Can I level with you? I like you all, so I think I can level with you.
I drew two Aisha paper dolls when I created her. I figured one contemporary sorta neutral design and one fun cyberpunk design would be handy. I did not plan to post these two one a week from the other. I really didn’t.
But somehow between classes ending and homework (so much homework) and real work and travel, I kinda got way behind on my paper doll drawing habits. So, I have four B Pose paper doll outfits, a new A Pose doll (Maybe named Abigail? Still deciding) and two A Pose outfits all in process, but none of them are done yet.
Some will probably be done tomorrow, but they aren’t done tonight. I figured I could stay up for a few more hours trying to get them done and then posted. However, that tends to lead to mistakes and sleep deprivation.
So, I am sharing cyberpunk Aisha a little sooner than I had planned to. But no harm in that, I do love my cyberpunk. The white and pink strappy top was the first thing I drew for this outfit and then the rest of the design kinda followed. For the record, I think I wouldn’t mind living in a world where one could painstakingly match your hair to your outfit.
Also for the record, I am super lazy when it comes to dressing and if this was an option, I would probably never do it.
Xavier and Yumiko are modeling these flower fairy paper doll looks and you can find more paper dolls with those same faces as Xavier and Yumiko, if you want them.
Just like with Yumiko’s fairy version, I tried a few different skin colors, before I settled on the blue color. It reminded me of the color of the summer sky.
I do worry that he looks a little girly, both because my male paper dolls always feel a little effeminate to me and because the whole flower fairy theme tends to lend itself to a more girly look anyway. Still, I tired to keep him a bit buff with his boots and jacket and kilt made from petals.
In my head, flower fairies are just the size of a deck of cards and could fit in the palm of the hand. How do you imagine flower fairies? Tell me in a comment.
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Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Ravens, this Gold Corset, and 18th Century Hair Styles
I love Ravens. I grew up in Southeast Alaska where there are a lot of Ravens. We also had a fair number of Crows, but I hate Crows for being loud and annoying, so I refuse to draw a paper doll gown based on them.
Ravens are some of the smartest birds in the world and they can do fairly complex problem solving. No unsurprisingly, they show up a lot on myth and legend. In Tlingit stories, Raven is trickster who frees the sun, moon and stars. In Norse mythology, the god Odin is depicted as having two ravens serving as his eyes and ears. They are named Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory). In Ancient Greek myths, ravens are associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy.
And of course, there are always the ravens of the Tower of London who, should they ever be removed, would foretell the fall of the Kingdom of England.
So, if you want folklore heavy animals, it doesn’t get much better than the Raven.
This is the most fitted of the gowns. There’s something mysterious about Ravens and I wanted the masquerade gown to capture some of that mystery.
Hope is based on the styles at the end of the 18th century. So, something major happened around the 1789 in France. It was, for those who weren’t asleep in high school history class, the French Revolution. To say that “everthing changed” wouldn’t be an understatement and the ripples of the events in France spread across Europe in dramatic ways. It is tempting when looking at the end of the 18th century to simply assume that after 1789 everyone just jumped into Empire styles and that was the end of it, but the reality is that there was a very slow evolution to the high waisted gowns we think of as “empire” or “Regency” dress.
So, I was less interested in worrying about the Empire look and much more interested in the every transitional styles that are easily forgotten and often ignored.
This all brings us rather neatly to Hope. Hope is our paper doll model for the later part of the 1700s. Her dresses will never get up the high waisted styles that characterized the transition into Empire. Rather, I think of her as being a woman of means right before everything gets radicalized. And, for her sake, let us assume she lives in England which was always behind on the fashions a bit anyway and a much safer place to be than France at the end of the 18th century. They don’t call it the Reign of Terror for nothing, after all.
Hope’s hair is done up in a style known as coiffure à l’enfant. This was a style popularized by Marie-Antoinette in the early 1780s. The style is a frizzy halo of hair with several longer strands curled, braided or left straight. Here is a portrait that shows off the hair style from the Met and here is a fashion plate featuring it from the V&A. I have to confess that I am not totally pleased with her hair. I fear that it looks a little bit too “mad scientist” for my comfort.
Moving away from her hair for a moment, Hope has undergarments, of course, and then a gown known as a Redingote. Redingote’s started their lives as actual riding coats, but eventually transformed into women’s gowns which were coat like and then cut away to reveal the petticoat underneath. The word “redingote” is believed to be a French transliteration of the English term “riding coat”. Hope’s redingote was based on this gown from LACMA circa 1790. The term “redingote” sticks around into the early 20th century as a term of long coats.
