Pixie & Puck: Irene

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.

pixie-irene

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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.

Pixie & Puck: Gloria

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I was in middle school in the early 90’s and, being stuck in Alaska, I tended to believe the outside world really was like what I saw on Saved by the Bell (for those of you too young to remember Saved by the Bell, you have missed out on some classic high school tv soap action). Anyway, a big part of that was beach life and the belief, however grossly incorrect, that extremely tanned bleach blonds were both A: very beautiful and B: very common.

Since then, I have come to feel that very tan bleach blonds are A: Asking for skin cancer and B: kinda wonky looking.

Despite this, I felt a need to relive my childhood with this post. There is no better excuse.

On the upside there is a towel and a pink drink and lots of swimsuit pieces.

Marisole Monday: Streets of China

So, I hope you’ll forgive me Monica for the tardiness of this post. Monica won my last contest/drawing and asked for a Chinese girl paper doll wearing street-fashion from China. This caused a fairly long series of internet searches during which I attempted to figure out what the heck Chinese street fashion looked like anyhow. I feel rather bad because Monica was kind enough to send me some more reference images after her first set, but by that time I had already scanned and colored this paper doll, so they will have to wait for a sequel.

marisole-chinese-street-fashion-150

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So, the inspirational images for this post included these. The fluffy green skirt was inspired by a picture of a pink one. More obviously, the red coat was based on this image. And then I decided to make some obnoxiously bright pants which came from another image from flicker. Of course, since I didn’t bookmark all the images I ended up using, I don’t have as many as I used, but those are a few of my inspirational shots. There are plenty of other Marisole posts which include items that could be added to this set to expand the paper dolls wardrobe. Sweater Style has some neat boots that would go well with today’s set and the sweet version of the retro pin-up set has some short white shorts that would layer well over the black leggings and pretty much all of Modern Girl would work as well, though it’s a little bright in some respects.

As I mentioned yesterday, the blog is obviously being reformatted as we speak. I just have to ask people to be patient while I get things looking at least decent and get everything relinked and some images which were lost when I lost my formatting reloaded. Be patient with me and promise I will get it all done eventually.

Edit: I just noticed that I used an apostrophe wrong and now I am entirely embarrassed. At some point, I will fix this.

Pixie: Flora

A flower fairy paper doll named Flora with a mix and match wardrobe. From paperthinpersonas.com
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When I was a child, I loved the work of Cicely Mary Barker who did wonderful illustrations of fairies and is now quite the commercial enterprise thanks to Penguin. When I was reading them, of course, they weren’t as big as they are now. She died in 1973. My neighbor had an address book with an illustration for each letter (all 26) and I remember being enchanted by them as a child.

Now, I confess I am well aware that actual fairy folklore is considerably darker then the short of cute little flower fairy which the Victorian’s brought us, but the flower ones are easier to draw. What does a Banshee wear anyway? Well… that might be a question to answer at Halloween.

And have I mentioned there’s a poll?

Marisole Monday: Nautical Girl

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There’s something very 4th of July about today’s paper doll. That wasn’t my intention for this paper doll, though I think she does have a red white and blue scheme thing going. I remember reading over the summer that nautical was in style, though I have to confess my interest in fashion extends as far looking for things to turn into paper dolls, much to the amusement of my friends who often make fun of me buying fashion magazines and then just looking at the pictures.

On a totally unrelated note, there is a new poll up- basically I’m curious to know if people like the comic press format or think I should convert back to a traditional blog format. I’m not promising to follow the results (since the level of technical difficulty to convert will be a factor in my final decision and I haven’t looked into that), but I am curious what other people think.

Update 8/11/2014: This paper doll is now available in black and white for coloring. You can find her here.

1930’s: Historical Printable Paper Doll

Curves: 1930s

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I sort of collect historical costume and vintage fashion resources around the web. One of my favorites is The Vintage Patterns Wiki full of pattern covers from the 20th century. From there, I found the wonderful blog What I Found where the author had posted a Simplicity Simplicity Fashion Forecast – 1937 advertising book. It’s wonderful. Curve’s paper doll costumes both come from this lookbook from the era- one smart suit and one summery casual frock. Her shoes are based on illustrations in John Peacock’s book Fashion Accessories.

I’ve been drawing a lot, but not posting a lot which is rare for me. Usually, I’m struggling to keep up with the blog and come up with ideas. Lately, all I’ve been wanting to do is draw and when it comes time to scan or color, I just sort of go, “Meh”. I think it’s because I find drawing relaxing and posting is more like work. Anyway, today’s Curves is going up and on Friday there will be a Florence (one of the last Florence’s I suspect) and starting in November there will be a new Fashion Doll Friday paper doll, of style I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll put it too a vote.

Marisole Monday: Modern Girl

ne of the challenges of drawing clothing for the Marisole paper doll is to make sure things seem to fit together thematically. It’s easy to do when the theme is zombie or fantasy or steampunk, but it is harder when I’m dealing with contemporary clothing. So, I try to do it with color. By making sure I use a consistant set of colors throughout the paper doll, I can make it look like an actual set of clothing that a person might own… if, you know, they were the most color organized person on the planet.

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paperdoll-tailored-miniLiana
has written before about how when she is paper dolling everything seems to fall into “paper doll” form. I find the same thing is true for me. When I am in the midst of thinking in terms of paper dolls clothing, everything I see becomes me wondering if I could draw it. I love the fall and spring when the big name fashion houses are putting out their new collections. Magazines are always full of clothing, so I can pick up one or two and sit on my couch looking for ideas.

As with last week’s Marisole paper doll, I ended up playing with the paper doll a little. I shouldn’t make a habit of it, because it just creates more work for me. And more work is not what I need when I’m trying to keep this site up and running. Still, it is fun to play when I have time. I’m fairly excited about this Marisole paper doll, because I think I finally got a caucasian skin tone I like which is fairly exciting. Skin tones are very difficult. I want them to be the same, so the dolls can share shoes among each other, but I also want to like the skin-tones.