Since the Dames & Dandies are a new series, one of my goals is to try to get a paper doll outfit done for the holidays. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was a child, my grandmother would send us holiday cards with paper dolls in them all the time. Here is a scan of one, I remember getting. I’m sure it says something about me that I can remember that card after 20 something years.
Anyhow, I love drawing over the top heart covered gowns for Valentine’s Day paper dolls. So, it wasn’t hard to decide to draw this one. I’ve been working on an 18th century paper doll with period underwear, so I thought I would design a dress that could go over the set of hoops. That’s how we ended up with this over the top rococo influenced Valentine’s Day paper doll dress.
By the way, I have no idea when that 18th century doll will be done. So, don’t hold your breath.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone has an amazing Valentine’s Day!
When I was first drawing and prepping content for the new Dames and Dandies series, I made a list of what I thought might be the first nine clothing sets to draw for the new paper dolls. Both my Patrons and folks who follow me on Facebook got to see this list at the top of which was “Winter Big Princess Gown.”
For those of you who don’t know, “big gown” is my short hand for these sorts of full skirted over the top dresses I am fond of drawing. Wenesday’s Valentine’s Day dress is another “big gown”. I just like to draw things with huge skirts, because the size of the skirt allows for layering and over skirts and all sorts of other decorative elements.
It’s hard to draw a super over the top mini-dress. You just don’t have as much room.
So, anyway, I wanted to create a winter princess dress. You know, a sort of over the top, full skirted dress that would feel like the sort of thing a fairy tale princess might wear while wandering through a snow covered landscape. Possibly to meet a prince or possibly just because, she felt like it. Princes need not always be involved.
Today’s winter princess dress is trimmed in fur. The bodice feels a little military influenced, with the trimming, buttons and cuffs. The skirt is three layers. There’s an over skirt, an under skirt and a wide pleated bottom skirt.
The motif on the over skirt is supposed to be a snowflake, but I’m not sure that’s obvious. In fact, the first color scheme had a gold snowflake and it looked more like a star to me. So, I ended up recoloring the whole dress. I was thinking of snowy winter days when I colored this- blue-grey is a color I associate with the winter time.
The first dress I designed was the lily ball gown, but this dress is what turned that dress from just as “this would be fun to draw” into a “oh, I could make this a series”. So, I really think of today’s Beatrix princess paper doll as the inspiration behind the whole week.
When I was planning the Dames and Dandies series, I new I was going to have a stable set of “faces”, but I wanted those faces to have many versions. So, this is Version 2 of Beatrix– The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll version.
Also, huge shout out to my Mom, who when I was describing the flower I was remembering from the garden as a child, recalled the name of it and spelled it correctly enough for me to goggle it. The formal name for bellflowers is Campanula, by the way, which is what she told me.
I just thought Campanula Princess didn’t roll off the tongue as well as Bellflower Princess, hence the name change.
In the order of this princess paper doll design, the dress came first. Once I had it drawn, I wanted a crown and I came up with the idea of the flowers coming out from a pair of buns.
Once I had that idea in my head, I had to figure out how to actually create in a way that would work for someone cutting out the paper doll. So, I drew the hair style and the crown pieces separately.
Than, I used Photoshop to create one version of Beatrix with out the crown and second version with the crown. So, the hair with the crown can be cut out and placed over the hair without the crown.
This also assures that this version of Beatrix can wear a hat without floral crown pieces getting in the way.
I don’t often share my process photos here, because I try to save them for my Patrons. So, if you want to see more images of the raw beginnings of paper doll sets, than donate and join Patreon. I try to post a few “behind the scenes” images every month. I also put them up on Instagram erratically.
It feels at this time of the year as though Spring will never come. The weather in Alabama has been unusually cold and while I try to look at the bright side (fewer bugs), it has been a long grey winter. So, let’s look at paper doll clothing inspired by flowers.
This whole week will be devoted to the floral fantasy ball. Today, we have a Lily ballgown for the A pose paper dolls. Wednesday will be a Fiddlehead Fern inspired suit for the C pose gents. Friday Beatrix will debut as the bellflower princess with her own paper doll princess dress.
I love lilies. There were a bunch of yellow and orange lilies that grew by the door of our house when I was child. My mother is a wonderful gardener, but nothing else would grow in that corner. Those lilies grew there when we bought the house. As far as I know they are still there.
I wanted this paper doll princess dress to be elegant. It was also a chance to practice drawing lillies. I didn’t want the paper doll dress to feel to bridal, so I chose a rich color. It started out as purple, but I changed it to teal once I realized I was going to end up with two purple dresses if I kept it purple.
Anyway, to talk about the paper doll gown, I wanted to design this gown for weeks. I originally doodled it out in my notebook and I knew I wanted to make it a huge skirted sort of ballgown. The crown was partly inspired by something sort of Art Nouveau. Hop over to the Patreon page to see the original thumbnail doodle I did of this gown and the subsquent sketchbook pages.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Traditional Epic Medieval Inspired Fantasy
It was a wet stormy Sunday this weekend. I usually write the week’s posts in a batch on Sunday. The remnants of tropical storm Nate took out the power for my apartment, so I spent a lot of Sunday sitting by the window with a cat on my lap reading a book. It would have been relaxing, but I kept worrying about the dishes and laundry I needed to do before Monday.
