Marisole Monday & Friends: Read Divergent by V. Roth…

So, when I was in Chicago last week I visited a good friend who works as a children’s librarian and she recommended a book she’d just finished called Divergent, which is a recent Young Adult novel by Veronica Roth. I read the book while I was riding the train from Chicago to Minneapolis and drew the paper doll outfits soon after.

marisole-divergent-color{Click Here for a PDF to Print in Color} {Click Here for a PNG to Print in Color}

In a slight change of pace from usual, the black and white version is posted today along with the color version. Each of the sects is defined largely by color and I didn’t think spacing out the two posts was really worth it. Plus I got both paper doll versions done at the same time, so I might as well show them off.

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 {Click Here for a PDF to Print in Black and White} {Click Here for a PNG to Print in Black and White} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

In the distopian future of Chicago, as told by Divergent, all people belong to one of five sects. In alphabetical order- Abnegation (self-denial) wear grey, Amity (fellowship) wear red and yellow, Candor (frankness) wear black and white, Dauntless (fear-less) wear black punky style and Erudite (scholarly) wear blue.

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The story follows Beatrice, born into Abnegation, through her choice to join Dauntless on her sixteenth birthday and everything which comes with this decision.

I enjoyed the novels engagement in questions of identity, a topic I think that is important to a young adult audience, plus Chicago was shown as a swamp which, without the various canals currently in the city, it certainly would be. And we don’t get enough novels these days that pull out esoteric words like abnegation into common speech.

This isn’t a paper doll of Beatrice, since I don’t draw other people’s characters, but rather some other member of the society. I didn’t look at any of the movie promotional stuff, because I wanted to draw what I saw people in, not what the costume designer on the film saw people in. Though I did see the camera stuff around downtown Chicago where they are currently filming the movie.

I also went to the Chicago City Museum’s exhibit on the Ebony Fashion Fair and you can expect to see that in paper doll format soon as well.

Oh, and I haven’t read the sequel yet, so no spoilers in the comments please, though I’d love to hear that other people thought of the book.

New Full Color Printable Paper Doll Named Madison

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{A Full Set Printable PDF of the Three Page Madison Paper Doll}

I don’t have very many Asian paper dolls, partly because it took a long time before I was comfortable drawing epicanthic folds, which are a characteristic of many East and Central Asian people, though are by no means exclusive to those groups. There is a huge variety the shape of the epicanthic fold and I never felt like it looked right until I got to grad school and ended up sitting across from a Chinese student for an entire semester. I don’t know what she did to stay awake, but what I did was use her as a model for my first Asian Pixie paper doll, named Zoe. Of course, she didn’t have blue hair or such a huge head, but I digress.

So, the Poll is over, since January is done and a child paper doll won to my own astonishment. So, I’ll get on that. In the mean time, enjoy Madison.

In the Mid-1860s… Civil War Era Paper DOlls in Color

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Here we are today with the colored version of last Monday’s post. Color for historical garments is complicated, because colors are very much a matter of taste and a matter of time. Just as the avocado and burnt orange polyester shirts of the 1970’s seem dated to us today, the colors of the past are rarely how we imagine them to be. I always picture the Victorians in tones of sepia, not because that was what they wore, but because I always see sepia photographs. I once had a professor point out that the way we picture the past has little to do with how the past actually was, but I enjoy my fantasies of the past as much as the next person.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

For this set of paper dolls, I chose to use colors from reproduction quilting cottons as a basis for the garment. They turned out to be a little muddier than perhaps I would have chosen on my own, but I wanted something different than the oranges, blue, pink, and green combination of colors I find myself most often drawn too. The ballgown in pink and black is based on the fashion plate which I drew it from, though I made a slightly darker version of the original.

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I’ll confess openly that I’m not entirely pleased with how some of these came out in color. I went muted and I think that was the right call, but I’m not sure that I didn’t lose some of the lusciousness and the vibrancy of the era. They also came out less romantic than I had hoped they would be. I do think Margot is awfully cute with her freckles and red hair (yes, I do have a weird thing for redheads). In truth, I am pleased with both the dolls. I think Marisole is a warm brown this time and I like how Margot came out. All in all, though I had some second thoughts about drawing a new face for Marisole, I am pleased with Margot and I think she’ll show up a bit more around the blog.

