Jai: A Fantasy Paper Doll

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll inspired by historical Chinese dress This isn’t an accurate depiction of Tang Dynasty dress. Though at times it seems to me that this would be obvious, most people (myself included) aren’t very familiar with the dynasties of China, let alone what they were wearing. Oddly, I never feel like when I draw stuff like this or this or this, I have to say it’s not accurate historical European dress, so perhaps my ned for a “disclaimer” is partly an assumption on my part about what my readers are familiar with.

So, anyway, these gowns were inspired by Hanfu and Tang Dynasty dress if anyone is keeping count. Of course, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t meant to be. I just had a lot of fun looking up gowns like this one and this one on Pinterest.

I find balancing research intense projects with non-research intense projects really helps keep me feeling sane. So, fantasy often seems to counter balance historical sets. I just finished, for example, penciling the largest 18th century set that I have ever drawn and then drew a space princess with a ray gun.

It’s all about contrast.

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll in black and white for coloring inspired by historical Chinese dress
{Download a PDF to Print and Color} {Download a PNG to Print and Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}
I went with a muted color scheme that I found on Design Seeds. I wanted it to feel a little less bright and more nature inspired than a lot of my color schemes tend towards. I have a lof of bright colors. I think the gray greens and soft lavenders go a long way to keeping things feeling soft and delicate.

Link to Jai, a fantasy printable paper doll inspired by historical Chinese dress in color. Part of the Pixie series, Jai can share clothing with the other Pixie paper dolls
{Download a PDF to Print in Color} {Download a PNG to Print in Color}{More Pixie & Puck Printable Paper Dolls}
I swear I had a reference from a contemporary Asian historical drama film when I drew her hair, but now I can’t seem to find the picture on Pinterest. Normally, I’m quite compulsive about saving these things, so I’m a little surprised to be so flummoxed.

Oh well… perhaps I shall find it later.

In the meantime, enjoy Jai and her fantasy gowns.

Dragon Queen: Fantasy Printable Paper Doll

Dragon Queen fantasy printable paper doll I had grand plans to get my 1300s Marisole Monday & Friends set done yesterday, but obviously that didn’t happen. So, we have Bodacious and Buxom instead and dragons! (Sort of.)

So, when I posted my blog goals for 2015, I didn’t mention in my ten posts for Bodacious and Buxom that I had this post waiting quietly in the wings. Technically, I finished it when I finished the 1940s paper doll set, but I saved it as I don’t like to post two of the same series in a row.

I also have a nearly finished regency combined with steampunk set and a weird sort of farm girl thing in the works.

But today there are dragons, or at least humanoids who have some reptilian features. One of the things that my alchemist paper doll taught me is how many long dresses I can fit on a single page of the B&B series. The answer seems to be two dresses with a pair of shoes and some accessories. As a result, our Dragon Queen has two gowns, a sword, a mirror, a book and some shoes. Somehow I always imagine dragons as very vain creatures.

Dragon Queen Fantasy Paper Doll in Black and White for Coloring
{Download a PDF of this paper doll to Color} {View a 150 dpi PNG of this Paper Doll to Color}
In my mind, today’s paper doll is either a dragon in humanoid form or from a species that believes they are descended from dragons. Her homeland is mountainous and rich in minerals. I imagine her people are sophisticated and tend to rely on their innate magic rather than technological accumen to solve their problems. Isolationists, they are uninterested in contact with other humanoid species, but maintain slight contact with the Dwarfs, for their technology and metalworking skills, and minor contact with the Elves, for their magic. Humans are, well, beneath them.

Full color Popper Paper Doll
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I chose a rich jewel toned color scheme for this paper doll set. I knew I wanted some sort of green skin, but I didn’t want it to feel too “lizard” like. I went with a rich teal. I also wanted her dresses to coordinate with her skin, as though they were chosen specifically to do so. I imagine she is wealthy enough to have her clothing tailored to match her coloring.

