It’s 90 degrees here today and while I’m enjoying my day off, I do wish it wasn’t quite so hot. I spent most of the day roasting in my apartment debating turning on my air conditioner- I am glad I eventually did- and working on this post.
I could have done it yesterday and had it up by midnight, but I decided to go to a friend’s house and play board games and eat burgers. I do not regret this decision. I did have my sketch book with me which caused the following conversation.
Random guy: What are you drawing?
Me: Paper dolls.
Random guy: Long awkward pause.
I love that pause. 🙂
In other news, Paper Doll Garden is a new paper doll blog I found (Okay, new to me, it’s actually been around for a while) and the art is very good, plus there are males. Males, I tell you. This is highly exciting to me. I do wish she’d post in larger images as well as PDFs since I don’t usually print out, I just like to look. Though there was a time when I only had PDFs on the site, so I won’t judge too loudly.
I love her watercolor based style and I wish her much luck with her blog. The more paper doll bloggers the better, I say. Speaking of paper doll bloggers, if you have a blog of any kind, paper doll or otherwise, please comment and let me know. I’m always looking for new paper doll or paper doll related blogs.
Also, I have a poll as many of you know. It can be found on the sidebar. Is sticking a poll about my blog schedule on a late post ironic or just amusing?
Obviously, I have been watching to much of Demolition Man while practicing my shiny textures. Actually, on Friday, I did just that. A girlfriend and I got together for pizza, a cupcake each from the bakery and movies.
First we watched Demolition Man which is basically everything good about a Sylvester Stallone movies distilled down in to a thick glorious syrup. After Demolition Man (I kinda want to draw the police uniforms from the future now, but I need to make more notes before I try), we watched My Fair Lady.
Yes, a bit of a change of pace but there’s dancing and singing and Rex Harrison in tweed. How can Rex Harrison in tweed ever be a bad thing?
I might have a thing for tweed.
Moving gracefully away from my thing for tweed, I have a poll right now up about the blog schedule. People should vote. Its more for my information then for any major site changes.
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.
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.
Obviously, today’s paper doll is partly named after the orange. One of the fun things about the Pixie paper dolls is picking out color schemes to work with for them. It’s always a blast. I enjoy that part of the creative process even though I don’t think I’m that good with color. I’m learning which I guess is the important thing.
As I suspected she would, Marisole won my poll by a wide margin, but I didn’t get a Curves up last week and I wonder if that skewed my results. I shall have to give it some thought. I was surprised by the large margin that she won by. Half the votes went to Marisole, which is a huge difference.
I wonder why… Anyone care to enlighten me?
Also, since today is Purim (well, technically it began at sunset yesterday, but that’s all right), I thought I would post a paper doll.
I openly confess to not being an expert on Ancient Persian dress, though I found no one else seemed to be either. It was one of the most challenging research tasks ever. The result was a paper doll that I think looks pretty, but I don’t think is at all historically accurate. Mary Houston’s Ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, and Persian costumes and decorations was published in 1920 and unfortunately doesn’t have much on women’s dress in Persia, but I used her illustrations of a crown for my purposes. I did find some wonderful pictures of Persian Statuary which I used and, of course, there is always Braun & Schneider’s The History of Costume which had several illustrations, unfortunately Braun & Schneider is not a very accurate source of a whole slew of reasons starting with its age (it was published from 1860 to 1880) and it’s target audience of the general public, not scholars. Still, one makes do with what one can find on short notice and I was not going to pull an Edwin Long and make Esther greek. You can, of course, get the printable version of Esther from the Printable paper doll index or here is a PDF of Esther to print.
Today’s paper doll is a little gothic and a little steampunk. That’s okay right? It’s not like mixing oil and water or something.
Erin, who won my little Trivia contest from last Monday, wrote me the following description of what she wanted for her custom Marisole paper doll.
I know that I want my doll to be very pale with brown hair… As for style of clothes and what not, I know that I love Victorian and Steampunk style. Belts, buckles, zippers, lace, keys, and corsets. That kind of stuff. I have included a few links as inspiration I guess, but feel free to disregard them. I dislike the color yellow, LOVE red, black and purple, but other than that… I’m not overly picky.
