Short shorts and Some Questionable Sleeves… A Black and White Paper Doll

So, I went out to the movies tonight and saw “Snow White and the Huntsman” with some friends. I concluded that the Twilight Chick (whose name I had to look up on IMBD) can’t act, that I rather liked Charlize Theron when she’s evil and that the movie was better than Mirror Mirror, but I’ll take the Disney version over either any day. The costumes were pretty beautiful, especially the Evil Queens, but there’s apart where Snow White rides into battle not wearing a helmet- apparently being a princess means you’re immune to concussive head injuries.



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So, before I crawl into bed, I should answer a question.

Monica asked: Do you prefer online paper doll research, or real book research? Internet or Library? =]

Well, that’s a kinda complicated question. The answer is: It depends on what I am researching and why.

If I want inspiration for a modern or a fantasy set, than I usually stick to the internet. I use it for looking at clothing websites or checking out the latest designer shows a It’s really useful.

If I want historical costume, I usually go to books. I own about a dozen different costume books in my own collection, plus I regularly have at least a dozen checked out from the library. The exception to this are the websites of museums and libraries, which often contain digitized primary source documents or photos of items in their collections. Books are great for context. The internet is great for pictures. Some of my favorite internet resources are linked on my Research Resources page which I just finished updating, though I have some more to add later.

The truth is that I don’t really like staring at a computer while trying to draw and I would much rather have a book open in front of me than a computer screen. Though I usually draw from drafted tumbnails, so even with fantasy costumes, I rarely have a computer open when I am actually drawing.

I hope that answers your question, Monica.

So, has anyone else seen either of the new Snow White movies and what do they think of them? Should I do so a Snow White paper doll? Or an Evil Queen?

Marisole Monday: Fantasy gowns in…vibrant colors

Today’s printable paper doll is so bright, you might find yourself thinking “Good god, it’s radioactive” and you wouldn’t be wrong. She’s extremely a little eye-watering, I confess, but I had a lot of fun. Like Kandi, I wanted to play with the contrast of bright color to dark skin. Also, once I colored all the clothing and I looked at my Marisole skin tone color palette, I realized that most of them clashed with that obnoxious delightful green color.

Seriously, if there was ever a good post to do in black and white and in color… this was it. I doubt I would have had the gumption to go this bright if I wasn’t going to also post her in black and white.


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And now to answer a question….

So, B asked: Are you going to make another set of Flock dolls? It’d be pretty cool to see fairy tales, or maybe cyberpunk!

The short answer is: Yes.

The longer answer is that the next set of Flock paper dolls will be modern and will consist of the six dolls and a over a hundred pieces of clothing. After that I want to do smaller sets, because seriously the whole “hundred” pieces of clothing was a bit much. I have a “noir punk” set in process and a sort of futuristic set as well. Neither is close to being done though and the casual set is very close. As in, I hoping sometime this week or next, close.

I have to say I love the idea of doing something fairy tale inspired… sort of a bad ass Red Ridinghood and Cinderella set… I shall have to think about that more.

Speaking of the Questions, Tuesday is the last day to enter my drawing. I know I said yesterday that I would draw a name on Tuesday, but I realized for it to be open for two weeks it was going to have to go until Tuesday until midnight. I’ll announce the winner Wednesday. Hopefully along with a Dictionary Girls update, but since I don’t have one yet… well… we’ll see.

I’ve been thinking about doing a series of posts about things I wish I knew about paper doll blogging back when I started paper doll blogging… is that something people would be interested in? I mean, it’s not terribly paper doll related.

I draw paper dolls… (Plus here’s a chick with some fantasy dresses)


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So… here’s the thing… I said to the apartment people..I need a second bedroom, because I want a work space and a guest space…

What I didn’t say is this:

I draw paper dolls.

I don’t know why.

It’s not because I have an artistic vision or something… I just like them.

It’s a little nostalgia, a little amusement. It’s my hobby.

Why do some people knit or crochet or make pottery?

I don’t know.

I don’t even really know why I draw paper dolls.

Except this…

Every paper doll is a potential story. What humans wear are physical manifestations of social and cultural forces. We dress ourselves so we can become what we want to be. We dress ourselves as what we think we should be.

Every paper doll is a potential character. What that paper doll wears is about what that paper doll can become. Every time I draw a paper doll, I can create a world.

Also, I like pretty dresses.

This is my hobby.

I don’t knit. I don’t crochet.

I draw paper dolls.

Plus… well… I do need some guest space.

Marisole Monday: A Princess in Black and White


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So, my drawing is still open (will be until Next Tuesday, winner will be announced with the Dictionary Girls post of that week), but I wanted to start answering some of the excellent questions I was asked. Since one of the questions was about Marisole and here is Marisole, it seems fitting to answer that question now.

