Originally, this gown/armor thing was a design I had created with the intention of drawing it for the Sprites paper dolls. However, since that series ended, it was one of the few pieces I was so in love with that I couldn’t imagine getting ride of it. So, I redrew it for the B Pose paper dolls.
I’m not sure if this armor is decorative or not, but I loved the idea of a fantasy gown which was also fantasy armor. So often women in fantasy end up wearing men’s style armor and I wanted to engage in the idea of elegance and strength. I imagine this armored gown as something beautiful, but with an underlying practicality. It’s not really an armored gown as much as it is a gown that could also be armor.
I feel odd picking out favorite paper doll outfits, because I love drawing my historical stuff as much as I love drawing fantasy stuff, but this is probably one of my favorites for the moment. What do you think of it?
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So, I grew up watching Xena: Warrior Princess. I blame my love this old TV show for my love of totally improbable fantasy and pulpy warrior armor. I do realize that this armor would be completely useless in a fight, but that didn’t mean it doesn’t look cool and wasn’t fun to draw. This is my second set of pulpy armor and I think I should really draw some real plate armor one of these days.
For this armor, I wanted a thematic shape that could hold the whole design together and I chose this very simplified paisley/leaf motif that you’ll see on the belts on her trousers and in the pummels of the weapons. Once I had that shape, I tried to add color and create something that felt like it could be from one of the old Prince Valiant comics. I confess that I ended up thinking there was something a little East Asian in the whole design, but I can’t really explain why it feels that way to me. It certainly wasn’t my intention when I started.
Few things I should mention, I am traveling over the weekend and my life is about a crazy as it can be right now. I am really trying to avoid putting the blog on haitus as I work through the end of the semester and some major work things. So, wish me luck as I juggle flaming swords and/or herd my ducks into a corral. (My ducks are never in rows, but on good days I get them corralled.)
Meanwhile, support the blog through Patreon if you enjoy it.
And I am curious, should I draw some full plate armor for my lady and gent paper dolls? Let me know what you think in a comment.
I usually try not to copy things as closely as I did on this one, but I just really loved the tunic design. I changed the colors to green (though there’s a blue version on my Patreon page for Patrons).
That’s really all I got. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I always love hearing from you guys.
So, I wanted to try to draw some formal fantasy paper doll clothing. I originally created this fantasy outfit for the C Pose guys and I think of it as a kinda classic fantasy outfit in a style I draw a lot. I wanted to do a spin-off outfit that would feel more formal and refined- like if this was a peasant outfit, than today’s outfit would be a prince or something.
In my head, the tunic is velvet over a silk shirt. I’m not sure what the pants are made of. Maybe something like really thin fine leather? Or perhaps a very nice soft wool? Silk wouldn’t stand up well to any sort of wear. Rather than my usual sword accessories, I decided a book was more fitting, though I’m sure he can borrow a weapon from here if he needs one.
There’s an alternative color scheme available for my Patrons over on my Patreon page. Join if you want. It’s a fun group and I try to post content there every week from my sketchbook or other sources.
Some people develop elaborate backstories for their paper doll designs. I’ve always wished my brain worked that way, but generally I end up tapping into my history background. So, I find my inspiration for each fantasy dress design there. For today’s paper doll design, I was thinking of 14th century medieval dresses of Europe. Dresses back then usually had a kirtle (under-dress) which as worn with a surcoat (over-dress) on top.
When I was working on this fantasy dress design, I wanted an over-dress that would feel more decorated than the under-dress. Basically, the opposite of putting children wore pinafores in the 19th century to keep their dresses clean.
Her chain belt owes something to the 12th century and the leather pouch I copied from this one I saw on Pinterest. I have no idea if that chain belt set up would work in the real world (I suspect not), but I did think it looked neat. And looking neat is really a more important priority in my paper doll drawing universe.
So, I’ve decided to take on The 100 Day Project on Instagram. Basically, I am drawing one dress a day (or more realistically several dresses and spacing them out over several days- I know me) for the next 100 days. If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can here. You can also follow the hashtag #100dressesproject if you want to just see what I’ve drawn so far.
Will some of these become paper doll dresses later? I deeply suspect so. But I’m intentionally only spending a few minutes per dress. My goal is under 10 minutes, because this is a thing I’m doing on the side. It is not my life.
Also, I have an alternative color scheme for today’s gown on Patreon for anyone who’d like to view it. It’s not just for Patrons this time. 🙂
In my head, probably because I spent too much time researching clothing and dress, I tend to categorize my fantasy clothing based on the sort of “source” material. Nothing exists in a vacuum after all. So, sometimes I look to Medieval Europe and sometimes I borrow from the 18th century in France and sometimes I find myself looking at kaftans. Actually, I was inspired by this Pinterest image and this one. I’m pretty sure they are both kaftans, even if they aren’t labeled entirely in English.
On thing I don’t know is if it is supposed to be spelled kaftan or caftan (or if it’s like Chanukah and several spellings are okay.)
Meanwhile, I’ve been fighting a truly awful few days of allergies. I had forgotten how rough spring is here in Alabama. I’m groggy and stuffed up and otherwise pretty miserable, despite the cocktail of medications I am currently taking. So, I am crawling back into bed and I hope everyone enjoys today’s fantasy gown!