On an unrelated note, child paper dolls have pulled into the lead in the polling… a fact which I am very much surprised by.

Puck as a Super Hero… In Full Color

I’ve never really gotten into superhero comics unless you count Deadpool or watching the Batman cartoon when I was a kid. When I do read comics, I stick to the compilations and some of my favorites have been Lucifer and Hellblazer, and of course, Sandman, but then, who doesn’t like Sandman?

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

So, for the coloring of my superheros, I decided to go with simple primary and secondary colors without a lot of complicated depth. I wanted to reproduce a little of the feel of the old fifties comics, before computer printing made a lot of depth possible. I think I will always think of comics as being bright flat color, even though I know there are some wonderful and skilled artists who bring so much more to the genre. I’m sensitive enough to color that badly colored or art I don’t like, can ruin a comic for me.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Needless to say, I really enjoyed drawing this set and I hope I will get to draw more sets like it in the future.

After I finished it, I did a little digging looking for other paper dolls aimed at boys and I found this nice list of free paper dolls for boys. And though it’s not a paper doll, I think one of my favorites was this paper city of paris. As I have mentioned before, I am a sucker for unusual and interesting paper toys of all kinds, paper dolls are just my favorites.

Marisole Monday: Pattern & Grace- Full Color

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I’m a little ashamed of how long it took me to get this paper doll up and I have absolutely no excuse since the paper doll was colored weeks ago, but with family visits and a nasty cold, it took longer than it should have to be done. If you’ve forgotten, the black and white version contained a rant about how complicated the floral pattern was. I’d like to say it was easier to color than it was to draw, but that would be a lie.

Coloring that floral pattern was a pain in the neck.

Still, I’m quite pleased with how it came in and, while I am in a bit of a cold medication induced haze, I think the whole paper doll is fairly charming. I sort of regret not making her blond so that her hair net things would be more obvious, but that’s my only complaint.

By the way, lately Marisole’s face has been reminding me a little to much of an insect. If I redrew her head, would people be horridly upset? I’d make sure her clothing still fit. Let me know in comments.

In the 1940s… Printable Historic Paper Doll

So, as usual the back and white version of this printable paper doll happened last week and this week we have the full color version. Somehow, in color, the paper doll looks less angry to me. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

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On a totally unrelated note, a reader posted some images of Little Pixie colored in a garden on a French forum. I think she did a fantastic job and she has a blog, so check that out. Sometimes when I see my paper dolls colored by someone else, I sort of forget that they are my work.

I am thinking of putting up a page to show off some of the work other artists have done based on my work, like Toria’s Showcase. Are there people out there with photos or scans who would be willing to contribute?

Calla in Colors… Avacado and Cream

There’s something intensely 1970’s about this color scheme on Calla. Avacado is a color I’ll always associate with the 1970s. My highschool was decorated in avocado, burnt orange and sort of a muddy yellow color. Whenever anyone talks about how “classic” a color combination is, I think back to the rather horrid colored lockers and wonder if some design team thought that about them.

Of course, after I graduated, they did a remodel and now it’s a much more attractive grey, red and teal building.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

color-swatch-avacado (1)I have included the color swatch for this set, so you can see how the colors turned out when put on the actual paper doll. I usually collect colors on swatches if I am doing a large set (such as the Flock Modern Girl) and then keep them carefully saved as a file called something creative like “Color Palette”. I am particularly pleased with how nicely Calla’s warm mocha skin tone goes with the spicey orange red color and, in hindsight, I wish I’d used more of it in the set.

My love of Calla’s hair remains intense.

By the way, I just discovered a new paper doll blog. I am rather annoyed that I didn’t know it existed before this. I am so out of the loop sometimes… Yeesh. Paper Doll School is fairly new on the blog scene, only been around since June. I adore her tutorials and will probably be trying out some of her techniques myself, especially her advice on Photoshop, a tool I’m always trying to learn more about. Plus she has the cutest grinning bride paper doll on her blog. So, go visit her if you get a chance.

