Steampunk Pixie in Pink named Shirin

Things to say about today’s printable paper doll… It is my first Pixie paper doll in a while. She’s two pages and has a distinctly steampunk inspired wardrobe. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember the sketchbook post back in April of 2013 when I showed off the inked version of this set.

Wow… this was a long time coming, wasn’t it?

Shirin, in my continuing search for names I haven’t used ever, is a Persian name meaning “sweet”. Continuing the theme, her coloring is based on the Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi, except with really curly hair, because I love curly hair and I’m trying to practice drawing it. You can expect to see more curly hair in the future on the blog.

Oh, and her clothing has nothing to do with Persia. I tried to think of a connection after I decided to base her coloring on Nazanin Boniadi, but I don’t have one as her clothing is distinctly Western without a hint of influence from the Middle East and is mostly based on the clothing of young men in the early 20th century.


{Click Here for a PDF of Shirin to Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Shirin to Color} {Click Here for a PDF of Shirin’s Wardrobe to Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Shirin’s Wardrobe to Color}

{Click Here for a PDF of Shirin in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Shirin in Color} {Click Here for a PDF of Shirin’s Wardrobe in Color} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Shirin’s Wardrobe in Color}

Oh, and as sometimes happens when I saved these images for the web, Photoshop did odd things to the colors. I recommend looking at the PDF version of Shirin and Shirin’s Wardrobe to see what I really intended the color scheme to look like. Partly this was a challenge to do a steampunkish set without the color brown. Harder than it looks, actually… because the line between goth and steampunk is often one of color, not design. That, however, is a whole different discussion for another day.

Marisole Vintage Evening Gowns In Colors…

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll Last week, I posted this paper doll set in black and white for coloring. I promised I would talk a little about each of the gowns and where they came from.

I need to learn to streamline my method for dealing with elaborate florals, or I need to never do one ever again. Normally coloring a paper doll set takes about 2 to 4 hours, at most. Sometimes longer, but only if I take a lot of breaks and am doing a lot of other stuff. If I have my colors picked out and I’m on a roll, I can do the set in about an hour when I’m really on the ball, though formatting, saving and other detail work takes longer. That single floral dress took me nearly an hour, by itself, to color. NEVER AGAIN.

(I say that and I’m already thinking of other cool florals I might draw… I have a problem, people.)

Okay, so here’s the paper doll in full color:


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for More Marisole Monday & Friends Printable Paper Dolls}

Let’s talk about where each gown came from. The floral gown, the blue gown and the red gown are all from the V&A in London.

The blue gown is based on this red dress from 1957. The red evening dress was drawn from this evening gown by Hardy Amies was made right after fabric rationing was lifted in England (1949), so lacks the layers of lace and silk that were common in evening gowns on this period. I love the simplicity and shape of the dress. The last dress from the V&A is my favorite, the floral evening gown made in Paris and worn by the wife of the British Ambassador. I tried, but I don’t think I captured the beauty of the rose patterned skirt and layered bodice.

The last pink dress comes from The Met, known as “Tree” this gown was designed by Charles James. Of all of the gowns I drew, I feel like this one didn’t work. My style of flat color just can’t capture the layering of the gowns beautiful fabric. Liana did a beautiful version of Charles james Butterfly dress on her blog several years ago which I think captures his work better than I did here.

Okay, that’s everything. Happy MLK Day to those in the US who are celebrating like me.

Marisole Monday: Maurader Princess

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Today we have Margot and apparently she’d decided to become a brigand and rob from either the rich or the poor… though robbing from the rich does have the advantage that they have stuff unlike the poor who are, generally, poor. I wanted to call this set pirate something, but I didn’t want to use the word pirate, so I went in search of a synomyn and came up with maurader. And yes, I was thinking of Xena: Warrior Princess when I added the word princess to the title.

I know I’ve mentioned my weird love of that show on this blog before. Speaking of shows I like, I did see the latest Grimm episode on Friday, during which I did draw paper dolls, and while I enjoyed the show, I was struck with how exposition filled it seemed. I thought it was sort of weak. I hope for better things soon enough.

