Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
I would probably draw nothing but fantasy dresses for quite some time and never get bored, because there’s so much history to fashion to dip into a try. People have been wearing clothing for pretty much, well, ever. So, it’s a huge deep pool of neat stuff to pull ideas from.
Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Today’s paper doll gown is very much a renaissance inspired gown, though it’s not historically accurate in anyway. By the way, the dress is really close to Italian renaissance styles which the high waist and the split sleeves that show off the shift underneath.
Specific Source Images: I didn’t really look at anything while I was drawing it (the perk of spending so much of my free time collecting clothing images), but if you’re interested in similar styles here’s a few options: This gown, this gown and this gown.
I love drawing super detailed pattern motifs, like the one above, until I am coloring them. While I am coloring them a little piece of me cries and cries and wonders what I did it. Such a pain to color!
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: Tudor Era Clothing, Kinda
I go through phases. This probably isn’t any different from anyone else who does something creative. There are no double periods when someone really feels like playing jazz on the piano or when someone really seems to be into crocheting hedgehogs.
I, on the other hand, seem to fall into patterns where a specific paper doll theme seems super fascinating to me. During this stretches, I often add images based on the theme to my pinterest boards with abandon. About half the time, these spasms of interest don’t actually lead to paper doll outfits, because I have the attention span of an ADHD raven sometimes. However, on occasion, they do.
So, after a few weeks of being really into Tudor influenced fantasy clothing, I actually drew some for the Sprites paper dolls. See? There was a point to that weird ramble that I started today’s post with.
The lady Sprite outfit is really only fantasy, because I couldn’t be bothered to do any real research and I refuse to call something historical unless I actually have sources I can cite. The guy Sprites on the other hand… well, that outfit has a lot more fantasy going on. I just think a lot of men’s clothing from the Tudor period looks pretty absurd. What can I say?
Yesterday I posted fantasy garments based on some traditional Asian attire. Today I am hopping back to Europe to post a riff on 15th and 16th century dress.
Today’s Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll dress crosses Italian clothing in the late 1400s with English costume in the mid-1500s. There’s a definite Spanish Farthingale thing going on in that skirt shape. Spanish Farthngales were hoop skirts of their era and gave dresses a distinct cone shape. It was all the rage in England towards the end of the 1500s. Here’s an example of what I talking about.
The sleeves of today’s paper doll gown are pretty Italian. The style in Italy at the very end of the 1400s and the beginning of the 1500s. It was considered fashionable to have the shift sticking out through the spaces the sleeves- my paper dolls are nothing if not fashionable. Here is an example of the sleeves I mean and here is another one.
When it came time to color today’s paper doll, I fell back on the colors I tend to like when it comes to Tudor feeling things. I settled on copper and black for the color scheme. While I experimented with brighter options, I loved the sophistication these colors created.
As with many of my fantasy paper dolls, I added shoes and stockings to round out the outfit. After all, I do love to draw shoes. These shoes are neither English nor Italian, but more a pair of modern ones. So, that continues the cross-cultural experience here.
So, what do people think of my English-Italian Renaissance love child of a paper doll dress? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Fish! And This Dress on Pinterest
Today’s paper doll costumes are a pair of renaissance inspired fantasy outfits with an elaborate fish pattern on the gown.
In today’s renaissance fantasy paper doll fashions, I gave the Lady Sprites a blue and white dress. The Gentlemen Sprites a pale blue and grey outfit. Rather than giving the Lady Sprite shoes, I opted to create several accessory pieces including the instrument, book and sword.
So, I’m going to make a confession here:
I don’t have a lot of say about these paper doll outfits.
I drew them. I had fun drawing them. I’m actually super-duper proud of how that stylin’ fish pattern came out. But honestly, that’s about it.
After writing yesterdays long post about Snow White, I feel sorta odd that all I can say is that I picked blue and I liked fish.
And I will say that I think fish are a super cool motif. They’re a wonderful shape and I really enjoyed drawing my fish, but that’s kinda all I got.
Not the worlds most insightful post, but they can’t call be.
There’s still my Reader2017 coupon for 25% off still running in the Etsy store until the end of the month. And the blog has a facebook page now, so go there, like it, and spread the word about the fun of PTP!
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Abstracted Snowflakes, Tudor Women’s Gowns, and Pearls
Sometimes, I get to design fun and absurd fantasy gowns inspired by the Tudors. This is totally one of those times. I knew I wanted to do a fantasy Min-Seo paper doll, because I do so many fantasy dresses.
Because of the stiffness of the clothing, a Tudor fantasy gown is a really great opportunity to play with elaborate pattern. At first, I conceived of the pattern on her skirt being snowflake inspired. Since, I didn’t want to make yet another blue and white and grey winter gown. When I actually started coloring it, it stopped looking much like snow.
I do think the eggplant/magenta color on the gown does feel autumnal to me. I can’t imagine this a summer gown, but I’m not really sure it is a winter gown. What do you think of my color scheme? Should I have stuck with my blues and grays?
As often happens with paper dolls who’ve got black hair, I feel like the complexity of her hairstyle got a little lost. It’s much more clear in the black and white coloring page version. No matter how you slice it, black line-work tends to disappear against dark dark grey I use for hair. I also gave her black toenails, because it amused me. No other reason. Painted toenails were not a Tudor thing, but that’s why I say Tudor fantasy gown and not Tudor gown.
So, this gives us one punk Min-Seo from Monday. Today’s Tudor fantasy gown wearing Min-Seo. Tomorrow there will be a historical Min-Seo paper doll from the 1920s, so stay tuned.
As always, if you love the blog, then think about becoming a patron and/or leaving a comment. Always love to hear from you guys.
