Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
The first paper doll outfits I drew for the Jewels and Gemstones were fantasy gowns. This was one of them. The other, I’ll be sharing on Friday for my Patrons.
I tend to return to these sorts of medieval inspired fantasy gowns when I don’t know what to draw. I don’t know why, exactly, but it’s a style I like and a style that doesn’t take a lot of thought for me. I think?
I’m not sure.
There are things like these sorts of gowns (another example, and another, and another) that are simple and I can draw without having to look at lots of source images or worry about historical accuracy.
The paper doll equivalent of that recipe you make over and over again, because you know it will come out. Maybe not super innovative, but comforting. The pumpkin bread of paper doll clothing.
Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Today’s paper doll gown lacks a real specific inspiration. Medieval clothing, I suppose, but only in a fantasy universe sort of way.
Specific Source Images: I haven’t got any this time.
Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
On some level, I draw the sorts of paper dolls I wanted as a child. I wanted hundreds of outfits. I didn’t want 100s of dolls, but one doll with a huge wardrobe. Well, now a days I also recognize the importance of doll variety (being that I am no longer 12) and I have too much fun drawing different dolls to just have one.
Beyond all that, I draw things that I feel like drawing. This isn’t great for the sites stats, but it does make me happy. Sometimes, that means I draw a Viking woman warrior in the form of a paper doll outfit. I firmly believe anything can become paper doll clothing. (Not anything SHOULD become paper doll clothing, but that’s a whole different issue, you know?)
Now, I admit things get a little random around here. This week they certainly will, but I hope everyone has as much fun as I do with the random.
Today’s Viking inspired fantasy outfit will be followed by some professional wear tomorrow. See, I said this week would be random.
This week’s random collection would have gone up last week, but cybergoth won the poll I gave those who support me on Patreon. If you want some input into those things, you can join us there.
Now, I know I will always sometimes have random weeks, because I don’t always want to draw a bunch of the same thing, but I am curious. Do you prefer weeks with themes or weeks of random? I feel a little divided. I think theme weeks are great if you like the theme, but maybe little dull if you happen to hate cybergoth or something. What do you think? Let me know in a comment.
Every time I draw one of these totally absurd, completely impractical over the top fantasy armor sets, I try to blame it on my love of Xena: Warrior Princess as a child. But maybe I just like drawing over the top fantasy armor sets.
Today’s paper doll post is a big skirted princess fantasy dress- one of my favorite styles to explore. I’ve done quite a few of these dresses for the B pose ladies before. You might remember my fall steampunk inspired one from a few weeks ago.
Sometimes I create a paper doll outfit that gives me fits and this was one such paper doll outfit. I must have been seriously out of it when I penciled this. So, I ended up needed to do a lot of Photoshop work to make the whole outfit fit the paper doll. It was a pain.
But I’m actually pretty happy with how it came out once I solved the problem of the fit.
I do try to test everything in Photoshop before I finish it, even if I don’t test everything physically. If I had to cut out every paper doll set I ever designed, I would basically spend my entire life cutting out paper dolls.
Not that I don’t cut them out sometimes just for fun.
I really do enjoy designing these fantasy outfits. They are probably my favorite things to design. I think I watched too much Hercules and Lord of the Rings as a young person. I love the costumes from Game of Thrones, but I confess I haven’t been able to get into the actual show. There’s a little to much violence for me to actually watch the show.
What shows are you watching right now? I’m super enjoying the X-men show, Gifted and I am slowly getting into Doctor Who which I never watched before. I have a long time before I catch up.
There are genre’s I come back to over and over again. Some of them are themes like post-apocalyptic or fairies. Others are more like fashion styles. On of them is what I call “Big Skirted Princess Dresses.”
One thing you must know about me is that I was a child of 1980s and 1990s. That means, I grew up with Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid (which terrified me so much as a child I refused to watch it again until I was in my 30s.) I also grew up with paper dolls of these movies and the paper dolls of Peck-Grande who made the most amazing fairy tale paper dolls. Seriously. Check out their Beauty and the Beast paper doll or Sleeping Beauty paper doll. Also big skirted over the top dresses were sort of a thing in the 1980s and early 1990s.
So, in my head, fairy tale dresses with huge skirts and crazy decorations are just what princesses wear. Plus the big skirts give lots of room for added decoration.
Today’s foray into the big-skirted-princess-gown genre has a bit of a steampunk vibe. I really wanted this dress to feel autumnal, just like I think the other big-skirted dresses I have done feel like they are from other seasons. This one was my winter dress and this one was my summer/spring dress.
Do let me know what you think of today’s post in a comment. I love to hear from you. If you want to support the blog, think about donating through Patreon.
Today’s paper doll is the first C Pose Dandies to get a what I think of as a “Themed” set. It’s Cameron and he’s an elven prince with his crown and everything.
I knew from the beginning of the Dames and Dandies series that having a consistent guy paper doll series was important. First off, I get a lot of requests for guy paper dolls from parents and I also know that I’m not the best artist, so I don’t like trying to draw poses to scale of each other if I haven’t started with that goal.
Figure drawing and I… Well, I won’t say we’re enemies, but we are not friends.
But guy paper dolls were never my favorites as a kid. I struggle even today to sort out what to draw for them, because my ideas tend default to ladies. This is nothing against guy paper dolls, but I’ve been drawing lady paper dolls since I was… like ten?
