An Elven Empress: A Paper Doll in Color

logo-empress-colorI collect costume history and dress books. I’ve been collecting them for years. I used to deny that it was a collection, but as it has grown I have grudgingly come to accept that “collection” is the the only word for it.

The colors in this set are based on a Japanese language book I have on Kimonos. I don’t have much of a clue what the book is about (I don’t know any Japanese), but I picked it up for a dollar from a booksale in college and its been traveling around with me ever since. I keep swearing I’ll give it away to someone who read Japanese, but somehow I can’t seem to part with it.

Funny how that goes, isn’t it?

I don’t have many other kimono history books, though I do plan to expand my “ethnic” clothing collection soon. (I put “ethnic” in quotations, because I find that term problematic for a whole slew of reasons that I don’t want to get into right now. Needless to say, all clothing is about ethnicity, even if you don’t realize it.)

Anyway, these colors are quite bright, so if I understand kimono color culture correctly, they would be most appropriate for an unmarried young woman. Of course, none of these are actual kimono, so I suppose I could just have decided that in the strange elven fantasy culture these are from anything I say goes.

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I’ve had a lot of fun with this set. Next up is a contemporary fashion set and a naming poll. After that, I really haven’t decided what I am going to do. I need to buckle down and get some sketching done for my next few historical sets and give the Poppets some love. They’ve been neglected as of late.

Thoughts on what I should draw for the Poppets? Drop me a comment. Or just drop me a comment, because you care.

You do care, don’t you? (Imagine me giving you puppy dog eyes here.)

Regency Steampunk Fashion: A New Paper Doll

egency Punk: a paper doll inspired by combining steampunk and regency dress elementsThis isn’t my first foray into the whole “regency steampunk” genre, though I don’t know if this genre already exists or not. My first foray was back when I did my Best Friends set and one of their pages was regency steampunk.

This is my second foray into the genre. I think it is largely more successful, mostly because I am a better artist now than I was three years ago. I still struggle with making goggles that really “work”, but I have hopes that eventually I might figure it out.

Steampunk fascinates me just as much as Gothic fashions and Cyberpunk fashions fascinate me. I am always interested in alterative fashion cultures as they reflect some part of our cultural fabric. Despite finding them interesting, I have never had any desire to “dress up” in steampunk. I simply don’t like wearing costumes, a fact which shocks many people when they find out I draw paper dolls.

egency Punk: a paper doll inspired by combining steampunk and regency dress elements {Download a PDF of this paper doll to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll to Color}
So, I’ve spoken before about my pet peeve that fantasy people are always white skinned, as a result I gave my steampunk regency paper doll a soft brown skin-tone. I was going to say “mocha” skintone, but I have been trying to avoid using food words to describe skintones. They just kinda creep me out. Something about my skin being called peach or cream, or calling someone else’s skin chocolate or spice, sorta… I dunno. I’m not sure I want to think of my skin as a food product. It’s a little Hannibal Lector, you know?

Anyway, moving on… The colors are based on actual common early 19th century colors including Turkey Red and Indigo. Both of these colors are produced by dyes from India or Turkey. They are such rich colors that I countered them with cream and black. Personally, I love how real natural indigo fabrics look. It’s an amazing color.

Be sure to cut along the dotted lines so she can wear her clothes and the floating tabs should keep her little top hats on her head.

egency Punk: a paper doll inspired by combining steampunk and regency dress elements. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com {Download a PDF of this paper doll in Full Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll in Full Color} {More Bodacious and Buxom Printable Paper Dolls}
I’ve never seen anyone else combine the early 1800s silhouettes with steampunk, so maybe it has a name already and I don’t know it. Either way, I am trying to decide what to call this new genre of fashion and therefore have a poll. Plus, you know, polls are fun.

What should we call early 19th century dress combined with steampunk?

  • Regencypunk (29%, 12 Votes)
  • Austenpunk (29%, 12 Votes)
  • Empirepunk (22%, 9 Votes)
  • Just Steampunk, it doesn't need another name (17%, 7 Votes)
  • Other... I'll tell you in a comment (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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Frocks and Gowns in Color

logo-frocks-gowns-colorSo, this is going up a little late today. Sorry about that, but life got crazy this weekend. I want to talk a little bit today about coloring last week’s paper doll and a little about diversity in the paper doll world.

So, when I color a paper doll set, I start with a pallette. I knew I was going to be giving Monica a fairly rich brown skin tone, so that opened up and closed down certain color options. For example, I tend to avoid putting brown colored clothing on brown colored paper dolls, unless the tones are really different, since it can blend too easily. Since she was going to have a rich skin-tone, I decided that bright and color dresses made a lot of sense.

The strapless gown with the belt was based on this gown by Andrew GN and since it had a red top and a pink bottom, that informed the blues and the greens as contrasting colors in the other gowns.

frocks-gowns-black-paper-doll
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}
I’m a big believer in paper doll diversity. I think it is really important to have a variety of concepts and skin-tones and, ideally, a variety of concepts in a variety of skin-tones. Truthfully, I tend not to think of my paper dolls in terms of ethnicity, but in terms of color. It it less about, “this paper doll is African-American” and more about “this paper doll is a dark brown with red undertones.”

I used to think I was the only one who thought this way about paper doll skin-tones until I read this post from Julie over at Paper Doll School. I was comforted to find out that we both tend to think in terms of “color” not in terms of ethnicity.

The result of coloring things, perhaps?

What I do know is that no matter how I think about skin-tone, it is crucial to me that I offer readers of all backgrounds and colors paper dolls that reflect them. People should be able to see themselves in the toys they play with.

