Friday, January 20, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Alexandra

I recently read a phrase that really resonated: art - no matter how small the audience - has value.  That's a paraphrase and not an exact quote, but like I said, it really spoke to me. This little blog is a reflection of what I believe.  I believe there's beauty and value in all people, of all colors, creeds, etc.  I want people to come to this site and find a paper doll that looks like them.  It's an on-going project and there are more kinds I've people I'd like to include. I'll keep creating for me and, hopefully, for you, too.

Today's paper doll has a cool toned winter wardrobe.  It isn't the most elaborate paper doll I've ever made, but I like the coat and I liked the pattern -- it's from my ever-expanding asset stash.

How are you liking the new Josephine series? I'm having so much fun creating it! As always, if there's something you'd like to see, let me know. I don't always get to every suggestion but I do try!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine - Page 1

Today's the day! I have my new paper doll series ready to go.  I think I'll try to post this on Tuesdays, as often as I can.  Before I post the sheet, I want to talk about technique.

First, I started with a sketch. I could have done it on my computer, but instead I took out my good old paper & pencil. The pose is a composite pose I put together from SenshiStock.  I like her poses specifically because they're clothed.  Nude models are incredibly helpful & I highly recommend life drawing classes, but if I'm drawing at my kitchen table surrounded by my kiddos I'd rather use clothed models.

I knew I wanted a medium to dark skin tone. There's a wonderful image I found on Pinterest that served as color reference & a rough model for my paper doll's face.

Once I did all of that, I scanned my image and brought it into Photoshop. I knew this was going to be a Photoshop project right from the beginning.

This is a very rough breakdown of the steps I went through to color the doll. There's a much more thorough breakdown here -- I've been working on this technique for a while! First, I inked the sketch.  I gave it a thicker outside line using a stroke style.  Then, I gave it a flat color.  I started added shadows and highlights, blurring as needed.  It still looked really flat so I overlaid a brighter, warmer brown and that helped tremendously! I kept layering lights & darks, then added the face and clothing.

Once that was finished, I knew I wanted a border and background that would be on every page of the series.  I also needed a title.  I settled on The Eclectic Wardrobe of Josephine.  I needed something descriptive and a cool name.  Now, I love The Tragically Hip -- a fantastic Canadian band -- and they have a song called Goodnight Josephine, which I love.  And then, there's the amazing Josephine Baker, so really the name was perfect for this project.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this project long-term. As much as I can stand, I suppose!

Right-click to download and print

Here's the final version of page one. I wanted a little mix & match capability.  More pages will make that more fun, of course.  If anyone plans on printing it out, let me know. I can post it with a white background if there's a need for it.

I'm pretty excited to have a new project. There will still be a Friday paper doll in one of the various mix & match series.

Let me know what you think! Should be a fun little adventure for all of us!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tween Fashion Friday - Inez

Happy January! I did not expect to miss almost half of January without a post, but I needed a bit of a break after December.  I loved making the December angel paper doll series (you can grab the entire series as a PDF here) and, much as I loved it, it was exhausting!   The feedback on the doll was fantastic -- thank you to everyone who commented, shared, etc. It makes my December project worth it every year!

So today I'm back with a new tween doll.

The pattern on today's doll is from a from a bundle of graphic design resources I bought a while back. It isn't a secret that I create some of the patterns that I use and that I buy others.  I do more than just create paper dolls and these design resources come in handy for a variety of projects, personal and professional.

The other reason I mention that is because I'm starting a new doll. Stylistically, it's similar to the Victorian Mix and Match book. I've been eager to work with some new digital paper and patterns, so I created a paper doll in Photoshop specifically for that purpose.

Do you want to see a preview?

Of course you do!

The doll is ready to go. And that's it. I have no idea what day of the week I want to post this on. No idea what to call the series. And she has no wardrobe yet! I also have no theme for the doll. Might be contemporary one week and Victorian the next. Thoughts??

There are more surprises for 2017 and I'm excited to do some new things in this new year!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 31

I made it to the end!! It was touch & go there for a while. I finally finished the project 2 days before the 31st!! Considering I starting this project in October, I didn't think it would take that long....

Today is the last of the angel paper doll outfits. I wanted a festive, New Years gown and I happened to have the star & confetti graphic from a previous project.

I've also posted a PDF of the whole collection.  I'll be compiling this into a book at some point, like I did with the Santa and Mrs Claus set.

Right-click to download and print

And here's the link to the PDF file.  It's a horizontal file, so keep that in mind if you print it.
Thoughts? Did everyone enjoy this angel series?  I have to start thinking about next year's project and I have no clue what I'll do!! Then again, once I finished Santa up last year, I didn't know what I'd do next either.

I'll let everyone know when the book is ready.  Thanks for joining me on this crazy paper doll marathon!

Friday, December 30, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 30

Sometimes, I create something simply because it's fun to create it.  Today's outfit is that, pure and simple.  I've really enjoyed making a variety of patterns for this paper doll.  I thought it would be fun to make at least one more.  There was also an amazing head wrap on Pinterest that I really wanted to try.

So that's what I've got today. Something fun and bright.

Right-click to download and print

I wanted more bright colors, especially after yesterday's very bright outfit.  Aside from that, I had almost no plan for this.  Just something bright & pretty.

Tomorrow is it. It's been a fun month!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 29

At this point in the December paper doll project, I start losing steam.  My inspiration has waned. I'm feeling the time crunch.  It's definitely a paper doll marathon.

Today's paper doll isn't the most inspired.  Honestly, there are two reasons I made this doll.  One, I really liked the choir singer face from day 4.  And then secondly, I really liked Rachel's carolers.

Right-click to download and print

The colors here are really, really vivid.  I didn't really mean to do that, and I'm not entirely sure I like it.  There were a lot of muted pinks and greens in this series & I just got sick of it, I guess.  I may tweak it for the book.

Oh yeah, I'm totally going to make an angel paper doll book. I'll keep you posted.

Two more days...stick with me!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 28

For all of you parents out there -- how's winter break going?! We have a house full of toys, video games, visits from family & friends, and I think my kids are going to tear each other apart! My oldest is in first grade and my youngest isn't quite in kindergarten yet.  There's a bit of a maturity gap.  A gap that my oldest is exploiting to full effect.

As a stay-at-home mother, let me just tell you: teachers are not paid nearly enough!


Today I wanted to touch a bit on the "African" part of my African inspired angel paper doll.

Right-click to download and print

While wandering around the supermarket many (many, many, many!!) times this holiday season, I saw clementines everywhere.  Clementines just happen to be the only citrus fruit I genuinely like, so this is a good season for me.  I dunno what the deal is with oranges and Christmas, but that's ok.

Today's dress was inspired by clementines and a dress on Pinterest.

Don't talk to me about the practicality of a cape & wings.  I don't really care. It was a GORGEOUS dress and I wanted to do it and that's that!

I also wanted to do something that represented wax prints.  That's an article all about wax printing and it's worth a read. Basically the Dutch saw batik in Indonesia, developed their own (inferior) batik method and dropped it off in western Africa where it gained a following.  There's an intricate history of motifs & styles that I didn't really dive into.  Instead, I created a stylized clementine and make a pattern with that. I also fiddled with patterns & blend modes until I got some of the variation that is the hallmark of wax prints.

Three days til the end of this project! I'm happy to wrap it up but it's been a fun one & I'll miss it, too.