I asked for a little clarification on shades of brown (she said red brown) and exactly what sort of colors for metals she liked and then set to work. Like a deadline, it was oddly liberating to be paper dolling based on someone else’s guidelines. I’ve done other steampunk sets, but this one quickly got a gothic steampunk paper doll flare- I think the color scheme is what pushed it into gothic territory for me. I’ll always think of those as a gothic colors. I do hope she’s pale enough, because outside of doing another vampire paper doll, I couldn’t imagine going paler than this color. I think it reads as “pale” rather than reading as “corpus.”
Since one of my favorite features of Victorian dresses was the fact that women got to wear all sorts of different clothing for different activities, I decided to treat the paper doll as though she was an actual Victorian lady- all be it in an alternative steampunk universe- in need of costumes for the range of standard Victorian lady activities.
Here we go.
The Morning Dress: Morning dresses were always more casual then other costumes. Erin sent me a reference link to this beautiful costume. I loved the colors and the drape. To make it a little more Victorian feeling, I added sleeves. Though technically a morning dress would never be worn outside the house, I added a hat since the reference costume featured one. Also, I like hats.
The Walking Costume: The other set of reference images I got was for a beautiful 1880’s reproduction bustled suit and I confess the early 1880’s when skirts were tight, before the huge bustle emerged is one of my favorite times in Victorian fashion. I made the suit purple (to match the purple/red color scheme), created a totally non-period hat and added some accents in silver and brass.
The Afternoon Dress: Mostly an excuse to draw a wild leather corset (well, I imagine its in leather, I suppose technically it could be any fabric you like), the afternoon dress was inspired by the corsets of 1910. The net/lace overlay was my attempt at lace, though I have mixed feelings about how it turned out. Afternoon dresses were also often visiting costumes, so she had to have a hat.
The Ball Gown: No costume set could be complete with out a ballgown and as I love drawing corsets, no ballgown couldn’t not have a corset top. The far left costume of this fashiion plate inspired the oddly bondage-esque skirt. I got a little carried away with my lock and key motif I think, but I had fun doing it.
As regular readers know, I’m a wee bit obsessed with Victorian inspired costumes. I’ve done two other steampunk/neo-Victorian Marisole paper dolls. There was the slightly candy like one (a lesson in how colors don’t look so bright before I process the images for Web and then seem to get brighter) and a more traditional color scheme.
I will probably do another trivia contest thing next week. So, keep your eyes open for that.
Of all of the Pixie paper dolls I have done over the last few weeks, this is perhaps my favorite. I love how her hair came out and I think she looks fun and cute and interesting. I also think her wardrobe is fairly versatile. All in all, I’m pretty proud of her.
I hate that I don’t have much else to say intelligently about this paper doll, but sometimes all I can offer up is a few sentences. Also, I have papers to write and a custom Marisole Monday to finished (which, though I am only halfway done, is coming out quite nicely I think.)
So, the question on the table should be “How are these regency dresses unlike all other Regency dresses?” and the answer is ‘Because they are from an earlier period.’ (I realize this is kinda a Passover Seder joke and those of you who have never had to sit through one will not be as amused as those who have). The answer is not because we get to recline while coloring them (another Passover joke), but rather the shape of the dresses. At the turn of the 19th Century when it was just beginning (around 1800), the shape of the dress was nearly flat on top with a fair bit of fullness in the bottom though it shifted away from this form fairly quickly.
As the fashion plate from 1800 shows, the shape of these dresses was slightly different in the late 1790’s and early 1800s. The plate I based these costumes on, as well as many others, can be seen in the Claremont Colleges collection. It’s a wonderful collection of fashion plates.
In other news, Erin (who doesn’t have a website I can link, I don’t think) correctly identified my favorite holiday as Purim and therefore as won my contest. Purim is coming up in March (like all Jewish holidays, it starts at sundown and then goes until sunset the next day). There will be a Purim paper doll, I just haven’t decided if I want to make it a Pixie or a Marisole doll or something totally new. Thoughts continue…
Erin, if you could please send me your request (paperthinpersonas(at)gmail(dot)com). I’ll need hair color, eye color, style and anything else you want to tell me. Thank you.