Marisole Monday: Cogs & Gears

So, if this paper doll seems vaguely familiar, that’s likely because I have done steampunk things before for Marisole and for Curves. I openly admit I think William Gibson’s Difference Engine is among the boringest books I have ever tried to read; however, I do love anything which lets me play with Victorian fashion and not have my natural need to research to overwhelm me. There might be better steampunk books out there. Suggestions anyone?

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So, if this paper doll seems vaguely familiar, that’s likely because I have done steampunk things before for Marisole and for Curves. I openly admit I think William Gibson’s Difference Engine is among the boringest books I have ever tried to read; however, I do love anything which lets me play with Victorian fashion and not have my natural need to research to overwhelm me. There might be better steampunk books out there. Suggestions anyone?

I feel I should add, I love many of Gibson’s other books including the fantastic art work Agrippa which the librarian in me both loves and hates. Seriously, a mind-blowing piece of artistic work.

Okay, I’m done gushing now about digital poetics which technically have no place on this blog. This blog is about more important things like paper dolls.

So, speaking of paper dolls, today’s Marisole is considerably more brightly colored then my last foray into Steampunk. I like the brighter colors and though I tend to think of the Victorian era as sepia toned, I know the reality is that it was a horribly gaudy era of fashion since chemical dyes had just been invented.

Curves: Skypirate

So, I was talking to my friend and I said, “I think I want to draw pirates, but I’m not sure…”

And he said, “You should draw Skypirates.”

And I said, “Sure.”

Curves: Skypirate

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And I thought, but I don’t know what a skypirate is, except perhaps a pirate who rides around the sky. I decided that skypirates would need flying ships, obviously, and so I turned to an old Russian folkstory called The Fool and The Flying Ship where in a fool gains a ship which will fly and proceeds to win the hand of a princess. I really loved the book of it we had when I was a kid.

The result is a little less pirate-ish and a little more Eastern European nobleman-esque. The outfit on the left is based on a vest from the Serbiadating about second half of the 19th century which lives in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The pants are from traditional Cassock uniforms and the boots are based on those worn by hot air ballooners in the Victorian era. How’s that for an eleclectic collection of sources?

The outfit on the right’s jacket comes from Albania, also thanks to the V&A Museum. The trousers are based on those worn by sailors and young boys in VIctorian England and the shoes are just a pair of riding boots.

Curves: Flora Fauna

Generally, I find myself feeling dismissive of “flower fairies”. Complicated and often dark folklore seems to always turn into light children’s stories over time, but I still am a purist when it comes to my fairies. I like them grim and dark and full of blood. Of course, the blood has mostly been taken out to make them more acceptable to most parents (not to children who, on the whole, seem to not mind blood so much). Despite my usual distrust of anything deemed “darling” or “cute”, I began this drawing because I wanted to practice drawing flowers. So, I did and the result is… a lot of flowers.

A curvy black and white fairy paper doll with four dresses. From paperthinpersonas.com.

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Keeping with my own slightly grimmer views on the world of fairies (and yes, I know I could spell it differently, but writing faeries would make my feel like a pretentious git with a need to spell out the digraph), I have done this Curves paper doll’s face very differently from her other paper doll friends. They are mostly human, after all, she is… Other. But as Other as she might be, I can’t stand her chin. I just… think it looks weird. It didn’t look weird when I sketched it…

Oh well, at least her undies are still cute.

Curves: Evil Sorceress

As some of you have no doubt already figured out, I draw ahead of time as much as I can. It’s easier to work in spurts when I have a few hours to devote to the blog rather then doing fifteen minutes here and twenty minutes there. So on Saturday, after I had run my errands and washed my laundry, I settled down in front of some old Star Trek episodes on DVD and drew paper doll clothes for a few hours.

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For next Monday’s Marisole I had my fashion magazines out and windows from clothing websites up on my computer screen. To draw for Florence, I pulled out books of Victorian fashion plates and printouts of doll furniture. But when it came time to draw for Curves, all I had to do was find my thumbnail doodles and put then down next to my notebook. It was entirely liberating not to be bogged down with references.

Of course, it wasn’t as though I didn’t have some limits. The thing about Evil Sorceresses is that it’s a slippery slope and once you are one, you can’t wear just anything. Sure, some might say it’s a bit cliche or even over done, but the Sorceress has to maintain her reputation. And most Sorceresses don’t start bad, they just sort of slide that way. Something about being beautiful and powerful seems to just go to their heads. And once they are an accepted memeber of the Evil Soceress Guild, they can’t wear just anything.

What would people say, after all, if you showed up to a gathering wearing flannel or flowers? Well, flowers are okay if they’re evil flowers. Not, you know, daisies or something.

Marisole Monday: An Elven Princess

So, a paper doll set! Yay!

I must confess that I didn’t think I would ever get these paper dolls done. The coloring of the clothing was hugely time consuming and I kept disliking how the schemes turned out. I’m still not totally pleased with the gold and red ballgown, but it’s much better then the blue and green version. (Trust me on this one.)

