Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Chambray Summer Dresses and Sandals
Sometimes, I draw paper dolls and I have wonderful detailed ideas of what I want to say about them. Sometimes, I draw paper dolls and I have really nothing to say about them. Today’s paper doll falls into the later category. I just don’t really have much meaningful to say about her.
I like her, don’t get me wrong, but she’s not as full of complex inspiration as some of my other work.
She was a case of drawing the dress and then drawing a doll to go with the dress. I wanted to draw a short chambray dress. One of the big trends this summer is chambray dresses. I mostly use chambray for sewing doll jeans. It’s super useful for that, but it also works really well as a sundress material.
My plan was to make two sundresses and use them as a clothing post. I hated the other sundress so much that I scribbled it out of my sketchbook, so that didn’t work out.
To salvage the dress that I had, I decided to draw a doll do go with it. Drawing her hair gave me a chance to practice short hair. I need to practice short hair more. Also, I am sort of in love with her eyebrows and I can’t explain why.
I designed her shoes to be basics. I wanted them to go with pretty much anything else she might decide to wear.
So, what do you think? Cute? Looking slightly pissed off? Let me know in a comment. I always love to hear from you all.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations:Akemi and My Continuing Struggle With Red Hair and Tan Skin
A few months ago, I first mentioned that I would be drawing new paper dolls based on some of my old paper dolls. There are literally hundreds paper dolls on this blog since it is nearly nine years old (scary no?) and given that, I have enjoyed creating new paper dolls from old paper dolls.
I decided to make her a paper doll queen and not a paper dolls princess, because queens have more power.
I gave her red hair and tan skin, because I am on a constant mission to figure out how to make that combination work. I think it looks okay this time, but I’m still not totally pleased with the outcome.
And tomorrow, there will be a Mikhail paper doll inspired by the same Akemi paper doll. I know some of my readers will be excited to get a new boy printable paper doll.
Also, in case you missed the news, I now have an Etsy Store! There is a coupon code good for 25% off an order of 4.00 or more until the end of March. Visit the shop and use the code: READER2017
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This is the second Meaghan printable paper doll of 2016, which seems surprising to me, but I checked the archives and its true. When my real friend Meaghan allowed me to name a paper doll after her, she demanded fantasy dresses, so I do my best to provide them as often as I can for her paper surrogate.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what the best ways to break up a paper doll across five days really are. Shoes are often an issue in paper doll creations, because skin is exposed. While any paper doll in the same pose can share dresses, only paper dolls with the same skintone can share shoes, especially shoes like these where even and exacto-knife couldn’t make some of these sandals work on my Edwardian Mia from the week before last, for example.
So, rather than start out with a paper doll and a dress this time, I am starting out with a paper doll and some fantasy sandals. There won’t be an accessory Thursday this week, instead each day there will be an accessory to go with the dress on display.
Also, I have a question for all my lovely readers, now that we’re five or six weeks into this new format, what do you all think? Please let me know in a comment.
Today’s Sprite is and elven paper doll named Willow in honor of Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (More on that later.) I was the biggest Buffy fan when I was in middle-school and early highschool. I stopped watching around season five, I think. Though I keep trying to get through the later seasons, the show gets so darn depressing.
As with many of my fantasy paper dolls, I try to think about “setting” when I designed these outfits. I have decided both of these elves (Xavier and Willow) are warriors, so Willow has armor to go under her silken tunics and a bow as well. I was also thinking about Ancient Grecian tunics when designing these paper doll pieces. Sure, they’re not really practical, but we all know how I feel about practicality and paper dolls. (Never the two shall meet.)
So, then I nearly re-colored the whole set feeling like I wasn’t trying to make my elf look like someone else’s elf and then I decided that I had wanted to make her a redhead ever since I named her in honor of Willow Rosenberg from Buffy:The Vampire Slayer and no random elf chick from a rather bad movie was going to stop me.
There will be other Willow paper dolls, so they won’t all be elves, but that’s what I’ve started with.
