Shadow and Light Paper Doll Number 28… Inspired by The Avengers…

Shadow and Light Printable Paper Doll Logo So, this printable paper doll set was inspired by the Avengers. Not the Marvel comic book ones, but the original Avengers from the sixties by BBC. I got into that show because a high-school friend’s mother was totally into it. I thought that Emma Peel was the most elegant woman I’d ever seen. Actually, I still kinda think that.

Also, who doesn’t love 1960′s inspired jumpsuits?

I have to confess that I am neither pleased with how the “logo” image looks nor am I entirely pleased with her hair, but life is short and I wanted to get her posted up into the world. I am trying hard to end the year a little more on track that I was last year, so that means getting my paper doll life organized.

What I don’t want to do is end the year with a lot of random old scans cluttering up my folders. I have scans from years ago that I’ve never finished or posted and they sort of stare at me every time I open the folder with guilt inducing looks.

“Why haven’t you posted us?” They ask.

Nothing is worse than being guilt tripped by your own artwork.

Printable paper doll inspired by the Avengers 1960's British TV Show

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

By the way, if anyone is thinking of starting a blog, I think that While She Naps (A blog I like about sewing stuffed toys which I don’t do, but someday I might… okay, probably not, but I still like her blog) did a wonderful post I recently stumbled across called Nine Reasons Why You Should Have A Blog. One piece of her advice I need to learn to accept better is… It’s okay if a blog evolves. I have trouble with letting my blog evolve. I need to get more accepting of the idea that evolution is natural.

Have something to tell me? Feel free to leave me a comment.

The 27th Shadow and Light Printable Paper Doll

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Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve done one of these paper dolls and I have missed them.

I developed drawing in this style in college, because I admired the work of many wonderful comic book artists. As I got more concerned with the playability of the paper dolls rather than what I thought was artistic merit, I largely abandoned it for paper doll work and went back to my more cartoony style.

Still… I love the idea of black and white paper dolls that aren’t meant to be colored and can stand alone as pieces of work without needing color.

Today’s Shadow & Light printable paper doll has a 1930′s noir sensibility that I think the heavily shadowed medium really illustrates well and I adore her side glancing eyes.

One of the other reasons I love doing Shadow and Light paper dolls is that they come together very quickly. Well… not the inking and drawing parts (those take more time with all the shadow), but the actualy formatting is quick since they don’t need to be colored and usually I draw the taps right on the paper doll clothing rather than adding them later.

By the way, I have a new poll. I have done this poll once, several years ago. That time, the Marisol Monday won out, by a landslide. I’m curious of that would happen again. I suppose we’ll see.

Bone Fairy…. and Hiatus


{PDF of the Bone Fairy Paper Doll}

I think everyone goes through a “drawing creepy things in college” phase.

This paper doll was part of my “drawing creepy things in college” phase. I was obsessed at the time with the Duino Elegies by Rilke. The First Elegy contains what remains my favorite Rilke quote, “Because beauty’s nothing but the start of terror we can hardly bear, and we adore it because of the serene scorn it could kill us with. Every angel’s terrifying.” I memorized the entire first elegy out of the A. Poulin Jr. translation I bought for a dollar at a thrift store in college.

Anyway, this paper doll was inspired by angels (the terrifying kind) and fairies (also the terrifying kind) and so she’s a little dark. She’s up in the Printable Paper Doll Index along with the rest of the random non-series paper dolls I’ve ever posted.

Since it’s the last day in May, this also begins my month long hiatus. I will still be checking in on the blog, and checking my email, but I have conferences and work obligations that are going to make this coming month nearly impossible for my usual update schedule.

I hope that when I return on the first of July, I’ll have had time to make some changes to the site, built up a big of a backlog and be able to continue out the year strong. We’ve had 55 posts over the last five months and I’m quite proud of that. See you all in a month. :)

Punk Girl… A black and white paper doll…

{Click Here for a PDF of the Paper Doll}{Click Here for a PDF of The Paper Doll’s Stylin’ Clothes}

My best friend in middle school and in high school and college was a girl with a distinctly punky style. I admired her guts at wearing vynal pants in our small Alaskan town. This was before the days of days of universal internet shopping (we had Amazon and it pretty much only sold books back then), so the school was pretty sedate in style. (Not from desire, as much as lack of access.) Her style, on the other hand, was loud and bright and adventurous. I’ve always admired her for having the gall to go for it when I didn’t.

Since I wasn’t going to actually wear the clothing I admired so much, I made up for it by drawing paper dolls. This was dates from my college years, back in 2005. I remember planning on doing that brick pattern, by hand, for the entire sheet of clothes and then concluding life was way to short. Unlike a lot of my stuff from college, I’m still pleased with this one, though I see a few flaws that I would correct now, except that I want to keep the integrity of my old art.

Enjoy her. She’s been added to the index as well.

I have also, quietly, migrated the Dictionary Girls into retired status. The series hasn’t been updated in six months and I hate to leave it hanging as a “possibility” when I know, secretly, that it’s probably not. I do want to have a full figured paper doll series, I just need to think about how to handle it. Having said that, inspiration might strike and they might return. I just don’t want people to think they update often when, in truth, they don’t.

Marisole Monday: Spikes and Pleats… In Pinks and Purples

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I seriously feel like I should have saved this for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t have anything else finished, so up it goes.

It’s not like I started with a plan for the obnoxious color scheme, but somehow the traditional black and red thing I do for punk clothing just wasn’t hitting the mark. So, pink, purple and black became the name of the game.

I sort of like it.