Dee asked: Where did the original idea [for Marisole] come from, was the first doll based on anyone special.

The answer is yes, she was. Well.. sort of. The first Marisole paper doll was drawn in 2009, according to the note I have scribbled on the original art work, but I never got around to posting her until the site crashed. As a result, she was posted for the new site version in January of 2010 and made her debut.

She is based, vaguely, on Halle Berry in the James Bond movie Die Another Day which is a pretty bad movie. Jinx Johnson, played by Halle, walks out of the water in a tiny orange bikini and a spiky hair cut. The hair was what made me think Marisole looked like Halle. The rest of the paper doll’s features owe their proportions to the Bratz dolls mostly.

Beyond the Jinx Johnson connection, I wanted to do a paper doll that wasn’t white. I’d noticed that there just aren’t a lot of brown skinned paper dolls out there on the internet. (My attempt to collect some African American paper doll printables taught me there still aren’t a lot of them.)

I went utterly cartoony with Marisole because I was self-conscious doing strongly ethnic features. The history of black paper dolls, especially, is full of some remarkably cruel depictions and I wanted to make sure Marisole wasn’t one of them.

It is possible she’s a cruel depiction of compound eyed, huge headed bug people… but that can’t be helped.

Also, making the paper doll cartoony meant she could be any skin tone or style I wanted which is part of why I still like drawing and coloring her after 2 and a-half years. She’s been dark, light, and dead.

I’ve even made her an alien.

Today’s incarnation of Marisole is a fairly standard pseudo-Victorian set whose pieces I couldn’t seem to arrange properly and so lose the title. Oh well… these things happen. I hate coming up with titles anyway. Tune in next week for the color version. It’s going to be… bright.

Flirty Eyes and Puffy Sleeves

So, first of all, I want to thank everyone whose entered my drawing and asked me a question. The questions have all been really interesting. It’s fascinating to think about what maybe I have or haven’t said on the blog that perhaps I should have said… and if that’s not the most convoluted sentence ever… I don’t know what is.

The drawing is open until next Tuesday and then I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner.

And now…. A few words about the printable paper doll of the day….


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The Shadow and Light paper dolls are drawn in a style I developed in college after complaining that most black and white paper dolls needed to be colored to look good. I wanted to draw some paper dolls that were graphic enough to stand alone without being colored, plus I was reading a lot of comics in those days and had a love of the heavy shadowed style of Frank Miller’s Sin City and Marcelo Frusin, who was drawing the Hellblazer comics at that time with Mike Carey was writing it. I stopped reading comics when I got to graduate school, far to much to do and not enough time to do it in, but I hope to get back to them and at least finish Lucifer which I never did get done with and darn it, I wanna know how it ends.

Okay, I know how it ends, but I still wanna read it…

This particular paper doll has “flirty eyes” which is a term used to describe dolls that look to the side rather than forward. It’s a pretty common term in antique and collectable dolls and “flirty eyed” dolls were particularly popular in the 1900s with Googlies and Lenci dolls.

Marisole Monday: Sweet Cream in Black and White

Today’s paper doll is new and in black and white. Next week, she’ll be in color. I just don’t have the colored version done yet and I thought I would post a black and white version first. These are all pieces of clothing I found while looking through magazines in the airport. I really love the full skirted dress with the buttons. I would wear it, but then I love those full skirted vintage looking dresses.


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So, I disappeared there for a few days. I got busy and then I got overwhelmed and then I got lazy. But life has settled down a little, though I must confess not very much, and I am able to get some time in to work on feeding the blog. The truth is that while classes are over I have a few things to finish before I graduate and then, only then, can I consider myself done. Plus I am moving soon, so that’s another series of problems to worry about.

I saw the James Bond film Quantum of Solace tonight with friends and I had no idea what was going on for most of the film. I was rather disappointed. I really like James Bond, but…. I dunno. It was an odd film.

Shadow & Light 14: Paper Doll to Print

Embracing the gothic once more, we have another Shadow and Light paper doll. There’s something very saucy about both her outfits. Also today is Friday the 13th, so it seems only fitting we do something suitably gothic here in paper doll land. It’s finally started snowing here and I wish it would stop all ready. Not to say I don’t like the snow…. I do, but I walked through it quite a bit today padding from and to work and getting things sorted before my classes start next week.


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I am not really ready for classes to start, but I am working on getting my schedule sorted out as I need to do that before classes begin. I have a big order of textbooks which I am waiting to come in from Amazon (along with a paper doll or two, I confess) and that’s taking what feels like forever.

Still, here we have a shadow and light paper doll and on Sunday there will be a Pixie and then Monday there will be Marisole and we’ll be off and running. In the mean time, vote in the poll if you haven’t and tell me what you’d like to see new for the blog in the coming year. It seems a male paper doll it getting the majority of the interest, so I might have to do what Boots suggested.