I feel like this Margot paper doll could be friends with my Gypsy Rose who exists in black and white and color. It’s weird to me to think that I posted that set just under two years ago. I can see a lot of things I still need to improve and a few things that have improved.

So, it’s pretty late on Sunday as I write this and I really should be getting into bed since once I start talking about my TV show watching habits, I know there’s a problem. By the way, did anyone else see the new Grimm episode and what did they think?… or you can comment on the paper doll. That would be cool too.

Marisole Monday: Autumn Colors

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So, this was supposed to go up last Monday, but clearly that didn’t happen. Never the less, here she is on this Monday looking as dashing as ever.

Sunday was Purim, as some people probably know. Purim is one of my favorite holidays, mostly because of fond memories from when I was a child an the joy of making and eating hamentashen. As usual, I made far more of them than I could eat and so I’ll be giving them to various people today. Several years ago, I drew an Esther paper doll, though you’ll have to scroll down a little to see her in the post.

Anyway, in other news, I know I’ve neglected the blog over the last few weeks. I’ve been really busy, but I’m hoping to get back onto the ball with it. A few things are going to be changing, so keep your eyes open for a new about section and a few other new things- nothing radical, mostly housekeeping chores that I put off for a long time and finally am getting around to.

Today’s paper doll was inspired by a lot of different things, but mostly by my realization that I haven’t drawn very many coats for my paper dolls (with the exception of my Snow Day set, years ago) and my new found favorite research tool- hair style magazines, particularly black hair style magazines which I can draw hairstyles out of.

I do feel a little self-conscious buying the magazines at the local drug store, since the woman behind the counter usually gives me an odd look, but they’ve proven invaluable for getting hairstyles right. This braided bun is something I’ve wanted to draw for a while, but since asking random passer-bys to stand still for art practice isn’t really reasonable, my hairstyle magazines saved the day.

What sorts of hairstyles would you like to see for Marisole in the future?

Marisole Monday: Spikes and Pleats… In Pinks and Purples

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I seriously feel like I should have saved this for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t have anything else finished, so up it goes.

It’s not like I started with a plan for the obnoxious color scheme, but somehow the traditional black and red thing I do for punk clothing just wasn’t hitting the mark. So, pink, purple and black became the name of the game.

I sort of like it.

I do wish the fuzzy sweater looked… well… fuzzier. By the way, the neckline of that sweater is low and it’s meant to go over one of the corsets or other tops, otherwise she shows off more of her swimsuit than perhaps is decent for polite society.

So, I think I’ve mentioned my wacky formula for calculating the number of outfit combos a paper doll set contains before which is the number of tops multiplied by the number of bottoms and then by the number of shoes and then by the number of “jackets” plus 1. Now often the formula doesn’t work, because the pieces aren’t really totally interchangeable, but this is a rare set where I think everything really can go with everything else. The result is a total of 146 outfit combinations (not taking into consideration accessories) which is pretty remarkable.

Shadow & Light… The 22nd One

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Here we are at nearly the end of December and here is another Shadow and Light paper dolls. Today’s paper doll is a bit steampunk-ish (though lacks the gears and goggles that seem to be required), still I hope no one will hold that against her. Truth be told, I can’t draw a gear to save my life, though I have tried on occasion to mixed success.

I forgot, living in Alabama, how pretty the snow is, but I also forgot how annoying it is to sweep off your car in the morning in the cold wearing black ankle boots. Toes freezing and fingers freezing and snow sticking to eyelashes under a grey sky with lights from the buildings flickering through, there’s nothing like winter in Southeast Alaska.

It’s a beautiful place up here.

Oh and by the way, there’s a poll on the sidebar. Please fill it out. I do actually pay attention to what people vote for and I use it to decide what I will do in the coming year. If there’s something you’d like to see and it’s not on the list, please comment.

Puck as a Super Hero… In Full Color

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

I’ve never really gotten into superhero comics unless you count Deadpool or watching the Batman cartoon when I was a kid. When I do read comics, I stick to the compilations and some of my favorites have been Lucifer and Hellblazer, and of course, Sandman, but then, who doesn’t like Sandman?

