DDJ: Color Blocking with Twilight

A black and white paper doll with a mix and match wardrobe of 8 clothing pieces.

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A black paper doll with a mix and match wardrobe of 8 clothing pieces.

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Color blocking is one of my favorite fashion themes. I just love how it lets me play with different colors and experiment with how different lines look on a set of garments. I first drew this paper doll set last year, but didn’t manage to actually get it done until a few weeks ago. Sometimes, I am a little slow on finishing up my own artwork.

Let’s not talk about the large number of 80% finished projects lurking on my hard-drive.

By the way, this is only my 6th Dolls Du Jour paper doll. I created this series in May of 2020 as part of my move towards drawing more diverse figures. Figure drawing is my least favorite part of paper doll making and it is the part I think I am worse at. There’s dozens of abandoned attempts at figure drawing in my notebooks. I still don’t think my figures are as diverse as they could be, but I also can only bang my head against the things I don’t like doing so long.

Just let me draw silly shoes and ignore when my people look off, which they often do.

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DDJ: Retro Space Paper Doll Adventures with Dawn

An Asian paper doll coloring page with four dresses and a space suit in a retro-1960s sci-fi theme.
A color printable Asian paper doll with a space wardrobe theme, She's got four dresses, boots and a space suit in 1960s inspired colors.

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There’s something really fun about retro futuristic clothing of the 1960s and I had fun drawing it for today’s printable paper doll. I was tickled when I saw it mentioned in the latest issue of Paper Doll Review. Anyway, I’m always up for drawing paper dolls with retro space clothing. I’ve been watching Star Trek: The Original Series with my partner during the pandemic and it’s a hoot. So, here we have four space mini-dresses, a totally impractical space suit and some very important space boots.

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DDJ: A Renaissance Fantasy Princess Printable & Her Gowns

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Maybe because I saw Ever After at a young age, but I have a deep affection for Italian Renaissance inspired gowns and these are a few of them. Fantasy paper dolls rival historical paper dolls as some of my favorites to draw. This set of printable fantasy paper dolls is from my Dolls Du Jour series, lovingly known as DDJ. Named by a Patron (thank you!) these paper dolls are part of my goal to make some more curvy paper doll ladies. Each doll is named after a time or day, so this is Twilight.

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A Magical Girl Paper Doll

Let me start with this disclaimer: I do not watch Anime. As my partner would attest, I know nothing about magical girls, except what I vaguely remember from having friends obsessed with Sailor Moon in the 1990s. I wasn’t super into Sailor Moon, but they sure as heck were.

Magical girls, as I understand it, is a sub-genre of Japanese anime/manga/other stuff that feature girls using magic. (Yeah, you might have guessed that from the title, huh?) The primary feature of Magical Girl anime is the idea of a transformation. Most Magical Girl characters have a magic object (called a compact, I think?) which they use to transform into their magical selves.

Then- they fight evil/crime/playing cards? This genre mystifies me on occasion.

Features of Magical Girl outfits seem to be lots of ribbons, ruffles and asymmetry. Our magical girl, Dawn, has double buns (a nod to Sailor Moon), a compact version of her staff (as seen in both Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura) and several outfits.

A magical girl paper doll with curves! And three outfits to print and play with.

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So, the primary source for inspiration for her costumes was Cardcapture Sakura. There is also some Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica in there as well. One of the things I liked about Cardcapture Sakura was that it has lots of different outfits. That was a fun thing to look up. I noticed asymmetry in many of the outfits, hence the knee sock and the ankle sock with ruffles and a ribbon.

The baggy shorts were my attempt to draw something not a dress (there’s lots of dresses in the world of Magical Girls), but I openly admit this set is less mix and match then I like. Still, dresses tend not be very mix and match. I can live with that. She can always borrow jeans from this set.

Printable magical girl paper doll with buns and three dresses

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Drawing a genre I know so little about it both fun and a bit scary. I don’t know what I don’t know, but I had fun finding images and adapting them. I hope folks who do know more about this style than I do will let me know how I did in my foray into the land of Magical Girls.

Anyway, if you like what you see around here, consider popping over to Patreon and supporting it. If you’d like to let me know what you think about today’s paper doll, I always love to read comments.

Evening Gowns for the Dolls Du Jour

On my short list of favorite paper dolls are evening gowns. When it comes to printable kids activities, I know not all my paper dolls are super kid designed. However, when I was a kid my favorite paper dolls were the ones with fancy gowns and historical ones. So, I think of today’s paper dolls as being a printable kids activity.

Dusk is only my second Doll Du Jour design. She’s joining Dawn from a few weeks ago.

Printable Kids Activity: Curvy Paper Doll with two evening gowns and two pairs of shoes.

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I knew I wanted to do a set of fancy evening gowns. I wasn’t planning to draw as many purses as I did, but then as I was doing layout, there was a lot of empty space. So, I thought, I’ll fill up this space with clutch purses!

Listen, I don’t judge how your brain works.

One of the fun things about the Dolls Du Jour pose that is that is is really good for showing off trains on dresses. I’m not great at drawing trains, but I do love the idea of them. In practice, I think actually having to deal with one would be super annoying.

A full-color curvy blond paper doll with two evening gowns and two pairs of shoes.

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I went back and forth about the colors for her dresses, but in the end I decided I wanted to focus on some less typical shades for women’s evening wear. I tend to do a lot of red and blue evening gowns, so I decided on yellow and coral. These colors feel fresh to me. Plus, warm and summery.

The sources on the dresses I honestly can’t remember. I suspect they were also David’s Bridal or some other website. I confess that with the disruption to my life from the Covid-19 thing has sort of blurred my brain.

Anyway, what were your favorite paper dolls when you were a child? Let me know in a comment.

Dolls Du Jour: Days in Denim

Sharing a new paper doll series is always a little stressful. When I design paper dolls to dress, I think about body poses and I think a lot about how many different styles I think I can get from a single body pose. A few perks of this pose are the 3/4 view and the spread legs, which open up some design options.

She will be hard to make into a mermaid though…

Anyway, the first version of this paper doll showed up on Instagram back in 2018. I had to do some extensive redrawing, because the sketchbook was ruined while traveling to Alaska.

Fixing her right foot was also a priority.

A huge thanks you to my Patrons! Sheryl helped me name the series and had the amazing idea to name the dolls after temporal themes. I love this! Because I tend to like giving my paper dolls names that are not really names. I mean, you can find people named Dawn, but like there aren’t a lot of Dusk or Evening named folks running around.

A coloring page with paper dolls to dress with jeans and other contemporary clothing pieces.

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I like to test out new series with sets that show me how many clothing pieces I can fit on a page. After all, the whole point of paper dolls to dress is that you want to dress them. Otherwise, why have the clothing at all?

Denim is the base of most modern wardrobes. Knowing that I have denim done, so to speak, allows for more variety in later sets. Every person (or paper doll) needs a good pair of jeans after all.

Paper dolls to dress with jeans and other contemporary clothing pieces.

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Color scheme wise, I had no idea what to do with this set. Denim is mostly blue, after all, so I went with a green, purple and pink scheme.

I have done occasional random denim themed paper dolls over the years. A few of my favorites- Weekend Denim, Paper Doll Guys Need Jeans, Girl Paper Dolls Need Jeans, Hearts Denim and Bows, Jeans and Tank Tops, and my first ever- Stylish Denim. I’ve heard that denim maxi skirts are back and I am secretly super excited about this.

What do you think of this new series? Let me know in a comments! And head over to join us on Patreon if you want to someday help name a paper doll series.