Lady in a Castle: A Printable Paper Doll

Printable paper doll of a fantasy princess with four dresses One of my pet peeves is that fantasy movies always default to the assumption that the characters involved are white-skinned. I just saw Into the Woods which I recommend highly- I am a huge Sondheim fan- and I noticed they had some brown-skinned extras which is great, but all of the main characters were white skinned.

I know one of the common arguments against skin-tone diversity in classic fantasy or fairytales is that they are often European in origin and it wouldn’t be accurate to have brown skinned characters; however, I’m not sure the argument for “accuracy” really holds up. First of all, there was a lot more diversity in Europe a lot earlier than most people realize. Secondly, if there are going to be giants and magic, can’t we accept the idea that some of the characters might be darker skinned? Does that really deeply violate suspension of disbelief? We are talking about a genre of story with singing harps, talking animals, and pumpkin coaches.

This is all a really complicated way of saying that I try to give my fantasy paper dolls a variety of skin tones, including weird ones like green, more green and orange. Um… Is it bad I just noticed I have two green skinned paper dolls? I could have sworn one of those had blue skin. I should keep better track of these things.

A printable fantasy paper doll coloring page.
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Moving on from her skin tone, I stuck with the pale scheme I had planned and tried to focus on greens, blues and purples while using yellow and pink as accent colors. I think it came out pretty well, though coloring those detailed patterns took forever. Every time I add a bunch of pattern, I promise myself that it is the “last time” and then I do it again- because I really do like pattern.

Changing topic a bit, one of the most common questions I get is “Why don’t you sell your paper dolls?” I decided to answer this question for Abby of While She Naps. Abby took my thoughts about hobby and business, combined them with those of some other very talented crafters, and created a really great post about business, craft, and why we do what we do. I recommend going and reading it post-haste.

Meanwhile, Vikings are winning my “What historical period should B&B visit” poll which means, I suppose, I should go learn something about Viking dress. If you have not voted, please do. It is highly likely that I will not totally ignore the outcome. It is also highly likely it will take forever for me to get it done, because I am me.

Lady in a Castle: A Black and White Printable Paper Doll

Printable paper doll coloring page of a fantasy princess So, I usually manage to get these paper doll sets up on schedule to post early Monday, but clearly today I wasn’t so on the ball. Never the less, I’m not technically late, just a little delayed I suppose.

This week’s Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll set features Marisole and some pretty traditional fantasy gowns. Fantasy sets seem to be the favorite of my readers and I enjoy them. I wanted to play with pattern for these, so they are heavily patterned- much more than I usually do with my paper doll sets. I’ve been challenging myself to use more patterns lately.

Should you think Marisole needs some paper doll friends, I’m sure she can hang out with Marcus the Warrior or the Coastal Princess. I know she’ll have a light colored, pastel based color scheme, though I’m not sure exactly what colors yet.

A printable fantasy paper doll coloring page.
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

And since it’s later than I usually get these done and I am very tired, I am going to call this post finished. Thanks everyone for your kind wishes while I was ill last week and hopefully we’ll have a normally updating blog this week.

If you want, let me know what you think of her in a comment. :)

Marcus the Warrior Printable Paper Doll in Color

Printable paper doll coloring page This is going to be an uber short post today, because I really have a million things to do. Still, I have neglected the blog for a week and I didn’t want to keep neglecting it.

Sometimes, I feel like it is a small monster. If I don’t feed the blog monster, it might someday hunger for the souls of children or possibly lollipops. Either way, it is in my best interest to make sure that it is fed.

Anyway, today we have the Marcus paper doll from last way up in full color. The designs are based on my whole pseudo-Medieval/Viking thing. I really wanted to stick with earth tones and simple colors, nothing too crazy or vivid.