I do wish the fuzzy sweater looked… well… fuzzier. By the way, the neckline of that sweater is low and it’s meant to go over one of the corsets or other tops, otherwise she shows off more of her swimsuit than perhaps is decent for polite society.

So, I think I’ve mentioned my wacky formula for calculating the number of outfit combos a paper doll set contains before which is the number of tops multiplied by the number of bottoms and then by the number of shoes and then by the number of “jackets” plus 1. Now often the formula doesn’t work, because the pieces aren’t really totally interchangeable, but this is a rare set where I think everything really can go with everything else. The result is a total of 146 outfit combinations (not taking into consideration accessories) which is pretty remarkable.

Marisole Monday: Spikes & Pleats

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

First of all: Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to those in the United States who celebrate.

I am spending my day off doing exciting things like washing laundry and cleaning my kitchen and getting this slightly belated than usual Marisole post up. I decided to use Margot since she’s new. Punk MarisoleAfter some thought, I have broken down the Marisole Monday category into sections for Margot, Marisole and Mia, my three different “faces” for Marisole, if that makes sense. The dolls can all share clothing.

Sometimes an whole paper doll set comes out of my desire to draw a single outfit. In the case of today’s paper doll set, it was the high-waisted plaid skirt and the tie. So, after I decided I wanted to draw that then the rest of it came together along similar lines- lots of pleats and a sort of “school girl gone wrong” kinda vibe.

One of my favorite paper dolls blogs has a new address. A Time For Paper Dolls used to be Inflammation Of… and I am really enjoying her dolls. I love their clean crisp lines and simple shapes. If I had small children, I would totally print these out for them and I might just color a few on my own for fun.

I totally make my own fun.

An Elf with an Obi

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So, today I wanted to draw a paper doll that was a little edgy and inspired by Asian traditional dress with obi’s and mandarin collars (though there is some debate as to the evolution of the mandarin collar… and whether it evolved from Chinese contact with European military uniforms or European contact with Chinese dress… I’ve read both versions in respected literature on the subject, so I have no opinion except to say we don’t know and leave it at that), but I realized I tend to draw Asian looking paper dolls when I’m drawing Asian inspired costumes and that seemed a little… odd, so I instead made her an elf with braids, resulting in a sort of African elf in an obi.

I’m sure if I was more awake today and if I really wanted to, I could probably read some interesting orientalist thing into all this, but I’d rather just stick with the “it’s a paper doll and it’s neat” side of theoretical endeavors.

Anyhow… as you might have noticed on the right side of the blog a few things have changed. I’ve added tags in an attempt to try to create a genre sort of listing which crosses paper dolls styles. So, if a person wanted to see all the fantasy paper dolls or felt a need to look at every blond paper doll, the option would be available. The three tags I am sort of uncomfortable with are Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll. I did them, because I erratically get emails asking about paper dolls of one of those three groups and I thought the tag might help people find them, but I also feel rather uncomfortable applying racial labels to my paper dolls, especially with Marisole who only has two facial options to begin with.

So, I’m tossing this out to the peanut gallery: Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll tags are useful or awkward or likely to offend people? Thoughts?

Shadow & Light… The 22nd One

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Here we are at nearly the end of December and here is another Shadow and Light paper dolls. Today’s paper doll is a bit steampunk-ish (though lacks the gears and goggles that seem to be required), still I hope no one will hold that against her. Truth be told, I can’t draw a gear to save my life, though I have tried on occasion to mixed success.

I forgot, living in Alabama, how pretty the snow is, but I also forgot how annoying it is to sweep off your car in the morning in the cold wearing black ankle boots. Toes freezing and fingers freezing and snow sticking to eyelashes under a grey sky with lights from the buildings flickering through, there’s nothing like winter in Southeast Alaska.

It’s a beautiful place up here.

Oh and by the way, there’s a poll on the sidebar. Please fill it out. I do actually pay attention to what people vote for and I use it to decide what I will do in the coming year. If there’s something you’d like to see and it’s not on the list, please comment.

Flirty Eyes and Kimono Sleeves

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“Flirty eyes” is a term used by doll collectors to describe the side glancing eyes popular in dolls of the early 20th century. I happen to love the look of the side glancing eyes- I think they have more character than front facing eyes and give the paper dolls a slightly mischievous look.

Ash wrote: I notice that you draw a lot from fashion magazines, which is actually pretty cool. So do you enjoy the early history of Paper Dolls? Do you have a favorite paper doll artist (one who isn’t online)?

I am utterly fascinated by the early history of paper dolls and I am trying on the blog to show off things I find on the web that are both historical and neat. My favorite paper doll artist, at the moment, is Nandor Honti who did a series of paper dolls for MaCalls magazine in the 1920s. Along with the figures, Honti’s paper dolls also include furniture and other items, crossing the fuzzy line between paper doll and paper toy and becoming something much more interesting. I have no idea how many paper dolls Nandor Honti did, but I dream of someday owning a set of the originals. They are so darn inventive.

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

Warrior in Shadow and Light

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So, I was pawing around the internet, as I do, and I stumbled across this wonderful German website that contained some beautiful vintage German paper dolls. The word for paper doll in German is “ankleidepuppen” which literally translates to something like “dress up doll” according to my good friend from Germany, but, she told me, its usually used for paper dolls rather than normal dolls. Paper dolls and paper models are still pretty popular in Germany, though not in the United States.

Right after college, I got a fairly dead-end job working at a local bookstore and toy store. One of the catalogs we received, though never ordered from, was a German catalog that sold beautiful paper models. The prices were far above what we could have possibly sold them for, so we didn’t stock them normally, though I seem to recall a customer who would come in and special order them.

I love beautiful paper toys of all kinds, though paper dolls are, understandably, my first love.

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