Mini-Maidens… Faye of the Future… A black and white printable paper doll

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Among my various hobbies, other than drawing paper dolls, I mean, I play table top rpgs. One of my favorites is Shadowrun which I play on Saturday nights, usually. Inevitably, a bout of Shadowrun playing leads to be drawing cyberpunk inspired paper doll sets. While I agree with the general complaint that Shadowrun isn’t very pure cyberpunk, it is still a lot of fun, plus in how many other games can you have elves with assault rifles? I openly confess I have some reservations about the portrayal of Native American’s in the cannon of the game world, but no more of a problem than I have with how women are portrayed in almost every game book ever, so I can get over it.

By the way, I updated the Showcase recently and forgot to mention it. My bad. So, there’s some new work in there by Meredith and I have more to add, I just haven’t gotten the files re-sized yet. It will happen soon enough. Thank you, Meredith for participating.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that the blog will be going into hiatus for the month of June. I have travel, work obligations and I’m going to be presenting a paper at an academic conference, all of which leaves me terrified and really busy. I’ll still be checking my email and answering comments when I can, but I won’t be updating. I’ll give a longer announcement about it when we get closer to the date in question.

Thoughts? Comments? As always, I love to hear from you guys. :)

Marisole Monday: Maurader Princess

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Today we have Margot and apparently she’d decided to become a brigand and rob from either the rich or the poor… though robbing from the rich does have the advantage that they have stuff unlike the poor who are, generally, poor. I wanted to call this set pirate something, but I didn’t want to use the word pirate, so I went in search of a synomyn and came up with maurader. And yes, I was thinking of Xena: Warrior Princess when I added the word princess to the title.

I know I’ve mentioned my weird love of that show on this blog before. Speaking of shows I like, I did see the latest Grimm episode on Friday, during which I did draw paper dolls, and while I enjoyed the show, I was struck with how exposition filled it seemed. I thought it was sort of weak. I hope for better things soon enough.

I feel like this Margot paper doll could be friends with my Gypsy Rose who exists in black and white and color. It’s weird to me to think that I posted that set just under two years ago. I can see a lot of things I still need to improve and a few things that have improved.

So, it’s pretty late on Sunday as I write this and I really should be getting into bed since once I start talking about my TV show watching habits, I know there’s a problem. By the way, did anyone else see the new Grimm episode and what did they think?… or you can comment on the paper doll. That would be cool too.

Shadow and Light: And then there were Twenty-Four…

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I’ve done a lot of futuristic posts over the years. Some I think have been more successful than others. I still consider Shadow and Light Paper Doll 1 to be one of the best in this genre, even if most of her costuming was inspired by Cleopatra 2525.

It was free on Hulu and I didn’t have cable. Don’t judge me.

My idea with this paper doll was do show off some more “casual” sci-fi inspired attire, but in the end I think it’s a little uninteresting. If I’m not careful, and I don’t know what to draw, I tend to draw the same things over and over again. I think these pieces are to close to those worn by Marisole Monday when she was an alien.

Despite my mixed feelings, I am posting her today, because I think it is important to put up what I have finished, even when I’m unsure about it. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, if I only posted what I was certain I liked, than half my posts wouldn’t have ever gone up.

Marisole Monday: Spikes & Pleats

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First of all: Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to those in the United States who celebrate.

I am spending my day off doing exciting things like washing laundry and cleaning my kitchen and getting this slightly belated than usual Marisole post up. I decided to use Margot since she’s new. Punk MarisoleAfter some thought, I have broken down the Marisole Monday category into sections for Margot, Marisole and Mia, my three different “faces” for Marisole, if that makes sense. The dolls can all share clothing.

Sometimes an whole paper doll set comes out of my desire to draw a single outfit. In the case of today’s paper doll set, it was the high-waisted plaid skirt and the tie. So, after I decided I wanted to draw that then the rest of it came together along similar lines- lots of pleats and a sort of “school girl gone wrong” kinda vibe.