Pirate Nammu: Printable Paper Doll

So, back when I drew this paper doll, I was like “I’ll get her up for Speak like a Pirate Day” and now I’m like… “Clearly, that didn’t happen.” I didn’t even have her inked until last week which is a pretty fast turn around for me. I have been playing around with the Pixies lately, so here is the first two page one. I think I will do this again, I enjoyed building a larger pirate wardrobe than I usually can on a Pixie page.

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{Click Here for a PDF of both pages to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print of Page One} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print of Page Two}{Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Also, I finished inking a few Pucks yesterday and just got them scanned in, so people can expect some Pucks to be posted this month. I have been thinking it would be nice to do some Pucks aimed at boys just like the Dover Paper Action Figures, but I have no idea what little boys might want in a paper doll.

Anyone with a son want to help me out on this one?

Also, I get so giddy and excited when someone I don’t know at all links my site. NZ Ecochick posted pictures of her set of magnetic Marisole’s and it filled me with an unhealthy amount of glee. Paper dolls are so much fun to share and I love it when people do so.

Relatedly, one of the search terms that came up for the blog last month was “purple paper doll” and I am going to be honest. I have NO IDEA what that even means… we live in a strange strange internet, my friends.

Dead Roses: Gothic Paper Doll

I feel a little weird saying this is in color when the color is mostly black…

Not the most cheerful color scheme ever developed for a paper doll. I almost made it all black, but that seemed a bit much, even for Gothic Marisole. If you look closely, you’ll see one of my usual tricks for keeping things from looking totally “flat” is to use shades of the same color. So while everything is “black” there is still some definition between the various parts of the garments. I actually did this Marisole in four shades of very very dark grey which look black, but still allow the line work to be seen.

It’s all an illusion.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, Meredith asked: I think a ballerina paper doll would be cool or mabey a pool / summer themed doll also for some ting tiffrent you could do dolls theamed ot colors of the rainbow

how long have you been drawing paper dolls for?
could you do a cow girl paper doll that would be cool and diffrent

To answer the easiest question, I have been drawing paper dolls for as long as I can really remember. It began when my mother would draw me a doll as a bribe for cleaning my room or other activity and then I had to draw the clothing. Eventually, that evolved into drawing my own paper dolls, though I still prefer clothing to the dolls.

As for your requests, I have added them to my list of ideas. I usually keep a running list of ideas, but since most paper dolls are drawn weeks (sometimes months) before they eventually get posted, I can’t promise anything as far as doing any of those ideas. And I probably won’t to the ballerina, because tutu’s scare me.

To answer a related question, Tawny asked: What is your favorite sort of paper doll to draw? I mean… I think eeery thing you do is great, but what do you like to do the most?

I like drawing everything. I do find I tend to return to certain themes a lot. I like things that are a little alt-fashion inspired and a little fantasy inspired. I often draw from fashion magazines, because it makes deciding what to draw simpler. I always fear that I will fall into a rut and draw the same thing over and over again. I try to keep things interesting using reference images and other materials.

Got a question you want me to answer on the blog?Ask me here.

Silk and Steel: Printable Paper Doll with Armor

Color schemes are always challenging. I wanted to keep the colors simple, since so much of it was going to be “silver grey”. As I see it, the “leather” can either be brown or black, but I think it looks off when there is a mix. After some debate, I settled on black and then decided to use white as a contrast color, rather than the more traditional dark shade. The rich red color has a lot of blue into it which keeps it from feeling too “blood red” and softens it against the black and the white.

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Okay, so a question…

Dreamed asked: If you could travel to any time era, in any part of the world, when and where would you go? Why?

Wow… hard question. I have no idea… not very helpful is it?

I guess if I had to go somewhere and visit a period of history, I would want to visit Mainz in Germany when Gutenberg was printing his bible in the mid-1400’s, just so that I could see the press. A little odd, but as a rare books person, I just really want to see it.

I would not want to have to wear the clothing of the early 1400s… that just does nothing for me.

On an utterly unrelated note, I found this beautiful Valentine paper doll on Flickr. I love the way water color looks when it’s well done. Makes me almost want to try traditional media… almost.