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Tag Archives: historical
Here we are today with the colored version of last Monday’s post. Color for historical garments is complicated, because colors are very much a matter of taste and a matter of time. Just as the avocado and burnt orange polyester shirts of the 1970′s seem dated to us today, the colors of the past are rarely how we imagine them to be. I always picture the Victorians in tones of sepia, not because that was what they wore, but because I always see sepia photographs. I once had a professor point out that the way we picture the past has little to do with how the past actually was, but I enjoy my fantasies of the past as much as the next person.
For this set of paper dolls, I chose to use colors from reproduction quilting cottons as a basis for the garment. They turned out to be a little muddier than perhaps I would have chosen on my own, but I wanted something different than the oranges, blue, pink, and green combination of colors I find myself most often drawn too. The ballgown in pink and black is based on the fashion plate which I drew it from, though I made a slightly darker version of the original.
I’ll confess openly that I’m not entirely pleased with how some of these came out in color. I went muted and I think that was the right call, but I’m not sure that I didn’t lose some of the lusciousness and the vibrancy of the era. They also came out less romantic than I had hoped they would be. I do think Margot is awfully cute with her freckles and red hair (yes, I do have a weird thing for redheads). In truth, I am pleased with both the dolls. I think Marisole is a warm brown this time and I like how Margot came out. All in all, though I had some second thoughts about drawing a new face for Marisole, I am pleased with Margot and I think she’ll show up a bit more around the blog.
On an unrelated note, child paper dolls have pulled into the lead in the polling… a fact which I am very much surprised by.
I have no real excuse for the lateness of this post, except that I was traveling yesterday and somehow I didn’t get as much done on for the blog on my vacation as I usually do. Something about traveling always makes me feel a little drained when I finally return to wherever is home. I’ve lived in several states and it always seems to takes me a year before one of them becomes home. As much as I love Alabama with it’s rolling hills (they call them mountains, but being from Alaska, I can’t honestly call them mountains) and it’s clear blue skies, but returning to Alaska still feels like going home. I suspect, eventually, Birmingham will become more homelike.
Moving onto paper doll related matters, away from rambles about travel, today’s set is much larger than any set of Marisole Monday paper dolls that I have ever done before. It was not supposed to originally be three pages, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to remove anything from the sets and therefore decided to keep everything together. The result was that I ended up with an extra page. The swimming shoes repeat because, once the dolls are colored, they will be the only thing that exposes skin and I know I don’t want to do the two paper dolls in the same skin-tone. The corset and drawers repeat, because I feel strongly that both dolls should get a set of underwear. The hoop-skirt doesn’t repeat, because it’s big and, frankly, going to be white.
As some of you might notice, the second paper doll with the freckles is a different face than the original Marisole. I have named her Margot and she’ll be showing up from time to time along with the Asian version of Marisole who I’ve always thought of as Mia, though I don’t know if I have ever mentioned that on the blog.
All of these dresses are based on garments from the mid-1860s, hence the title. Something about being in Alabama has made me want to draw huge hoop skirts. Not normally my favorite period in fashion history, but it’s growing on me. I had an Addy doll when I was a child, but I honestly can not recall any exposure to real Southern History outside the standard Civil Rights stuff and a little on the Civil War. Strange how moving here has made me fascinated by all things Southern.
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?
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.
Sometimes, this blog feels a bit like albatross around my neck, only with fewer feathers. It’s gets heavy and awkward and then I don’t update for a few days and I feel guilty for not updating.
And I tell myself, “No one reads it” (which I know to not be true, but it’s a good line) or “I don’t have anything to post” (which is also usually false) or “There’s no point in posting something when I know I don’t have a weeks worth of posts” (also not true, but it’s an excuse) and, of course, “I’m too busy” (which of all my excuses is actually sometimes true).
None of these excuses really keep me from feeling guilty about the whole thing, but they make the guilt slightly easier to deal with.
I wonder if other paper doll bloggers feel this way. I don’t know. We’re not exactly a massive community.
Wow, this might be the most melodramatic post I’ve ever put up on this blog and I almost didn’t post it, but I’m struggling to be more personal on the blog. The irony is that I have been drawing, but none of it has been blog related and I have tons penciled, but am having a hard time getting around to inking, scanning and coloring. But I buckled down this weekend and got some done, so I have high hopes for at least getting back to some updating.
Starting that trend is today’s Marisole paper doll. She’s wearing a wardrobe taken from the 1920′s. While I love 1920′s fashion, I don’t know if Marisole wears it very well. She has pretty serious hips and this was a time when long and lean was the name of the game. So, I have some mixed feelings about how they all look. Still, I have enjoyed getting to do some historical stuff with Marisole.
I’m also playing around with this new “related” posts feature which I think might be totally useless. I’ll give it a few more weeks.
I had so much fun drawing and researching this paper doll. I’d forgotten what a blast it is to settle down in the library with a big stack of historical costume books. (Okay, so maybe that makes me all kinds of geeky, but I can be cool with that.) The early teens of the 20th century are fascinating to me, because they are before the Great War (also known as World War 1) and repersent the last hurrah of a culture that was ended by the time was war ended. The Great War truly changed the cultural and poltical and geographic landscape of Europe and when it was over, nothing would ever be the same. While historical interesting, the Second World War’s cultural upheavel can not be compared to the devestation wrought by the First World War.