I have realized there are five Friday’s in January. So, should I end January with a non-Sprite or should I have a Sprite in the beginning of February? Since they always come in pairs. Let me know thoughts in the comments.
This holiday season I’m visiting family in Arizona. My mom and I went to Tucson to see the miniature museum called The Mini-Time Machine.
It was absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend it to anyone in the area.
Anyway, onto paper dolls… I had a lot of trouble coloring this paper doll set. I didn’t want to do bright colors, but I also didn’t want to do everything grey and gold. I ended up developing a color palette based on mossy green and eggplant purple. I named it Watcher at the Gate. I knew I wanted the armor to feel as much leather as it did metal, so I added grey-browns. You can see all my palettes on ColorLovers, though I confess I only recently started saving them there.
I have created a lot of different paper dolls over the years, as anyone who spends any time digging around the archives could tell you. My favorites are ones where I get to do something different that I haven’t really done before. I think today’s set falls into the category. I can’t think of another paper doll I’ve drawn for the blog which is quite like this paper doll.
So, on Wednesday, there will be a round up of every historical paper doll I have ever posted on the blog (kinda amazing list, actually) and then on Friday… well, actually, I have no idea what goes up Friday. I need to work on that. 🙂
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I named today’s printable paper doll “Cerise” which is a French name meaning “Cherry”, because of her red paper-doll base. Cerise has the same skin-tone as Natalie. So they can share shoes.
I like redheads. I blame this on Anne of Green Gables and my grandmother. My grandmother had the most beautiful red hair. (That sentence makes it sound like she’s dead. She’s not dead, but her hair is now grey.)
I did not inherit this and I have been bitter about that for a long time. So, if it was up to me, most of my paper dolls would default to red heads.
I try to fight this natural urge, since I want diversity and variety in my paper doll world.
Like any good printable paper doll should, today Marisole is showing off her full color autumn paper wardrobe complete with some sassy boots. The colors I chose are rich jewel tones for these paper doll clothes. I wanted something that said autumn to me and nothing says autumn like jewel tones.
There are color schemes I come back to over and over again in various forms and one of those is teal, dark pink, and green. I just love these colors together. I do confess that I sometimes I tell myself I can’t use “pink” or I must use “green” and that forces me out of color scheme ruts.
I confess this is a color scheme that I have done before, or at least, I feel like I have done it before. Maybe I’m wrong… anyway, it feels awfully familiar to me.
Every once in a while, I return to things in the deluded belief they are going to come out better. Like red hair and dark skin, I return to it even though I feel that I have yet to actually get it right.
There’s a term for doing the same thing over again expecting different results. They call that, “insanity.”
Anyway, I once again tried red hair and dark skin. I think this attempt was better than several of my other attempts (Mint and Roses, I am looking at you).
There’s a big announcement coming up Wednesday, so stay tuned for that.
I first stumbled across Cranach dress or gowns in this rather gruesome painting of Judith with the Head of Holofernes months ago and her gown was fascinating. I didn’t know much about it, except that it was painted by Lucas Cranach. As it turned out, I discovered as I did more research, that the artist- Lucas Cranach the Elder- painted countless versions of this gown on countless both real and mythological figures. Coming out of the Saxony area of Germany, Lucas Cranach was hired by Fredrick the Wise who to be the court painter of his court in 1505 and Cranach stayed there for the rest of his life. He was extremely prolific and his art is distinctly romantic and stylized. Even his portraits all rather do look the same after a while, I have to confess.
However, there is a debate as to whether or not Cranach’s gowns actually existed in the real world. Here’s my view: We don’t have an extant one, but then we don’t have very many extant garments from this era anyway. Should we find one the debate would be settled, but until then we have to work with the primary sources we have. The value of fabric and the expense of clothing was so great the people usually chose to be painted to garments they actually owned.
Plus, I tend to approach history with the belief that in the absence of proof to the contrary, we should assume that people of the era were not trying to mislead people of the future. Why commission a family history with crests and portraits of your family, if you are not going to accurately render the people in the images? Das Sächsische Stammbuch – Mscr.Dresd.R.3 is a collection of portraits of Saxon nobles. Why put the princesses in imaginary gowns?
