I play Pathfinder, a Dungeons and Dragons like game, most Friday nights with a group of friends at a local game shop. Generally, I have to know what my character is wearing before I can actually play the character.
Weird, but true.
Clothing is a direct expression of how my character thinks and functions in the world. Some people think about their characters in terms of unique weapons or speech patterns, I think about my characters in terms of what sort of shoes they would choose while trekking through a ruin.
Marcus here is a mechanic. So, his clothing is utilitarian. The double breasted vest is in his “good” clothes, with a belt for his money pouch and a decorative pointless armband. His tie is loose. His other brown vest is more of a work outfit. He wears vests to keep grease off his shirts. With this outfit, his tie is tucked up, so that it doesn’t get caught in machines. He’s on his feet a lot, so he has two pairs of boots. The cap keeps his dreads from getting in the way while he’s working (because hair in engines = pain) and his leather satchel is where he stores his tools. Work gloves, a scarf for cold weather and some tools complete the set.
You can also tell a little about Marcus’ personality here. His dreads are decorated with beads and I know from people who have them that dreads take some maintenance. Clearly, he’s someone who cares about how he looks. Is he perhaps somewhat of a ladies man?
Paper doll sets can be tiny windows into lives and worlds. That’s part of the fun.
I get asked fairly often for various old paper dolls to be produced in black and white. Considering the number of paper dolls on the blog and the fact that files are not always saved in formats that makes extracting the line work simple. In fact, this might be one of the last sets of these I do for a long time, because I am running out of files that are simple to convert and ending up with sets for which I only have the full merged final PDF. Pulling the black and white out of those files and not ending up with a black and white paper doll of very dubious quality is a challenge.
Sweater Style was originally conceived as one of four sets which were going to each be a seasonal set. I think this was the fall or winter set (I truly do not recall…). I never did get the series finished and so I just have posted a few of them. At the time, I was living in Illinois where it was very cold in the winters. I rather miss winters when it would actually freeze.
Draw because I thought I really needed more jeans in my paper doll sets, Stylish in Denim was a lot of fun. It is one of the rare paper doll sets where I owned at the time a fair number of the actual clothing pieces. It was also an early experiment in purses.
Two quick things I mentioned on Friday, but I wanted to repeat. Email updates aren’t working at the moment. I’m looking for a new WordPress plugin. Also, you can follow me on Twitter @paperpersonas which will let you know when the blog updates, what I am working on and other rather inane details of my life.
Because color is something I love. I adore color and pattern and surprise and color… well color is something today’s paper doll set lacks.
Minimalism in fashion usually relies on a black and white color palette and is considered to be austere and simple. It has been popular for several years on the runways. I didn’t go as wild as I could have with shape, because I wanted everything to be wearable. This is not, after all, a fantasy paper doll set where I don’t care about realism and/or whether or not a person might actually be able to function in these crazy clothes. I am very pleased with the outcome (and this was the fastest coloring job I think I’ve ever done.)
Were I to make a list of things I’d never done before on the blog, I think doing a paper doll set entirely in black, white, and grey would end up on the list. I’m not certain, and I don’t really want to go pouring through over 500 posts to find out, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never done it before.
While I do agree that many of these shapes mirror Seagulls and Seaside, as was pointed out by a reader last week, I think the color really changes the tone of the entire set. I’m most pleased with Mia’s shoes (I love drawing shoes, though I really think one pair came out a little clunky) and the collared blouse.
I love March. I love March for the fashion magazines that come out in March. March, like September, is a big month in the Fashion magazine world. It’s right after Spring Fashion Week and the fashion magazines are stuffed with the new seasonal looks.
I always like to buy several when I go to the grocery store. I love Vogue for it’s amazing photo shoots, but for paper dolling purposes I want simple clear photos of clothing. (Models jumping around or standing in wierd poses are beautiful and all, but a pain to draw off of.) Generally, I pick from People StyleWatch, Elle, Instyle, Vogue or Bazaar. This time I wasn’t impressed with any of them except Instyle, and there wasn’t a new People Stylewatch to be had, so I just got my Instyle and spent Saturday drawing this paper doll set. (Also watching Escape from New York and Wall-e, but I digress.)
All of Mia’s clothing is based off items I saw in InStyle with a focus on things that were part of the minimalist collections that have been on the runway as of late, especially from Micheal Kors, Carolina Herrar and Ralph Lauren. I didn’t want to do pattern and I didn’t want to do anything elaborate, I wanted to focus on shape.
