Sunday, December 31, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 14

Today is the last day of the Little Ladies paper doll set.  Overall, this set was ok.  Not one of my favorites, admittedly, but I'm happy I completed it.  I may color it at some point - I may like it better then.

My goal with every project (especially the more experimental December projects) is to learn something new.  With this set, I didn't so much learn something new as refine some things I already knew.  I've learned to really love ArtRage - it's a powerful program that is absolutely ideal for drawing.  I love it.  It's totally intuitive and it does many things better than Photoshop.  I highly recommend it (and, as usual, I'm not paid to say that. I really do love it.) and the price can't be beat. I've also been trying to pay attention to layout and backgrounds.  That's something I'm very happy with in this set.

Right-click to download and print

For those of you keeping track, this year's December set came out just shy of 30.  I have 14 outfit sheets and one doll sheet.  So technically it's 28 outfits and two dolls.  Not bad if you ask me!

If you would like to download the whole set, you can find a pdf of it here.

I'm not entirely sure what my plan is for 2018.  I have some projects in the works that I can't talk about just yet.  I also got a computerized cutter (Silhouette Cameo) for Christmas and I'll be experimenting with that. And, as always, I love suggestions! I'm even thinking about next December's project.  Never too soon, right?!

See you all next year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Paper Doll Collaboration 2017 - Winter Wardrobe

This is the last entry of the Paper Doll Collaboration project! I'm still amazed that we all found time every month to get this done! And I'm so happy with everyone's contributions. They're all so different & so unique.

Have all of you enjoyed it? Would you like to see more of this? We'll see what we can manage....

Here's my winter wardrobe:

I have said a million times that I'm from Vermont. I grew up riding on snow machines, ice skating, and generally bundled up from September to April. I wanted to include some of that in this wardrobe.  There's a snowsuit, complete with mittens & a hot beverage.  There's a more "flatlander" appropriate fur-trimmed coat and boots.  And, not to be forgotten, a toque.  (What's a toque? In Vermont, it's pronounced "tuke" and it's a tight-fitted knit hat.  Apparently it's a very Canadian thing, which I'm not surprised about at all....We all had at least one!)

To round out your collection, visit Paper Thin Personas, Miss Missy's Paper Dolls, and Pop Culture and Paper dolls.

To download my complete set, click here

And thanks for joining in on the fun! If you're downloaded the complete wardrobe, you should have 4 dolls with 48 mix and match sheets. If you've colored them or cut them out, I'd love to see them!

There's once more Little Ladies sheet and then I'm done for this year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 13

I hope everyone who celebrates it had a happy Christmas! My family has always had a loooong day on Christmas.  First, it's presents from Santa.  Even when I was a kid, that's what we'd do.  After that, cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Put on a new outfit & head to Nana's house.  When I was a kid, my Nana and Grandpa lived around the corner.  Now, my parents (the current Nana and Poppy) live 45 minutes away.  Still close in my opinion! We see them all the time and it's great!

My boys and I like to take selfies!! Here's our Christmas morning selfie.  My grandmother (who lives with us now) and my husband are less enthusiastic about it! I read on a parenting blog once about moms who avoid being in pictures or are so busy taking pictures that they're never in them! I refuse to be that mom and I take selfies WAY too much!!

Anyway, we had a great Christmas at home and with family.  Now for today's Little Ladies:

Right-click to download and print

This set is based on fashion plates from 1897 - I think that might be the latest year to date. I might modify the skirt on the right at some point. It's kinda boring, but I tried to be somewhat faithful to my source material.

Friday I'll have the last of this year's collaboration paper doll.  THAT has been a really fun project! So look for that!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 12

Merry Christmas to everyone out there celebrating! And Happy Holidays to everyone, too!

We had a quiet Christmas Eve and I was able to draw some beautiful fur trimmed outfits yesterday. I'm really happy with how they came out. I thought a set with fur would be very appropriate for a white Christmas - which we are having here in Massachusetts for the first time in years!

Right-click to download and print

Also, I solved my ongoing Surface pen problems. I ordered two different third-party pens, and I gotta say, I like them both better than the official Surface pen. One of them has a button that's pre-programmed to the eraser function in ArtRage and Photoshop, so that's handy. Hopefully these pens last for a little while...

