A Paper Doll And Her Full Color Ball Gowns to Print

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with ballgowns inspired by Wa and Qi Lolita styles As I explained with the black and white version of today’s paper doll set, both of these dresses are based on Wa lolita and Qi lolita fashions. I really find fusions of different cultures fashions fascinating, plus sometimes drawing absurd dresses make me happy and Mia doesn’t get as much love as I think she should.

When I draw in black and white, I sometimes dread coloring, especially when the coloring means hyper detailed patterns like those in today’s paper doll. I’ve been doing more playing with color and pattern lately. I like patterns, but they are a lot of work. Even though I usually just draw one motif and use Photoshop to manipulate it on each dress. The size of these pattern motifs made their placement on the dresses important. Though I wanted it to feel organic, I also wanted the detail of the complex patterns to shine through.

No point in drawing complex things if no one can appreciate them, after all. In my mind, that’s like sewing a fantastic wardrobe for an ugly doll… why bother?


Asian paper doll to print with two ballgowns based Wa Lolita and Qi Lolita styles

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I based the color scheme on this kimono which I found online. Everytime I reference kimono, I am reminded of the fantastic posts on Liana’s Paper Doll Blog about Japanese dress. She’s far more an expert of this topic than I.

Personally, I thought it was very a beautiful kimono and I really liked the color combination. What looks black isn’t actually black, it is a very dark purple-red color. I used the same color for her hair. I like doing that, because I think a color scheme should be about making a harmonious set.

Every set should be a complete work, rather than just a collection of clothing pieces and should be able to stand alone, even if it is part of a larger collection of paper dolls.

Black and White Paper Doll With Wa and Qi Lolita Inspired Ballgowns

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper doll with ballgowns inspired by Wa and Qi Lolita styles Today, we have a pair of ballgowns which were heavily influenced by wa lolita and qi lolita fashion styles. I showed off the rough sketches last Monday. Wa lolita and qi lolita are substyles of the Japanese street style lolita. F Yeah Lolita (a blog I have come to rather enjoy reading) discusses lolita in detail, but I actually think the wikipedia article is nice for people who know nothing about it.

Anyway, both wa lolita (infulenced by Japanese traditional dress) and qi lolita (influenced by Chinese traditional dress) are styles I think are fascinating, because cultural fusion always interests me. However, I try to be careful about how I borrow from cultures which are not my own, because I am very aware of the problematic and complicated issues of cultural appropriation which underlie children’s toys and visual representations of culture. I could ramble on about that topic until… well, for a every long time… but I figure most people are really here for the paper dolls, so I’ll restrain myself.


Asian paper doll to print with two ballgowns based Wa Lolita and Qi Lolita styles

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A few of my ideas came from this dress by FanplusFreind and this dress, also by FanplusFriend. I first discovered qi lolita through this dress which is actually a doll’s dress. The shoes are just sort of random inventions, though the ones on the right with the stockings were influenced by rocking horse shoes which are pretty cool (though maybe hard to walk in… I don’t know, I’ve never worn them.)

I can’t wait to share these in color next week, though I openly confess the pattern on the left dress is giving me fits. Every-time I do a complicated pattern, I swear I will never do it again and then… well… I do it again. Isn’t insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Oh, and before I forget, the fast of Ramadan officially ends this evening I think, so Happy Eid al-Fitr to any of my readers who are Muslim. I don’t know much about Ramadan, but the mosque by my apartment has been busier than usual this month.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Marisole Monday and Friends Logo and Link to free printable Marisole Monday paper dollToday, Margot is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is a festive holiday celebrating the life of St. Patrick and Irish hertiage and the excuse to drink a lot of beer, some of it dyed green. Despite being a Saint’s Day, there’s not usually a lot of religion in the celebrations (at least not a lot that I’ve seen…)

Normally I when I do a color and a black and white version together, they are both pretty small. I decided to try out a different formatting option this time. First we have the full color version and then, a little further below, the black and white version.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
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I decided it would be fun to do some historical St. Patrick’s Day costumes, so Margot has an early 18th- Century mantua gown on the far right covered in clovers. The mantua was in style until about the 1740s when it got replaced by other styles, but it was very much popular in the early part of the century. The first USA celebration of St. Patrick’s Day occured in Boston in 1737, so a mantua made sense.

