Fantasy Printable Paper Doll Set in Black & Purple

Inspiration for today’s printable paper doll includes the Victorian era, gothic fashion, fantasy gowns, and playing with ruffles. I have been practicing my ruffle drawing skills lately and I think I am improving. Maintaining my gothic inspiration, I gave today’s Marisole paper doll piercings and some red hair to set off that purple. (I don’t know how I feel about the skintone though. I’m not totally keen on giving Marisole fair skin.)

There were a few more pieces of clothing for this printable paper doll then could be easily fit on the page, so I lost the title and just sort of went for it. I intended the white dress to be a slip to be worn underneath the other costumes, but, of course, it could also be a sun dress. I’m not totally pleased with how the ruching turned out on the hem of it, but what can you do?

A fantasy printable paper doll set with a redheaded paper doll and several pieces of black and purple mix and match clothing options. Free to print from paperthinpersonas.com

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This Marisole Paper Doll came out of the same doodle session as my Tokyo meets Georgia paper doll, though I finished the Tokyo meets Georgia one sooner. I tend to do a lot of thumbnail doodling and then those doodles become paper dolls, but sometimes not until weeks later. Paper doll creation is actually a very slow, multi-stepped process and I am nearly always working on several things at once. I mention all this, because sometimes I think people assume that it’s a “one set” at a time kinda gig when, in truth, I am usually working on five or seven or nine sets at one time and they get finished when I feel like it.

This is mostly because sometimes I feel like drawing, sometimes I feel like coloring and sometimes I feel like doing layout work. (Okay, I never “feel” like doing layout work, but it has gotta be done.)

Perhaps not a perfect system, but it works for me. 🙂

Dark & Steamy: Gothic Steampunk Printable Paper Doll

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.”

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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.

Puck: Jian

It’s a MAN! Well…sort of. The following conversation may have occurred.

Me: Look. I’m trying a guy paper doll.
My Male Friend: That’s a guy?
Me: Yes.
My Male Friend: He’s kinda girly.
Me glaring.
My Male Friend: But his clothing is cool…
Me: Uhuh… keep back peddling. Then we’ll talk.

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So, I redrew him, edited him and gave him manly strong man arms. He might not be like… the ultimate in masculinity, but considering I haven’t even tried to draw a guy paper doll in… um… seven years? Since high school anyway, I’m fairly okay with how he turned out. I agree his pose doesn’t scream MALE, but I wanted him to go with the Pixie dolls and match them to some degree. He’s like a male Pixie paper doll.

And my critical guy friend made up for his criticisms by suggesting the name Puck for the series.

This all began because I got a very sweet email asking for a paper doll for her son who wanted a boy paper doll. And since this year is about be trying new things with my paper dolls, I decided to go for it. My plan is to do one per month for the year, though I have to confess that most guys I know just wear jeans and t-shirts. It’s making for really boring paper doll clothing drawing, hence the steampunk paper doll.

Curves: Gothic Goddess

Hmmm… I just realized I misdated this paper doll… opps. I’ll fix it later. 🙂

I love how the hoop set looks under her skirt, I think they look like bones. Originally I was going to draw the costume on the left for Marisole and I spent a lot of time sketching it and re-sketching it and it never looked right. I’m glad I eventually decided to make it for Curves. I think it looks much better.

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There’s something about the heavily shadowed paper dolls that I draw that seems to lend itself to gothic styling. I think it’s the contrast. I first started drawing paper dolls in this heavy shadowed style because I liked the idea of paper dolls in black and white which didn’t need to be colored. I wanted them to stand alone as graphic works without needing the injection of color. I think sometimes they work well and sometimes they don’t.

Also, if I’d done this set for Marisole, it would have been another mostly black set of clothing for her and sometimes I just get sick of that. So, I’m glad Curves got it in the end for a couple of reasons.

CyberGirl- Part Three

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I try not to have favorites among my paper dolls, but I do have favorites. And these are two of my favorite of Cybergirl’s costumes. They feature all the things I sort of love- straps, tweed, crazy hair, a little bit Victorian, wacky jewelry, absurdly impossible to wear…

The joys of fantasy dressing through paper dolls.

So, I got a couple good responses about Fashion Doll Friday and what I should do about my apathy towards Florence. Since I have a few dresses already penciled, scanned or ready to post for her, things won’t be changing for a while, I assure you. I spent last night drawing and inking and working away on paper doll things, so Marisole will get some cute Ancient Greek inspired duds tomorrow. I also put some time in on a new paper doll, possibly a serial one. I wish I knew where my digital camera was so I could preview her. Maybe another time.

Until then, enjoy the future of fashion in this set of paper doll dresses.

Marisole Monday: Cogs & Gears

So, if this paper doll seems vaguely familiar, that’s likely because I have done steampunk things before for Marisole and for Curves. I openly admit I think William Gibson’s Difference Engine is among the boringest books I have ever tried to read; however, I do love anything which lets me play with Victorian fashion and not have my natural need to research to overwhelm me. There might be better steampunk books out there. Suggestions anyone?