A printable steampunk inspired airship mechanic coloring page.
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

Right now, there’s a little drawing/contest and it’ll be wrapping soon so go enter if you haven’t. It closes on the 14th, winner announced on the 15th.

Marcus as a Warrior: A Paper Doll to Color

Printable paper doll coloring page Starting off 2015 with a Marcus 2.0 paper doll as my first Marisole Monday & Friends set. I wanted to do a Marisole doll for 2015, but I didn’t have done finished and this was finished, so up it goes. In total, there were 23 new Marisole Monday & Friends designs posted last year which I think is fairly close to a personal best. I haven’t checked my previous years to find out.

Today, we have Marcus 2.0 as a warrior. I wanted to do something fairly generic fantasy which would set Marcus up for when he might need to slay dragons or something. It’s not real armor, but closer in style to my Lord of the North set for Marcus 1.0 or he could be a companion for my Spirit of the North (though he won’t have blue skin) or my Anglo-Saxon paper doll, though there’s nothing historical about him. I’m sure there are other fantasy paper doll sets he would fit in with.

He does have a statement necklace and some useful swords.

A printable fantasy warrior paper doll set for coloring
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

I’m pleased with how he came out. I really like the boots and the two pairs of leggings give him more outfit options for a total of six. Not bad for a six piece set. He’ll be up in full color next week. After that, I hope to have my Majorette paper doll done which I promised someone. Before moving to the South, I didn’t actually know that anyone did baton twirling anymore. You learn new things everyday, I suppose.

Right now, there’s a little drawing/contest so enter that if you wanna.

Her Ladyship’s Dressing Gown and Nightgown

Her Ladyship Last page of Her Ladyship today and now you can download all ten pages of this paper doll and print her out at at once, if you haven’t been collecting the pages. I never know how to describe black and white paper dolls. Sometimes, I think I should call them, “Paper dolls to color” or I should call them “colorable paper dolls”, but “black and white paper dolls” is what I seem to have adopted over the years of this little blogs life.

Fairly early on in the Her Ladyship paper doll set, I had a reader ask me if I was going to ever post a wig of her hair down. Well, here it is. Her dressing gown, nightgown and two wigs of her hair in a braid and loose over her shoulders. I couldn’t justify a crazy up-do for sleeping in. I’m a little embarrassed that I take the “reality” of my fantasy paper dolls so seriously, but it is really important to me that the paper doll set makes sense in the context of the world that it exists in.

After all, if I am going to spend my time drawing fantasy paper dolls, I might as well make sure that they are logical fantasy paper dolls.

Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for the Complete Paper Doll Set to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Gowns}{Click Here for Base Doll}

I hope everyone has enjoyed this little mini-series. Should I do more little series like this next year?

I had these grand delusions of getting a Hanukkah series together, but at the moment I am thinking that just isn’t going to happen. I will likely do what I did last year and post a paper doll every night. I think I have enough backlog for that.

Faye’s Runic Adventures: A Printable Paper Doll

Black and White Printable Fantasy Paper Doll Nothing exists in a vacuum. This means that anything which is created inevitably is developed from previously existing content. This doesn’t bother me. I love combining diffrent parts to get a unique whole.

Today’s paper doll was primarily inspired by this drawing I found on Pinterest which is originally from what appears to be a live action role playing game in England called Empire from the fictional country of Wintermark’s costumes.

Who knew?

This image was not my only inspiration. I was also influenced by traditional Japanese hairstyles and vikings. Everything is better with vikings or pirates or pirate vikings….


Faye a Norse and Viking inspired fantasy paper doll page to print and color
{Download a PDF to Print} {View a 150 dpi PNG}{Check out some More Mini-Maiden Printable Paper Dolls}

Seriously, I should do a set of pirate vikings. I can picture it now… horned helmets and jolly roger flags.

On second thought… maybe I shouldn’t do that.

