Friday, September 27, 2019

Paper Doll Collaboration 2019 - Patterns

Here's another installment of the collaboration paper doll series! I'm not sure where everyone else is in the process - I know my schedule has been full lately - but I wrapped mine so I figured I'd post it.

This month the theme is patterns.  If you've spent any time on this little ol' blog at all, you'll see just how much I LOVE patterns! So this was a blast to put together! The challenge was black & white.  Most of the patterns I use are color but I had some cool monochrome ones and that's what I used here.

I went with a fall feel to this set even though fall hasn't completely set in here in New England. There's a chunky sweater, patterned skirt, jean leggings, plaid jacket, blouse, and patterned pants to mix and match.

Check out Paper Thin Personas and Miss Missy for more of this project!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

New Project in the Works

It's been ages since I posted! Not for lack of projects, rather, it's been a lack of time! I never knew how much time school aged kids & senior care could eat up!! My boys are absolutely in love with soccer - we have practices Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday and games on Saturday & Sunday.  Regardless, I've been up to all kinds of paper doll fun!

For anyone who hasn't already heard, I've been helping out with both the Paperdoll Review and Paper Doll Studio magazine! Sometimes it's minor art editing in Photoshop, sometimes it's creating a graphic header for an article... No matter what it is, I love the variety of projects!

My biggest project at the moment is a collaboration with David Wolfe!! You can read David's take on the project here and see some in-process samples from the forthcoming book.  It was such an honor to be asked and it's been a thrill to work on it! The basic outline is this: David created two paper dolls, drew all of the outfits for the dolls, and I colored them in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Because it can be hard to explain exactly how I work, I've put together a little video of my technique.
That video condenses down 45 minutes or so into a brisk speedpaint.  There's editing to be done after all of that, but it's a good run-through of what I did on most pages.

So why Sketchbook Pro?

I've known about Sketchbook Pro for a while but as of May 2018, it became a free program so I thought I'd check it out again. For the Stripes book, I really wanted a hand-made feeling but with all of the advantages of digital art.  Sketchbook Pro is easily the best natural media simulator I've ever used: it's lightweight so it starts up quickly and there's no lag time drawing, it's intuitive and easy to just jump right into, there's a built-in Copic color palette, and so many more features that I just haven't had the chance to try yet! I really love it.  And it only took me a couple of hours to pick up. I like ArtRage and will continue to use it, but for this project Sketchbook Pro was just the better choice.

I chose to work vertically in Sketchbook.  I usually work horizontally and zoom & pan as needed, but Sketchbook feels so natural that it just made sense to turn my computer.  Here's the basic work station - it can all be customized! At the top, there's a menu bar. On the left side, a tools palette and the Copic colors as well as one of the two brush pucks for adjusting brushes on the fly.  To the right, my layers palette. Sketchbook is designed for touch based surfaces and runs on pretty much everything.  I highly suggest checking it out!

That's about it for the moment. I have some Stripes edits to work on and I'll post this month's collaboration paper doll outfit next week. And soccer. Ugh. At least they love it!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Paper Doll Collaboration 2019 - Royalty

Another summer has come & gone! This summer felt both excessively long and exceedingly short, somehow.  There were days that I thought my boys would NEVER get along....and there were days that were far too much fun to be so short. My grandmother was sick at both the start and finish of the summer so that also presented some challenges....

Now that everyone is back in school (and, surprisingly happy about it!!), I should be able to get back into creating more. Today is the next installment of the 2019 Paper Doll Collaboration. You can see Miss Missy and Paper Thin Personas for more.

The theme this month is royalty. I'm not much of a royal watcher. Just never appealed to me. Princess Di was a big deal when I was a kid and I'm about the same age as her sons.  Aside from that, I don't have any real feelings on the matter. I do, however, love historical dramas.  Somehow I convinced my husband to watch The Crown, Poldark, and Victoria. And he loves all of those as much as I do! So for the royalty page, I chose a couple of costumes from Victoria.  One is a military outfit and the other a gown from an episode where she's holding court.  Both feature a sash and royal insignia.  I don't remember which episode either of these were from.... Definitely watch it, though. It's great! 

I'm off to see what Miss Missy and Paper Thin Personas drew for this month! You should too!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Paper Doll Collaboration 2019 - Beachwear and Dance

I missed the June collaboration post.... I felt awful about it and thought about rushing to post something, but then decided to wait.  Summer is tough for me.  The boys are home and I want to spend time with them AND work on my projects but sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day for everything.

So today I'm posting the June and July pages! Rachel & Melissa got there June posts up so you should absolutely check those out.