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The original goal was to draw things with trains (because I need practice) and this evolved into a set of clothing a fantasy princess (in this case Elven cause of the ears) would wear over the course of the day. Working left to right, the purple gown with the corset and white blouse is her day dress. The red and gold dress with the cream under dress is her formal dinner gown or ball gown which she wears in the evening. Her short bed jacket is next held closed with a golden pin and that she wears over her long nightgown which is on the far right along with two pairs of shoes. The purple shoe to match her purple day dress and the red shoes to go with her formal ball-gown. She also has two necklaces, one to go with each gown though the gold one can be worn with either dress.

Considering the time it took to get all these paper doll clothes to fit on one image, I am glad I don’t draw dresses with trains so often. I do think I need to start thinking about color schemes when I’m designing rather then at ten pm on Sunday night when I realize “Huh… this paper doll dress has like five layers. Maybe I should’ve thought this out better…”

Planning never was my strong suit, but I like to think that I make up for it with a can-do attitude and a certain amount of gumption.

Edit 8/10/2013: There is now a a black and white version of this paper doll for coloring.

Marisole Monday: Feeling Blue

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As a paper doll, Marisole provides a few options which the other paper dolls on the site don’t. One of those is to play around with mix and match clothing options which is what I tried to do with this set of paper doll clothes. I wanted to show a variety of options which were available with one dress and several vests, cloaks, jackets which could be placed over it. I stuck to a blue based color scheme when my red based color scheme just didn’t work out very well.

So, my original idea was that Marisole here was some sort of exotic noble lady in a world where fabric (being handmade) was extremely expensive. The resulting society would rely on accessory pieces to turn a simple gown into a lovely dress for a variety of occasions. And since fabric was at a premium, absurd hairstyles could be the status part of a ladies attire. (It is also entirely possible, I just like drawing absurd hairstyles. I would not rule this out.)

Though Marisole’s family has some money, they are not absurdly wealthy. Perhaps some bad investments many years ago have dwindled the family fortunes. So, she must make-do with one dress and a few other pieces to shine in. Her elaborate hairstyle is a sign of her noble status, but she relies on her beautifully made outer garments to keep herself up to date.

Lady of the Manor Part 4

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I almost didn’t post this paper doll dress for the Lady of the Manor. I felt like I had left her alone for so long that I wasn’t sure it was worth finishing her, but then I felt like I had this last dress and it was scanned, so I might as well post it anyway.

I might have more to write about it in the morning, but I am very tired tonight, so I think I’ll crawl into bed. Enjoy the ballgown.

Marisol Monday: Zombie Chic

Like a zombie from the dead, PTP has returned.

Drawing a zombie paper dolls was the source of some slight worry when I turned down a shopping invite because, and I quote, “I need to draw clothing for a dead chick.”

It’s a good thing my friends know me.

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Of course, like any paper doll, dead or otherwise, the clothing is the most important printable paper doll bit, so here we have a nice set of clothes for the printable zombie version of Marisole. But no shoes. I couldn’t seem to get them right.

Truth be told, doing this Marisole set meant I could be a little messier then I usually am. I let myself have rough edges and I didn’t freak out when my inking went bad. It was okay. After all, she was a zombie and distressed fashion was totally all right. Sometimes, I think the absurd and the playful reminds me why I draw paper dolls to begin with.

Lady of the Manor Part 3

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So, since someone is threatening to color this paper doll series, I figured I better finish posting it. There’s another paper doll outfit, maybe two, after this. It depends if the paper doll dress I don’t like becomes one I do like. I think I’ll keep not liking it, but I might surprise myself.

It’s Mother’s Day here in the states. I called my mom, of course, but spent the day doing homework at the library. I miss being at home with family for the holiday. Last year, I had a ball taking my mom around Juneau, picking up dirt for the garden and helping her cook dinner. It was a blast. So, being far from home, I miss family more and more.

Fashion Doll Friday: Florence’s Dinner and Opera Costume

Florence is an interesting case of paper doll uncertainty. Unlike Marisole whose paper wardrobe is organized based on how I am feeling on any given moment or Curves who have no real trend either, Florence was always intended to end when I had finished a complete trousseau.

An opera costume and a dinner dress for Florence, a French Fashion doll.

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Of course, the site crash delayed that point, but I am forging onward trying to finish her, so that I can move on to other Fashion Doll Friday Ideas (like a regency wooden doll or a nineteen fifties hard plastic or a civil war era china head). The problem is that every time I think I’m done, I find another thing I want to make for her. Today, we have a re-print of two paper doll costumes I posted once before.

On the left is the Dinner Dress. Dinner dresses were deisgned to be more formal afternoon frocks and often had long sleeves. A dinner dress could also be worn to lectures or other evening entertainments which were not formal. Another evening activity which required a special sort of dress was the Opera. Opera toilette were intended to be more fanciful then dinner dresses, but still long sleeved. These dresses could be easily redone to be worn as dinner dresses or for other semi-formal occasions.

So, Liana of Liana’s Paper Doll Blog colored in my Regency Teddy Bear paper doll which it very exciting. You can find the black and white original paper doll here. I love what she did with it. Makes me want to start playing with my colored pencils… But I have too much school work right now.

If you missed the first post, than here is Florence, the paper doll whose meant to wear these gowns.