Fortunately, power was restored in the late afternoon. As I write there, there are clothes being washed and the dishwasher is hard at work. (I love dishwashers.)
I felt like drawing a gown. Something medieval and fantasy. My patrons voted at the beginning of the year and asked for more Lord of the Rings inspired fantasy sets. When I think of Lord of the Rings, I tend to think of traditional medieval influenced fantasy. (Also, hairy feet, but I don’t imagine I’ll be drawing those in the future.)
Today’s paper doll is Margot, because I hadn’t posted a paper doll of her in almost a year, I realized. So, I made this paper dolls. She’s got red hair (you all know I love red hair) and two pairs of shoes.
If you think she needs more dresses of a similar style than I would refer you to this post, this post, this post, and this post. I didn’t realize how long it has been since I drew a traditional fantasy gown for the Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls.
On my Patreon page, there’s a different color scheme for you to download. And you don’t have to be a patron to see it or download it. Though if you want to donate to help support the blog, that’s always appreciated and helpful.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: This Dress from Pinterest
Today’s paper doll dress was very heavily influenced by this dress on Pinterest. It’s not an exact replica, but it is really very close.I really loved the romantic style of the dress. It just felt so fairy tale to me.
The ribbon detailing on the sleeves and the bodice was one of the things that drew me to the dress. I didn’t like how the bodice and the waist seam cut off the lines of the dress, so I changed that for my version.
I sometimes feel a little guilting drawing such close replicas to other’s designs, but I also know that clothing designs can’t be copyrighted, so I refuse to feel too guilty about it.
In my head, this is the sort of paper doll gown that a paper doll wears while lounging on a stone bench in the garden near a fountain playing her stringed instrument and looking super amazing. It is the opposite of these fantasy outfits.
There is no practicality here at all, except perhaps her shoes which I wanted to be simple given the complexity of the dress.
I do regret not doing some pattern on the trimming on the shoes, but I shall survive.
Meanwhile, I am three weeks into my graduate program. So far things are going pretty well. I have more work ahead of me, but I am feeling pretty confident about it.
I will admit that I’ve been struggling to find time to draw. I want to draw, but somehow I can’t seem to quite get into the right mental place to let things go and just relax into the process.
Friday there’s an amazing paper doll dress planned. A 15th century Burgundian gown for the Ms. Mannequin series. It’s glorious.
Also, Rosh Hashanah starts tonight at sunset, so Shana Tova everyone! May your new year be sweet.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Renaissance Dresses & Princess Gowns
Confession time: I didn’t keep really good notes on this princess gown- I think of it as one even though there is no crown. I usually try to write down where an idea comes from or what images I look at as source material, but in this case, I really don’t have much of an answer. I know I wanted to do something renaissance inspired and fantasy gown, but with a very different aesthetic than the Sorceress Gowns Project.
This gown, on the other hand, is very much a renaissance inspired gown, though it’s not historically accurate in anyway.
And I love, love, love the colors.
The colors were inspired by a sunset, but I really wanted to embrace the idea of rich yellows, oranges and greens. The cream blouse and socks are meant to counter the rich color scheme of the rest of the dress. The garters are orange, of course, to march the flowers. I trimmed everything in black to counter balance the bright yellow and orange.
Playing with color is such a fun part of creating paper doll fashions.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Fantasy Gowns
Today’s Marisole Monday post is princess paper doll ball gown with a full skirt and double puffed sleeves. It’s pretty over the top, though not the most over the top thing I have ever drawn.
I love drawing what I think of a traditional princess paper doll ball gown. You know the type with big skirts and puffy sleeves. The kind of gowns you imagine being worn only in cartoon movies with musical numbers and never by actual people in the real world who need to get through doorways.
All paper dolls are about fantasy to some degree. After all, much of the armor I draw wouldn’t protect you very well and plenty of the gowns I draw would be hard to walk it or move in, but I still draw them. I do care about some levels of realism. I like the for my paper doll clothing to ‘make sense’ in so much as, I want them to actual be able to exist.
It matters to me that layers layer properly and such. Fabric looks like fabric. You know, those sorts of things.
But practicality belongs somewhere other than in the realm of paper dolls.
This dress went through three color schemes or so, before I decided I like this yellow, blue and orange option.
Today’s printable paper doll gown for the Ms. Mannequin paper dolls was based on a Marisole Monday & Friends set called, “Baroque Maiden.”
Even years after I did them, there are a few specific paper doll sets that I don’t like that much. Usually not because of my drawing skill, I can let those problems go. I mean, I always do the best I can at that moment which isn’t the best I could do today, but skills improve with time. No, it’s usually color choices that I regret after the fact.
One of the nice things about the project I’ve taken on to drew new paper doll content inspired by old paper doll content is that I can rectify some of those sets that I have mixed feelings about.
One such set is Baroque Maiden. I did the color scheme that way I did it, because I wanted to experiment with darker color schemes. However, I really hate the color scheme now that I’ve had to live with it for 5 years.
And the darkness of the colors means that there is no way to extract the line-work easily to make a black and white version.