Next, she to that she has a 1903 blouse with skirt to commemorate the fact that in 1903, Saint Patrick’s Day became an official holiday in Ireland. The blouse should be worn over the skirt to get the pigeon breasted look which was so popular in the early 20th century. Margot’s hair is covered in a hat and she has a matching parasol.


Thumbnail link image printable paper doll
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So, in 1962, the city of Chicago, known for it’s Irish population, dyed the Chicago River green for the first time using 100 lbs of vegetable dye. They continue that tradition today, though its only green for a few hours. I’ve never seen the river dyed, even when I was living in Illinois, but I’ve always wanted too. Margot has a 1960′s dress with high heels and a stylish flipped hair style.

Lastly, I included a modern pair of jeans and a t-shirt, in case you want a modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. I did not, despite a recommendation of a friend, include any green dyed beer. You’ll have to draw your own. :)

Stripes… Stripes… Stripes…

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Clearly, I thought that the Dictionary Girl’s needed to get a little more rough and tumble…. so here they are… rough and tumbling (Is it just me or does that sound like a sexual innuendo?).

I feel as though I need to say this, since I seem to get a lot of comments or questions that start with an apology- Please ask me question. Please make requests. Please feel free to inquire if I’ve ever done a style or a kind of paper doll. I will respond. I might take a few weeks days but I do try to get back to people.

Not promising that I’ll do a certain style of paper doll, but I try to reply as much as I can to comments and am grateful for everyone I receive.

I just thought I should state that somewhere.

On a fairly unrelated note, it is Speak Like a Pirate Day, so I went in search of a few pirate paper dolls. The pickings were not impressive. Final Fantasy Paper Dolls Made by Animama depict several of the Final Fantasy characters (none of whom I confess I know), but have some stylish pirate wear and fair number of other tongue in cheek outfits.

Lady Pirate Paper Doll depicts a beautiful black and white winged lady pirate. There are other printable paper dolls as well.

Marisole Monday: Roccoco Fantasy in Full Color

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Just for Boots, I didn’t make anything pink in this set. :)

Originally, there was pink in it, but I do use a lot of pink… which is odd, because I don’t like pink that much in the real world… So, I decided to be anti-pink for a while. Plus I think these dresses are fro-froo enough without adding pink into the mix.

Not that I have anything against pink, mind you… just a thought, really.

And now for a question:

    Julie asked: What advice would you give an aspiring paper doll artist? Are there Fashion Illustration books you recommend? How about Figure Drawing books?

To aspiring paper doll artists (and I’m not sure I’m not that far from ‘aspiring’ myself), I’d say the following:

    Draw a lot
    Look at paper dolls you like and try to figure out what you like about them
    Don’t be afraid to copy a style you like- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
    Reference images are your friend
    Draw what you like and what you love, not what you think is popular or other people will like
    Have fun and stretch yourself… even though that’s scary a lot of the time

As for books, I would recommend… I think that’s worthy of it’s own blog post. So, I will work on putting together a list. If i had to name one, it would be Drawing the Head and Figure by Jack Hamm. It’s old, but it’s solid and I still use my copy when I need to draw a face in profile. (You might notice, I don’t do that much… cause I suck at it, but I use Hamm whenever I think I want to try again.)

Here’s a question for my readers, would you be interested in knowing what books I use and/or recommend about historical costume or figure drawing?

Peter Pan Collars in Yellow and Green

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These guys feel totally Easter like to me… I think it’s the spring green and the yellow.

I can’t shake the feeling I did a set for “peter pan collars” before, but maybe I just thought I did, because I couldn’t find it when I did a prowl of the archives. (I decided “Prowling” through the archives sounded better than “staggering” which might be more accurate.)

Speaking of archives, (see what I did there? I’m proud of me), I am nearing my 350 posts mark which I think is entirely more exciting than it really aught to be.

It’s the second week of classes at the University where I work and it’s been hectic. I adore the students and I’m glad they’re back, but it makes my life quite crazy. I hope things settle down soon. :)

I really like clothes more than dolls when it comes to paper dolls, but I have gotten curious how other people feel. Hence… A POLL!

Marisole Monday: Roccoco Fantasy in Black and White

Thumbnail link image printable paper doll {Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

First of all, Happy Labor Day to those in the USA who get the holiday off. Had I realized it was going to be Labor Day when I posted this paper doll, I would have come up with something thematic… but instead we have crazy Rococo dresses. This is what happens when I work several weeks a head.

