B&B Girls Get Some Cute Workout Clothes


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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Cute Work Out Clothing and Sweating a Lot

The B&B paper dolls are hitting the gym in some cute paper doll workout clothing. They get a pair of leggings, shorts and tanktop combo. Available in black and white or in color from paperthinpersonas.com.

I am spending most of January 2017 posting things I drew in 2016 to clear out my image archives and I came across this set of cute paper doll workout clothing that I drew. I really am not a fan of exercise, but I know I need to do it. I tend to approach it the same way I approach a lot of things, “You can do anything for 25 minutes, even if you hate it.”

And while I don’t like the actual exercising part, it does wonders for my mood and I always feel better the next day, even if I am stiff. When I first started working out, I just wore some old sweats and a t-shirt. Eventually, I bought some real workout clothing and I discovered that it was much easier to work out when you have real workout clothing on.

Since I, like the B&B paper dolls, am pretty buxom, it is hard to find cute sports bras in colors that still give me the support I need. However, the fun thing about paper dolls is that you can create things for them that you can’t find for yourself. Therefore, I gave my B&B girls a fun teal sports bra under a tank, leggings and shorts to wear while she hits the gym.

My workout clothing does not coordinate nearly as well as this, but as I have said before- fantasy fulfillment is a big part of paper doll drawing.

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Need to get a Bodacious & Buxom paper doll to wear these fabulous clothes? Pick one out here.

En Pointe: A Printable Ballerina Paper Doll in Color

logo-mia-ballerina-colorMore ballerina paper dolls!

Okay, so this is the last one, but I did have fun with this little foray into dance clothes for the moment. Now that I have done these, I feel like I should do some tap dance clothes or something.

Anyhow, today’s Mia ballet set is in color. While Monica is the white swan from Swan Lake, Mia is the Black Swan for Swan Lake. Of course, traditionally, these parts are danced by the same dancer, but I thought it would be more fun to break up the two tutus across the sets.

Her Giselle costume is from the second act and therefore had to be white. After the character Giselle dies, the whole second act of the ballet is done in white costumes. It is sometimes called the “White Act” for this reason. I couldn’t exactly make it purple.

Don Quixote costumes are often based on Spanish flamingo dresses and this one is sort of in that vein. I settled on a golden bodice, black tutu and red roses. I’m not entirely pleased with how it came out, actually. I do think this tutu could also be for the Nutcracker’s Spanish Chocolate dance.  I chose teal for both Romeo and Juliet and Scheherazade (which I think I finally have memorized how to spell).

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For those of you who have been paying close attention, you have likely noticed that the en pointe shoes were copied for both sets. I thought about drawing two of basically then same thing and then came to my senses. The dolls leg positioning doesn’t really allow for “other” en pointe poses then this one. The leg warmers are also duplicated across both sets. Once again, I didn’t really want to draw the exact same thing twice.

Generally, I try to avoid copying from pervious sets- which is how I have draw way more pairs of skinny jeans than any person should- but sometimes I give myself a break and do it.

Lastly for those of my readers in the United States, Happy Labor Day! Let us all take a moment and be grateful for the people who fought hard to provide their fellow workers with a better way of life. Also, eat barbecue.

En Pointe: A Black and White Ballerina Paper Doll

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Today, my Monica paper doll ballerina is being joined by Mia, also getting to be a ballerina. Mia’s costumes are from (left to right) Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Scheherazade and Romeo and Juliet. I do feel rather that Monica got the better known ballets since most people have heard of Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, but haven’t heard of Scheherazade, despite being an amazing piece of music.

When I was first compiling my list of ballets to draw for these paper doll sets, I wanted to show the range of ballet costumes beyond the tutu. Romeo and Juliet is usually costumed in a renaissance inspired style and Scheherazade is usually done as an orientalist fantasy set in the Middle-East. So, those are my two nods to the “non-tutu” look for these paper dolls. After all, not every dance costume is a tutu.

Mia has practice clothing as well- a simple wrap skirt, leg warmers, a long sleeved leotard, tunic top and flat soled dancing shoes. Of course, she can share her warm up clothes with Monica and between the two of them, I think there is a nice variety of options. I didn’t, to be frank, want to spend a lot of time on practice clothing. It is not nearly as fun to draw as fancy tutus.

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There are some mix and match options as well from Monica’s set. Monica’s Copellia tutu, for example, would also work for the first act of Giselle, before Giselle dies. I am particularly pleased with how the transparent overlay on Mia’s Giselle tutu came out, actually.

I have been spending a lot of time looking at the work of Charles Ventura and Pat Stall, both of whom had a mastery of black and white line-work that I can only dream of one day achieving. I have been collecting their work, along with other black and white paper doll artists, on my black and white paper dolls Pinterest board for a while.

Studying the techniques of artists you admire is a great way to learn how to try new things.

Does anyone know if Charles Ventura or Pat Stall are still alive? I really feel like I should write them and tell them how much I love their paper dolls.

