Pixie and Puck: Pirate Nammu in Black and White

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{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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{Click Here for a PDF of Nammu Page 2} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG of Nammu Page 2}

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.

In the 1940s… Printable Historic Paper Doll

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?

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

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?

On the Board Walk in Color: A Neo-Victorian Paper Doll Set

It is rare that I have the plan for a color scheme in mind before I start drawing, but I knew I wanted this set of paper dolls to be done in a red white and blue color scheme with a nautical twist.

I was playing around with my Photoshop settings on this one and I am not totally pleased with how the line-work came out on the color version. I shall have to look into what I did and think about it a bit more. I didn’t notice it as much on my smaller laptop screen, but working on it on a larger screen it has become very obvious.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

So, I think it’s now question time…

Gillian asked: when did you start drawing paper dolls? and how did you learn to draw?

Well…. I started drawing paper dolls… I don’t even remember when I started drawing paper dolls. My mother used to draw dolls for me and my sister when we were kids. She’d draw the doll as a bribe to get us to clean our rooms or do the dishes and then we would have to draw the clothing. So, that’s when the paper doll thing got started.

I learned to draw mostly by doing a lot of it. I took art classes in high school and middle school, but mostly I am self taught. I’d love to have some time in the future to take some figure drawing classes. I don’t think I do a very good job on my figures. I nearly always draw from a reference image. I don’t really have the ability to draw well without one.

I hope that answers your question Gillian.

By the way, I was trying to do a darker, maybe Latino skin tone here, but I think she came out looking sickly. Too much yellow in the skin, perhaps.

Flock Modern Girl: Magnetic Paper Dolls

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So, I know I said these would be up last week (or maybe the week before that), but some things came up and I didn’t get around to it. The irony is that I drew this set last year and it’s been sitting on my desktop waiting to be finished for a while.

I tried to make sure each page of this set was a consistent color scheme, so that each page can be printed and played with alone, along with combining with the other pieces in the set. I walso wanted to play a little with the options of a magnetic set of paper dolls which are different than the options for a non-magnetic set of paper doll. I think magnetic paper dolls have interesting options, but are not the same as paper paper dolls for various reasons.

The Modern Girl Set PDF Downloads
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Dove PDF Download Oriole PDF Download Phoebe PDF Download
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Robin PDF Download Starling PDF Download Wren PDF Download
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Clothing Set 1
PDF Download
Clothing Set 2 PDF Download Clothing Set 3 PDF Download
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Clothing Set 4
PDF Download
Clothing Set 5 PDF Download Clothing Set 6 PDF Download
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Clothing Set 7
PDF Download
Clothing Set 8 PDF Download

Marisole Monday: On the Boardwalk in Black and White

Somehow, this Marisole paper doll reminded me of trips to the seashore. When I was a child, I remember my family went to Atlantic city for a few weeks one summer. My father’s family is from the East Coast, so the whole group met there. While I remember only vague things from the trip, I recall distinctly walking down the boardwalk with my father and eating black cherry frozen custard which my father would buy for me from a stand on the boardwalk. I still remember how the purple custard was rolled in rainbow sprinkles until they covered it completely.

Every time I eat frozen custard, I think of my father.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

And now, for a question:

Ana asked “how many drafts of any one finished doll do you go through?”

The short answer is that it depends the doll. Dolls are drawn off templates which have seven to twelve drafts. Clothing is lightly penciled and than inked. I don’t usually draft the clothing full-size unless I am having trouble with something and then I do.

There’s also a more detailed long answer. If you want to read it, continue below.

Okay, so here is the detailed version:

I draw paper dolls in stages. The first stage is a doll template. Doll templates evolve over many drafts. Those drafts begin as very very rough and eventually become fairly smooth and detailed. When I was working on the Dictionary Girls, I posted a post where I showed bad scans of the stages of there development.

So, once I have a template, I trace the template and lightly draw it. Than I do a detailed pencil version over than a light penciled version and than I ink that. I took some photos of this a while ago with a set of dresses and you can see them here.

If I screw up a doll, and I often do, it’s in the inking stage usually. So I am always careful not to draw any clothing or anything else until I’ve inked the doll. I draw from templates, so that if I end up hating the doll, I can draw her over again without needed to redraw the body which is the hardest part for me. Plus I can fix things through the power of Photoshop.

I hope that answers the question. 🙂

Tie-neck Blouses in Seventies colors

The thing I like about the Dictionary Girls is that they have very few outfits per post. And I enjoy getting to color retro inspired clothing, though I have plans to expand into some other styles in the future for them. Tie neck blouses are a fashion stable, even I own a few.

The truth is that I “rediscovered” this set of paper doll clothes under another pile of papers on my desk.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series} {Click Here for the Dolls to Dress}

I am not a terribly organized person. I try to be. I’m a librarian, so people always assume I’m organized, but the truth is that I live in a pretty much constant state of chaos. I love watching home decorating shows, because I admire people who are organized. The truth is that I am surrounded by piles of papers most of the time. I live, at the moment, in a tiny graduate student apartment and the result is that my desk (and often my couch) is covered in piles. I try to at least clean up the piles once in a while, sort of through them and look at what is stacked up.