Anyway, have a happy holiday! I'll be back with another set on the 27th! 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 11

There have been some challenges this month - a busy schedule, technical difficulties, and (admittedly) a lack of motivation.  I haven't been happy with every sheet in this series, but overall they've been pretty good.  Today's set is one that I really like and I'm glad I took the time to get it right.  I hate rushing but I hate falling short of my expectations & schedule, too.

Right-click to download and print

The asymmetrical button on the right set is one of my favorite details! I really like both sets today.

One more thing to note today -  happy birthday to my husband! I say it every year, but I wouldn't be able to be an artist without the support of my husband.  He's a constant encouragement & it means the world to me.

There WILL be a set on Christmas morning so check back for that!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 10

Today's outfit sheet almost didn't happen.  As a result, it got a bit rushed.

So we all know about my ongoing love/hate saga with my Surface Pro 3.  When it works, I love it.  Drawing directly on the screen is just the best.  I would LOVE a Surface Studio with the Surface Dial.  However.... when it isn't working, I'm very, very frustrated. 

On Monday night, as I was getting ready to draw this sheet, my Surface pen broke.  My THIRD Surface pen.  Thankfully, my dear engineer husband rigged it up to work for now and I ordered a replacement pen.  I'm trying a third-party pen this time around because 1) dropping a hundred dollars on new pens is starting to annoy me and 2) if it's a cheap pen and it works, great.  If it doesn't, at least I didn't spend a hundred dollars on it.

So that's my rant for today.

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I didn't include hats today.  These are evening dresses and I really didn't feel like drawing hair.  If nothing else, I try to be honest! And in that spirit, I want to tell you how much I honestly LOVE ArtRage 5! This whole series has been created primarily in ArtRage, and I couldn't be happier.  I sketch with the pencil tool, ink with the technical pen, and it looks great. One big thing I love is the flip function.  In Photoshop, if I copy and flip something, it flips on a weird axis.  In ArtRage, it flips my image more intuitively.  Pictures would help....maybe I'll write about it in the New Year.

Anyway...barring any more technical difficulties, I'll have another sheet on Saturday!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 9

There comes a time every December when I'm not sure I can finish.  It's tough to pull a month-long project off! This year has been no exception.  I'll give it my best!!

Right-click to download and print

These dresses are from 1874.  Many of this month's sets would be better as one-piece outfits.  I don't make a lot of those for paper dolls in general, and I really didn't want to for this project.  I love mix and match options! I've modified almost every set in this series in some way that's different from my source material.  And that's ok! It's a reference, not a perfect reproduction!

Anyway...come back for more on the 21st! 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 8

As I expected, I was a bit late posting this today! We had a nice party with many of my son's friends yesterday and I just didn't finish this. So forgive me if the lines are a bit imperfect today - I'll admit, I rushed a bit!!

Right-click to download and print

I should be back on track for the rest of this week. Hopefully! And remember, I keep this going til the end of the month so check back after Christmas, too!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 7

We're halfway through December! It's been a crazy busy month (like every year....) but going well.  Today is my oldest son's birthday.  How he got to be 8 is beyond me - I feel like I was still pregnant with him like a minute ago!

So happy birthday to this cool guy.  He's my mini scientist, rad selfie taker, and overall fantastic little man.  Happy birthday Noah :)

And now....another outfit sheet!

Right-click to download and print

I came across a fashion plate from 1885 that had these great dresses with asymmetrical top skirts.  They were so complimentary and gorgeous!

Remember to come back on Sunday for another sheet. I'm *hoping* to get it up early but we have two birthday parties on Saturday! I'll do what I can :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 6

I didn't realize until I was finished with this set that the fashion plate I referenced was from 1898.  The first set of dresses were also from 1898! Maybe I just like that year in fashion....

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My next set will not be from 1898! There are so many great fashion plate examples to work from that it can be hard to choose.  I guess that's good, especially for a project like this!

Is there a year in the Victorian era you'd really like to set represented? Let me know and I'll fit it in. Come back Friday for another sheet!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 5

December is as third of the way finished, which I find hard to believe! Also, I'm officially making these as-needed instead of well in advance!! Things got hectic and I fell behind.... I'm still confident that I'll be able to meet my deadlines, so you should definitely expect another set on the 13th!

Right-click to download and print

We've finally had our first snow here in New England.  From what I understand, pretty much everyone on the Eastern seaboard from Mexico to Canada got at least a little snow! Crazy!! We've got a lot ahead of us this month (two birthdays, Christmas, etc....) but this set is still a priority!!

