Marisole Monday: Secret Agent Girl

logo-secret-agent-paper-doll-black-whiteToday’s Marisole Monday paper doll is Marisole as a super spy. An idea suggested to me by my Aunt. I confess that I had never thought about drawing a spy paper doll before and there’s nothing realistic about my spy paper doll, but I think action heros are fun subjects for paper dolls.

And on the subject of action hero paper dolls, if you haven’t seen them, Bruce Patrick Jones did a really beautiful set of Action Stars paper dolls. I highly recommend them.

The title is supposed to be a reference to the song Secret Agent Man, but maybe I’m the only one who remembers all the lyrics to that song… Okay, so I only know the lyrics because my mother has the most amazing memory for lyrics and I inherited that trait. It’s not like I actually listen to Johnny Rivers actively.

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Like any classic spy, Marisole has catsuits for breaking and entering, a trench coat, fedoras and, of course, weapons. She also has two wigs for covering her short hair and some simple office wear. All in all, I’m quite pleased with how she came out, though I confess that those fedoras took far more drafts than I’d care to normally admit.

I think today’s spy would be good friends with the ninja paper doll that I drew… wow… three years ago.

As always, she’ll be in full color next week. 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A Paper Doll!

st-patrick-logo-margotToday, 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.


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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.

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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. 🙂

Striped Paper Doll Clothes

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?).

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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.

Roccoco Fantasy- Printable Princess Paper Dolls

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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 Paper Doll Dresses

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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!

Roccoco Fantasy: Paper Doll in Black and White

marisole-printable-paper-doll-fantasy-9-3-12{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…

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. 🙂

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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. 🙂