On any given day, I might have old drafts of school work, half finished letters to family (which I write and then forget to send.. a bad habit) and then, of course, paper doll things. I collect around me things for ideas. I’m always low on them, so I need to have inspiration at hand. I buy fashion magazines and also those hair style magazines. I usually have a few rough drafts of doll poses and xeroxes of dolls in need of clothing. My world is full of fragments of this obsessive hobby of mine.

I’m moving soon, so I guess they’ll be the time to organize my paper doll supplies, other art supplies and school things. So much to do…

Oh, by the way, I’m having a drawing. Enter if you haven’t. 🙂

Argh… ’tis a Pirate Lass: A Pirate Paper Doll Set

So… this is practically late. I mean… it’s like 11:50 here in Illinois, but I really really wanted to get a Shadow and Light doll up since it’s been a while since I did one and I have been feeling bad about that.

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Back in the 1980’s I was pretty young, but I remember wearing overall shorts, which were the latest thing, and having a weird affection for when I was old, because I was going to wear thigh high boots. I don’t know why I was so into the idea, but I remember drawing lots of paper dolls sporting thigh high boots and miniskirts in elementary school. Perhaps I saw Pretty Woman at too young of an age…. Oddly, my mother was never concerned as far as I could tell with my thigh high boot obsession.

As an adult, I have never worn thigh high boots… a pity perhaps.

Needless to say, my love of shoes was founded young and even now I love shoes (which I think comes through on my paper dolls.)

And, as you might notice, our pirate is sporting some pretty darn sexy boots.

Pixie & Puck: Prudence and Constance in Black and White

Happy Earth Day! There’s an Earth and we should be grateful or else we’d not exist. So, I’m glad for that. Beyond that, I try to avoid politics on this little corner of the web. There are other corners of the web for politics. Here is the corner of paper dolls.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

Two of my favorite recent paper dolls are Constance and Prudence, who I’ve always thought of as best friends, and so today I present them both in black and white for coloring enjoyment. Each paper doll was meant to have a distinct casual and slightly indie style. Prudence is a little bit vintage and Constance is a little bit tomboy. The t-shirt styles for the Constance paper doll are based on mandala designs which are simplified for the small size.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

So, today, I’d like to also call attention to a new blog with some delightful black and white paper dolls called Inflammation Of…, which is about both paper dolls and raising a child with chrons disease. I have had several thank yous sent to me over the years from parents with health issues in their families who like the paper dolls and I always feel very touched that my paper dolls can help in any small way for people in need. Plus there’s a whole set of clothes for her paper dolls inspired by Scoopy-Doo and who isn’t in favor of paper dolls inspired by Scooby-Doo? I loved Scooby-Doo when I was a kid.

(Actually, I still sorta love Scoopy-Doo, but I try to be more of an adult and not admit these things in public.)

Prudence: Paper Doll with an Afro

I really am quite pleased with my paper doll Prudence. Her skin tone, like Kadeem’s and Gabriel’s skin tones, was based on my recent searching around for skin tones on the web.

After a few weeks of looking and collecting, I have over 50 different swatches, but I am working on narrowing that down to a manageable number- probably 10 to 15. The truth is that a lot of them are so close in color, I don’t think there would be a visible difference once they were printed anyway.

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{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a 150 dpi PNG to Print} {Click Here for The Rest of this Series}

It’s rare I produce a paper doll that I can’t find anything wrong with, but Prudence is pretty close. I lover her glasses and her vintage wardrobe and the color scheme turned out better then I imagined it would. Her hair didn’t come out quite as I had planned it (afro’s are hard to draw), but I’m still pleased with how it looks.

Personally, I would pop her into her cream dress and put her on a date with Kadeem or Gabriel for a night on the town. Or maybe slip her into something more fancy and have her strut down the red carpet (I’m sure Roxanne or Yasmine would be happy to share). In fact, if you don’t like any of those options, there’s a black and white version of Roxanne and you can color any color dress for Prudence that you think she needs.

Pixie & Puck: Grace

Several weeks ago, I did a poll asking what people wanted to see more of and fantasy won. So, today I offer some traditional fantasy dresses. I’ve been fairly ill the last week, so I have been watching Disney movies and drinking lots of tea. Disney movies always make me feel better and I watch them when I’m tired or ill.

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I enjoy several other paper doll blogs, but rarely comment. I don’t read the text often which leaves me wondering if anyone reads my text. Since paper doll blogs are really all about the images, it seems to me they share a great deal of similarity with web comics. People come to see the pretty pictures, not to hear me blather on about them.

I find my favorite posts are comments about content and process. I love learning how other paper doll people do their work. I’m fascinated by the process it takes to make a paper doll. I’d like to do more process based stuff here, maybe post pictures of work in progress or something… I’ll have to give it some thought.