Check back on the 13th and make sure I'm still on-task :)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 4

Winter is finally on its way to New England! December snow is nice -- just enough to cover the ground, have a white Christmas, etc.  March and April snowstorms are significantly less fun!  But there's something almost amazing about the first snow and it's coming this weekend!

Today's Little Ladies wardrobe sheet features fur-trimmed jackets and skirts from circa 1893. I took a few liberties with my source material.  I'm not always crazy about giant bows.... And the hats for this series have been a challenge....

Right-click to download

I'd like to say that I'm super far ahead in this project and they're all just waiting to be posted.  I'd like to, but it would be a lie! I always manage to pull it off, though!

Let me know what you think so far - there will be another wardrobe sheet on Monday!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 3

For today's installment of the Little Ladies, I wanted to make ballgowns.  I'm not totally happy with the skirt on the left.  I've said many times that "good enough" is sometimes adequate.  I'd like every drawing to be perfect, of course, but that just isn't how these things work!

Right-click to download and print today's Little Ladies sheet

These ballgowns are loosely based on these ballgowns. I may go back and edit the gown on the right.  I'm not sure yet.  In my reference image, the overskirt was all lace, but my wrist simply wasn't up for that challenge!

The next Little Ladies set will go up on the 9th - I'm running on an every/other schedule this year!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 2

So what did everyone think of the first wardrobe sheet? I liked drawing all the fussy details and I hope you all enjoyed it, too.  That's why I decided to keep these black & white this year - there's no way I could have drawn all the details on every set AND colored them and posted them on schedule.

Right-click to download and print

Today's set is based on this fashion plate from 1876.  Because these dolls are so starkly front facing, much of the awesome details I liked about my source material kind of get scrapped.  Oh well.  I like the pleats on both sets as a bit of a unifying element.

If I ever get around to coloring all of these, I'll go with a limited palette for maximum mix and match options.  If you're coloring at home, you might want to experiment with that, too!  And for more fashions, come back on December 7th! 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Little Ladies: Outfit Sheet 1

Today is the first wardrobe sheet for the Little Ladies paper doll project! When I first sketched this out, I didn't have hats.  Hats are a pain to draw, easy to lose when cut out, and generally not my favorite thing to make.  However, hats were crucial to Victorian fashion and I wanted a Victorian inspired paper doll.  So there are hats. 

Right-click to download and print

These outfits are based on antique catalogue pages I found on Pinterest here and here.  I don't remember where I found the hats... Anyway, these aren't perfect representations of the source material, but a reasonable interpretation. These are fashions from about 1898, if anyone is curious! 

Look for more in this continuing, month-long series on December 5th - remember, I'm running an every other day schedule this year!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Little Ladies: A Victorian Mix and Match Paper Doll to Color

Happy December!!

I LOVE making a December paper doll every year! If you're new to the blog (or just want to look at previous years) here you go: 2016 (an angel paper doll), 2015 (Santa and Mrs Claus), 2014 (holiday fashions in red and green), and 2013 (Kawaii Kids). I posted one in 2012, too, but it isn't my best and I've always wanted to revisit it.  Also, several of the previous December paper dolls are available as books. Check out and for all of my books.

And that's enough self-promotion for one day... here's the December set!

Years ago, I drafted a stylized paper doll that I wanted to turn into a steampunk set, but it never quite felt right.  There were things I liked about it, and things I didn't.  Ultimately, the sketch sat in a drawer until I decided to tinker with it.  I made some edits in Photoshop, redrafted and inked it in ArtRage, and suddenly, it was pretty good!

Right-click to download and print.  There will be a PDF at the end of the project! 

This whole project is loosely based on historical images.  These undergarments are less accurate and more my interpretation of several images I found. I envision the left doll as pale skinned and the right as darker skinned, but feel free to do what you'd like! I may get around to coloring this at some point....

These paper dolls are drawn almost entirely in ArtRage5.  I ported them into Photoshop for minor touch-ups and such, but really, ArtRage is doing the heavy lifting.  My sketches were created with the pencil tool and the final inks were done with the technical pen.

One more thing to note about this year's paper doll: I will be posting every other day instead of every day. I couldn't find a way to format these with just one set per page that I liked.  There will be two mix and match sets every other day and a PDF at the end of the project.  If you color these & you'd like to share, feel free! You can email me or follow me on Instagram (it's a mix of projects & personal photos - @juliematthews).