I’m really pleased with all the clothes, but a little less pleased with the doll. I decided to make her a Mia after I finished drawing the whole set, because I haven’t done a Mia yet this year, but once I finished her I realized that I have done a very similar hairstyle before for Mia before.
Anyway, I’m still pleased with this paper doll set and very excited to color it. It’s going to be a lot different I think than any other set I’ve done which is, to me, exciting.
So, historically, I’ve been posting a black and white B&B paper doll and then a full color version the next day.
I’ve decided that this technique is not time saving in any real way, unlike my spacing of my Marisole Monday & Friends paper dolls a week apart which saves me so many headaches, so I am going to start posting both and black and white version of the Buxom and Bodacious printable paper doll and the full color version on the same day. I hope no one minds this change, but I don’t think anyone will.
Anyway, to say something intelligent about the paper doll… I actually haven’t got much intelligent to say about the paper doll. This is one of those paper dolls the languished on my computer hard drive for weeks. I thought about working on it, got distracted and then moved on and eventually realized (like on Sunday) that all I really needed to do was layout and file formatting. So, feeling a little foolish I finished her up and here she is.
I confess to not being completely pleased with her color scheme. It feels a little sedate for my usual taste, but not every color scheme is a winner and that’s why the paper doll has a black and white option for coloring yourself.
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Lina’s Paper Dolls. I’ve had her on my Links Page for a while, but keep forgetting to give her a little spotlight here. As I always say, new paper doll blogs make me happy. Check her out and drop her a comment when you have a chance. Paper doll bloggers need all the encouragement we can get. 🙂
Yesterday, I posted this paper doll in black and white. Today, she’s going up in color. I’m not sure if I like doing this whole… one day black and white next day color thing. It sort of defeats the point of being able to reduce workload. I might start spacing them out a week, depending on how things seems to work out as I get into the crazier time of the year for me.
I went back and forth and back and forth about so much with this paper dolls color scheme. As I often do with questions of paper doll fashion, I think I spent more time on it than was totally rational. I wanted her to be stylish, but not overtly girly. I couldn’t decide between pinks and blues and then I originally conceived of the blouse as being burnt orange with teal flowers. Yeah… that wasn’t my greatest idea ever.
In the end, I settled on a color scheme that was cheerful (which I think we need on these grey days of winter) and mix and matched pretty well, though not as perfectly as some of my other paper dolls have done. There’s really only nine outfit options here, and I think I’d like to do more, but the dolls are fairly large and that limits how much clothing I can fit on a page with them. I have been thinking about doing some sets that are “clothing only” as I have always liked clothes more than dolls, but I don’t want to disappoint people who feel otherwise.
Paper doll outfits or dolls? That’s always the most complicated of questions, isn’t it?
For my second Bodacious and Buxom paper doll to color and print, I wanted to do something modern. Most of my readers know my love of fashion magazines and I wanted to create a mix and match set that felt contemporary and contained things I could imagine a stylish girl wearing when she walked down the street. I try to be diverse in my paper doll production, both in theme and in ethnicity and in style, so today’s paper doll is a stylish black girl with some mad-happening afro-puffs.
So many “modern” paper doll sets are very very frumpy and I try very hard to avoid frumpy when I make my paper dolls. Frumpy is not something I want my paper dolls to be. Plus, since the Bodacious and Buxom paper doll represent curvy girls, I really don’t want to go frumpy. Just because you have some curves does not translate in to wearing a sack.
Anyway, people have probably already noticed I have a thing for afro puffs. I just think they are SO cute, though I have been told recently by someone whose far more familiar with black hairstyles than I am that they are not currently an IN thing to do with your hair. She assured me, however, that I could still draw them if I wanted. (Not that I was seeking permission.)
I do try, however, since I am not black myself, to be respectful and aware of trends while I am drawing. I think you have to approach such things from a place of learning and willingness to be corrected as needed.
When creating a paper doll to color and print, I try to think about shapes and also pattern. After all, it is only so much fun to color things when there’s some neat things to color. I was never a big coloring kid, but I know a lot of my readers are (or have kids who are.)
Before I forget, I would like to wish a Happy Yule to any of my readers who are celebrating tonight. (Someday, I may tell the story of me and badly chosen shoes and a lot of snow and the search for a suitable Yule log. It was um… an interesting high school adventure which did not involve booze, but probably should have.)
Also, while I was wandering around the web, I came across a blog I’d never seen before called Paper Doll World. It’s a fun blog devoted to one of my favorite topics (paper dolls) and the dolls are very cute. They remind me of some of the dolls I drew as a child, which is fun.