When I first started the Dames and Dandies series, I made a list of some of the things I knew I needed to draw for them. A sort of wish list of sets that I knew I would want, because I try to draw a diverse variety of styles and sets.
One of the things towards the top of the list was to create what I think of as “classic fantasy” attire for all of the poses. To me, classic fantasy is sort of quasi-medieval looks with tunics for men and long gowns for women. Lots of solid colors and boots, maybe a sword or two.
In short, the think of Tolkien inspired stuff that tends to be classic when you imagine fantasy clothing.
There’s an additional color scheme for today’s paper doll on my Patreon page.
When I was first drawing and prepping content for the new Dames and Dandies series, I made a list of what I thought might be the first nine clothing sets to draw for the new paper dolls. Both my Patrons and folks who follow me on Facebook got to see this list at the top of which was “Winter Big Princess Gown.”
For those of you who don’t know, “big gown” is my short hand for these sorts of full skirted over the top dresses I am fond of drawing. Wenesday’s Valentine’s Day dress is another “big gown”. I just like to draw things with huge skirts, because the size of the skirt allows for layering and over skirts and all sorts of other decorative elements.
It’s hard to draw a super over the top mini-dress. You just don’t have as much room.
So, anyway, I wanted to create a winter princess dress. You know, a sort of over the top, full skirted dress that would feel like the sort of thing a fairy tale princess might wear while wandering through a snow covered landscape. Possibly to meet a prince or possibly just because, she felt like it. Princes need not always be involved.
Today’s winter princess dress is trimmed in fur. The bodice feels a little military influenced, with the trimming, buttons and cuffs. The skirt is three layers. There’s an over skirt, an under skirt and a wide pleated bottom skirt.
The motif on the over skirt is supposed to be a snowflake, but I’m not sure that’s obvious. In fact, the first color scheme had a gold snowflake and it looked more like a star to me. So, I ended up recoloring the whole dress. I was thinking of snowy winter days when I colored this- blue-grey is a color I associate with the winter time.
The first dress I designed was the lily ball gown, but this dress is what turned that dress from just as “this would be fun to draw” into a “oh, I could make this a series”. So, I really think of today’s Beatrix princess paper doll as the inspiration behind the whole week.
When I was planning the Dames and Dandies series, I new I was going to have a stable set of “faces”, but I wanted those faces to have many versions. So, this is Version 2 of Beatrix– The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll version.
Also, huge shout out to my Mom, who when I was describing the flower I was remembering from the garden as a child, recalled the name of it and spelled it correctly enough for me to goggle it. The formal name for bellflowers is Campanula, by the way, which is what she told me.
I just thought Campanula Princess didn’t roll off the tongue as well as Bellflower Princess, hence the name change.
In the order of this princess paper doll design, the dress came first. Once I had it drawn, I wanted a crown and I came up with the idea of the flowers coming out from a pair of buns.
Once I had that idea in my head, I had to figure out how to actually create in a way that would work for someone cutting out the paper doll. So, I drew the hair style and the crown pieces separately.
Than, I used Photoshop to create one version of Beatrix with out the crown and second version with the crown. So, the hair with the crown can be cut out and placed over the hair without the crown.
This also assures that this version of Beatrix can wear a hat without floral crown pieces getting in the way.
I don’t often share my process photos here, because I try to save them for my Patrons. So, if you want to see more images of the raw beginnings of paper doll sets, than donate and join Patreon. I try to post a few “behind the scenes” images every month. I also put them up on Instagram erratically.
I grew up in Alaska. And if there is one thing that is true about Southeast Alaska, it is a super green place. There’s so many trees and foliage and moss. It’s as though the whole forest is shades of green.
Among all these mounds of different green things, there were many ferns. I grew up referring to most of the ferns as fiddlehead ferns, only to learn recently that there are several species that have that common name.
The “fiddlehead” of the fern is the coiled part that develops as the fern is growing.
I wanted to design a men’s suit to go with all the floral theme, but I couldn’t think of a masculine flower. So, instead I found myself reminded that the top a fiddlehead fern looks a bit like the top of a cane.
Once that occurred to me, today’s 18th century inspired men’s suit for a paper doll prince was born. It’ll fit the C Pose paper dolls, FYI.
Yeah, I confess my brain works in strange ways sometimes.
The fiddlhead ferns trim his cutway coat, decorate the cane and his crown. Full blooming ferns decorate the sleeves. The shapes on the edges of fern leaves echo the trim on the vest. The colors of ferns inspired the green color scheme.
I mean, I could hardly make a “fiddlehead fern suit” and then turn it bright red.
Also, I should add, that fiddleheads are edible and are quite tasty sautéd with butter and garlic. On the other hand, what isn’t tasty sautéd with butter and garlic? I think I would eat shoe leather if it was covered in enough butter and garlic.
This suit was designed, of course, for the C Pose dandies and goes with yesterday’s lily ball gown. I don’t draw a lot of prince paper doll clothing, so I had fun designing this suit and crown for a paper doll prince, or king, I suppose.