One of my favorite paper dolls blogs has a new address. A Time For Paper Dolls used to be Inflammation Of… and I am really enjoying her dolls. I love their clean crisp lines and simple shapes. If I had small children, I would totally print these out for them and I might just color a few on my own for fun.

I totally make my own fun.

Marisole Monday: Dead Roses- In Color

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I feel a little weird saying this is in color when the color is mostly black…

Not the most cheerful color scheme ever developed for a paper doll. I almost made it all black, but that seemed a bit much, even for Gothic Marisole. If you look closely, you’ll see one of my usual tricks for keeping things from looking totally “flat” is to use shades of the same color. So while everything is “black” there is still some definition between the various parts of the garments. I actually did this Marisole in four shades of very very dark grey which look black, but still allow the line work to be seen.

It’s all an illustion.

So, Meredith asked: I think a ballerina paper doll would be cool or mabey a pool / summer themed doll also for some ting tiffrent you could do dolls theamed ot colors of the rainbow

how long have you been drawing paper dolls for?
could you do a cow girl paper doll that would be cool and diffrent

To answer the easiest question, I have been drawing paper dolls for as long as I can really remember. It began when my mother would draw me a doll as a bribe for cleaning my room or other activity and then I had to draw the clothing. Eventually, that evolved into drawing my own paper dolls, though I still prefer clothing to the dolls.

As for your requests, I have added them to my list of ideas. I usually keep a running list of ideas, but since most paper dolls are drawn weeks (sometimes months) before they eventually get posted, I can’t promise anything as far as doing any of those ideas. And I probably won’t to the ballerina, because tutu’s scare me.

To answer a related question, Tawny asked: What is your favorite sort of paper doll to draw? I mean… I think eeery thing you do is great, but what do you like to do the most?

I like drawing everything. I do find I tend to return to certain themes a lot. I like things that are a little alt-fashion inspired and a little fantasy inspired. I often draw from fashion magazines, because it makes deciding what to draw simpler. I always fear that I will fall into a rut and draw the same thing over and over again. I try to keep things interesting using reference images and other materials.

Got a question you want me to answer on the blog?Ask me here.

Marisole Monday: Dead Roses

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There are paper doll sets that go together all smooth and easy and I’m like, wow… this was so simple. And then… then there are sets like this one. It took me four tries to get everything to fit on one page and when it finally came together properly, I found myself thinking- “Why was this so easy? It as hard the last three times I tried it…”

Seriously… ugh…

On the upside, I have here, in honor of Halloween and October and things, a traditional Gothic paper doll. When I was in high school, a longer time ago than I like to admit, the big trends were Gothic and Punk, now both seem to have given way to Steampunk and various forms of Gothic Lolita sort of styles.

And yes, I am using capitalization in the proceeding paragraph for emphasis, because I Like doing that.

Clearly spending a Sunday afternoon trying to get little paper pieces of clothing to fit on a page puts me in a grouchy feisty mood… so I shall go away now and work on the rest of this weeks posts.

I don’t think its too much of a spoiler to say that the color version will feature a lot of black. She is Gothic after all.

Short shorts and Some Questionable Sleeves…

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So, I went out to the movies tonight and saw “Snow White and the Huntsman” with some friends. I concluded that the Twilight Chick (whose name I had to look up on IMBD) can’t act, that I rather liked Charlize Theron when she’s evil and that the movie was better than Mirror Mirror, but I’ll take the Disney version over either any day. The costumes were pretty beautiful, especially the Evil Queens, but there’s apart where Snow White rides into battle not wearing a helmet- apparently being a princess means you’re immune to concussive head injuries.

So, before I crawl into bed, I should answer a question.

Monica asked: Do you prefer online paper doll research, or real book research? Internet or Library? =]

Well, that’s a kinda complicated question. The answer is: It depends on what I am researching and why.

