When I started the Ms Mannequin paper doll series, my goal was to draw primary contemporary clothing. I had high plans of doing stylish designers and other things. Maybe dabbling a little into vintage Dior, but mostly being contemporary. The dolls were designed to be models, not curvy at all, so they could wear the contemporary styles.
However, it wasn’t long before I was sketching and suddenly pirates reared their heads and demanded to be drawn. I ignored them for a while, but soon they were saying, “DRAW US.”
And I said, “Okay. No need to shout.”
And so this pirate set was born.
What can I say? I like pirates. I feel like there’s nothing “new” about this pirate set though, so I’m not sure it’s my best set. Still… sometimes you just have to draw pirates.
By the way, I’m doing site clean up, sometime I do every Jan/Feb to tidy up categories, fix things that seem broken and a little spring cleaning is done. So, things might be morphing and changing around here in subtle ways. Nothing to worry about, just me tidying up my files.
When I first drew the Poppets paper dolls, I knew I wanted to do historical costumes. This isn’t historically accurate by the way, but it does have a 1300s flair, I think. One of the reasons I steer clear of certain periods of history is that I feel like I don’t know enough about them. I am familiar enough with Victorian and 18th century costume that I feel fairly comfortable simplifying it without losing it’s authenticity, but I know very little about clothing in Europe before 1400.
As a result, I tend to categorize my forays into the “medieval” look as fantasy, rather than history. It keeps me from feeling guilty about not really knowing what I’m doing. However, Gwendolyn asked for a paper doll of a 10th century Anglo-Saxon when she won my drawing last week, so I guess I better learn something about the 10th century.
In the meantime, here’s a Poppet Medieval outfit strictly in the realm of fantasy being modeled by Petunia.
I’m also really pleased to say I’ve recently stumbled across a new paper doll blog called Paper is Suffcient. It’d a new blog, so go over there, check it out and drop Natalie a comment. We need all the paper doll blogs we can get.
I am excited to introduce everyone to Latanya, the first Pixie paper doll of the New Year. I drew her last year, technically, but that’s not really so uncommon for me. It can take months (years…) for a paper doll to move from my sketchbook onto my blog. I’ve had a request to do a full paper
Also, considering how slow I am at getting things done… it might be a year before its finished.
Anyway, today we have Latanya rocking out in some fun fantasy attire. Her colors remind me of autumn leaves and crisp fall days. I am really adoring her curls and the pattern on her dress which I am very proud of. I am trying to draw more patterns. I say that every year…
My Drawing/Contest closes tonight at midnight. So, if you haven’t entered and would like too, please do so today. I’ll contact/announce the winner tomorrow. By the way, I haven’t responded to any of the answers, because I didn’t want to skew the results. I have read them all and I appreciate everyone’s honesty. Winner will be decided using a random number generator.
I’m pretty pleased with the year as it has turned out. I’ve been more consistent with my posting and I think the blog has grown in positive ways. I do have changes I would like to make in the future and some of them are the same changes I’ve been wanting to make for a while.
2014 will be here in a few days and I will return to work in a few days. I’m excited and nervous and looking forward to the New Year. The next post on this blog will be in 2014. YAY!
Meanwhile, I am totally pleased to show off the Queen of the Dusk fully colored. (By the way, I keep typing Queen of the Duck, which would be a totally different paper doll set, I think.) I started with a more traditional color scheme for me, which means I found a set of colors which I liked and was going to use on each paper doll dress, but after I used them I decided I really didn’t like them and instead went with each paper doll dress being monochromatically one color. I think this causes some problems for the shoes, but I rather like how the dresses came out.
I feel like I’ve written before about my love of the idea of a trousseau. I remember as a child I was fascinated with the idea of having different dresses to do different activities. I wanted to tea dress and an afternoon dress and a morning dress. This all seemed very exciting to me. I’ve never given up my love of trousseaux or layettes or wardrobes and each time I do a paper doll, particularly a mix and match paper doll, I think about how each of the pieces can go or can’t go with each of the other pieces.
Several months ago, I hatched the idea of doing a neo-victorian/steampunk inspired trousseau, playing with the Victorian obsession with an “outfit for every activity”. I poured over old reports of trousseaux from major marriages of the guilded age, including Princess Beatrice whose style seems remarkably crisp and straight forward for such a frilly period. In the Ladies Book of Etiquette and Manuel of Politeness the follow information about a proper bridal outfit, or trousseau, is offered, “In preparing a bridal outfit, it is best to furnish the wardrobe for at least two years, in under-clothes, and one year in dresses, though the bonnet and cloak, suitable for the coming season, are all that are necessary, as the fashions in these articles change so rapidly. If you are going to travel, have a neat dress and cloak of some plain color, and a close bonnet and veil.”