The first question I struggled to answer was if the nets of pearls so often seen the women’s hair in these portraits were actually nets of pearls, or rather some sort of cap. This article on these caps lead me to conclude it was a cap, rather than part of the hair. The paper doll’s shoes are fairly standard 15th century shoes with squared toes. Her hats are based on portraits of the era.
I picked out colors based on the main colors I saw in the portraiture which were red and black. I really wanted to do blue as well, like the illustrations of the Saxon princesses and so I did a blue gown as well. I did wonder, however, about the blue. Color is often symbolic in manuscript illustration and I wondered if perhaps blue was used to denote virginity (the Madonna was associated with blue) rather than to render the actual color of the gowns. Never the less, I thought they looked pretty and that was enough for me. I made the paper doll a redhead, because I have a thing for redheads and so did, it seems, Cranach.
The most useful document was Das Sächsische Stammbuch – Mscr.Dresd.R.3 and I owe a debt to the library that digitized it. It it through this digital work that people like me can see the great artifacts of Europe and study them. I am well aware of the risks and time such projects take, so I am grateful when libraries and museums undertake them.
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I confess the colors here were heavily influenced by the colors in the portraits that I used as inspiration. (Full list of those can be found in last week’s post.) That meant there was a lot of black. I confess that somehow Tudor clothing looks best to me in rich, vivid shades of red, gold and black, so I settled on that color scheme.
Most of the ways we think of history are influenced by our perceptions of the past, rather than the reality of the past. It’s easy to imagine the Victorian era entirely in sepia, because that is what we have available. I have been watching an excellent documentary by the BCC entitled Monarchy on Nexflix over the lat few days. It’s been fascinating, if at times a little confusing when I lose track of which Edward is which. Never the less, we’ve just gotten to Henry the 8th and I smiled when I saw the gowns of this era.
Over the years that I have been drawing paper dolls, few eras have seen has intimidating as Tudor. I’m very pleased that I was able to tackle this period. My next major research project will be preparing for my Viking paper doll set for B&B. I just received from Interlibrary Loan on Friday the book Woven Into the Earth about textiles from Norse Greenland. So, I’ll be curling on this week with that on my couch trying to make sense of Viking attire.
Once I’m done with Vikings (which will be a few weeks, I am waiting a on a few more books), I’ll need a new period to research. For this purpose, I have put together a poll. These are all eras that I have either never really studied or generally think I don’t like. I want to force myself to do things which I wouldn’t normally be drawn too.
What historical period should I research next? (And therefore make a paper doll of...)
One of the things I really love to do is hold drawings where the winner gets a custom paper doll. Part of the fun of these contests is that I never know what people are going to ask for and sometimes I am really surprised.
As always when I create one of these paper doll print outs, a part of me is very nervous. I always worry that I am not going to “get it right” for the person who asked for the paper doll set.
Morgan asked “For the clothes something comfy but still sort of dressy, tomboyish but still girly, if that makes any sense. For the hair color and style, curly long orangish red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. But if possible I would love to have the color theme be turquoise.” And she was kind enough to send me some great reference images.
As I usually do with drawing winners, I wanted to post both of these sets at once, as I don’t think it is nice to make my winners wait when they have been so kind to wait a few weeks anyway.
Color scheme wise, I was asked for turquoise which is one of my favorite colors (well, teal really). Beyond being really hard to spell, it’s also a color with lots of variation. Since it can be a fairly green color or a fairly blue color, I wanted to use several shades. Now, I tend to stay away from monochromatic schemes, so I also used a bright yellow and a bright green as accent colors.
Anyway, I hope you like your paper doll set Morgan and if the color scheme isn’t quite what you imagined, let me know. I can recolor her. I always worry about color schemes. Meanwhile, to my other winner, I promise your paper doll will be up in a few weeks.
By the way, I think this is the first contemporary paper doll I’ve ever done with just pants and no skirts or dresses. I haven’t been through all the archives to confirm that, but I think it’s true.