Summer in Alabama is probably my least favorite season. First of all, it is very hot and humid. Secondly, there are cockroaches. Thirdly, it rains in the afternoons, but the rain doesn’t actually cool anything down.
We are having a freakishly hot June. It’s been in the high 90s for the last week and it is not looking to cool down at all next week. I am miserable in this heat, but I suppose it could be worse.
Someone who is not miserable in the heat (or at least isn’t showing it) is Marisole in today’s colored version of Beautiful Boho. A big part of color selection for me is finding colors I wouldn’t normally think to combine. Part of this is instinct, but I borrow most of my color schemes from various sources around the internet and then alter them as needed. Design Seeds more muted palettes were what I used on this paper doll set. I wanted to use colors that felt like they were modern and came from nature.
I went back and forth about what to do about Marisole’s glasses in this set. Originally, I had them plain silver, but it just seemed so… well, plain. So, after some debate, I decided to make them a soft grey-teal color. It’s a color that shows up a lot in the paper doll set, but it is also fairly neutral. I also had a lot of fun painting her toe nails with her different sandals.
I don’t think I mentioned this last time, but the paper doll’s hair is based in part on the last hairstyle in this fantastic video of 100 years of black hairstyles 1910 to 2010. My only complaint about the video is that it ignores wigs which were commonly worn by black women, particularly 1940s through the 1960s. Never the less, it is a fascinating time-lapse piece.
Later this week there will be the first Flock post of 2015 (embarrassing but true).
So, I’m posting a third paper doll this week, because I totally only posted one paper doll last week. I guess this is my “apology” paper doll. 🙂
Faye here is rocking some modern outfits with geometric patterns. As I think I mentioned before, Faye is named for a Chinese student I knew in graduate school. Someone asked me how I name my paper dolls and really it is mostly out of the clear blue sky, though I tend to avoid naming them after people I’ve known who I didn’t like. There’s certain names that shall never grace a paper doll.
I used one of my favorite tools to create the patterns in this paper doll set. It’s called a drafting template and they come in all different styles. I wrote about my favorite tools a while ago. Anyway, I love them and they make from a great starting point for interesting patterns on paper doll clothes.
I usually draw a single repeat or two of my pattern and then construct the pattern in Photoshop. It’s not a hard process, but is it something people would like to learn about? I could do a tutorial I think.
Hazel also has a heavily geometrically inspired set of clothes from last year entitled Hazel’s Geometric Style. When I first named today’s paper doll set, I nearly used the same name which would have been awkward. The similar styles I think lend themselves to lots of fun mix and match opportunities though. If you combine today’s paper doll set with Hazel’s Geometric Style there’s 274 outfit possibilities, not even including the accessory items. Pretty remarkable.
This isn’t my first foray into the whole “regency steampunk” genre, though I don’t know if this genre already exists or not. My first foray was back when I did my Best Friends set and one of their pages was regency steampunk.
This is my second foray into the genre. I think it is largely more successful, mostly because I am a better artist now than I was three years ago. I still struggle with making goggles that really “work”, but I have hopes that eventually I might figure it out.
Steampunk fascinates me just as much as Gothic fashions and Cyberpunk fashions fascinate me. I am always interested in alterative fashion cultures as they reflect some part of our cultural fabric. Despite finding them interesting, I have never had any desire to “dress up” in steampunk. I simply don’t like wearing costumes, a fact which shocks many people when they find out I draw paper dolls.
So, I’ve spoken before about my pet peeve that fantasy people are always white skinned, as a result I gave my steampunk regency paper doll a soft brown skin-tone. I was going to say “mocha” skintone, but I have been trying to avoid using food words to describe skintones. They just kinda creep me out. Something about my skin being called peach or cream, or calling someone else’s skin chocolate or spice, sorta… I dunno. I’m not sure I want to think of my skin as a food product. It’s a little Hannibal Lector, you know?
Anyway, moving on… The colors are based on actual common early 19th century colors including Turkey Red and Indigo. Both of these colors are produced by dyes from India or Turkey. They are such rich colors that I countered them with cream and black. Personally, I love how real natural indigo fabrics look. It’s an amazing color.
Be sure to cut along the dotted lines so she can wear her clothes and the floating tabs should keep her little top hats on her head.
I’ve never seen anyone else combine the early 1800s silhouettes with steampunk, so maybe it has a name already and I don’t know it. Either way, I am trying to decide what to call this new genre of fashion and therefore have a poll. Plus, you know, polls are fun.
What should we call early 19th century dress combined with steampunk?
Regencypunk (29%, 12 Votes)
Austenpunk (29%, 12 Votes)
Empirepunk (22%, 9 Votes)
Just Steampunk, it doesn't need another name (17%, 7 Votes)
Other... I'll tell you in a comment (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 41
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So, this is going up a little late today. Sorry about that, but life got crazy this weekend. I want to talk a little bit today about coloring last week’s paper doll and a little about diversity in the paper doll world.
So, when I color a paper doll set, I start with a pallette. I knew I was going to be giving Monica a fairly rich brown skin tone, so that opened up and closed down certain color options. For example, I tend to avoid putting brown colored clothing on brown colored paper dolls, unless the tones are really different, since it can blend too easily. Since she was going to have a rich skin-tone, I decided that bright and color dresses made a lot of sense.
The strapless gown with the belt was based on this gown by Andrew GN and since it had a red top and a pink bottom, that informed the blues and the greens as contrasting colors in the other gowns.
