As I move towards the end of the year, I always find myself beginning to think about the future and what has been done this year. One of the doll artists I admire is Mimi Kirchner and she does these wonderful year end posts where she talks about all the dolls she has made. I never seem to get on the ball about doing something like that. I suppose because with holiday travel and other concerns, I don’t always have time to sit back and think about where the little hobby of mine has taken me.
It’s November all ready though… and December is around the corner. Next thing I know, it will be January and then we’ll be in 2015. I guess I better start thinking.
Meanwhile, today we have a new Pixie paper doll. Malina is the female form of Malcom. It’s a scottish name. I don’t know why I decided that this paper doll seemed Scottish to me. There was no ‘logical’ reason why. Maybe because Scotland is chilly and she has sweaters? Yes, we’ll go with that rather stretch of a connection.
Malina’s wardrobe is based on the “sporty” trend of 2014, much like Adannaya from earlier this year. The color scheme was inspired by apples and orchards and other fall harvest things, like gourds. (I bought a set of decorative gourds to put on my dining room table… I feel so festive.)
I keep finding myself going back to my thoughts at the beginning of today’s post. How does one calculate the value of a hobby? What level of achievement is needed to actually feel that this blog accomplishes it’s goal?
Hmmm…. I haven’t really got answers to that question.
This project has been a long time in incubation. I drew my last Marcus 1.0 paper doll in July of 2013. He never looked right to me and he was out of proportion to the smaller more delicate Marisole, Mia, Margot, and Monica.
In the end, I took K’s and Julie’s advice and resized him in photoshop. He got skinnier and shorter. His head got smaller. I printed out the heavily altered version and sketched it up on lined paper as I do when I am testing a paper doll template. I altered it some more. I redrew the face about nine times.
And I’d given up on redoing Marcus 1.0 until I got some really nice comments from my readers asking when I was going to post another Marcus paper doll.
I don’t have anything Halloween organized for Halloween this year. I am trying to get something done in time for Friday, but I wouldn’t hold my breath anyone. Instead, I offer a rare male paper doll to grace the collection of Marisole Monday & Friends.
I have big plans for Marcus. I’ve already drawn a fantasy set for him and I’m working on a steampunk airship mechanic set. I’m actually having more fun with my male paper doll than I ever thought I would.
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.)
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.
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.
I get asked fairly often for various old paper dolls to be produced in black and white. Considering the number of paper dolls on the blog and the fact that files are not always saved in formats that makes extracting the line work simple. In fact, this might be one of the last sets of these I do for a long time, because I am running out of files that are simple to convert and ending up with sets for which I only have the full merged final PDF. Pulling the black and white out of those files and not ending up with a black and white paper doll of very dubious quality is a challenge.
Sweater Style was originally conceived as one of four sets which were going to each be a seasonal set. I think this was the fall or winter set (I truly do not recall…). I never did get the series finished and so I just have posted a few of them. At the time, I was living in Illinois where it was very cold in the winters. I rather miss winters when it would actually freeze.
Draw because I thought I really needed more jeans in my paper doll sets, Stylish in Denim was a lot of fun. It is one of the rare paper doll sets where I owned at the time a fair number of the actual clothing pieces. It was also an early experiment in purses.
Two quick things I mentioned on Friday, but I wanted to repeat. Email updates aren’t working at the moment. I’m looking for a new WordPress plugin. Also, you can follow me on Twitter @paperpersonas which will let you know when the blog updates, what I am working on and other rather inane details of my life.
Okay, so years ago there was this show called Forever Knight which I confess I loved when I was in middle school and high school, as it was shown on Sci-fi as reruns. In fact, in graduate school when I found out the library had the whole series of DVD (okay.. so that library had some weird DVD options… they also had all the seasons of Law and Order) I openly confess to re-watching all the adventures of the vampire cop.
So, when I created a brunette paper doll with curls, I had to name her after Natalie Lambert played by Cathrine Disher who was the coroner best friend of the vampire cop. I still don’t know how the show ever got made, since it is such an absurd premise to begin with- Vampires Fighting Crime! Still, there’s a lot of other stupid TV shows that made it, and Forever Knight at least didn’t fall into the trap of having every show end with a happily ever after.
Truth be told, I watch very little contemporary TV, except home decorating shows. I do keep meaning to finish the first season of Orange is the New Black.
So.. confession… her eyes kinda bug me…. But despite that, I do like how she came out.
I was going to make her blond and she was blond for a while, but I noticed that I have a lot of blond printable paper dolls here. It’s one of my pet peeves that in sets of doll with lots of skin colors, the white doll always seems to be a blond or a redhead. I do the same thing a lot, because after a while brown hair gets boring and it’s not like I can apply red hair to a brown skinned doll and call it natural (though red highlights to appear naturally in some dark haired people). Anyway, this is a long involved way of saying that today’s paper doll is a brunette, though in the future there maybe more paper dolls with the same skin color and other hair colors.
And that’s all for today. I do want to know though… Has anyone else ever watched Forever Knight or am I the only one?
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.
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.
Today’s paper doll is, as expected, a Marisole Monday & Friends paper doll in full color with a stylish spy wardrobe.
My mother wanted me to mention, after reading my last post about Secret Agent Man, that she did not like Johnny Rivers and it wasn’t her fault that it came on the radio. And that in the days before playlists I should be happy that I get to pick what music I listen too.
Apparently suggesting that she was a Johnny Rivers fan was a deep insult to her hippy, anti-establishment ways.
So, I went back and forth about the right color scheme for this paper doll set. Part of me thought that yellow and pink were a little bright for a super spy, but then it occurred to me that no one would expect a super spy to be wearing yellow and pink. By the way, the short hair style Marisole is sporting is actually her base hair. These days I often draw my base dolls bald which helps when I have to draw hair for them, but back when I drew Marisole I didn’t do that. In her first post ever, she is sporting this hair style. That was back in January of 2010, though I actually drew Marisole sometime around 2008. She sat in a pile of unused base dolls for years before I finally decided what I was going to do with her. I think that’s sometimes the odd thing about working with her. She’s drawn in a style that I don’t know if I would, or even could, use today as my art has evolved.
Oh, by the way, something I am curious about this whether people like colored paper dolls or back and white paper dolls better, so I have changed out the poll in the sidebar. Vote if you want and also consider entering my current contest/drawing if you haven’t.
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.
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.
When it comes to pattern building, I find geometric patterns are easy if you have a drafting stencil handy (which I always do). I wanted to create something that played with pattern, but in a distinct style. I tend to prefer florals in the real world over geometric patterns, so I often draw them instead for my paper dolls. I think geometric patterns are a little more urban and hip than my vintage inspired funky floral patterns tend to be.
I also wanted to contrast Hazel’s vintage paper doll set with something much more urban chic, so I did this set which I think came out pretty well. I will confess that I am beginning to feel, as I often do when I work with one paper doll style (contemporary) for too long that I need a break.
So, things might be getting a bit more fantasy and strange around here soon enough.
Of course, considering how far ahead I tend to work, soon enough might be several months…
(Actually less, as I have worked through my backlog leaving me dangerously low on content.)
Not having any backlog is always a rather dangerous place for me to be, as I tend to dislike working against a wire.
Plus, I have busy academic things happening in this month, so I might have to put the blog on Haitus. I had hoped to not do that at all this year, but my academic (and work related) life comes before my paper dolling.