Captain Mannequin

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes 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.

black and white printable paper doll clothes for Ms Mannequin paper doll series

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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. :)

Greta’s Trousseau the Second Part… Sporting Toilettes

Today, we have some sporting outfits for our paper doll bride. Since the fun of trousseaux are their costumes for every occasion, I had a lot of fun thinking up outfits for Greta to wear while she did a few different sports. Being a highly talented paper doll, I’m sure no sport is beyond her skill (and I have a few more sporting outfits planned).

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes

Our paper doll bride has a riding habit, a hunting costume, a skating toilette and a fencing toilette.

Wealthy women have actually been involved in sporting activities for longer than most people think. Archery teams in the Regency were regularly co-ed (I’ve been 18th century illustrations of women doing archery, but I’m not sure women actually did it that often). Women had been riding horses forever and in the South, prior to the Civil War, hunting or shooting was a common activity for women of wealth. By the 1900s, women could choose between tennis, golf, bicycling, skating, croquet and a variety of other sporting events.

My favorite is the fencing toilette. Someone asked for a fencing outfit (a long time ago) and I don’t know much (anything) about fencing, but I had a lot of fun drawing it. I suspect having open laces on the sides of your leggings is not… you know… very practical. Still, I think she looks cute.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll

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Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau. My question to everyone is, what sorts of outfits should I add to Greta’s expanding trousseau?

Poppets… Princesses and Poppets…

Thumbnail of the printable paper doll clothes So… again with the channeling Kate Greenaway thing, also a little bit of Peakswoods (a Korean ball jointed doll company), their fairies of fairytales were one of the inspirations for the Poppets series in general. I have noticed a tendency for ball jointed dolls to be dressed in totally over the top ruffled outfits (like this Little Red Ridinghood ensemble), so there’s a little of that here as well. I have a few dresses in process for the Poppets that take that concept on in a more fluffy way.

This set was drawn to go along with my second poppet paper doll Primrose. The dress, cape and hat, are all in the same color scheme and therefore can be mixed and matched. I am particularly fond of her little button up boots with spats on them.

I realize now that I’ve mentioned Kate Greenaway twice and I probably should pause to say who she was. Greenaway was an artist whose work was published mostly between the 1870s and the 1890s. She drew idealic angelic looking children in pseudo-regency costumes. You can see scans of her work at the Digital Library of illuminated books.

Full color Poppet Paper Doll clothes

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Last, but not least, I’d like to wish a very Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate it. I hope people have fun with family and friends today. I am with family myself and quite content.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Mia Goes to the Bathing Place… and gets some colors…

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 I mentioned last time, I always liked the idea of multiple costumes for various activities that was such a part of the Victorian way of dressing. Personally, I think it would be rather fun to have a special outfit I wore while visiting or yachting, but jeans and a t-shirt seem to see me through nearly all of my social engagements. I suppose that says something, perhaps not flattering, about the nature of my social engagements.

The outfits today, are, as I mentioned last week, a grey and teal skirt which can be paired with either the corset, jacket, and top hat to make a traveling or promenade suit or can be worn with the bodice trimmed in pleats for a dinner toilette. The yellow and white yachting costume is sort of practical (barely) and the bathing dress (a swimsuit to most of us) has matching slippers. All things considered I think Mia would do quite well for herself with this set on vacation. Of course, she can share her dresses with Marisole and Margot.

Personally, I just got back from gallivanting around Alabama for work and then finishing up my taxes (I hate doing taxes) and now I can consider all of my obligations for filled for the moment. As always, enjoy the paper doll and, as always, feel free to let me know what you think. Next week, there will be elves.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Mia at the Bathing Place…

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}

The thing I think I find most fascinating about the Victorians is how many times a day they changed their clothing and the idea of having a specific dress for a specific activity. I love reading through old fashion magazines to find out what was proper to wear for a carriage ride or afternoon tea. As a child, I loved the idea of having special outfits for riding or hiking or going for a walk. It felt exotic and fancy.

My original idea was to do a bride and her trousseau inspired by the Victorian inspired styled I love so much. I always think of this as a chance to draw Victorian inspired fantasy clothing with no guilt about lack of historical authenticity. I realized, after I started that I wasn’t sure I wanted to draw that many items, so instead focused on a smaller set of “bathing place” costumes for Mia.

So, there’s a yachting costume, a traveling suit with an alternate dinner bodice and a swim suit with slippers to match. All in all, she can handle a weekend in on the coast rather well, I think.

Pixie and Puck: Pirate Nammu in Black and White

{Click Here for a PDF of Nammu Page 1} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Nammu Page 1}

I was asked by a reader to do my Nammu pirate paper doll in black and white. She was posted in full color back in November. So, it only took… um…. six months for me to get my act together. Seriously, it might have taken longer, but I was feeling guilty.

Normally, I save the paper dolls in a file with all the layers broken up. The color is on one layer and the line work is on another layer and than the heavy black borders, which I add last, are on a third layer. This time, I saved the file with those layers merged, so I didn’t have a separate line-work layer to work with. Since I didn’t want to redo a lot of work, I tried using Photoshop to remove the color from the paper doll set. I can sat with utter confidence that this worked better than expected, but not as well as I would have liked.

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I will spare everyone a list of the things that I think didn’t turn out quite right, but the quality of the line work is not what I hoped it would be. Never the less, a black and white Nammu is better than no black and white Nammu, so hope whoever asked for it (and I honestly can’t remember who that was) is pleased with the outcome. And besides, once you color her, I don’t think my insecurities about the line work will be obvious.

Some people have expressed fear that the Mini-Maidens will replace Pixie and Puck in my heart and I hope that this Pixie paper doll reassures people that I still love the Pixie and Puck paper dolls.

Marisole Monday: Autumn Color in… Colors

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 have a similiar relationship with blond hair and brown skin as I do with red hair and brown skin. This is to say that I try it and than I don’t like it and swear I won’t do it again and than I do it again. Unlike the red-hair brown skin combination which I never feel like I’ve achieved, this blond hair brown-skinned Marisole is look pretty cute to me.

I think it’s her braids. Have I mentioned that I am totally in love with her braids?

So, February has come and gone. Last year I noted African American History Month (which is February) by compiling a list of paper dolls around the web. And um… I kinda forgot this year.So, though I don’t have another list of paper dolls, I would like to draw attention to Paper Doll’s by Gail where there are lots of lovely African American paper dolls including Condoleeza Rice, Michelle Obama, Halle Berry and Fantasia Barrino. Also, though unrelated to African American paper dolls, the entire cast of Twlight.

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: 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…

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}

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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