Marcus as Steampunk Airship Mechanic Paper Doll

logo-airship-colorI play Pathfinder, a Dungeons and Dragons like game, most Friday nights with a group of friends at a local game shop. Generally, I have to know what my character is wearing before I can actually play the character.

Weird, but true.

Clothing is a direct expression of how my character thinks and functions in the world. Some people think about their characters in terms of unique weapons or speech patterns, I think about my characters in terms of what sort of shoes they would choose while trekking through a ruin.

Years ago, I discovered the work of Sheryl A Knowles who drew paper dolls of her RPG characters. Just by looking at the outfits of the paper dolls, I knew the sorts of characters she was creating.

I rarely draw my own characters (here’s an exception), but when I work on a paper doll set, I want to convey the world and personality through the paper doll outfits.

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Marcus here is a mechanic. So, his clothing is utilitarian. The double breasted vest is in his “good” clothes, with a belt for his money pouch and a decorative pointless armband. His tie is loose. His other brown vest is more of a work outfit. He wears vests to keep grease off his shirts. With this outfit, his tie is tucked up, so that it doesn’t get caught in machines. He’s on his feet a lot, so he has two pairs of boots. The cap keeps his dreads from getting in the way while he’s working (because hair in engines = pain) and his leather satchel is where he stores his tools. Work gloves, a scarf for cold weather and some tools complete the set.

You can also tell a little about Marcus’ personality here. His dreads are decorated with beads and I know from people who have them that dreads take some maintenance. Clearly, he’s someone who cares about how he looks. Is he perhaps somewhat of a ladies man?

Paper doll sets can be tiny windows into lives and worlds. That’s part of the fun.

Marcus as Steampunk Airship Mechanic

logo-airshipFor those of you who don’t know this, I generally write these posts the day before they go live. The idea is that they post will go live at midnight on the day it’s scheduled. I don’t always succeed in that goal, but that, never the less, is the goal.

Tonight while I write this post for tomorrow it is pouring rain outside. Not slightly drizzling or thinking about raining, but actually torrents of water. I love nights like this, but they make me want to do thing except wrap up in a blanket and drink tea… which is not an impossible wish to achieve on a Sunday night.

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In a world with steam engines and airships, Marcus knew from a young age he wanted to be on those ships. Growing up in the Caribbean, freight vessels came into port and he always hung around to listen to stories of far way lands. So, as soon as he was old enough, he ran away and got a job on one of the airships and worked his way up from errand boy to head mechanic.

By and large, I don’t write stories for my paper dolls, but somehow this character made sense to me and I thought I would share. Over the years, I have always admired Liana’s wonderful stories for her paper doll outfits. I am trying to branch out a bit in my blog habits, so I would love to know if people like the ideas of forays into fiction.

A New Paper Doll Man for Marisole Monday & Friends

marcus-logoThis project has been a long time in incubation. I drew my last Marcus 1.0 paper doll in July of 2013. He never looked right to me and he was out of proportion to the smaller more delicate Marisole, Mia, Margot, and Monica.

In the end, I took K’s and Julie’s advice and resized him in photoshop. He got skinnier and shorter. His head got smaller. I printed out the heavily altered version and sketched it up on lined paper as I do when I am testing a paper doll template. I altered it some more. I redrew the face about nine times.

And I’d given up on redoing Marcus 1.0 until I got some really nice comments from my readers asking when I was going to post another Marcus paper doll.

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Is he perfect?

Well… no. He’s got pretty defined hips for a man and he does look a bit girly. Still, I’m more pleased with him than I ever imagined I could be with a male paper doll.

In celebration of his debut, I decided to post both the black and white and the color versions this Monday. I am very proud of how he came out.

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So, this is Marcus 2.0.

I don’t have anything Halloween organized for Halloween this year. I am trying to get something done in time for Friday, but I wouldn’t hold my breath anyone. Instead, I offer a rare male paper doll to grace the collection of Marisole Monday & Friends.

I have big plans for Marcus. I’ve already drawn a fantasy set for him and I’m working on a steampunk airship mechanic set. I’m actually having more fun with my male paper doll than I ever thought I would.

Thoughts on other male paper doll ideas?

Puck Magnetic Paper Dolls for the Boys

puck-magnetic-outfit-optionsI have a lot of readers who love my magnetic paper dolls (which is understandable, I love them too) and I often get asked about a boy paper doll for the boys out there who might want to play some dress up too.

I don’t have a lot of male paper dolls on this blog (because I don’t find them as interesting as girl paper dolls) and I’ve only done about fifteen Puck paper dolls over the years. The result is that I don’t have a lot of “stock” to pull from when creating a magnetic version. After some debate about what to include, I decided for my first Puck magnetic set (posted early enough for people to print them for the holidays), I would include three boys and some contemporary clothing choices.

The magnetic paper dolls have three sets of shoes, five tops, five bottoms and a few different accessories. All of the pieces can be used interchangeably amongst the three boys, meaning that there’s a lot of fun mix and match outfit options (about 75 different outfits to be exact).

It’s not as exciting as some of my other sets, I confess, but I think they’re very versatile. Since I haven’t done that many Puck paper dolls, it was a little challenging to put together a set for magnetic printing, but I hope this serves some of the readers I have with boys.

 

Puck Magnetic Paper Dolls Set Number One

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Marisole Monday and Friends: Lord of the North in Color

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The Spirit of the North paper doll is sort of the same world as this one, I think, sort of the female counterpoint to this male paper doll.

