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 meanโ€ฆ 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.

Noir Punk or Punk Noir…. Magnetic Paper Doll

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I don’t really know where this started…

I mean, I might have watched “Blade Runner” one to many times or maybe I’ve been collecting to many steampunk reference images in my files, but somehow I just thought that combining 1940’s and 1930’s noir film suits with platform heels and facial peircings seemed like a good idea.

Truth be told, I am rather pleased with the outcome. I figured out a way to do hats that “work” on magnetic paper dolls (who can not have things layered “behind” them very well”) and got to play with some of the diversity that might be possible from the Flock. I chose Starling to show off this style, because there was something about her little smirk/half smile with the hair style that I thought looked good.

So, I am quite pleased with the outcome.

One of the things I wanted to do with the Flock magnetic sets was make sure there was versatility. The pieces which “only” Starling can wear are on her page- the shoes and the hats with the hair attached. The pieces on the other page will fit any of the Flock magnetic dolls.

I think this style should be called “Noir Punk” as in “Steampunk” or I think it should be called “Punk Noir,” but I can’t really decide which one. Either way, you’ll find the downloads below. Let me know what you think in a comment.

Starling: Punk Noir Set PDF Downloads
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Starling Doll PDF Download Punk Noir Clothing PDF Download

Circuits and Fishnet: Cyberpunk Printable Paper Doll

Today Marisole printable paper doll is going cybergoth since there’s just not enough neon and shiny in Marisole’s eclectic paper wardrobe. This is the first new Marisole in a depressingly long time… I confess I spent time I probably should have spent revising a paper on this, but after five hours in the library my mind is pretty much non-functional anyway. And it’s nice to come home to paper doll coloring as a relaxing project to work on.

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Now, I did recently get my hands on Gothic: Dark Glamour by Valerie Steele. While I normally I like Steele’s work, I was a bit disappointed by this book. It didn’t have the lavish pictures I have come to want in any costume book I buy. Still, it did have a fairly nice description of cyber-gothic and helped me narrow things down to black with neon accents. The hair was the hardest part of this paper doll, but I am actually quite pleased at how it came out. The other piece I am most proud of is the shiny black corset. Shiny fabrics are something I am still practicing and I am totally excited at how perfect the corset turned out to be. It’s rare that I really feel like I’ve achieved what I wanted with texture. Texture is hard.

So, I’ve done a dark steampunk paper doll over the years, a gothic Lolita one and one punk paper doll, but I don’t think I’ve ever really done a traditional gothic paper doll unless you count my vampire paper doll in 2010. I wonder if I should? What do other people think?

Iksha: A Printable Paper Doll

So, this is up a little later then intended. I wanted to do a sort of belly dancer fantasy set, and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I think I went through about six color schemes before I settled on this one. It’s not quite what I wanted, but it’s a lot better then the purple and blue version (trust me on that one). When I was a kid, I had a friend whose mother was a belly dancer. I thought that was a most cool exotic thing ever. I’ve never belly danced though- perhaps I will someday.

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On a semi-unrelated note, The Black Apple is offering this wonderful Winter Girl paper doll download. If you’re not familiar with her art, Emily Martin has also produced on commercial paper doll book called The Paper Doll Primer. I haven’t bought it yet, but its on my list of things to purchase. I love the whimsical, but not cute nature of her paper dolls. I’m a huge fan of whimsey and I’m not a huge fan of overly cute.

Oh and there’s a new poll on the side bar for people to vote in. I’m thinking about what to add to the blog over the next year, so there are some options listed there. I can’t promise I’ll actually do what wins, but it’ll probably help push me in some direction. (I have a half finished tutorial on how I color paper dolls sitting in a folder and it’s been there for almost a year.)

Shadow & Light 10: Black and White Printable Paper Doll

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Today, I had my last finals and my paper due. Classes for the last semester are officially over and I am extremely happy. If you haven’t spent time on Teri’s Paper Doll Scans, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a wonderful collection of paper dolls.

Curves: Fur Trimmed Gothic

So, this is a stupidly titled paper doll, but her sleeves are fuzzy, so that should be worth something. ๐Ÿ™‚

Curves is a complicated series for me, in part because it fore fills two goals. I began it when I did all my paper dolls for the blog in the heavily shadowed style of Curves, but I wanted to do a full figured paper doll since the ones I had seen online were not very attractive and I thought I could do better.

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Two years later, Curves is my only regularly updating paper doll in the heavily shadowed style I developed in college and still often use for non-paper doll drawing. I like the style, because I believe it doesn’t need to be colored, it has a strong enough graphic presence without adding color. A lot of people color them, and that’s fine with me, but my goal was to make a black and white paper doll that didn’t need to be colored.

There were some side effects of this. The heavy shadows, strongly influenced by Frank Miller’s graphic novels, make for a fairly “dark” paper doll. In several ways, the details are often obscured and lost while the tone is also distinctly heavy. Being a bit of a noir movie lover, I don’t mind the tonal shift, but I do think it lends its self to some styles better then others. Gothic, vintage, and some fantasy clothing comes out looking wonderful, but the average jeans and t-shirt leave something to be desired.

I don’t want to give up my heavily shadowed dolls, because I do like them. I also don’t want to stop drawing a full figured paper doll since I think its important. Unfortunately, I also getting somewhat bored with Curves after two years. I think there needs to be a Curves 2.0. I just haven’t figured out yet how to pull that off or what it’ll look like when I do.

Progress reports and thoughts on the subject will be forth coming. Until then, enjoy the furry Gothic costumes for this new Curves doll and anyone’s thoughts on the matter are welcome.

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. ๐Ÿ™‚