I’m a big believer in paper doll diversity. I think it is really important to have a variety of concepts and skin-tones and, ideally, a variety of concepts in a variety of skin-tones. Truthfully, I tend not to think of my paper dolls in terms of ethnicity, but in terms of color. It it less about, “this paper doll is African-American” and more about “this paper doll is a dark brown with red undertones.”
I used to think I was the only one who thought this way about paper doll skin-tones until I read this post from Julie over at Paper Doll School. I was comforted to find out that we both tend to think in terms of “color” not in terms of ethnicity.
The result of coloring things, perhaps?
What I do know is that no matter how I think about skin-tone, it is crucial to me that I offer readers of all backgrounds and colors paper dolls that reflect them. People should be able to see themselves in the toys they play with.
Yes, I know a lot of my readers are adults, but adults play with toys, too. At least, they should. 🙂 I do.
Let me state one thing first, on the record- Lynn’s underwear is not period. If I had drawn her period undergarments, than she’d never get to wear jeans. So, I chose to omit even a period slip for her in favor of fitting some fairly large hats onto a fairly small space. Pixies have big heads and therefore big hats.
I hope no one feels horribly cheated out of 1920’s undergarments.
It was really hard to give myself permission to do a small historical set for the Pixies. Normally, my historical Pixie sets are at least two pages and my Regency paper doll set was three. And I do have an 18th century set which has the dubious honor of being the largest collection I have ever drawn for the Pixies. It is literally five sketchbook pages. I’ve no idea how I am going to post it.
One of my big goals for 2015 was to draw historical paper dolls, because- frankly, I really like them.
But I also think if I always think “These sets must be huge” than it creates a lot of pressure to produce big sets. I think smaller sets can be just as fun.
The color scheme was fairly arbitrary. I do wish I had done something a little more fun with the shoes rather than playing it safe with black. I like to think that these three dresses cover day and evening wear fairly smoothly for Lynn. Long term, it is my hope to do more smaller historical sets for the Pixies. There’s no logical reason why they shouldn’t get to share in the single page historical paper doll fun.
I say this having just begun coloring the largest pixie set I have ever drawn of 18th century dress. I might be unable to keep this single page historical Pixie set concept alive.
Sometimes, I create paper dolls and I have a lot to say about them. I can wax philosophical about what I was thinking and feeling and….
Other times, I just have a paper doll that I’ve drawn and I really haven’t got much to say about her. Today’s paper doll falls into the category of I don’t have a lot to say about her.
Partly, I think this is because I drew her last year and she’s been sitting quietly in my unfinished folder waiting to be finished. By the time I was ready to post her, I hadn’t really anything to say. I do think it is important to post a variety of different paper dolls and I am not giving up non-historical sets while I’m on my historical paper doll drawing binge.
Hazel’s summery paper doll wardrobe is fairly basic. She has two bottoms, five tops and three dresses. Her two pairs of sandals are a little chunky, but that seems to be the style as of late. There’s a total of 26 outfit options here which I think really makes the paper doll versatile. She can share clothing, of course, with the rest of the Mini-Maidens paper dolls.
On Monday, I posted a poll about which historical period I should research next. The options were intentionally selected to be fashion eras that I either knew very little about or have generally thought that I didn’t like. If you haven’t voted, please do.
What historical period should I research next? (And therefore make a paper doll of...)
Ancient Greece and Rome (33%, 32 Votes)
Rennissance Italy (22%, 21 Votes)
The Mod Look of the 1960s (21%, 20 Votes)
The 17th Century (16%, 15 Votes)
The 1830s (8%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 96
The poll closes on the 29th. So far it seems that Greek/Roman has surged ahead. I am surprised. I confess that I thought Renaissance Italy would win by a landslide. Never the less, vote if you wanna and we’ll see where it ends up. 🙂
The name of this paper doll set is “Country Time” and it might be a reference to the fact that her hair is the same color as Country Time lemonade. I hate coming up with titles and refuse to be shamed over where this one came from.
To be entirely honest, this week has been rough. I had to replace my computer’s RAM which was a good thing, since my computer is faster, but taking it into the shop always makes me nervous. I took my baby (aka MacbookPro) to a locally owned Apple place close to my work and, while I ate lunch at a nearby sandwich shop, they replaced my 4 gigs of RAM with a beautiful shiny new 8 gigs of RAM. It literally took less then 30 minutes and now Photoshop doesn’t hate me anymore.
Seriously, Photoshop is the canary in the coal mine of RAM problems.
So, if you were wondering why there wasn’t a Monday paper doll, the answer is “RAM issues”.
But we’re not hear to talk about my computer woes- We’re here to talk about a fabulous curvy, plus-sized paper doll from the Bodacious & Buxom collection.
Country Time is part of my B&B series of curvy paper dolls. Her mix and match wardrobe is designed for layering. The leggings are meant to be worn under the skirts or the dress, so there are about 10 outfit options (12 if you consider the leggings wearable without skirts, but I don’t like to wear leggings bare). I was thinking of woods and country and sort of sweet foresty things when I designed these dresses. I also wanted to stick to a pretty constrained wardrobe of neutral colors to play off her pink hair.
While pink hair was chosen to counter balance the brown and cream color scheme, I was divided between pink hair and pale blue hair, but in the end I decided I liked how the pink hair looked better. I do have a slight “thing” for pink and blue hair, so I have to fight my natural tendency to prefer those two choices over all other strange hair colors.
I really do hope to have another paper doll up this week, so I can keep up with my two paper dolls a week tendency even though I missed Monday.