Along with historical costume and libraries, I am a bit of a World War One buff.
Anyway, I mostly used The Cut of Women’s Clothes: 1600-1930 by Waugh, Fashion in Costume 1200-2000 and Fashion Accessories: The Complete 20th Century Sourcebook. None of them are what I would call excellent texts (except The Cut of Women’s Clothes: 1600-1930), but they all served the purpose of providing images of clothing to draw from. I have my doubts about Peacock’s research sometimes since his work is not extensively footnoted, but I love how easy it is to draw from. I should add that all of Marisole’s costumes come from between 1910 and 1915- the first part of the decade up to the first year of the Great War.
I have to confess some shock about the level of interest and excitement with the Star Trek Marisole paper doll on Monday, and then of course, I neglected the blog for a bit. Still, these things happen and I am back now with a wedding dress for Flora. The dress with it’s matching spencer jacket is based on a costume from the Victoria and Albert Museum . I sort of rambled on about the dress in a post I did about spencers and how much I adore them.
Do people care about these sorts of random historical fashion things? I never know if I should be straying so far from the topic of paper dolls… I’m still divided about the “posting pictures from my sketchbook” idea. It’s kinda fun, but, again, I’m not sure people enjoy them. Well loyal fans, what do you think?
Oh, and I spent some time tonight fixing some link problems some of the Magnetic Paper Doll images were having. If you like magnetic paper dolls, you can check out my directions and images on my Magnetic Paper Dolls page. More magnetic clothing sets will be forthcoming as I get them ready.
New things I learned this week:
1. Archery was actually a common sport among upper class women in the early 19 century. Along with riding, it was one of the few athletic activities women were allowed to do. Flora’s archery dress is based on one from the Manchester City Galleries.
2. It is entirely possible for me to completely forget what day it is and therefore mess up my planned Curves post. (Sorry guys. It’ll go up next week. My bad.)
3. There are more people interested in a colored version of 2.0 Curves, then a black and white shadowed version, but the shadowed people are much more vocal… Hmm… Who should I listen to? Maybe I’ll outline it and try it both ways… My concern with shadowed has to do with what I feel like is a loss of detail due to the shading… I need to give it more thought, obviously.
Speaking of the Curves 2.0 epic adventure, I hope to have the new series up sometime before the end of the month. I don’t like starting a new series without at least a few posts drawn and prepped. It means I’m not struggling with keeping it going. That’s all the news for now. Enjoy Flora’s Archery and Evening Dresses.
To celebrate the 4th of July, I thought I would check out books from the library, sit down and set to work on drawing some historical costumes for Marisole set in the 18th century since the Revolutionary War (Or, as the Brits call it, the Rebellion of the Colonies) was in the 1770s. I’ve only done one other set of historical costumes for the paper doll and they were regency dresses (One set one in July and one in August in 2010). This is about as far from the Regency aesthetic as you can get- the French Revolution did have a way of changing fashion, also of decapitating an awful lot of people. Those wiley French.
So, I’ll confess that when I have to name my favorite periods of historical fashion the 18th century doesn’t get a lot of attention. I’m just not that huge of a fan, but when I was in England I went to the Fashion Museum in Bath and I saw an actual 18th century gown in person. Despite my tendency to dismiss such costumes as too poofy, too over the top, too absurd for my taste, the actual dress was among the most astonishing pieces of craftsmanship I have seen.
The frustration of drawing historical costumes for Marisole is that her proportions are so darn strange. While I like how she looks, it means that historical dresses (which rely on a specific silhouette) look off. As I drew these costumes, I realized I was going to a have to allow myself to be a little more liberal then my natural leaning for historical accuracy allows and, besides, I don’t really know enough about the 18th Century to be hyper critical of my own work. I won’t say these costumes are historically accurate, I will say they are historically inspired.
Anyway, if you’d like to read more about 18th century costume, I recommend the excellent 18th Century Blog which is full of beautiful pictures and things, as well as, the exhibit Historic Threads. As for books, I used An Elegant Art, Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail and, of course, Patterns of Fashion: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction, even if you never plan on sewing one of her patterns, this book is worth every penny just for the historical information. Someday, I will own all of Janet Arnold‘s books… Someday.
Enjoy the paper dolls and, for those in the United States, have a great 4th of July.
So, confession time- I am getting a little sick of the regency period. I think I’ll be spending some time over the next few days doing research and thinking about ending the series. Can I kill two series in like three weeks… is that allowed? I’m just not excited by Flora much right now… Plus she has like 30 costumes which seems a pretty good number…. Though that might just be fishing for an excuse.
I shall have to give it more thought.
In the mean time, feel free to color and cut out these pretty regency dresses for Flora and, while you’re at it, vote in my current poll. So far I am shocked at the show of support my heavily shadowed paper dolls have gotten. I always thought of them as the black sheep of the blog (and I have the frustration with them that the shadows obscure details, especially on faces), but they’re getting lots of support, though color is winning at the moment. I rather thought it would.