And I’ve been drawing guy paper dolls for… four years? Maybe?
Moral of the story, I just like drawing girls more.
Anyway, I wanted to do an elven prince and I thought it wold be fun to feature Cameron. There was going to be a Viking version of Cyrus and… I had plans.
But the Viking hair/wig I created for Cyrus totally didn’t fit (oops) and so there’s no Viking to go with our elf. So, this won’t be the “week of C Pose” that I had originally planned it to be.
But this is the first day of October and that means Inktober has begun! For those of you who are Patrons, this is old news. For those of you who aren’t, Inktober is a project where people (mostly on Instagram) draw pen and ink drawings for the month of October and post them. Some folks do one a day. Some folks do one a week. My goal is ten over the course of October. Follow me on Instagram if you want to see the drawings.
And, of course, I always love to hear from you, so leave me a comment and let me know what you think of Cameron, elven prince.
The truth is that while I enjoy drawing historical paper doll clothing, there’s always some pressure there. I want things to be accurate (to the best of my ability) and well cited.
So, sometimes I just want to draw something that is inspired by a period of time without feeling like I need to do track down a source to justify my decision. This was one of those times. I just wanted to drawn an apron-dress.
I didn’t want to mess around with trying to decide of dwarf brooches were worn by unmarried women and how long the dress was based on fragments of braid found in graves.
I mean, that’s all fascinating stuff, but… sometimes I just want to draw a worm ouroboros and be done with it. That’s the symbol on her apron. It’s a serpent biting its own tail and it shows up all over the world.
In Norse mythology (for those of you who weren’t obsessed with the ouroboros in high school), the serpent Jörmungandr encircles the earth, biting its own tail forming an ouroboros. Ragnarok (the end of the world) will begin when Jörmungandr lets go of its tail. Thor, the God of Thunder, will fight Jörmungandr, slay it and then die from the poison of the serpent.
Anyway, along with her apron-dress, she has a pair of fur wrapped boots, a knife, cup and comb.
This dress went through several different color schemes. This color scheme was my second one. My first attempt was yellow, reds and greens and I just didn’t like it as much as this blue and yellow version. I did toss up on my Patreon page. Head over there to download and print it, if you want a second color scheme for today’s dress or to build more of a fantasy viking wardrobe. While you’re there, think about joining to help keep the blog on the internets. It really does help offset my costs.
True thing- I was asked if I had plans for a male ninja back on my lady ninja costume design by Victoria on behalf of her six year old son. And you know, when parents tell me their kids have asked for things, I am a total sucker. It’s like, “AWWW… of course I’ll draw that for the child I’ve never met/seen/may not be real.”
And now you all know how to get past my defenses.
Now, I don’t know anything about ninjas, but I do have a fear friend who is a talented marshal artist. So, I hope she will forgive my badly drawn katana. One of these days, I’m going to get better at drawing katanas, but that isn’t going to be today.
I wanted a ninja costume design that was interesting and also felt layered- the sort of thing you could imagine someone adding to as they had lived in the outfit. When I work in all black, I worry about the paper doll ending up looking “dull” and sort of lifeless. I love how flat color looks, but it can also look… well.. flat. I don’t know if that makes any sense. So, I try to add depth by using several shades of the same color. In the case of largely black sets, I try to use several shades of dark grey and then another color if I can.
In this case, I added in some dark navy blue to accent the black. I thought about using red, which you see a lot in ninja Halloween costumes, but I thought it was too bright against the black.
I did use a bright purple base though, because I do love color.
Of course, if you want a more colorful ninja there is the black and white version and you can color that one anyway you want. If you follow me on social media or are a Patron, you may recall seeing this set along with my knight armor when I posted a sketchbook picture at the beginning of the month.
Whenever I post a wedding gown I seem to start by saying that I don’t often draw wedding gowns. Yet, since I seem to have posted several wedding gowns this year, maybe I should stop saying that. I guess what I would say is that I was never one of those people who was obsessed with weddings or wedding gowns. I like pretty dresses, of course. I draw a paper doll blog for goodness sake.
But there’s a ton of baggage wrapped up in wedding dresses.
I think that’s part of why I have such mixed feelings about the genre.
The medieval wedding gown here is part of the Fantasy Maiden Series. Fundamentally, there’s no reason I couldn’t have recolored it in bright purple or something and not called it a wedding gown. However, the source gown was described as a fantasy medieval wedding gown and who am I to argue?
As long time readers will know, I am a wee bit obsessed with bridal trousseaux and I kinda found myself thinking of the Fantasy Maiden Series in that context. Once I did that, I knew I had to draw a wedding gown.
While this certainly isn’t the last of the Fantasy Maiden Series, I thought it might be neat to see all the gowns together.
The Fantasy Maiden Paper Doll Gowns Thus Far…
It’s very easy for me to lose track of what I’ve done and feel like there is never enough. So, for me, putting together these little galleries reminds me that I have achieved something. That there are a few different gown options. It’s helpful for me to see things as a collection and not just a series of posts. I hope it is helpful for you all as well.
What do you think? Should I keep going with the series? Comment if you like and let me know.
I’d like to add a Happy New Year to everyone who (like me) is celebrating today. Shana Tova! Happy 5779! May you all have a sweet wonderful year.