So tomorrow there won't be a post but there will be on December 3rd! Happy coloring :)   

Friday, November 24, 2017

Paper Doll Collaboration 2017 - Our Heroes

Can you believe this is the 11th installment of the paper doll collaboration project?!  I am so happy to have worked with these fantastic artists for nearly a year! It's been a fun project and (I know I say this every month) I really look forward to it every month.

This month, our theme is Our Heroes (Real or Imagined). Much as I love superheroes, etc, I really wanted to highlight a real hero. For me, scientists are truly heroes.

Scientists are remarkable.  I'm lucky enough to be married to one, and most of our friends are scientists.  These people are brilliant and literally saving the world.  Inventing medicines, saving the planet, visiting other worlds -- scientists do all of this and more in ways I can't ever hope to understand.  I admire them for their dedication to their craft and to bettering all of us.  So today I have a scientist.  And before a real scientist calls me out on it, I know that those shoes are DEFINITELY not lab approved!!

Go visit Paper Thin Personas, Pop Culture and Paper Dolls, and Miss Missy's Paper Dolls for more heroes!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 6 Color

Are all of my American readers ready for Thanksgiving?  Let me tell you, I am not!! I'm not hosting it this year but I still have plenty I need to do.  I'm bringing wine from a local vineyard, picking up pies at a local farm store, and grabbing the turkey from the local turkey farmer.  I'm doing one task each day (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) and my boys have a half-day of school on Wednesday.  Even though it's busy, it'll be fun!

Right-click to download and print

I went with a lot of pink this week! I like it and I think the stockings will mix well with previous pages.  It's not the most complex sheet and it doesn't have a ton of pieces, but I like how it came out.

Next week we'll have another collaboration set ready to go.  I may not have another Sarah until January.  I'm just not sure yet.... Anyway, have a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 6 Black and White

Today's wardrobe for Sarah is a little bit smaller and less mix & match on its own, but mixes well with other sheets.  I had a little less time to work on Sarah this week -- we found out that it takes most of a day to cut up a sixty foot fallen tree! But that's over and done with so no excuses now!

Right-click to download and print

The shorts and stockings look amazing together! Hopefully over one of the school vacations I'll have some time to print and cut out Sarah.  I love this little set! I'm still thinking about an alternate color set for Sarah if I get around to it.

I'll have this in full color for Friday so come back for that....and it's closing in on December and we all know what that means!! I'll have some Little Ladies ready for December!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 5 Color

I think I'm just about caught up on post-storm chores. We finally got to go Trick-or-Treating (it was rescheduled to Saturday, November 4th).  I still have a massive tree in my yard but we'll deal with that eventually.

There's my tree.  Well, the front anyway.  The roots pulled out of the hillside and it's a mess, but we'll get to it. Hopefully before it snows. I'm incredibly thankful that there was no damage to my house!!

And now that I've complained about my tree again, here's Sarah's wardrobe!

Right-click to download and print

I really like the crazy patterned shirt!  Every sheet coordinates well with the previous sheets & I really should print these out and see how they look! I'm also thinking about creating an alternative set of colors.  Maybe a doll with different hair, skin, etc.  Maybe in January!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 5 Black and White

I was not sure I'd get this post up in time.  We still have a rather large tree taking up most of our side yard and our furnace needed to be repaired twice.  Overall, though, we've been much luckier than a lot of people in the Northeast so I really can't complain.

We're pretty much back on schedule here, thankfully.  My kids have two days off this week, though, so it's definitely going to be a bit loud!  My grandmother has settled in nicely & seems very happy in the chaos of my house!

So today Sarah gets a fall wardrobe.  This sheet is a bit more crowded than I had intended.  I really can't put two long-sleeved shirt on one sheet!

Right-click to download and print

I'm still drawing the December paper doll set...which is coming along well but not quite fast enough! For now, though, Sarah's set will be in color on Friday, so look for that!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 4 Color

First of all, I hope everyone in the Northeast has recovered from the recent storm.  We lost power around midnight Sunday night/Monday morning and finally got it back Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, again, around midnight.  We have a tree down that missed the house & landed in an empty spot in our yard!! And this was after we spent the weekend moving my grandmother from Vermont to my house in Massachusetts! It's been a long week, to say the least.  If I'm a bit behind on my posting next week, it's because we're still sorting things out here.

