Asian Inspired Fantasy Outfits for the Sprites Printable Paper Dolls


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Kimono, Qiapo and Stuff
A pair of fantasy outfits for the Sprites printable paper doll series based on qiapo and kimono. Free to print in color or black and white from paperthinpersonas.com.

A pair of fantasy outfits for the Sprites printable paper doll series based on qiapo and kimono. Free printable paper doll coloring page from paperthinpersonas.com.

It has been a while since I dabbled in Asian dress inspired fantasy attire for the paper dolls. Sometimes, I feel a little strange borrowing from Asian traditional attire, because I don’t feel like I have the right. I pointed this out of a friend and they asked if I didn’t have the right to borrow from Japan, why did I have the right to borrow from Europe?

I really didn’t have a good answer to that one. I am certainly not now, nor have ever been, European. I was born in Alaska, after all.

Cultural appropriation is one of those areas that I never quite know how I feel. Still, being aware is important and trying to be culturally aware matters. Respecting other cultures and trying to depict them respectfully is important.

So, today’s fantasy foray crosses qiapo and kimonos in a way that doesn’t make much logical sense, but does look neat. And looking neat is an important critera for my fantasy paper doll creations. (Hence why I once drew this and got to call it armor.)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the colors in today’s pair of Sprite paper doll pieces came from this kimono. I love kimonos and their color combinations are often surprising to me. Probably, because I lack the cultural context to understand the color choices, but I always seem to enjoy the surprise.

According to this chart I saw on the internet, and we all know how trustworthy that is, orange and purple are common colors for May kimonos. In the world of kimonos, colors signify season, status, gender, age, and all sorts of other things. It is actually a fascinating area of study, if you know, you happen to be into dress.

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Jai: A Fantasy Paper Doll

logo-china-pixieThis isn’t an accurate depiction of Tang Dynasty dress. Though at times it seems to me that this would be obvious, most people (myself included) aren’t very familiar with the dynasties of China, let alone what they were wearing. Oddly, I never feel like when I draw stuff like this or this or this, I have to say it’s not accurate historical European dress, so perhaps my ned for a “disclaimer” is partly an assumption on my part about what my readers are familiar with.

So, anyway, these gowns were inspired by Hanfu and Tang Dynasty dress if anyone is keeping count. Of course, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t meant to be. I just had a lot of fun looking up gowns like this one and this one on Pinterest.

I find balancing research intense projects with non-research intense projects really helps keep me feeling sane. So, fantasy often seems to counter balance historical sets. I just finished, for example, penciling the largest 18th century set that I have ever drawn and then drew a space princess with a ray gun.

It’s all about contrast.

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I went with a muted color scheme that I found on Design Seeds. I wanted it to feel a little less bright and more nature inspired than a lot of my color schemes tend towards. I have a lof of bright colors. I think the gray greens and soft lavenders go a long way to keeping things feeling soft and delicate.

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I swear I had a reference from a contemporary Asian historical drama film when I drew her hair, but now I can’t seem to find the picture on Pinterest. Normally, I’m quite compulsive about saving these things, so I’m a little surprised to be so flummoxed.

Oh well… perhaps I shall find it later.

In the meantime, enjoy Jai and her fantasy gowns.

An Elf with an Obi: A Black and White Paper Doll

So, today I wanted to draw a paper doll that was a little edgy and inspired by Asian traditional dress with obi’s and mandarin collars (though there is some debate as to the evolution of the mandarin collar… and whether it evolved from Chinese contact with European military uniforms or European contact with Chinese dress… I’ve read both versions in respected literature on the subject, so I have no opinion except to say we don’t know and leave it at that), but I realized I tend to draw Asian looking paper dolls when I’m drawing Asian inspired costumes and that seemed a little… odd, so I instead made her an elf with braids, resulting in a sort of African elf in an obi.

I’m sure if I was more awake today and if I really wanted to, I could probably read some interesting orientalist thing into all this, but I’d rather just stick with the “it’s a paper doll and it’s neat” side of theoretical endeavors.

