Every paper doll set tells a story. As a kid, I remember I would tell all sorts of stories with my paper dolls. Some of them were the actual stories of the paper dolls- like Little Women or Cinderella. Far more often, I would design my own stories to be told with the paper dolls.
Now that I’m an adult, or so people tell me, my paper dolls don’t have the same sorts of stories. They do, however, often have worlds that I imagine they come from. In the case of today’s Margot paper doll, I imagine she comes from a pseudo-victorian world with her button up boots and her hats.
Speaking of hats, it was really important to me that either hat could be worn with either dress. Don’t get me wrong- the feathered hat was designed to match the bird-dress and the lily hat goes with the lily dress, but if you were feeling rebellious and wanted to put the feathered hat with the lily dress than I won’t stop you.
Anyway, as for her blue hair, I confess that as a total whim. I was coloring her and I thought, I should give her blue hair. So, I did.
I am actually quite pleased how the blue hair came out. I think it’s fun and unexpected.
I’ve always wanted to dye my hair blue, but I fear I am long past the point in my work life where I could get away with blue hair. Plus my hair goes down to my waist, so if I dye it than I have to live with it for a long long time.
So, we are cruising into December (so exciting!), there’s going to be fun things on the horizon and some announcements. The Pixie paper doll series is retiring and will be replaced by a new series. Lots of fun & crazy stuff.
Thoughts? As usual, I love to hear what you think about the paper doll or anything else in the comments.
This isn’t an accurate depiction of Tang Dynasty dress. Though at times it seems to me that this would be obvious, most people (myself included) aren’t very familiar with the dynasties of China, let alone what they were wearing. Oddly, I never feel like when I draw stuff like this or this or this, I have to say it’s not accurate historical European dress, so perhaps my ned for a “disclaimer” is partly an assumption on my part about what my readers are familiar with.
So, anyway, these gowns were inspired by Hanfu and Tang Dynasty dress if anyone is keeping count. Of course, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t meant to be. I just had a lot of fun looking up gowns like this one and this one on Pinterest.
I find balancing research intense projects with non-research intense projects really helps keep me feeling sane. So, fantasy often seems to counter balance historical sets. I just finished, for example, penciling the largest 18th century set that I have ever drawn and then drew a space princess with a ray gun.
I went with a muted color scheme that I found on Design Seeds. I wanted it to feel a little less bright and more nature inspired than a lot of my color schemes tend towards. I have a lof of bright colors. I think the gray greens and soft lavenders go a long way to keeping things feeling soft and delicate.
I swear I had a reference from a contemporary Asian historical drama film when I drew her hair, but now I can’t seem to find the picture on Pinterest. Normally, I’m quite compulsive about saving these things, so I’m a little surprised to be so flummoxed.
The name of this paper doll set is “Country Time” and it might be a reference to the fact that her hair is the same color as Country Time lemonade. I hate coming up with titles and refuse to be shamed over where this one came from.
To be entirely honest, this week has been rough. I had to replace my computer’s RAM which was a good thing, since my computer is faster, but taking it into the shop always makes me nervous. I took my baby (aka MacbookPro) to a locally owned Apple place close to my work and, while I ate lunch at a nearby sandwich shop, they replaced my 4 gigs of RAM with a beautiful shiny new 8 gigs of RAM. It literally took less then 30 minutes and now Photoshop doesn’t hate me anymore.
Seriously, Photoshop is the canary in the coal mine of RAM problems.
So, if you were wondering why there wasn’t a Monday paper doll, the answer is “RAM issues”.
But we’re not hear to talk about my computer woes- We’re here to talk about a fabulous curvy, plus-sized paper doll from the Bodacious & Buxom collection.
Country Time is part of my B&B series of curvy paper dolls. Her mix and match wardrobe is designed for layering. The leggings are meant to be worn under the skirts or the dress, so there are about 10 outfit options (12 if you consider the leggings wearable without skirts, but I don’t like to wear leggings bare). I was thinking of woods and country and sort of sweet foresty things when I designed these dresses. I also wanted to stick to a pretty constrained wardrobe of neutral colors to play off her pink hair.