Clearly, this is going to be a larger project than just this post. This is the first of what I suspect will be several pages of trousseau for Greta. We’re starting with her wedding dress, with a jacket, a dinner dress and a house dress.
The wedding dress could become a ballgown quite easily and that wasn’t an uncommon practice, because wedding dresses were often simply a women’s best dress. The dinner dress is more of a semi-formal dress, a step below a ballgown and right around the world of an opera toilette (don’t worry, she’ll get one of those two). Her house dress is, of course, the least formal with a book to read while she spends time at home.
I confess I named this paper doll after I decided on the color scheme, so it doesn’t make as much sense in black and white as it does when the doll is fully colored. I thought about making her another princess, but then I decided that Queens have power. Power seems like a good thing. So, she’s a Queen not a Princess. (Unless you want her to be a Princess, in which case, go for it, I say.)
Having recently watched the first Hobbit film with my Mother to get ready to go see the sequel, I feel that I can say these costumes feel far more Elf like than Hobbit or Dwarf. Also the new first of the Hobbit movies felt very manic.
I like the layers on the dresses, but I’m not totally pleased with the shoes. Still… Not everything has to be perfect, I suppose.
Someone requested the lute. That’s why she has a lute. I am not going to go down in history as the worlds best lute artist. Still, it was fun to draw my slightly deformed insturement. I wish I could recall who asked for a lute… If it was you, drop me a comment. It’s bugging me now.
And after my apartment flooded, I found myself going through a lot of my childhood drawings checking for mold and water damage. Quite a few things were destroyed, but most of them were safely tucked away in plastic bins, protected from the water. I thought it might be fun to share some of them on the blog, since I often get emails from young people asking how to become better artists.
All I can say to that is practice. Practice. Practice. Also, take art classes when you’re in high school and have the time. Now that I’m out of high school, I regret not taking the figure drawing or the advanced water color courses that were offered.
Anyway, this is Riven. (I think I wanted to name her Raven, but there was a girl in school who was really mean to me named Raven, so I named her Riven instead.)
So, Tom Tierney was my favorite paper doll artist when I was a child and I admired his figures. This was my attempt at copying that style. She’s holding a brush, rather awkwardly, and brushing out her hair to cover her breasts modestly.
She has a streak of silver in her hair, but I don’t think it scanned that well. My first ever Tom Tierney paper doll was Christopher Columbus, bought for me by my sister when I was eight or nine, I think. She suggested that I not cut it out and I never have. It’s still sitting in my collection somewhere. I remember it had historical information about Columbus in it. I read all of that and then pestered by teacher about why we celebrated Columbus Day when Christopher Columbus was such a jerk.
I still have serious issues with Columbus Day, but that’s a whole different story.
It’s raining so hard tonight that I find I don’t want to do anything, but curl up on my couch in my sweats and listen to it. Winter has come to Alabama and with it a lot of rain.
So, Marisole has gotten to be green and blue, but Mia never has, so I thought it was high time she got the chance to show a little more variety in her colors.
I’ve been watching the show Cranford from Hulu and have been enjoying it very much. The show is awfully fun and full of beautiful historical costumes. I think it’s supposed to be set in the 1840s, though it’s hard to tell. Some of the dresses have distinctly 1840s silhouettes and other’s are older. Though the town is small and in the country, so it would be a little behind the times. I confess that the 1830s and 1840s are not one of my favorite time periods for ladies dress.
The show often shows beautiful English gardens and I wanted to capture those colors in today’s printable paper doll.
This magnetic paper doll set has the honor of being the least well known, I suspect, of the fairy tales I wanted to do, but it also happens to be my favorite fairytale, or at least one of my favorites.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon is a Norwegian tale which I like because the protagonist is not a princess and she largely saves her prince, rather than the other way around. I love the idea of the mythical castle that lies, “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” and when I was a child, I owned a lavishly illustrated edition. This posted ended up really long, so I put a break into it.
Today’s printable paper doll is named for Saint Xenia, a Russian Orthodox Saint. I liked the name, because it sounded neat and the paper doll’s color scheme was partly inspired by the beautiful gilt icons I remember from growing up in Alaska.
It’s been a while since I did a redheaded Pixie, so I thought I should do one as I have some weird love of redhair that surely comes from reading Anne of Green Gables at an impressionable age.
I tried a new technique with the patterns on Xenia’s dresses. I drew the motif, used photoshop to turn it into a repeating pattern and then used photoshop to warp that pattern, so it would look more natural against the curve of the figure. I’m not totally pleased with how it came out, but I’m not displeased either. I’m going to keep playing with it as an option for more patterned paper doll creations.
It feels absurdly good to be back close to a normal week of updating. I have no idea what next week will bring, but this week feels good. Small steps. Now… if I could just finish putting my books back on shelves.