I think that’s all the sources I need to list for Hope. I might have forgotten something, but I think that’s everything. Next Friday, there will be the last set of outfits for the 18th Century Pixie Series all from the later part of the 18th century.
Sometimes, I get started on projects and they don’t seem “insane” and then a few weeks later I find myself further into them and I am thinking, “Was I crazy to start this?” and, of course, “Will this ever be done?”
So, over the next seven weeks on every Friday, I will be sharing pieces from a historical paper doll project that started with a simple, “I should draw some 18th century clothing for the Pixies.”
It kinda grew a bit unexpectedly.
My original plan was to do three Pixie paper dolls, all with different skin-tones, and each would focus on the first part, middle part and then last part of the 18th century.
No plan, as they say, survives contact with the enemy.
Instead of three clearly defined sets, I ended up with three paper dolls and four pages of dresses and only one set, my late 18th century set, seemed clear cut. So, I did what any rational paper doll artist would do, I said, “Meh. I’m just going to go forward anyway.”
Today I am pleased to present the first of my three Pixie paper dolls and for the next six weeks, each Friday, there will be another Pixie paper doll or a set of dresses for the 18th century Pixies.
As you can see from my 18th Century Color Palette graphic above, I knew I wanted to use a consistent color palette through all of these seven pages of paper dolls. I chose to based my colors on a stomacher, also from the V&A Museum. I wanted all the colors to be fairly soft, but also rich, reminiscent of what you see in portraits of the era.
Today, I am pleased to present Faith, the first of this seven week series.
Faith wear’s her hair in a style known as tête de mouton (or “sheep’s head”) and it was extremely popular in the 1750s. She, of course, has her hair powdered, through powder was not universally worn, despite what some people seem to think. Her underwear consists of stays and hoops. As with many of my forays into historical underwear, her undergarments won’t fit under all the dresses of this set. Her stays are based on Stays from the V&A Museum . These type of wide narrow hoops were usually used to support the wide skirted formal gowns of the 18th century, but Faith doesn’t have a formal gown on this page. Instead, she has a riding habit. Her riding habit is based on Riding Habit from the V&A museum dated between 1750 and 1759. Her small hat is a combination of a hat from the Met Museum and the hat in this portrait of Princess Marie-Thérèse-Louise de Savoie-Carignan which was sold at Christie’s.
The colors of her garments were, of course, influenced by the original riding habit, but also by the stomacher I showed above. I wanted a consistent color scheme across all these paper doll pages, for maximum mix and matching possibilities. Playability, a word I am not sure is a word, is something that I value very highly in my paper dolls. While I rarely cut them out and actually play with them, I like to think about how people would cut them out if they were going to do so.
Tune in next Friday for a page of dresses and then the next week a paper doll and then a page of dresses and then… well, you get the idea. 🙂
Something about the fall makes me introspective. Maybe it’s the grey days or the excuse to pull out my favorite tweed trousers again or the fact that I can feel the end of the year looming, but even here in Alabama where it’s hardly cool enough to feel like fall- I can see the leaves changing colors and I know that fall has arrived.
Fall introspection takes different forms for different people, but for me it usually focuses on the blog. It’s a little terrifying to think the blog might be turning four in January. If it was a child, it would be in pre-school.
Last week, we got to see today’s paper doll in black and white and here she is now in color. I wanted to go with a shabby chic color scheme and a break from the usual “Steampunk=Brown” mentality. As I always say when I post a paper doll like this, I’m not really sure how one decides if something is steampunk. Never the less, I’m very pleased with how she came out. She’s a Margot paper doll, because I thought Margot needed some love.
Thoughts on where the blog is? Where the blog is going? How it should get there? Please let me know. I know I don’t always respond to comments as quickly as I would like, but I do read every one and I love getting them.
We still haven’t had much snow here, but I don’t mind. I’m able to walk home from work which is just about a mile and a half and it’s a nice walk to do when the weather isn’t too cold. I’m dreading when it gets colder and I’ll have to decide between wait ten minutes for the bus or walking 25 minutes in the cold. It’s a hard call and depending on how horrid it is, I usually decide right after work.
I’ve been playing around with color pallets a lot lately. I realized, I’d never done a sort of Norse/Anglo-Saxon/Medieval fantasy paper doll in a pale color scheme. Somehow that lead to this and then the idea of giving the paper doll blue skin came to me last minute. Once the paper doll was fully colored, I knew she had to be some sort of other worldly winter fairy or something. She might be smiling, but I get the feeling she might be very dangerous. Not someone you’d want to cross.
And, in case I haven’t mentioned it or you haven’t noticed, there’s a poll. Feel free to vote or tell me what you think in a comment.