Mariana… A Steampunk Paper Doll

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First Pixie paper doll of the new year. That deserves some excitement, I think.

Maybe not for anyone but me.

She’s rocking a steampunk/neo-victorian paper doll theme. I think she hangs out with Jian, my steam punk male paper doll and probably makes trouble. Since I’ve had such a positive response to doing Marisole in black and white and in color, I decided to do this paper doll the same way and I might start doing this for all the Pixie and Pucks, we’ll see.

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Also, the poll is up until the end of the month and people should vote. I do actually pay attention to the poll.

I also pay attention to repeated requests (eventually) and I have had two ideas which more than one person has suggested. One is a cowgirl paper doll which has been stalled lately because I wanted to draw a horse and, frankly, drawing animals is not my thing. But last night I managed to sketch out a decent looking horse, so… a cowgirl may yet appear. The second thing I’ve been working on, and I expect this to make some peeps happy, is a male paper doll properly proportioned to hang out with Marisole.

So, depending on what wins the poll this time will depend on what I work on next year.

My point is this, if you want to see one of these things, vote for it, or if you want to see something else, drop me a comment.

Shadow & Light… Steampunk Paper Doll

Here we are at nearly the end of December and here is another Shadow and Light paper dolls. Today’s paper doll is a bit steampunk-ish (though lacks the gears and goggles that seem to be required), still I hope no one will hold that against her. Truth be told, I can’t draw a gear to save my life, though I have tried on occasion to mixed success.

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I forgot, living in Alabama, how pretty the snow is, but I also forgot how annoying it is to sweep off your car in the morning in the cold wearing black ankle boots. Toes freezing and fingers freezing and snow sticking to eyelashes under a grey sky with lights from the buildings flickering through, there’s nothing like winter in Southeast Alaska.

It’s a beautiful place up here.

Oh and by the way, there’s a poll on the sidebar. Please fill it out. I do actually pay attention to what people vote for and I use it to decide what I will do in the coming year. If there’s something you’d like to see and it’s not on the list, please comment.

Dead Roses: Gothic Paper Doll

I feel a little weird saying this is in color when the color is mostly black…

Not the most cheerful color scheme ever developed for a paper doll. I almost made it all black, but that seemed a bit much, even for Gothic Marisole. If you look closely, you’ll see one of my usual tricks for keeping things from looking totally “flat” is to use shades of the same color. So while everything is “black” there is still some definition between the various parts of the garments. I actually did this Marisole in four shades of very very dark grey which look black, but still allow the line work to be seen.

It’s all an illusion.

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So, Meredith asked: I think a ballerina paper doll would be cool or mabey a pool / summer themed doll also for some ting tiffrent you could do dolls theamed ot colors of the rainbow

how long have you been drawing paper dolls for?
could you do a cow girl paper doll that would be cool and diffrent

To answer the easiest question, I have been drawing paper dolls for as long as I can really remember. It began when my mother would draw me a doll as a bribe for cleaning my room or other activity and then I had to draw the clothing. Eventually, that evolved into drawing my own paper dolls, though I still prefer clothing to the dolls.

As for your requests, I have added them to my list of ideas. I usually keep a running list of ideas, but since most paper dolls are drawn weeks (sometimes months) before they eventually get posted, I can’t promise anything as far as doing any of those ideas. And I probably won’t to the ballerina, because tutu’s scare me.

To answer a related question, Tawny asked: What is your favorite sort of paper doll to draw? I mean… I think eeery thing you do is great, but what do you like to do the most?

I like drawing everything. I do find I tend to return to certain themes a lot. I like things that are a little alt-fashion inspired and a little fantasy inspired. I often draw from fashion magazines, because it makes deciding what to draw simpler. I always fear that I will fall into a rut and draw the same thing over and over again. I try to keep things interesting using reference images and other materials.

Got a question you want me to answer on the blog?Ask me here.

Dead Roses: Gothic Fashion Paper Doll

There are paper doll sets that go together all smooth and easy and I’m like, wow… this was so simple. And then… then there are sets like this one. It took me four tries to get everything to fit on one page and when it finally came together properly, I found myself thinking- “Why was this so easy? It as hard the last three times I tried it…”

Seriously… ugh…

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On the upside, I have here, in honor of Halloween and October and things, a traditional Gothic paper doll. When I was in high school, a longer time ago than I like to admit, the big trends were Gothic and Punk, now both seem to have given way to Steampunk and various forms of Gothic Lolita sort of styles.

And yes, I am using capitalization in the proceeding paragraph for emphasis, because I Like doing that.

Clearly spending a Sunday afternoon trying to get little paper pieces of clothing to fit on a page puts me in a grouchy feisty mood… so I shall go away now and work on the rest of this weeks posts.

I don’t think its too much of a spoiler to say that the color version will feature a lot of black. She is Gothic after all.

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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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.

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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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. πŸ™‚

Dictionary Girls Go all Neo-Victorian…

Today’s Dictionary girl is a take on neo-Victorian things. I’m not entirely pleased with the drape on the skirt… but I decided to go for it. I do really like the hair and the boots. I think I’ve mentioned I have a thing for boots.

So, onto the drawing… The random number generator informed me the winner of my drawing was number four- D Garrett who has her own wonderful blog on black doll collecting. Email me, please, at paperthinpersonas (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know what sort of paper doll you would like. πŸ™‚

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Since she won, it seems only fitting to answer her question.

D. Garrett asked, Have you determined if any one of your paper dolls is more popular than the others?

Yes, I have. My most popular paper doll is Marisole Boldly Going which has had nearly four times the number of hits of any other paper doll I’ve ever drawn. Closely following Marisole Boldly Going is my first Marisole in black and white Modern Girl in Black and White which I drew in response to requests for a black and white Marisole paper doll. In general, Marisole is my most popular paper doll.

I don’t really know why she’s so appealing to people. I find her pose a little problematic unless you slit up along the side of her body to free her right arm from her side and I confess that when I see her a part of me sees a style of paper doll I wouldn’t draw today. I may have to redraw her face one day… her faceted eyes kinda freak me out. (They didn’t when I drew her, but now…)

That’s all neither here nor there.

I hope that answers your question, dgb. Let me know what sorta paper doll you’d like. πŸ™‚

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