Prima Ballerina: A Ballerina Paper Doll in Color

logo-aa-ballerina-colorSo, one of my first jobs while working in library school was to assist with the digitization of a massive collection of costume design drawings from a group known as the Motley Group (not to be confused with Motley Crue). This let to me eventually finishing my library degree and going onto a degree in Theater History with an emphasis on the history of technical design work.

All branches of theatrical design are about communicating information to the audience seamlessly. In Romeo and Juliet, for example, it is traditional to costume the warring families in different colors. Romeos family might be all in reds, oranges and yellows while Juliet’s family might be in greens, blues and purples. This is useful, because it communicates with the audience immediately which character is associated with which group- important in a play with about 20 characters. Opera and ballet also have costuming traditions. In a medium where people don’t speak and the plots are often rather odd, identifying characters by their colors and style is even more important.

So, when I was selecting colors and costume designs for my ballerina paper dolls, I was well aware that there were traditions that I needed to take notice of. I did my best to keep these costumes fairly “traditional” with the exception of the Firebird. I didn’t like either tutus or the unitards that seemed to be common, so I went with something a little more contemporary.

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Working left to right, the first costume was from the ballet Coppélia- usually costumed in a “folk” style which is also often used for the first act of the ballet Gisselle or any ballet where there seems to be milkmaids and/or county fairs. Next is a costume for the Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker. This is a costume I entirely invented when I didn’t like any of the versions I was seeing online. For my firebird, I chose to do a more modern costume, rather than a traditional tutu. If I was going to costume something no in a tutu, the firebird seemed like the logical choice. Monica is dancing the part of Odette in Swan Lake- next week’s paper doll, Mia, will have a costume for Odile. It is traditional that the part is danced by the same ballerina, but I wanted to split up the costumes across two sets. For Swan Lake, I settled on a traditional sort of costume with some feather detailing and a headdress. From Sleeping Beauty, Monica is dancing the part of the Lilac Fairy. Obviously, her costume was going to be lilac.

Prima Ballerina: A Ballerina Paper Doll

logo-aa-ballerina-bwFor years I avoided drawing a ballerina paper doll. I was asked a lot, but I always shied away.

Mostly, because the idea of drawing tutus frightened me. I work in ink. Ink is great for a lot of things, but I have always struggled with transparency and tulle (that stuff they make tutus out of) is known for both its transparency and its texture. That alone was enough to scare me.

Then, on a fateful day last year, I had no choice. I had to draw a tutu for a contest winner. I hated the outcome of my first tutu attempt, but I swore I would tackle tutus again.

I learn to draw tutus (and I still am learning), I have had to learn to let go a little of my natural instinct for controlled linework. I’ve had to embrace the risk of messy linework. That’s been a struggle and while my tutus still aren’t perfect, they are getting better.

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So, for my ballet costumes, I chose to do some classic ballets that I love. The characters are Swanhilda from Coppelia (or Gisselle before she dies, either way), The Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker, Odette from Swan Lake (though if you color it black, it could be Odile), the Firbird from The Firebird, and the Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty. I chose Monica for this set, because I was thinking about Misty Copeland and also that I’ve only seen one African-American ballerina paper doll before. That would be one doll in Dover’s book- Ballet Dancers. So, here is a second African-American ballerina paper doll. She’ll be in color next week.

Enjoy!

Baton Twirling Majorette: Printable Paper Doll in Color

logo-majorette-colorI’ve been pretty sick this weekend, and I wasn’t sure I was going to get this up, but I’m on antibiotics now and am writing this between naps.

(When I’m sick, I nap a lot.)

I always say that I don’t do a lot of blond paper dolls, but I think I might do more than I realize. I do have a deep love of red hair. Anyway, I’ve done maybe thirty blond paper dolls over the years and a lot of those were because of multiple colored hair like on my Delaney paper doll or Spikes and Pleats paper doll set. Anyway, the girl who asked for this paper doll is blond, so I decided a blond paper doll made the most sense.

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An random interesting fact- The the white and red uniform is actually based on a photo of what the majorettes at the university I work for wore in the 1960s. We no longer have majorettes. I thought about doing the uniforms of some of the other area university majorettes, but a lot of the costumes were bit too skimpy or involved a lot of illusion netting. Because I want the paper doll outfits to be interchangeable among the various paper dolls regardless of skin tone, I tend to steer clear of putting skintone on the outfit pieces…. except shoes, where I can’t seem to avoid it.

As I mentioned earlier, I am sick, so I don’t know if I’ll get much posted this week. I have some stuff ready, but nothing pre-scheduled.

Greta’s Trousseau: Traveling to the Seaside

First paper doll of 2015! Yay!

Okay, so as I mentioned, I’ll be posting some stuff in the next few weeks with the 2014 date on it. That’s because I date things from when I save them, not when I post them on the blog and I’ve got some backlog to go through. Never the less… first post of 2015 and I am going to celebrate that.

In 2015, Greta’s Trousseau is steadily growing. She’s traveling to the seaside with her paper wardrobe to deep sea dive, swim and also, you know, walk around looking fashionable.