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So, if this paper doll seems vaguely familiar, that’s likely because I have done steampunk things before for Marisole and for Curves. I openly admit I think William Gibson’s Difference Engine is among the boringest books I have ever tried to read; however, I do love anything which lets me play with Victorian fashion and not have my natural need to research to overwhelm me. There might be better steampunk books out there. Suggestions anyone?

I feel I should add, I love many of Gibson’s other books including the fantastic art work Agrippa which the librarian in me both loves and hates. Seriously, a mind-blowing piece of artistic work.

Okay, I’m done gushing now about digital poetics which technically have no place on this blog. This blog is about more important things like paper dolls.

So, speaking of paper dolls, today’s Marisole is considerably more brightly colored then my last foray into Steampunk. I like the brighter colors and though I tend to think of the Victorian era as sepia toned, I know the reality is that it was a horribly gaudy era of fashion since chemical dyes had just been invented.

Curves: Skypirate

So, I was talking to my friend and I said, “I think I want to draw pirates, but I’m not sure…”

And he said, “You should draw Skypirates.”

And I said, “Sure.”

Curves: Skypirate

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And I thought, but I don’t know what a skypirate is, except perhaps a pirate who rides around the sky. I decided that skypirates would need flying ships, obviously, and so I turned to an old Russian folkstory called The Fool and The Flying Ship where in a fool gains a ship which will fly and proceeds to win the hand of a princess. I really loved the book of it we had when I was a kid.

The result is a little less pirate-ish and a little more Eastern European nobleman-esque. The outfit on the left is based on a vest from the Serbiadating about second half of the 19th century which lives in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The pants are from traditional Cassock uniforms and the boots are based on those worn by hot air ballooners in the Victorian era. How’s that for an eleclectic collection of sources?

The outfit on the right’s jacket comes from Albania, also thanks to the V&A Museum. The trousers are based on those worn by sailors and young boys in VIctorian England and the shoes are just a pair of riding boots.

Curves: Steampowered

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I don’t usually name my Curves paper dolls, but then I don’t usually need too. In this case it seems necessary, because how could I present the famous Adele without an introduction? Who else has fought for truth, justice and all other noble things while also being a smart young lady with an innate sense of style? With her glasses firmly over her eyes, her walking stick in hand and her gloves loaded, Adele faces off with the Mars Men, the strange otherworldly beings from the next dimension and still manages to lay a proper table for tea. Truly a lady to be admired by us all.

Is it obvious I’ve been spending a lot of time with Victorian three volume novels?

On an unrelated note, one of my goals for the last few days of drawing has been to stretch myself a bit with the paper dolls, so expect to see more pattern and more detail. The plaid on the vest is an example. I’ve always been scared of plaid, but I think it turned out okay.

Marisole Monday: Sugar and Spice Version 2.0

So, yesterday, I had a Sweet Lolita paper doll and today we have a Gothic Lolita version of the same doll. Once again, you’ll want to slit along the dotted line on her hair, so she can wear the bows and hat and other hair accessories. Hair accessories seem to be very important in the whole Lolita thing. I openly confess to not being an expert, but I did my best. You can check out the Sweet Lolita paper doll for the list of sources I used.

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While I was researching Lolita fashion, I did find this cute paper doll by Ninipowwaa on Deviant Art. She also has her own blog which I can’t read, cause I think it’s in French. In high school, when most people I knew were failing to learn French, I was busy failing to learn Spanish. I love how she colored the paper doll. Someday, I might actually try to shade Marisole. I mean… not in the near future, but it could happen.

And, I should say, doing two different color schemes was really actually difficult. Don’t expect it to become a theme, but by the time I realized how long it was taking me to recolor the whole set, I’d already gotten so far along that I wasn’t stopping. I don’t think I’ll be doing Lolita fashion again in the future for the paper dolls unless I get lots of requests and start to feel guilty. I have a very well developed sense of guilt.

Marisole Monday: Sugar and Spice

So, I’m a bit late with Marisole Monday, but I think it was worth the wait. I may have gotten a little carried away with these Lolita style paper doll clothes. Just, you know… A bit. See, I got this new paper which is designed for pen and ink (it’s a hot press smooth Bristol with lots of sizing in it) and the result is that the inking goes so smooth and so I sort of was having a lot of fun and kinda forgot that I had to fit everything onto a certain amount of space.

It happens.

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On the list of other confessions to be made about today’s printable paper doll include that I really don’t know anything about Japanese street fashion. I don’t speak/read/understand any Japanese and so most of my information came from the Wikipedia article on Lolita style and a dozen Japanese clothing brand websites like Angelic Pretty and Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Navigating them while not speaking Japanese was an adventure to say the least. American stores like Candy Violet and Sweet Rococo.

I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to work on improving my art by doing things that scare me and what scared me about these paper doll dresses was the ruffles and the ribbons and the general high level of detail. I didn’t draw any patterns because I didn’t know if I wanted Sweet Lolita (full of pinks, ruffles and floral patterns) or Gothic Lolita (full of black, ruffles and a distinct lack of floral patterns). In the end I settled on Sweet for today’s paper dolls, but there will be an Extra Special Not on Monday, Marisole Monday post tomorrow which the darker Gothic version of the paper doll and her clothing.

On one last note, cut along the dotted line in Marisole’s hair, so that she can wear her bows and hat.