First up is beachwear for June.  I LOVE patterns but I found the black & white format of this dolls a bit tough for patterns.  Instead of going super elaborate, I went simple with a little strip accent on all the sets.  I'm a big fan of rash guard/shorts as a bathing suit. I spend my summers chasing two boys so practicality is high on my list of needs for a bathing suit!
The theme for July is "dance/ballet".  I love belly dancer costumes (I might make an entire book of them!!) so I wanted to have that.  I figured I'd add ballet in, too. I don't feel strongly about ballet.  In fact, I'm not much of a theater person in general. And most classical music is just not for me. But I took a crack at it anyway.  The tutus are meant to be worn over the bodysuit and the little top layers over it, too.

I will endeavor to (1) write here more and (2) post August on time! As I said, summer is just not a good time for me to work.  The boys are only little once and I want to enjoy it.  Anyway....Check out the other paper dolls in the series!!

Friday, June 21, 2019

100 Days of Paper Dolls - Sets 9 and 10

I have two more sheets in the 100 day day project.  They're my last (for now....) I had to stop at 50. There's been A LOT going on lately! I do plan on going back to it and when I do, I'll start from day 51 & continue. 

One of the things I've been up to is working with the team at Paperdoll Review magazine.  I've been helping with miscellaneous bits & pieces and I'm hoping to continue.  If you aren't getting this magazine already, take a look at my brief (and rough! ugh!) flip-through.  It's available at Paperdoll Review. I'm not really into vintage paper dolls all that much but I love this magazine anyway! Well worth it!! And I always learn something.

The other thing I want to mention is that the old blog here is SEVEN!! I think of the blog as one of my babies because it came about at around the same time.

Look at those faces! My oldest (who is now 9 and a half) is nearly as tall as I am.  My youngest (who is 7) is the main reason why I started the blog in the first place.  Motherhood was fine with one kiddo, but a tough pregnancy, a medication with depression as the first side effect, AND a round of post-partum depression left me in a bad place in 2012 with kiddo number two.  Sometimes I wish I had shared that then, but I wasn't ready.  This little blog and my internet friends helped keep me sane and active creatively when that was exactly what I needed even if I couldn't say it then. So thank you to all of you from the early days and all of you who put up with my more sporadic posting these days! 

And a lot has changed in 7 years! Sure, I post a bit less but that's because I'm doing more out in the real world.  I've had a book published, help out with a magazine, attended a terrific paper doll regional gathering, and joined a local paper doll group. And in my "real" life, I'm still raising two kiddos with my awesome husband and my grandmother moved in with us a couple of years ago.  At almost 89 with vision and hearing loss, she needs more help than she used to, so I handle that, too.  My hours get pretty full pretty quickly!


Here's a couple of paper doll sheets!

I'll definitely get back to this with a companion doll as soon as I can. And I plan on continuing with the blog even if it's a bit random at the moment. Thanks, as always, for sticking with me!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Paper Doll Collaboration - MerMAY

The end of May sure did sneak up on me!! I've had the worst cold - it came with a fever and 12 hours of sleep a night for the past few days. Pretty sure I've been pushing myself to hard.  It's the end of the school year and I'm in the thick of field trips, fun days, soccer, and end-of-the-year shows. Honestly, I love it but it does get a bit chaotic. And I love having the boys home for the least in June. Ask me again in August!!

Today's doll came together quickly.  Like, an hour and a half! I'm fairly quick but not generally THAT quick...

The swimsuit can be worn alone or under the tail.  The dress is meant to be seaweed and can be worn alone or with a tail.  It's not the finest sheet I've ever made.  There's a phrase I see occasionally that I sort of love/hate: finished not perfect.  I love the idea of taking something to completion and then letting it go - it's easy to fuss over something forever.  But I don't like the implication that you can complete something without giving it your best effort and calling it done just to be done. If I didn't feel this wasn't good enough, I wouldn't post it. I try to push myself to do more and try more. I encourage everyone to do the same!!

For more in the series, see Paper Thin Personas, Miss Missy's Paper Dolls, and Pop Culture and Paper Dolls!

Friday, May 17, 2019

100 Days of Paper Dolls - Set 8

If this sheet has a slightly 1940s vibe and not a more Neo-Victorian vibe, I blame it on Morgantown! I drew this sheet in my hotel room one morning and I think I absorbed a bit of the theme.

In non-paper doll news, today is the day I met my husband 13 years ago.  It's been a pretty happy run so far! He's far and away my biggest fan and strongest advocate.  And tomorrow is my birthday. Another trip around the sun and it's been a good one :)

I've decided to break this project up at the 50 day mark.  Days 51-100 will feature a new, complimentary doll.  That's on my agenda!!

To follow along, check out my Instagram....or join in the fun with #100daysofpaperdolls!