Everyone is safe and warm, and really, that's all that matters!

Right-click to download and print

Today Sarah has a casual wardrobe, in full color.  I went with a lot of neutrals so that all of these pieces will work well with previous wardrobe sheets.  I really like the grey & I hope all of you do, too.

I'll try to have another sheet up on Monday, so check for that!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 4 Black and White

Tomorrow is Halloween! I love Halloween.  This year, my dad is passing out candy at my house with my grandmother (who just moved in with us), while my husband is going out trick-or-treating with me & the kiddos.  Should be fun!! If you're looking for Halloween paper dolls, there are a bunch here.

For today, Sarah is getting some casual clothing to mix and match.

Right-click to download and print

Those are supposed to be jeans and a jean skirt, but go ahead and color them however you'd like!  On Friday (which is somehow NOVEMBER! When did that happen?!), I'll have the color version posted. 

Til then, have a happy, safe, fun Halloween!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Paper Doll Collaboration 2017 - Vampire

Autumn is the reward we in New England get for putting up with the other three seasons here, and this year is no exception. I love October - I was married in October (ten years ago, in fact!!).  It's a great time of year.

And Halloween! Who doesn't love that?! My kids and I are really excited about Halloween.  It's easily my favorite holiday of the year.

So this month, we have some spooky additions to the collaboration paper doll.

Let me first say that this was a feat of formatting finesse! It was not all going to fit.  I was just sure of it....and then, somehow, it did! So I'm pretty happy about that. And the crazy ruffles.  I just love drawing ruffles right now!

For more haunting costumes, check out Paper Thin Personas, Pop Culture and Paper Dolls, and Miss Missy's Paper Dolls.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 3 Color

I've got another color sheet for Sarah and her expanding wardrobe! Sarah has been fun - much simpler and less fussy than some of the previous projects.  Not that I don't love them (Josephine is great and I'll probably go back to that at some point) but sometimes it's nice to have a simple project.

Right-click to download and print

I loved that grey pattern so much I used it twice! The colors for this set are really nice & I enjoy working with them every week. It's nice not to think about color at all, to just use a limited set and that's that.

Also....I mentioned on Monday that I've been working on the December dolls.  Yup. Dolls.

I'm tentatively calling these Little Ladies and they're getting frilly Victorian/Edwardian frocks for the month of December.  They're probably going to be black & white but it really depends on what kind of progress I can make on them.

You have to wait til December for those but come back Monday for more outfits for Sarah!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 3 Black and White

Happy Monday! I'm not a Monday hater.  Some people are -- my kids sure are! But me...I never really had a problem with Mondays.  In fact, I kind of like the beginnings of things, enough so that sometimes finishing things becomes problematic!

This week I have both started and finished something, so that's good!

Right-click to download and print

Today's set features a dress, something I don't do very often.  I love mix and match wardrobes and a dress doesn't fit well with that concept.  I figured that this is going to be a large enough set to accommodate a dress or two.

Friday I'll have the color set ready to go.  I'm trying to get ahead on this set because I've already started the December set!! Let me know if anyone is interested in a preview.....!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Tutorial: How to Make a Sparkly Dress in Photoshop

Did everyone get their copy of Paper Doll Studio magazine?  If not, you can grab it here.  I highly recommend it -- that cover artist is a pretty cool lady from what I hear!!

OPDAG - Paper Doll Studio Magazine Issue 118 - Click Image to Close

In all seriousness, though, I'm so happy to have been asked to contribute.  Really a great experience and I've been thrilled to see how many people love this issue.

One thing, though, that I'd like to correct. On page 35 I am quoted as saying that I created my Little Rock dress study in Photoshop "with a variety of digital painting methods."  Yup, that's what I said.  And you know what? I think I can do better than that! So today, we're going to take a look at how I made that dress.

First, I start with a super rough sketch. I made this quickly, with no reference, so don't judge me too harshly!

I scribbled this in ArtRage, which has become my sketchbook, really.  I still draw on paper, but more often, it's in ArtRage and then on to whatever I need (more ArtRage, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc).  In this case, I'm using Photoshop.

Here's the file in Photoshop.  My bottom layer is just a white layer so that I can see what I'm drawing.  Above that at 50% opacity is my sketch.  And above that is my lines.  I use a custom oval brush to draw my lines but you can really use whatever you're comfortable with. I like a slightly tilted oval shape to create some of those naturalistic line tapers.  It's important NOT to draw right on top of the sketch.

