I don’t have very many Asian paper dolls, partly because it took a long time before I was comfortable drawing epicanthic folds, which are a characteristic of many East and Central Asian people, though are by no means exclusive to those groups. There is a huge variety the shape of the epicanthic fold and I never felt like it looked right until I got to grad school and ended up sitting across from a Chinese student for an entire semester. I don’t know what she did to stay awake, but what I did was use her as a model for my first Asian Pixie paper doll, named Zoe. Of course, she didn’t have blue hair or such a huge head, but I digress.
So, the Poll is over, since January is done and a child paper doll won to my own astonishment. So, I’ll get on that. In the mean time, enjoy Madison.
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…
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. 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.
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.
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.)
So, this is a pretty darn old paper doll. Originally inspired when I did my Marisole Inspired by Africa paper doll, I just recently got around to finishing up cleaning her up and getting her posted. I’ve been having some requests for more black and white paper dolls lately. This paper doll was inspired by African Fashion Week along with the idea of doing a set of elves based on something other than the traditional Western Europe approach.
Of course, I never got around to drawing any of the other ones, so we’ve got one elf here. She might be a trifle lonely, but if you print out several of her and color each of them a little different she can have friends… or clones. Clones are like friends.
One of my goals in posting this paper was to respond to those people who’ve requested more black and white paper dolls to color. So here is one- print her, color her and have fun.
Among other things, Number 5 is the first Asian Shadow and Light paper doll, as well as being one who has a pair of sandals that lace up to her thighs. I don’t know how they would work in the real world, but I am rather in love with them. Have I mentioned before I have a thing for shoes?
As B pointed out, I sort of skilled the letter D with my Dictionary Pinup Paper Dolls. I was rather hoping no one would notice… There will be a D paper doll, I promise. I don’t know when… but it will happen. Life gets busy sometimes, but fortunately I have readers who keep me honest. Seriously, if there is ever a problem with anything on the blog, please let me know. I try to keep up with dead links and typos, but I don’t catch them all and I know it. I’m always usually grateful when people point out my errors since it lets me fix them.
The best thing about the Shadow and Light paper dolls is that I decided to number them rather then title them. Perfect solution to my natural problem of coming up with titles.
I’m always excited when I stumble across paper dolls in while I’m not actually looking for them. Final Fashion is a great fashion illustrators blog which features lots of beautiful fashion paper dolls. They are available for purchase, but every one can also be seen to just gaze longingly at. One of my pet peeves is when people have paper dolls for sale, but you can’t really see each page of the paper doll or the clothing. There’s a few artists I will buy on faith, but generally I like to see what I am getting. My favorite is her Vionnet paper dolls. Madame Vionnet is a somewhat under appreciated designer from the early 20th century who introduced the world to the bias cut dress. Unfortunately, her style was very much of its time and hasn’t really survived to be present which is a pity.
On a semi-related note to the Madame Vionnet ramble, I am curious if people would be interested in knowing which fashion books I use when I’m doing research. I’ve been on this Japanese kimono book kick for a few weeks (literally, my table is covered in them) and I’m trying to decide if fashion/costume book reviews are something people would like to see. Thoughts from the masses?
I gave a preview of these paper doll pieces a few days ago, though I had to stay up fairly late to finish them. Han Chinese clothing was a major influence over this set, particularly the quju. I also wanted to do with some Asian costumes what has, traditionally, been done with European dress in most fantasy. I’ve been sort of on this fantasy costumes inspired by regional dress kick. There’s even this elf inspired by Africa which I just finished, though she’s not ready for posting.
The major delay for me with these was so much pattern and how to make it look good together while still keeping the color schemes interesting. Color used to scare me. Actually, it still does scare me a little, but I think it can smell fear, so I keep up a brave face. Color Scheme Designer is one of the tools I use to help be figure what colors go together. It’s fun, fairly simple, and usually I don’t feel like a complete moron while using it.
Did I mention I think her wigs are nifty? Because I do. That is all.
Writing is hard. Drawing is hard too, but somehow less hard then writing. I think it’s because I draw in stages- pencil and then ink and then shade and then scan and then re-size and then color and then add tabs and then do layout and then re-size again and then post. Sometimes those events occur in a slightly different order, but I always have multiple pieces in multiple stages of work (at least I do when I’m on the ball and things are going well). Yet, writing I find I stare at a white screen and have to think of something to say.
Ideally, something intelligent and nuanced to say… Okay, maybe not nuanced, but at least intelligent. Or coherent. I think I at least get coherent. Most of the time.
All I can really say about this paper doll is that I am pleased with how she came out. I really love the muted color tones- achieved by using a mostly transparent wash of grey over all of the clothing after it was colored. I find getting muted tones is a lot harder then getting obnoxiously bright tones on a paper doll and everything looks different on different screens of course. Her toenails in her sandals are another little favorite of mine-rainbow toes.
I had realized I hadn’t done a blond Marisole paper doll in a while, so I thought I would do so. I’ve also been working on a Marisole side project which made me realize how few pairs of pants I had ever drawn for the paper doll. To solve both these problems, I offer up and pants wearing blond paper doll. I never said my justifications were entirely logical, I just said they existed.
Maybe it’s because I am in library school, or perhaps simply because I tend to be analytical by nature, but I think a lot about what I could do to improve PTP. So, I made a list and my goal is to try to do these things over the next few weeks months.
1. Post more regularly. (I do think I am improving on this one.)
2. More process content. (Things like the post about inspiration for Curves that I did.)
3. Links to museums and libraries in an organized fashion or maybe posts about historical costume. Is that something people would enjoy? I’m not sure…
4. Tutorials (?) I don’t know what I would do tutorials about, which is part of the problem.
5. Additional access points to the site. I’d like to do some sort of theme and subject based indexing, but I’m not yet quite sure how. Thoughts are ongoing.
That’s my list of things I think the site could use. What would other people ask for if they could?
Update 8/11/2014: This paper doll is now available in black and white for coloring. You can find her here.
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.
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.That’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.