Friday, June 27, 2014

Paper Doll Convention 2014 - Raffle Paper Doll

This Friday I'm sharing a recent project instead of a fashion doll.  For those of you who haven't heard, the paper doll convention is currently going on in Richmond, Virginia.  I had hoped to go this year but leaving my little boys for a few days was a bit too complicated.  There's always next year!

After the 2014 location was announced, I was contacted by the convention organizer.  She had seen my work in the Paper Doll Studio magazine and asked if I would donate something to the annual raffle.  Every year there's a raffle and people donate various things.  I thought about sending a couple of paper doll books.  I decided on something better - an original watercolor painting!

I was thinking about Virginia and Southern belles and bell-shaped skirts when I thought of Virginia Belles.  I have here a Southern lady in Civil War era finery, painted in watercolors.  And it's tiny!  This image can't really convey the size properly.  Each image is about 4 inches tall and I used my magnifying lamp to get all the details.

I knew that I wanted to send an original painting, and that meant that I needed a perfect image.  I've become used to the idea of painting then editing in Photoshop.  That wasn't going to be an option here.  I started with large drawings and reduced them in Photoshop.  It's always easier to shrink an image than to expand it!  

Here are the sketches.  Each of the outfits were based on historical references - thanks, Pinterest! Once I finalized the sketches I scanned them and edited them in Photoshop.  I adjusted the fit and reduced the images to the final size.

Normally, I build a frame AFTER creating something, but in this case, I already had a frame. I spent some time as a picture framer and it's a skill that's come in handy over the years.  I measured the frame, mapped out the mat I wanted, and adjusted the image to fit those parameters.  After adjusting the image, I printed it at the actual size I wanted and traced it onto my final paper.

It was a wonderful challenge to paint something this small!  The results were worth the eye strain.  I may expand this into a complete Southern belle paper doll book at some point.

I forgot to take a picture of this all framed up, but if you happen to be at the convention, go take a look at it!

And maybe I'll make it to Tennessee in 2015!


  1. I hope you've both gotten back into the swing of things and that the dust has settled for you all! Sorry to hear you weren't able to make it to the convention in VA - You sure did send something special for the raffle! I love these southern belles and whomever wins that raffle is certainly a lucky one! Happy weekend! ~ Gabi

    1. Thanks so much! We're just about back to normal here, thankfully. I had decided before the car accident not to go to Virginia this year anyway. My mother, mother-in-law, and husband were all encouraging me to go. My sons are 4 and 2 and I just couldn't leave them for 4 days. The convention will still be there next year. I was so thrilled to be asked to contribute something - I hope to participate more next year!

  2. I also sent in a prize for the raffle. I wish I could be at the convention, but maybe next year (or the year after lol) This is very lovely and whomever wins it will very lucky!

    1. Thanks! One year we'll both get to the convention & have a coffee together :) I'd love to see what you sent...!

    2. I just posted my own raffle prize on my blog