Yes, I know a lot of my readers are adults, but adults play with toys, too. At least, they should. 🙂 I do.

Chloe: A New Ms. Mannequin Paper Doll

logo-chloe 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-asian-paper-doll-color chloe-asian-paper-doll-bw

{Click Here for a PDF in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Color}{Click Here for a PDF of Black and White} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG in Black and White}{Click Here for More Clothesr}{Click Here for Friends for Her}

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.)

Nicole: A Fashion Printable Paper Doll

Pixie Logo- Nicole Paper DollToday’s Pixie is a fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. I created her, because of a reader request.

Back in November, I got a email from a reader who asked if I could name a paper doll either Lynn or Nicole for her. She wanted a paper doll named after herself. Now, originally, she asked for a Mini-Maiden or a Marisole Doll, but I have pretty strict naming patterns for those dolls.

I offered a Pixie instead and she said that she’d be cool with that option.

Today, I am pleased to present the result. A Pixie paper doll named Nicole with some layered tops (as requested). I was sort of obsessing over different bird illustrations for a while and so I decided to adapt some of them into a t-shirt design for Nicole. For those interested, her bird shirt was inspired by the work of Dante Terzigini, Inaluxe and Scott Partridge to name a few.

A fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. She's got long hair and glasses, along with sneakers and jeans. Free coloring page to print from paperthinpersonas.com
{Download a PDF to Print and Color} {Download a PNG to Print and Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}
I love bright color schemes that feel a little unexpected. The orange red and very pale yellow are both acting as my neutrals in this set. She’s my first paper doll with glasses since April Showers in color & black and white back in May of 2014. That’s nearly a year. How embarrassing. I really do have to do more paper dolls with glasses.

A fashion paper doll named Nicole with nine different clothing pieces. She's got long black hair and red glasses, along with sneakers and jeans. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}
Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to remind people that to dress Nicole, you’ll need to cut long her shoulders under her hair. There are cutting diagrams that you can refer to if there are any questions about how to cut out the paper dolls.

While Nicole is a Greek name, I was thinking of a Mexican guy I work with while designing her skintone and hair color.

Jayla: A Black Printable Paper Doll with Florals!

Pixie Logo. Jayla. I have had a deeply frustrating month of February. My car was in the shop for a week and I got sick. I’m getting over it, but I haven’t been as productive as I would have hoped. We had a snow day on Wednesday and I was hopeful that I would get a bunch done.

Of course, I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped.

Jayla is an older printable paper doll. I showed a preview of her with this set of Pixie preview posts. I think of her has being kin to my floral set for Monica. Both paper dolls have a girly style with lots of floral pattern. I also think I drew them around the same time. These darker floral patterns seem to be in style at the moment. For this winter, I think they make more sense than the various pastel options.

A printable paper doll featuring a young black woman and her fashionable floral wardrobe. Ten pieces to mix and match. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com
{Download a PDF to Print and Color} {Download a PNG to Print and Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

I knew I wanted a “dark” background for my florals (keeping with current tends), but I didn’t want to incorporate too much pink. I tend towards pinks and reds naturally, so sometimes I have to fight that urge. Instead, I chose green, purple and blue as my color scheme. I really wanted to use the lime green with a warm purple, as I love lime and purple, plus Jayla has a good skin-tone for lime green. I have a horrible skin-tone for lime green, which might explain why I foist it upon my darker skinned paper dolls with such regularity.

A printable paper doll featuring a young black woman and her fashionable floral wardrobe  in greens and purples. Ten pieces to mix and match. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com
{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

Jayla’s wardrobe is not the most mix and match friendly. I think she really has about 11 or 12 outfit combinations that make sense and then 13, if you don’t care if things match. Personally, I think she could borrow some shoes from Adannaya who has the same skintone or some pants and skirts from Clarisa or a dress from Fiona. There’s plenty of paper dolls around I’m sure who would be happy to share.

Victoria: A Valentine’s Day Paper Doll

Pixie Logo- Valentine's Day Paper DollOver the years, I have done a lot of Valentine’s Day paper dolls. I think it might be the only holiday that I reliably get a paper doll posted for. My first Valentine’s Day paper doll was back in 2011. Then in 2013, I did this black and white Valentine’s Day paper doll. In 2014, the Poppets got a Valentine’s Day themed outfit. This year, I wanted to do something a little different.

Inspired by Victorian and Art Deco valentines, I designed two 18th century inspired gowns with a Valentines Day theme. Hearts, of course, but also stripes and polka-dots. Plus ruffles. Ruffles are very important. Our paper doll got a wild up-do and a heart encrusted bodysuit to wear under her gowns. After all, it is the season for both wide up-dos and heart bodysuits.

A black and white Valentine's Day paper doll named Victoria and inspired by Victorian valentines. Free to print and color from paperthinpersonas.com.{Download a PDF to Print and Color} {Download a PNG to Print and Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

Originally, I planned on using a traditional red, pink and white color scheme. However, I just didn’t like how bright that made the dresses. So, I went to ColourLovers and searched for a scheme that was a little more subdued. I ended up using Happy Valentines color scheme. I often use ColourLovers both to find inspiration for color palettes and to build my own color palettes using their tools.

A Valentine's Day paper doll named Victoria and inspired by Victorian valentines. Print her from paperthinpersonas.com.{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day. I am making stew for me and my boyfriend and we’ll be eating it while watching Box Trolls. I am very excited about both the stew and the movie.

Meanwhile, there’s supposed to be snow on Monday and I have become a true Southerner, buying milk and eggs, just in case. I certainly wouldn’t mind an unexpected day off work, since I don’t get President’s Day off.