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Her costumes are, left to right, a diving suit (because who doesn’t have one of those in their wedding trousseau?), a traveling suit, slightly fancier than the last one I posted, a swimming costume with flippers and a spear for fending off aggressive sea-life and a walking dress, because sometimes a girl just wants to look good while walking along the beach.

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For those counting this takes Greta’s Trousseau to just over sixty pieces and 21 distinct outfits. Wow. Of course, she can share with her friends Isadora, Hazel and Faye. It’s not like she’s the only one who can wear these outfits.

Next up for her paper doll wardrobe is probably going to be more sporting outfits, including golf, croquet and tennis. I also have a set with a morning dress and a nightgown in the wings.

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau for those who’d like to see it. Also, there’s a drawing/contest open at the moment, so check that out.

Steampunk Paper Doll Trousseau: Greta’s Sporting Costumes

Today, we have some sporting outfits for our steampunk paper doll bride. Since the fun of Victorian trousseaux (or should it be neo-victorian trousseaux?) are their costumes for every occasion, I had a lot of fun thinking up outfits for Greta to wear while she did a few different sports. Being a highly talented paper doll, I’m sure no sport is beyond her skill (and I have a few more sporting outfits planned- though perhaps not for a while).

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Greta has a steampunk/neo-victorian inspired riding habit, a hunting costume, a skating toilette and a fencing toilette. What else could a steampunk paper doll bride want? (Okay, more outfits, but I am working on that. 🙂 )

Wealthy women have actually been involved in sporting activities for longer than most people think. Archery teams in the Regency were regularly co-ed. I’ve been 18th century illustrations of women doing archery, but I’m not sure women actually did it that often, sepcially since a lot of those illustrations are intended to be erotic- oh, the scandal. Women had been riding horses forever and in the South, prior to the Civil War, hunting or shooting was a common activity for women of wealth. By the 1900s, women could choose between tennis, golf, bicycling, skating, croquet and a variety of other sporting events.


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My favorite is the fencing toilette. Someone asked for a fencing outfit (a long time ago) and I don’t know much (anything) about fencing, but I had a lot of fun drawing it. I suspect having open laces on the sides of your leggings is not… you know… very practical, but what’s the fun of drawing steampunk fashions if they have to be practical?

Here is the rest of Greta’s paper trousseau. My question to everyone is, what sorts of outfits should I add to Greta’s expanding steampunk paper doll trousseau?

Marisole: A Walk in the Woods

So, I barely got this done on time. It’s nearly midnight on Monday and my brain is a little fried. I spent the day cleaning and doing some homework. I have nearly fiftly library books piled on my table and I think I need to sort through them and maybe return a few, but that’s a project for another night.

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Today Marisole has gone out hiking. Being from Alaska, long walks in the woods were always a big part of my life. There’s a bottle of sunscreen for her and a water bottle, based on the one I carried all through college. I have no idea what happened to that water bottle. She also has a practical pair of hiking shoes and pants with lots of pockets. The thing I am most pleased with is how the colors came out, I think they feel softer and less intense then computer color often looks. It adds the right “organic” feel to the clothing.

Also, I was asked to do a paper doll with East Indian coloring, so this is my attempt at that, but I think she looks more like she comes from South America.

Edit 4/6/2014: This set is now available here in black and white for coloring. Yay!

Marisole Monday: Sporty Girl

Lately, I’ve been thinking about children (or, as I think of them, proto-people) and paper dolls. Recently, a friend, upon finding out I drew paper dolls as a hobby, remarked that children must like them.

There was a beat as I thought about this and then I said, « Yeah, I guess. » But truth be told, I don’t think much about children when I’m drawing my paper dolls.

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I think about play-ability a fair bit- will these pieces go together and could someone really play with this paper doll. And I think about color and shape and a bit about skin tone (ie: I don’t want all my paper dolls to be white skinned blond Babarbie-esque creatures), but I don’t think a lot about message.

Except a friend has decided she would like to turn some of my paper dolls into magnets for when she is working as a school librarian to have at a play table for the kids. And while I have assisted her by removing tabs and resizing the dolls (instructions and versions of printable magnetic Marisole). I still haven’t quite gotten over the idea that children will be playing with them.

I know just enough about toys and modeling behaviors to feel like its important that I draw some versions of Marisole as something other then a ninja or a pirate. So, I decided to draw some sporty clothing (from a basketball uniform to a tennis dress), because I figured it was a good thing to show Marisole as a sporty girl as well as a girly girl, but I also think this sense of obligation is one of the reasons the paper doll sort of fails. I don’t know much about sports wear and outside of my erratic yoga class, I don’t do a lot of sports. I think it’s pretty clear I wasn’t committed to the set when I drew it. So, while I don’t think it’s the worst set of Marisole stuff I’ve ever drawn, it’s not at the top for me. But, I do like all the neat little sport balls and the tennis racquet, so it’s not a complete loss.

Edit 1/6/2014: Get a colorable version of this paper doll to print here.