So, for the coloring of my superheros, I decided to go with simple primary and secondary colors without a lot of complicated depth. I wanted to reproduce a little of the feel of the old fifties comics, before computer printing made a lot of depth possible. I think I will always think of comics as being bright flat color, even though I know there are some wonderful and skilled artists who bring so much more to the genre. I’m sensitive enough to color that badly colored or art I don’t like, can ruin a comic for me.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Needless to say, I really enjoyed drawing this set and I hope I will get to draw more sets like it in the future.

After I finished it, I did a little digging looking for other paper dolls aimed at boys and I found this nice list of free paper dolls for boys. And though it’s not a paper doll, I think one of my favorites was this paper city of paris. As I have mentioned before, I am a sucker for unusual and interesting paper toys of all kinds, paper dolls are just my favorites.

Puck Paper Dolls… For Boys?

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Back in May, a reader named Harper told me that I would make a little four year old boy really happy if I did this set. Since I’m always in favor of making small children happy (and because I always need Puck ideas) I decided to go for it. Here we have two Puck superheros in black and white. Tomorrow they will go up in full color, so that people who prefer their paper dolls in color can get their fix as well.

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

I am going to confess right now that I have no real idea if the cape will really work. I tested it once with scrap paper and it sort of worked… I think the application of tape might assist in it’s functionality for the average child. Sorry about that. It seemed like a cool idea at the time, but in hindsight, perhaps it needed more testing. I usually try not to post things which I know don’t really work quite right. Placement of the slits might also need to be altered to accommodate the tabs properly.

Additionally, I’d like to wish a very Happy Hanukkah to those readers who, like me, will be lighting candles tonight and mumbling things in Hebrew while trying to fake remembering all the words to those darn prayers you only say once a year. (Maybe I’m the only one who fumbles through the second verse, but surely, I’m not.)

Anyway, best wishes, happy holidays and feel free to drop me a note in the comments. I love hearing from you guys (and see… eventually I do actually do the ideas people suggest… it just takes some time.)

Marisole Monday: In the 1940s… in COLOR

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, as usual the back and white version of this printable paper doll happened last week and this week we have the full color version. Somehow, in color, the paper doll looks less angry to me. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

On a totally unrelated note, a reader posted some images of Little Pixie colored in a garden on a French forum. I think she did a fantastic job and she has a blog, so check that out. Sometimes when I see my paper dolls colored by someone else, I sort of forget that they are my work.

I am thinking of putting up a page to show off some of the work other artists have done based on my work, like Toria’s Showcase. Are there people out there with photos or scans who would be willing to contribute?

Marisole Monday: In the 1940s…

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As I mentioned last month, I have been very interested in the 1940s lately. It’s not a period that I’ve been interested in normally, but watching a rather lot of Foyle’s War has infected me, I suppose.

The thing about the 1940s, which makes it a little difficult, is that in the middle of the decade there’s a rather important event known as World War II (though I tend to share the view of scholars who argue there weren’t two wars, but rather one war with a twenty year cease fire in the middle). The full skirted suit is of the style that came out of the war in 1947, thanks to Dior’s New Look. The other suit jacket and skirt are both based on the short lived fabric restrictions known as “Uility clothing” in England. In fact, these restrictions are one of the reasons vest for men fell out of fashion in the United States and England.

I’m pleased about this set, though her hair isn’t quite right. I have trouble with hair and I think something about the style makes her look somewhat… angry.

Irma asked: How much time in a week do you spend drawing paper dolls?

I tend to work in bursts. Some weeks I do lots and lots of drawing and inking and other weeks I can go and never touch them. My goal is always to have the images, at least, ready far enough ahead that I don’t have to play catch up too much. I know there is no way I could possibly draw, ink, scan, color and post a set all in one evening. It just wouldn’t happen. I don’t have that kinda time, so I work in sections. For example, I already have the rest of this week’s paper dolls ready to post and, though I haven’t written the blogs yet, the images are prepped and uploaded to my server.

I tried to keep track of how long this set took me to get ready from scan to prep, so I could at least tell Irma that much, and I found that it took me four hours from the scanning to the posting, granting that I was watching an episode of the West Wing at the time and took a few breaks.

By the way, if you haven’t been to it, Irma’s blog is fantastic. I love her black and white paper dolls.

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