While pink hair was chosen to counter balance the brown and cream color scheme, I was divided between pink hair and pale blue hair, but in the end I decided I liked how the pink hair looked better. I do have a slight “thing” for pink and blue hair, so I have to fight my natural tendency to prefer those two choices over all other strange hair colors.
I really do hope to have another paper doll up this week, so I can keep up with my two paper dolls a week tendency even though I missed Monday.
So, today’s paper doll set did not turn out like I thought it would. I tend to be of the opinion that anyone whose spent anytime doing anything artistic eventually has projects that just don’t come out as intended.
Sometimes, this is a bad thing and sometimes it is a good thing. Part of having deadlines, which come with any regularly updating enterprise, is that they force me to accept what I have created and then move onto the next project.
I find that to be a rather comforting thing. While I had intended this printable paper doll set to be done in bright colors, I ended up rather hating the bright color schemes and switched instead to a pastel scheme.
Pastels are, apparently, quite in fashion this winter.
I’m wrapping things up for next year which starts this week (shocking, really). There will be a few things going up with a 2014 date on them as I post backlog content. It is rare for me to end the year with anything in backlog, so I am rather proud of myself.
Meanwhile, enjoy today’s paper doll and there will be another one later this week.
So, with last week’s paper doll I spoke a little about why I decided to dabble in the Southwest trend this season and today I wanted to show off the colors I used for the paper doll set. I knew from the start that I was going to be using a desert inspired color scheme. It is the Southwest, after all.
As a child, we visited the Grand Canyon. I will always think of reds, browns, ochre and sandy khaki when I think of that landscape. I confess to not being much of a desert person by nature; however, I do think they can be astonishingly beautiful.
I did not want to fall into the trap of just using a monochromatic warm color scheme though, so I also decided to include a pale turquoise, a very pale bayleaf green and a darker green for contrast. Normally I try to keep my color schemes to five colors, but this set needed a lot more. (I blame it on that patterned pencil skirt.)
Well, I have been working on backend server CPU issues with my shared hosting service. Nothing really serious, but stuff that has to be dealt with for the blog hosting to continue to be cheap enough for me to justify continuing to keeping it online and free.
Lina requested an 1880s period Marisole Monday & Freinds paper doll with a ballet outfit and several other dresses. I had some trouble getting all the pieces to fit on a single page, so I omitted some shoes from the image.
Should you want proper shoes to go with this set, then I recommend checking out On the Board Walk in color or black and white or Mia Goes to the Bathing Place in color or black and white. Both of those sets both have button up style boots which, while not period, are close enough to not look totally awkward.
Lina was kind enough to send me reference photos and specific colors for the hair, skin and eyes of the paper doll, but left the color scheme mostly up to me. I wanted to use some rich colors, because by the 1880s chemical dyes were common and rich colors were very much instyle. There is a habit to think of the 19th century as sepia colored, because of sepia photos, but it was actually a rather garish era.
So, Lina also asked for a tutu based on this painting by Degas. The painting dates from 1871, a little earlier than the other costumes in the set. I omitted the sash, since I based the dress on the center figure. I don’t think the layers of the skirts really look like tulle, which bothers me. Liana has some great tulle on her blog.
The ballgown was based on this fashion plate. The gown was red, but I made it peacock blue based on a description in English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century by Wilett-Cunnington that mentioned peacock blue ballgowns. I hate drawing lace, but it came out all right, I suppose.
The last two outfits are a swimming costume and a house dress. Old swimming costumes were extremely complicated and not very easy to swim in. Generally, I think of them as wadding costumes. Linasent me this picture and I based it off that.
The house dress is classic 1880s style with bustle, drawn up skirt and long pleats. It’s a pretty typical gown for its period. Linasent me this photo and I based the dress off of it. I omitted the pattern on the dress, because I knew it would reproduce poorly in the small scale of the paper doll set.
And that, as they say, is that.
If you haven’t ever checked out Lina’s blog, Lina’s Historical Paper Dolls than I recommend taking the time to do so. She makes wonderfully interesting historical paper dolls.
Today, in honor of Han Christian Andersen who was born in 1805, we have two regency pixies and their wardrobe. This is the last big Pixie set for a while, though I do have some one page Pixie paper dolls in the works that I am looking forward to sharing. I don’t think I’ll do another multipage set for a while. They are a lot of work.