If I want inspiration for a modern or a fantasy set, than I usually stick to the internet. I use it for looking at clothing websites or checking out the latest designer shows a Style.com. It’s really useful.

If I want historical costume, I usually go to books. I own about a dozen different costume books in my own collection, plus I regularly have at least a dozen checked out from the library. The exception to this are the websites of museums and libraries, which often contain digitized primary source documents or photos of items in their collections. Books are great for context. The internet is great for pictures. Some of my favorite internet resources are linked on my Research Resources page which I just finished updating, though I have some more to add later.

The truth is that I don’t really like staring at a computer while trying to draw and I would much rather have a book open in front of me than a computer screen. Though I usually draw from drafted tumbnails, so even with fantasy costumes, I rarely have a computer open when I am actually drawing.

I hope that answers your question, Monica.

So, has anyone else seen either of the new Snow White movies and what do they think of them? Should I do so a Snow White paper doll? Or an Evil Queen?

Pixie & Puck: Kandi

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Normally, I do my futuristic, cyber-punky sets in blacks with neons, but I wanted to play around with white as a base color, rather than black. Since I was using white, the citrus candy colors seemed proper to accent the clothes and the candy colors gave this paper doll her name- Kandi. Her dark skin tone was chosen to contrast with the white and pink scheme. I’m mostly pleased with how she came out, though I have some mixed feelings about the hair. It was originally black with pink highlights and I wonder if perhaps I should have kept it that way.

In the end, I’m fairly pleased with how she turned out. I like her clothes and her hair is okay, though I’m not totally pleased with it.

In my head, Kandi is from the same world Thorne, the Cyborg, Jay and Vera, though perhaps a happier more brightly colored part of that world… maybe the tropics.

Meet Ethan…

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{PDF Download of all four pages for Ethan and his Wardrobe}

Confession time: I think men’s clothing is boring.

I know I shouldn’t, but I do.

Historically speaking, there’s some neat stuff for men, but right now it’s all trousers and shirts and jeans and shirts and suits and maybe some swim trunks and really… that gets old.

Still, my poll in January (and I, like apparently the caidates for president, take polling seriously) said that what people wanted to see was male paper dolls.

Originally, Ethan here had a girlfriend or just a friend… I shouldn’t make assumptions about my paper doll’s sexual orientation. However, I thought she looked like she’d just been hit with a brick or something, so I decided not to post her or draw her any clothing. She won’t be returning to the blog unless I decide I really feel like it and I doubt it.

Instead, I gave him a some clothing (including a styling Star Trek uniform) and have posted him.

Marisole Monday: Circuits and Fishnet

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Today Marisole printable paper doll is going cybergoth since there’s just not enough neon and shiny in Marisole’s eclectic paper wardrobe. This is the first new Marisole in a depressingly long time… I confess I spent time I probably should have spent revising a chapter of my thesis on this, but after five hours in the library my mind is pretty much non-fuctional anyway. And it’s nice to come home to paper doll coloring as a rela

Now, I did recently get my hands on Gothic: Dark Glamour by Valerie Steele. While I normally I like Steele’s work, I was a bit disappointed by this book. It didn’t have the lavish pictures I have come to want in any costume book I buy. Still, it did have a fairly nice description of cyber-gothic and helped me narrow things down to black with neon accents. The hair was the hardest part of this paper doll, but I am actually quite pleased at how it came out. The other piece I am most proud of is the shiny black corset. Shiny fabrics are something I am still practicing and I am totally excited at how perfect the corset turned out to be. It’s rare that I really feel like I’ve achieved what I wanted with texture. Texture is hard.

So, I’ve done a dark steampunk paper doll over the years, a gothic Lolita one and one punk paper doll, but I don’t think I’ve ever really done a traditional gothic paper doll unless you count my vampire paper doll in 2010. I wonder if I should? What do other people think?

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