collection. Hours were spent in her backyard feeding ducks, chasing off eagles who wanted to eat the ducks, and having epic She-ra battles.

So, when I was looking for a good name for my fantasy warrior paper doll, I immediately thought of Akemi and She-ra.

I’ve no idea what happened to Akemi. (Also, I’m not positive she didn’t spell her name Akimi, but I think it was Akemi. Now, this is going to bug me… Short of getting my mother to pull my old middle school year book from storage, there is no way to easily answer that question.)

Printable female warrior paper doll with armor and weapons in black and white for coloring
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Moving away from my childhood for a moment, today’s paper doll is a fantasy warrior with five mix and match clothing pieces, two pairs of shoes and some serious weapons. I’ve done a lot of swords, axes and spears, so I wanted to some crazy scythe like thing. I don’t think it would be a very practical weapon in the real world, but it does look cool.

And fantasy warriors should get cool looking weapons.

Of course, if she needs more weapons than she can borrow them from Rebecca Grace, Latanya, Robynn, Astrid, Kelli, or Philippa to name some of my weapon wielding Pixie paper dolls.

Printable female warrior paper doll in color
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All in all, I am pleased with the color scheme I ended up with.I knew I wanted to use red and gold, cliche though they are, for her armor. I added black and cream for contrast after trying out brown and disliking how it looked with the red. Her hair changed color several times over the course of deciding on the black and blond dip dye look (for a while it was red and blond, also blue briefly).

That is all I have to say about that. Enjoy the paper doll.

A Paper Doll And Her Full Color Ball Gowns to Print

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with ballgowns inspired by Wa and Qi Lolita styles As I explained with the black and white version of today’s paper doll set, both of these dresses are based on Wa lolita and Qi lolita fashions. I really find fusions of different cultures fashions fascinating, plus sometimes drawing absurd dresses make me happy and Mia doesn’t get as much love as I think she should.

When I draw in black and white, I sometimes dread coloring, especially when the coloring means hyper detailed patterns like those in today’s paper doll. I’ve been doing more playing with color and pattern lately. I like patterns, but they are a lot of work. Even though I usually just draw one motif and use Photoshop to manipulate it on each dress. The size of these pattern motifs made their placement on the dresses important. Though I wanted it to feel organic, I also wanted the detail of the complex patterns to shine through.

No point in drawing complex things if no one can appreciate them, after all. In my mind, that’s like sewing a fantastic wardrobe for an ugly doll… why bother?


Asian paper doll to print with two ballgowns based Wa Lolita and Qi Lolita styles

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I based the color scheme on this kimono which I found online. Everytime I reference kimono, I am reminded of the fantastic posts on Liana’s Paper Doll Blog about Japanese dress. She’s far more an expert of this topic than I.

Personally, I thought it was very a beautiful kimono and I really liked the color combination. What looks black isn’t actually black, it is a very dark purple-red color. I used the same color for her hair. I like doing that, because I think a color scheme should be about making a harmonious set.

Every set should be a complete work, rather than just a collection of clothing pieces and should be able to stand alone, even if it is part of a larger collection of paper dolls.

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. :)

Meet The New Poppet Paper Doll – Posey

Poppet Posey in her School Clothes Logo So, here I am kicking off June with a new Poppet paper doll named Posey.

I’d originally intended to give all my Poppets flower names beginning with P; however, I find I am rather running out of them. The only other two I can think of are Pansy (which I would use, except for that fact that it’s a rather derogatory name for an effeminate man and I just don’t like the connotation) or Peony which I will use one day, but calling the Asian paper doll Peony seemed horribly stereotypical. So, this leaves me with Posey for our new paper doll.

Anyone know of any other P flower names? I suppose I could branch out (pardon the pun) into other P girl’s names or simply other flower names.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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Now, Posey’s outfit is based, very vaguely, on a some of the school uniforms I saw when I was studying in England, though it lacks the jacket. I drew the blouse first and I didn’t want to lose the sleeve detail by sticking it under a jacket.

Poor excuse, perhaps, but true none the less.

I confess that I’m not totally pleased with how the skin tone turned out… I recolored it at the last minute, because the other skin tone was horrible. Still, I don’t know how much I like it.

All in all, it’s really good to be back. :)

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