Athena, goddess of wisdom in Greek mythology, inspired the trim on the bottom of her dress. Owls were the symbol of Athena and I wanted to give a nod to the goddess in this gown. In the Renaissance era, which was a minor inspiration for this gown, ancient Greek myth and legend was super popular, so the owl motif is also a nod to that.
Plus, it was an excuse to draw some owls and who doesn’t want to do that?
My natural instincts told me to make the undergown cream as I did with Monday’s paper doll gown, but I fought those instincts and went with a deep gold instead. Since the gown is trimmed in a nod to Athena, I decided that this gown was worn by a woman of education and distinction.
Therefore, she got a pot of ink, a scroll and a book as her accessories. Seriously, that’s why. It has nothing to do with my love of drawing books. Honestly.
Like the blog? Than think about becoming a Patron, following the blog on Twitter, leaving a comment, and/or telling a friend about it.
Tomorrow, there will be a ninja!
Also, I hope all my USA readers take the time today to go vote. Super important.
There’s a wonderful line in Into The Woods where Prince Charming says, “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.”
Well, I prefer my fairy tale prince paper dolls to be sincere, thank you very much. Hence why I named today’s paper doll, A Sincere Prince.
Over the years, I have drawn a few different “prince” paper dolls (no relation to the rockstar) and I think of them as coming from different fantasy worlds, much like I think of my Princesses as coming from different fantasy worlds. Mostly, I group them based on vague time period associations.
Picking out colors wasn’t that hard. I knew I didn’t want to use green. I tend to use a LOT of green in male paper dolls. I don’t know why, but I do. Anyway, so once I decided, “no green” than it was just a matter of picking some fun colors. I have done a Green Prince if you’re interested.
Whenever I meet young girls and ask them about paper dolls, which I confess I don’t do very often, they seem to often ask for Princesses. I don’t know what it is about paper doll princesses, but it seems to be a popular trend. As a child some of my favorite paper dolls were those of Peck-Grande which featured beautiful fairytale paper dolls with fantastic dresses (Here’s some images from their Beauty and the Beast paper doll or Sleeping Beauty paper doll). As far as I can tell, princess seems to translate to “amazing over the top gowns” and that works for me.
(The feminist in me always wants to give a lecture on the patriarchal nature of historical princess-dom right now, but the lover of pretty dresses in me doesn’t care.)
When I design complex patterns for paper doll clothing, I like to try to keep the outfits themselves fairly simple. I think it is easy to get the pattern “lost” in the lines needed for pleats and folds. So, when I decided I wanted to play around with complex patterns for these gowns, it wasn’t a hard decision to know that I needed a simpler silhouette.
Early Italian renaissance dresses (from about the 1490s) have always had a soft place in my heart. Someday I do want to do an actual “historical” paper doll from this period, but until then, I had fun playing with the silhouette in this paper doll princess set. These styles might look familiar if you remember Her Ladyship from 2014, she was inspired by the same time period.
The model for today’s gowns is Monica. You can find more paper dolls featuring her here. Confusion about which Marisole Monday & Friend’s paper doll model is which? I wrote a guide a few months ago.
Every time I design a princess paper doll download with these sorts of elaborate patterned fantasy gowns, I swear that I won’t do it again and then I do. Insanity is doing the same thing over again, expecting different results, they say, but here I found myself once more painstakingly coloring an insanely complex pattern and grumbling about it.
My original plan was to go very traditional with the colors here. In the actual Renaissance, the expense of dye meant that darker colors were more fashionable and expensive than lighter colors. So, that was my first plan- black, red and gold would have abounded.
But then I realized that if I was going to use a dark brown skin-tone for the doll (which was my plan all along) and then went black and red with the clothing, it was going to be a really dark paper doll set. Plus dark colors on these kinda elaborately patterned outfits obscures the black line-work. I spent to darn long coloring this to obscure the nuances of those patterns. So, gold, red and black when out the window for rose, lime and teal. Nothing says spring to me like rose, teal and lime.
Plus, I think the brighter spring colors are nice for a May set. It’s spring here in Alabama, after all.
If today’s Monica princess color page needs some friends or more dresses, there’s literally dozens of options, but I think A Noble Lady, Pattern & Grace, Queen of Dusk and Book Loving Princess all make nice accompanying black and white paper doll sets as they are in a similar silhouette. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with deciding today’s Monica freelances as a circus performer or pirate, but I thought if people wanted more “princessy” looks than the four paper doll sets I mentioned above would work well. As many of you know, versatility is very important to me in my paper doll related activities, so I try to point out where one set might interrelate to another set.
After all, I don’t expect y’all to keep track of the 500 paper dolls on the site, especially since I can’t always keep track of them myself.
In case you’re wondering why both the color and the black and white version of today’s paper doll are being posted, there will be a post explaining ALL on Wenesday, or at least MOST. 🙂
This is not an Independence Day paper dolls, but I have some links to a few down at the bottom of the post. This is a princess paper doll.
Let’s be honest for a moment: A lot of the appeal of princesses lies in their glorious dresses.
We all know intellectually that being a princess would kinda suck. (There’s a great video about this by Amy Schumer.) You’d have to marry someone who you likely didn’t choose. Your value would be entirely defined in your ability to produce an heir. Also, that person you would marry might end up being your cousin.
Never the less, your wardrobe would rock.
So, I’m not sure if Isadora would be a princess, because she doesn’t have a crown. Do princesses need crowns? I suppose they should if they are coronated. But once they get coronated than are they actually queens?
These three gowns are all ball-gowns in my head, but the glory of paper dolls is that we can choose what they are. Maybe these are what Isadora wears to the grocery store. Actually, if I had these dresses, I might wear them to the grocery store, though I have been told that driving in a hoop-skirt is really difficult.