Moving on… Faye’s world is a harsh one. Her people are known for their skill in leather and silver work. Of a fairly high status, she wears her hair in an elaborate style decorated with a metal ornament. The society travels long distances, mostly by river, and are known for their belief in astrology and careful tracking of the movements of the stars. Their calendars are prized throughout the world for their accuracy. They exist in small townships and a few larger groups. They do not have a centralized government, as we would call it, and form alliances through trade agreements and marriage. They are a largely matriarchal society.

I do have a lot of fun inventing this stuff. :)

One More House Dress and A Ballgown for Her Ladyship

Her Ladyship Wigs are certainly a theme of today’s page for my Her Ladyship printable paper doll set. Also- paper doll ballgowns and house dresses.

One more page after this set and then I’ll post the whole 10 page PDF of the paper doll for anyone to print who might want it. I have had a lot of fun sharing this set over the last few months.

So, last week I talked a bit about coherent sets and how to develop a consistent look for a paper doll set. Today, I wanted to take a moment and talk about the world I imagine Her Ladyship lives in.

First of all, Her Ladyship has money. Likely, serious money. She’d got ballgowns, after all. That means a decent amount of cash. I imagine her world is Renaissance (her clothing was highly influenced by Italian Renaissance fashion) or higher technology. Why you ask?

Because she has casual gowns that are patterned. Patterned textiles require skilled workforce and a considerable investment in equipment and raw materials- silks and wools have to be imported or homegrown (but generally were imported) from England to Italy. So, without a fair bit of weaving technology, that would be out of the question. So, I’m thinking a 15th century to 17th century level of technology. Clothing can tell you a lot about a time and place.

Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Gowns}{Click Here for Base Doll}

So, what do I know about this paper dolls world? She’s a wealthy woman living in a time and place when mechanized weaving existed, at least in part. She’s got “house dresses” but they’re far to nice to actually be worn for anything involving mud or dirt.

Sometimes, I stumble across something and feel rather foolish for not having found it earlier. Paper Doll A Day is a blog that seems to be no longer updating. Never the less, I encourage you to go check out the archives. There are some beautiful outfits (I really like this paper doll dress) and some wonderful different paper dolls, including men. Joleene Naylor has been around the internets for a while sharing her paper dolls and I couldn’t be happier to have found her latest website, though I do wish I had found it when it was still updating.

Any other great paper doll sites I’ve been missing? Or thoughts on the world of Her Ladyship?

A Winter Frock and a Summer Frock

Her Ladyship My favorite part of this set might be the wacky looking musical instrument. Just maybe, because I also love both of these dresses. Rarely do things come out as close to how I imagined them in my mind.

I am fascinated by historical dress, because dress is one physical manifestation of social and cultural phenomena. By it’s nature, dress is tied to technology and trade of the time when it was created. So, when I am creating a fantasy dress set, part of the process is thinking about consistency in design elements to create an coherent vision for a whole set. This vision comes out in both the sillouhette of the costumes and in specific repeated design elements.

The silhouette for all of Her Ladyship’s paper wardrobe is a high waist with long sleeves and square necklines (the riding and skating outfits don’t have square necklines, but we’ll get there in a minute). Nearly all the dresses are layered with an under-dress and than an over-dress on top. The two dresses that violate these rules are both for activities that, due to their athletic nature, have masculine overtones. The riding habit and the skating costume are both inspired by men’s wear.

Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Coloring Page

{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Gowns}{Click Here for Base Doll}

Her Ladyship’s winter frock shares design elements with her archery outfit. Similarly, her riding habit and her skating costume are very similar- both are athletic outfits.

Her Ladyship’s wardrobe feels like a “set”, because the outfits repeat design elements and style. This is also something I try to do with my one page fantasy sets and my contemporary sets. Dionisia’s wardrobe is held together by doublets. Akemi’s armors are all angular and layered. Denise’s contemporary clothing embraces various types of pleats. If a set feels disjointed, chances are that it is because there are not repeating elements to connect the items.

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