Once your lines are drawn, use the Magic Wand tool to select OUTSIDE of the lines.  You need to make sure that your lines are closed or this won't work.  If you find any gaps, fix them and select again.  Once the outside is selected, go to Select>Select Inverse.  This will select the interior.  While your selection is still active, go back to Select>Modify>Contract and make it 1px.  This will prevent either blank pixels inside the fill or bleeding over the lines.  It isn't strictly necessary, but it keeps my art a little cleaner, so I do it.

Now that the color is blocked out, we're going to take a slight detour and create a seamless pattern fo the glittery parts of the dress.  Again, this isn't strictly necessary.  You could just draw squiggles on a new layer and call it a day.  I like to create a seamless pattern so that's what we're going to do.

Create a new file in a square format.  Mine is 900 pixels square.  I find using a square format is the easiest way to create a seamless pattern but it certainly doesn't have to be a square.

Add a layer above the background layer and draw some squiggles.  Once you're happy with that, go to Filter>Other>Offset filter.

Enter in HALF of your canvas size in the horizontal and vertical values.  I use 450 pixels because my canvas is 900 pixels.  Click on OK and go back to your image.  If you have obvious gaps (it'll look like a white cross running through the middle of your image), then draw in more squiggles in the gap.  When you're happy with that, turn OFF the white layer, select all of the squiggle layer, go to Edit>Define Pattern.  Now you have a squiggle pattern for your dress! Go back to the dress file to use it.

You can apply your pattern a few different ways. I'm going to apply mine as a clipping mask.  Photoshop doesn't allow for multiple pattern fills in the Layer Effects menu, and, ultimately, I want to add a pattern (glitter) to this squiggle pattern.  Using a clipping mask is a pretty good way to do this.

Add a new layer, using the paint bucket to fill the layer with the pattern.  Remember how I said to turn off the background layer before creating your pattern swatch? This is why.  The background of the pattern needs to be transparent.  Right-click on the pattern layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. This hides all of the unnecessary parts of your pattern and you can adjust the pattern layer with the Move tool (scale, rotate, etc) until you're happy with it.

Now here's the fun part!

I'll use the Layer Effects menu to make this all glittery.  With the clipped pattern layer selected, click on the little FX button in the Layer panel.  Select Pattern Overlay.  If you don't see all of the other layer options, just click on the FX button and select show all.

I'm using a glitter pattern that I made in ArtRage, but there are loads of resources available.  There are free glitter patterns here and paid patterns here. (Just as an aside: I do NOT get paid to recommend products or anything.  I'm suggesting these because I use them myself & I'm happy to share them.)

Next, add a color overlay in the same color as the dress. I select Color as the blend mode.  This give the glitter layer a slightly lighter blue than the dress.  Play around with the blend modes until you're happy with the results.

Finally, I like to add a small, hard bevel to the pattern layer.  It makes the pattern look slightly raised and I like the effect of that.

And that's pretty much it.  Sometimes I'll make the dress fill a gradient.  In the Little Rock example, I also added a highlight layer where I used a starburst brush to create the sparkly bits.  It can really get as complex as you'd like (or have the patience for!!).  I suggest keeping each part on its own layer (color fill, pattern, highlight, shadow, etc).

On Monday I'll have another Sarah set ready to go so look for that.  Any questions about this tutorial, feel free to let me know!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Josephine Out in the World

Every once and a while, I get a request for paper dolls.  Sometimes it's a custom order (which you can do on the Etsy site).  Sometimes it's a suggestion for a theme or a doll or something of that sort.  And I only do those if I'm feeling up to it.  Not every theme is for me and, well, this blog is my pet project and I do what I want with it!!

I really love requests with an education angle.  Some of the Kawaii Kids were used by a school a few years ago. And I created a custom order for a school teacher with paper dolls in business wardrobes.  I loved that one! Today, I'm sharing some images from an event which utilized Josephine.

I was contacted about using Josephine as part of a women's ministry activity.  And the pictures are great! Lola Lewis of the Lincoln Park Community Baptist Church out in Columbus, Ohio made the request & then was kind enough to share some pictures from the event.  These are just a few.