Theses paper doll’s dresses are from about 1800 to about 1815, or so. The latest one being the morning dress with the neck ruff looking thing for Lydia (or Emma, either doll can wear the dresses) which was popular for a while though I find the style a little absurd, myself.
There is a tendency to make everything in this period white, as that’s what fashion plates usually show, but women aren’t stupid and there are plenty of dark fabrics with prints that were popular for day dresses. They don’t show stains as much as white (does anything show stains as much as white?) and they could go longer between washingings. There’s also a tendency to talk about women being out of corsets. This was sort of true, but as anyone with boobs can tell you, having no support is darn painful.
Since bonnets were going to be featured in this set (and I do confess I’m not very good at drawing bonnets), I knew I had to keep both of the paper dolls hair close to their heads. Lydia, above, has a braid and Emma, also above, just has her hair pulled back somehow. I imagine it in a neat bun, but whatever.
It was important to me to give these dolls some clothes, so I decided to do a separate sheet for their dresses. After all, one dress hardly makes a very fun paper doll. So, here is a riding habit, a few day dresses, a ballgown and one of the cropped spencer jackets which I’ve always liked. As for other regency paper dolls, there’s always Flora of the Regency, and two Marisole Monday & Friends sets- Empire Elegance and Regency Romance.
Thoughts? Do the Pixies need more historic outfits?
Things to say about today’s printable paper doll… It is my first Pixie paper doll in a while. She’s two pages and has a distinctly steampunk inspired wardrobe. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might remember the sketchbook post back in April of 2013 when I showed off the inked version of this set.
Wow… this was a long time coming, wasn’t it?
Shirin, in my continuing search for names I haven’t used ever, is a Persian name meaning “sweet”. Continuing the theme, her coloring is based on the Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi, except with really curly hair, because I love curly hair and I’m trying to practice drawing it. You can expect to see more curly hair in the future on the blog.
Oh, and her clothing has nothing to do with Persia. I tried to think of a connection after I decided to base her coloring on Nazanin Boniadi, but I don’t have one as her clothing is distinctly Western without a hint of influence from the Middle East and is mostly based on the clothing of young men in the early 20th century.
Oh, and as sometimes happens when I saved these images for the web, Photoshop did odd things to the colors. I recommend looking at the PDF version of Shirin and Shirin’s Wardrobe to see what I really intended the color scheme to look like. Partly this was a challenge to do a steampunkish set without the color brown. Harder than it looks, actually… because the line between goth and steampunk is often one of color, not design. That, however, is a whole different discussion for another day.
So, this feels a little bit summery to be going up on this fall day, but I had so much fun with the color scheme that I shall not be denied. Even if it’s cool and crisp and the leaves have already begun to turn their beautiful yellow and red colors.
It’s apple pie and cinnamon weather these days, and I am utterly enjoying it.
But Denise is clearly living in a warmer world with her freckles and her florals. I’ve discovered an unexpected love of abstract florals which used on Denise. I think her pleated skirts look fun with the floral designs decorating them. The blouses are all meant to match with the different skirts.
Here’s an amazing fact… today’s printable paper dolls is number fifty in all of my Pixie paper dolls. I feel like I should do something to celebrate, but I don’t know what. Ideas from the audience? Comment below.
So, we had the black and white version of this paper doll set last week. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t do a good enough job linking the full color versions of the paper dolls with the black and white versions of the same paper doll, but then… I also sort of figure that people are smart enough to figure it out. I don’t like treating my readers as though they’re stupid.
Anyway… I had a lot of fun with today’s paper doll.
Her underwear is the same color as the site’s base color which is Hex Code 990033. Her skin is the warmer of my two medium brown colors that I like to use Hex Code d29569 from the Skintone Pallette. It’s got more orange in it than some of the colors I use more often, so I tend to be careful what colors I pair it with. The dresses are a range of colors whose Hex Codes, I can’t remember at present. I wanted to use Jeweltones, but not get too dark. Autumnal without getting into the orange, yellow, red, brown combination.
Anyway, I think I’ve run out of things to say about the paper doll. Enjoy her.