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Anyhow… as you might have noticed on the right side of the blog a few things have changed. I’ve added tags in an attempt to try to create a genre sort of listing which crosses paper dolls styles. So, if a person wanted to see all the fantasy paper dolls or felt a need to look at every blond paper doll, the option would be available. The three tags I am sort of uncomfortable with are Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll. I did them, because I erratically get emails asking about paper dolls of one of those three groups and I thought the tag might help people find them, but I also feel rather uncomfortable applying racial labels to my paper dolls, especially with Marisole who only has two facial options to begin with.

So, I’m tossing this out to the peanut gallery: Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll tags are useful or awkward or likely to offend people? Thoughts?

Pixies Printable Paper Dolls in Black and White

Since my primary concern for the next few weeks is class work, thesis writing and job searching, I thought I would just post some Pixie paper dolls I have already posted in color, but post them in black and white. I felt a little guilty doing it as just one, so there are two this week- Blossom and Masquerade– both are paper dolls which I think would be fun to color as they have some pattern in their clothing and bows.. a lot of bows…

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Plus I have been getting requests for paper dolls in black and white, so I guess I could pretend I was listening to people rather than just doing what I knew I could get done and posted without having to spend too much time on it. Despite the practical concerns of getting something up to, as I like to say, “feed the blog”, I know people like to color and I think its important to give people the chance to do that.

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These are also both paper dolls which I really liked the full color versions of (which you can see here and here), so I hope people also like the black and white versions.

Pixie & Puck: Blossom and Pavall

Blossom is not named after the show from the 80’s, though after I mentioned what I was going to call the paper doll my friend commented about that and I almost renamed her. I can’t really say why I named her Blossom, except that she looked like a Blossom to me. I suppose that answer will have to do. Her costumes were inspired by anime costumes, more then anything else. Several of my good friends are heavily into anime, though I openly confess to not being much of a fan. I do like the outfits though.

blossom-asian-paper-doll

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I have been thinking a lot about process lately and about ways to make this blog about more then just the paper dolls I post every few days, so I thought I would also scan the thumbnail doodles that became these costumes. As you might notice, there are some differences between the finished product and the draft. PallavtheElfThat’s fairly common for me. I tend to change things as I am working on them. My only frustrating with this paper doll was the color schemes for the dresses. I went through several dozen and I am still not sure I like all of them. Maybe I’ll published a black and white version as well… Something to think about.

Also, I am very excited to present two paper dolls today. Along with Blossom, there is a version of the Puck paper doll done by Toni L.A. Cross, www.thinkinlikegavroche.wordpress.com, with a much different chin and a quirky expression. He’s an elf and his name is Pavell which is apparently Sanskrit and I think he’s wonderful and very inspired. I especially like what was done with his hand, so he could hold the bow. I want to thank Toni for kindly letting me share him with all of you. It was really fun for me to see what someone else had done based on my work and quite flattering.

Marisole Monday: Pirate Vs. Ninja- Ninja Edition

So, this paper doll began when I was asking for paper doll ideas and my friend said, “Pirates vs. Ninjas.”

He was joking. I wasn’t.

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I actually gave some thought to the matter and decided I could do both a ninja and a pirate version of the paper doll. Today is the ninja and then next week, there will be a pirate paper doll for Marisole. I did a pirate paper doll a while ago, but I was never really pleased with how it turned out. So, I decided I should have another go at it.

In paper dolls, unlike in life, there are plenty of second chances.

On a totally unrelated note, I was looking at my poll results and I noticed that Marisole won as the favorite paper doll by a landslide. While I always thought she would win, I didn’t think she’d win by as much as she did. So I am curious, why Marisole won. To help answer this question, I have developed a contest.

The Contest

The question is: Which paper doll series on the blog is your favorite and what makes it your favorite? A one word answer will not count, the “why” is very important to me.

The Rules:
1) One answer per person.
2) Contest will run for this week.
3) At the end of the week, I will put the names of everyone who answered into a hat, draw one randomly, and announce the winner on next Monday with the Marisole post.

The Prize: A custom paper doll for a series of your choice- Curves, Marisole, Pixie & Puck or Flora (though Flora has to stay in the Regency Era).

All right, I look forward to reading people’s answers.