Now that Julie pointed out to me that his head is out of proportion in comparison to Marisole, it’s been bothering me… but since he was in color I wanted to post him anyway. His head might be getting some surgery.

I spent a chunk of my weekend looking for a dress to wear to a wedding and trying to treat a flea problem which my apartment is currently suffering from. I used to hate cockroaches, but I have decided that fleas suck more.

Marisole Monday: Lord of the North

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Another Marcus paper doll today… Marcus was the subject of a conversation with my friend who I stayed with during my travels…

Me: See, I made a boy for the Marisoles…
Friend: He looks really unhappy…
Me: No, he doesn’t.
Friend: Or maybe just constipated…
Me: Humph…

Now, of course, when I look at him all I can think is… “Does he look depressed or constipated?”

So, clearly, you can’t show your friends anything.

This is my second Marcus paper doll, ever, so I do think I’m still working out the kinks. I must confess he still feels very big to me, next to Marisole. I can’t decide how much the size difference bothers me. Anyway, think of him as a prince or huntsman or whatever you might need to provide a friend for some of the fantasy paper doll sets I’ve done over the years.

Marisole Monday: Phoenix & Smoke in Color

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This is one of those sets where the yellow looks a lot more yellow than I had planned for it to look. Oh well…

I spent most of this weekend trying to come up with something witty and funny to do for April Fools day, but… honestly… I got nothing. Therefore, we’re just going to keep puttering along here in paper doll land. Sorry guys, I’m just not that good at that sort of thing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter or is still having a wonderful Passover, depending. I had a quiet day spent working on blog stuff and cleaning my apartment. I rather enjoyed myself, I confess.

I’m also not totally pleased with his face. I don’t think he looks as African-American as I had planned him to look, but I am trying my best. I think he’s okay, but I’m not totally pleased.

Marisole Monday & Friends: Phoenix & Smoke (A Friend…)

Hey, It’s a MAN.

The most commonly requested thing for the blog, outside of sometimes asking for more things in black and white, is for a boy for Marisole Monday. I know this has taken a long time to happen and I don’t regret that. I drew about seven versions of this pose before I finally had one that I felt didn’t look like he was HUGE next to Marisole and her friends or looked like he was creepily androgynous (not in metro-sexual way, but rather in a… disturbing alien sort of genderless way).

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So, today we have the first of the males of Marisol Monday. Since the girls are Marisole, Mia and Margot, it seems only fitting to give the first of the boys an M name as well. After some thought, I have settled on Marcus. Though I have been often asked for a boyfriend for Marisole, I am not defining Marcus’ role. He could be a friend, a brother, or a lover. There’s no reason to be hetronormative with Marisole Monday. I should also add that since the Marisole Monday family is growing, I’ve renamed the sets “Marisole Monday & Friends” and will probably be redesigning their logo in the future.

I am going to confess right now that I don’t know how many Marcus’ dolls I will do. I have two other sets in the works, but as I have mentioned before, I find men’s clothing really dull for the last two hundred years or so. I work on a college campus and so I get a fairly good look at what young men wear these days and well… I just can’t imagine drawing hoodies and jeans for the rest of my life. I’m not say there won’t be other boys in the Marisole Monday world, but they probably won’t be too common.

Pixie and Puck: The Princes in Color… Mostly Blue, as it happens…

So, the black and white version of today’s paper dolls went up last week and I, being a space cadet, sorta forgot to post the color version, though I finished it on Sunday. I hope a little belated paper doll posting will be forgiven.

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Our first page of this set is just the dolls and the second page is more clothing for them. I chose a soft blue, green color scheme with red accents. Of all the eras of men’s clothing, I confess a soft side for the 18th century.

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Have I mentioned this week has been INSANE? Because it has been, and classes get into full swing next week, so things are not looking to be much more peaceful. Despite that, I’m enjoying it. As I know I’ve said before, I would far rather be busy then bored. I also seem to have a lot of stuff inked, but I’m having trouble getting it onto the blog, so I am going to put some more effort into getting it scanned this weekend, so that it can go up.

Pixie and Puck: A Pair of Princes

Several months ago, it was pointed out to me that I had done several fantasy princess Pixie paper dolls, but there wasn’t a princely Puck paper doll to accompany them. I was going to get this done in color, but since I am behind on my coloring, I thought it was better to post it up today and then worry about finishing it up in color later. So, the color version will be up as soon as I finish it, either later this week or early next, I think.

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This month has turned out busier than I thought it would be. I traveled for the first week of January, got back to Alabama and then work picked up. I’d far rather be busy than bored, but when my life gets complicated, the blog sometimes suffers. I’m trying to keep up with the blog, as best as I can, though I feel like I have a lot of stuff “sort of done” and very little actually completed.

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Plus I owe my grandmother a set of magnetic paper dolls. She sent me a tin for her “paper dolls” to go in and I think if I don’t get them done this weekend, I may get another hint. She’s far to mid-western to flat out tell me do “get her damn paper dolls done”, but I suspect I will get further nudges down the line.

So, for her, I’ll be working on a curly haired, red-headed Marisole (my grandmother has red curly hair) with some vintage inspired costumes. That may go up Monday or I may finish up a Punk Marisole that’s been waiting in the wings for a while (if I do the punk doll, I think I’ll use Margot for a little variety. She’s new after all.)