Though not Labor Day thematic, I love the 18th century… not historically speaking (I really don’t care much about the French revolution or the American revolution or… I digress), but the period is full of wonderful over the top dresses and wigs. I love the wigs.

Not that I would have wanted to wear them, since they were nearly impossible to clean and made of human hair or sheep’s wool…. and that gets gross fast. There are even reports of rats living in women’s wigs…. All I can say to that is “ewww”

Still, crazy wigs are cool in theory, if not in reality.

Now, for a question:

Dorothy D Lafferty asked: So when will you do a “librarian” paper doll?

Probably not anytime soon… though I do seem to draw a lot of books as accessory items for my paper dolls… so that might say something about me.

I suppose I should eventually do a librarian paper doll, but I don’t know what she would wear. What does a stylish librarian wear?

Unless she’s Batgirl…. Because Batgirl was a librarian… and then I would need a paper Batgirl costume and I don’t know if I’m up for that.

On the other hand, I got to say, Yvonne Craig is pretty darn hot as Batgirl.

And I do have one friend for whom the idea of a Batgirl paper doll would make absurdly happy.

What do you all think a librarian paper doll (Batgirl or not) ought to wear?

Dictionary Girls Go all Neo-Victorian…

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Today’s Dictionary girl is a take on neo-Victorian things. I’m not entirely pleased with the drape on the skirt… but I decided to go for it. I do really like the hair and the boots. I think I’ve mentioned I have a thing for boots.

So, onto the drawing… The random number generator informed me the winner of my drawing was number four- D Garrett who has her own wonderful blog on black doll collecting. Email me, please, at paperthinpersonas (at) gmail (dot) com and let me know what sort of paper doll you would like. :)

Since she won, it seems only fitting to answer her question.

D. Garrett asked, Have you determined if any one of your paper dolls is more popular than the others?

Yes, I have. My most popular paper doll is Marisole Boldly Going which has had nearly four times the number of hits of any other paper doll I’ve ever drawn. Closely following Marisole Boldly Going is my first Marisole in black and white Modern Girl in Black and White which I drew in response to requests for a black and white Marisole paper doll. In general, Marisole is my most popular paper doll.

I don’t really know why she’s so appealing to people. I find her pose a little problematic unless you slit up along the side of her body to free her right arm from her side and I confess that when I see her a part of me sees a style of paper doll I wouldn’t draw today. I may have to redraw her face one day… her faceted eyes kinda freak me out. (They didn’t when I drew her, but now…)

That’s all neither here nor there.

I hope that answers your question, dgb. Let me know what sorta paper doll you’d like. :)

Meet Fleur, our new Dictionary Girl

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Today’s Dictionary Girl paper doll was colored after a friend of my friend complained that I didn’t have enough brunette pale-skinned blue-eyed paper dolls like her and she thought this wasn’t fair. Well, there is some truth to her remark, since I tend to favor variety of skin tone over variety of hair color. That all began when I realized the internet was full of printable paper dolls and they all seemed awfully white. Still, when a someone demands a blue-eyed brown-haired paper doll, and when they live in the same apartment building, it seems hard to refuse.

So, here is Fleur. She has the same skin tone as Alyssa and therefore can share shoes with Alyssa though I can not promise wigs will work since they have two different hair styles.

What sort of coloring would people like to see for the next Dictionary Girl?

Bateau Necklines and Flowers… I like Flowers.

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Not much to say today (and not a lot of time to say it in), we’ve gotten some snow this week that has stuck to the ground for a little while and I’m enjoying it while it lasts (the temp is supposed to rise again and I suspect it will all go away). I spent most of my spare time these last few days revising my drafts for my MA thesis (oh, what fun…) and working on other things then blog stuff. Blog stuff gets to go to the bottom of my list. I can squeeze out drawing time easily enough, but coloring, cleaning up and posting time is a hot commodity these days.

Someday I should calculate how long it takes me to get a paper doll done and posted, but I suspect it would just depress the heck out of me, so I think I won’t bother.

Anyway, I barely got this done before the end of Wednesday and I am very excited to present these outfits for the lovely, curvy Dictionary Girls. Now, I’m off to bed.

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