Ms. Lewis sent me just the sweetest email about the event! The ladies had a wonderful time cutting out & dressing Josephine and even introduced some of the teens there to the "lost" art of paper dolls.  A great time was had by all & I'm so happy to have had a small part in that.

As a random side-note, Josephine is ranked in the top million books on Amazon so feel free to grab a copy and bump that number up!!

So thank you again for sharing these fantastic images! And if anyone has images they'd like to share of my paper dolls past & present, I'd love to see them!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 2 Color

Sometimes, I have little to share on the good ol' blog.  Other times, I feel like I have all the things to share! This is one of those weeks where I have lots to share & write much, in fact, that I'm going to spend next week doing just that.  So instead of a Sarah set next week, I'm going to have a few other random things to post.

Today, however, Sarah's second wardrobe sheet is in color and ready to download.

Right-click to download and print

Every week, I like the color version better than the black and white version! I like Sarah but she isn't my favorite paper doll ever.  We'll see how long this lasts...maybe til December when I have the month-long project.

Speaking of December.... I have an idea in mind, finally! But I want to know this: what's the preference out there -- a black and white coloring set or a full-color set? I haven't actually started it yet, just looking for some thoughts on the matter.

Pop by next week for some random things that I've been up to! Til then, enjoy the Sarah project!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 2 Black and White

Over the weekend, I went to Vermont.  My family has lived in northern Vermont for literally hundreds of years, but the time has come for my grandmother to leave.  She's coming to live with me & my family this month and we started packing and organizing her things.  It's a tough task and I'm very happy that we're doing it now with her input instead of later without it.  The stories alone have been fantastic.

Anyway.... today I'm posting another wardrobe sheet for Sarah.  It's also Inktober which I  always swear I'll participate in and somehow never get to it.  Maybe I'll catch up this year and jump in the game!

Right-click to download and print

Check out those ruffles!! I figured out how to draw ruffles ages ago and now I want to draw them all the time. 

On Friday, I'll post this in color!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Paper Doll Collaboration 2017 - Fashion from the Year You Graduated

Today is the ninth (!!) installment of the paper doll collaboration project.  I'm so glad we've been able to pull this off! It's been a lot of fun and I look forward to it every month.

This month, we're working on fashion from the year we graduated.  I chose to illustrate the year I graduated high school.  Now, I just want to make this clear: this isn't how I dressed in high school! The way I dress now is not all that different than how I dressed 20 years ago....not really sure what that says about me! I like jeans, tees, cardigans -- pretty simple stuff.  And I was never trendy!

Here's how I interpreted 1998 -- I went straight to a Delia's catalogue! Remember those?! I was never really cool enough to buy stuff from Delia's.  And it was too trendy.  There's one specific type of tank top that was popular and I included that.  My sister (who lives to be trendy, even now) had this tank in about a zillion colors, most of them striped.  Long skirts with chunky platform sandals were popular, too, and those stupid bandana tops.  Finally, I've got cargo pants and some crudely draw Doc Martens. To top it all off, I've attempted to draw the Rachel haircut, because we all knew at least one girl who had it!

For more blasts from the past, visit Paper Thin Personas, Pop Culture and Paper Dolls, and Miss Missy!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 1 Color

One of the things I'm excited about with this new series is the limited color palette.  Somehow simplifying my choices makes things more interesting! And it'll make mix & match more fun as the series progresses.

Right-click to download and print

Since it somehow feels hotter in New England in September than it did in July, I decided to start with some summery mix and match outfits.

Next up is another collaboration set for Friday!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sarah's Simple Wardrobe - Set 1 Black and White

Planning is not always my strength.  I'm not the kind of person who produces posts well in advance, though I admit, I want to be.  As a result, sometimes I can't keep up with my own blog! Really need to work on that....

This week, my Surface pen stopped working.  Not really a surprise.  It's my second one and I am hard on those!! Anyway, it had me down for a couple of days and away from my computer.  My mother jokingly asked me if I've forgotten how to draw on paper.  The truth is, I feel like I have!

Right-click to download and print

Today I have the first black and white sheet of Sarah's wardrobe.  I'll admit, I owe a bit of a debt to Irma at Pabernukublogi stylistically. Her layouts are always beautiful and I'm trying to think about layout a bit here.

I am going to try to post the color version of this Thursday with the next installment of the collaboration project on Friday.  I'll be in northern Vermont this weekend and away from my computer, but feel free to send me some love and I'll see it on Monday!