Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 4

We finally have spring!! Yay! Although I saw that next week it'll be nearly 80F so maybe we're skipping spring and going straight to summer....

I'm posting this a little early.  We should have our collaboration pages ready to go Friday.  After that, there's one more April sheet and then it's on to May.

Some weeks, the themes are easy and some weeks, it's a little tougher.  This week came together fairly well.  I have a slouchy shirt for "bridge", a dress with rad headphones for "music", a silky maxi skirt for "spots", a sort of tie dyed t-shirt for Earth, some practical twill pants for "walk", and a reusable canvas bag for "groceries".  I found I had some room on this sheet, so I added some mini black shorts that could easily be layered under dress & skirts as well as a mini denim skirt and a gold top.  The gold top goes with the maxi skirt but could easily work with other things. Apparently I really wanted things short this time around! All of the dresses and skirts are tiny!!

As I said, collaboration set goes up Friday and the last April sheet is next week.  For May, I'm going back to the January paper doll with a new color scheme especially for May. Should be fun!

Friday, April 20, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 3

I managed to get a sheet ready for this week.  After tinkering I discovered that I can still draw in Photoshop if I hold down the button on my pen.  That's an ergonomic nightmare and I'm not sure how long I'm going to be able to do that.  I tried out some different software and it just didn't have the capabilities I need.  Right now I'm so deeply entrenched in Adobe products that I'm stuck. If I change to something else, I lose a lot of assets and capabilities that I'm built up over the years.  Guess I'll muddle through for now til it patches or I come up with another plan!

For this week, I tackled "chart" with a pie chart skirt and a mix & match top.  "Villain" is a sleek black gown with a skull choker.  The hair that went with that was so fun that I did it with and without sunglasses.  "Gratitude" was a challenge - I found a symbol that represents gratitude and made it a pattern.  Then I made a top & skirt that was very slightly influenced by Tibet.  For "mountains" I made a well-worn mountain t-shirt and fur-lined jacket.  "Bed" is a set of pajamas.  And "ladybug" is a polka dot top.

There will be another set on Friday so look for that!

Friday, April 13, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 2

So....we're all friends here, right? Good. We need to chat. (If you don't want to read my rant, just skip to the end - the paper doll sheet is there!)

First of all, I am having an amazing year artistically. I'm more productive than I've ever been and I love it! My art has gained a little traction & a wider audience - all good news.  I was also asked to contribute to the 2018 Paper Doll Convention souvenir pack. (if you want a set, you can order it here.  I probably should!!) Pretty great, right?!

Anyone who has read this silly little blog over the years has contributed to this and I am forever grateful.

(Sounds like I'm quitting, right?! Don't panic. I'm not!!)

This week, I've been having some tech issues that have really affected my productivity.  I use a Surface Pro 3 with the full Adobe CC suite...and I pay about $800 a year for that "privilege".  Recently, Microsoft rolled out a Windows update that broke the way my digitizing pen works in Photoshop.  Adobe has not fixed it yet - I'm not the only one having trouble - and has not fixed it in the last six months or so that people have been complaining about it. It just hit me yesterday.  So basically, the only way I can draw in Photoshop is if I hold the button down on my pen while using it.  It's an economical nightmare. My wrist aches.  I may not be able to draw again until Monday!!

Essentially, this means my current year-long series is on hiatus until either 1) Microsoft fixes the pen software that it just rolled out (it probably won't) 2) Adobe patches the problem Microsoft created (more likely but not immediate) or 3) I find software to replace Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Acrobat (not Reader, the full version - I use it to format prints and books). 

The good news is that this does not affect the collaboration project.  I mainly use ArtRage for that and I think I can do everything in ArtRage that I would do in Photoshop.  It also does not affect new projects because I can plan to do those entirely in ArtRage at least for the time being.  And I may be able to get this all back up and running in no time.

I'd LOVE suggestions for professional-grade software.  Really not happy with Adobe at the moment. If I find a suitable alternative, I'll share that, too.

Til then, here's the second sheet in the April set.  I'm hoping to get back up on track soon!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

April Paper Doll - Set 1

It's April and I'm on doll #4 of this doodle-a-day series.  This is the final doll and then I'll start back with the January doll in May. Hopefully I can shorten my production time by re-using dolls! I like all of the dolls and re-using them throughout the year will be fun. I'm also hoping to fall into a more consistent posting schedule.  We'll see how that goes...

For April I knew I wanted two things: a dark-skinned paper doll and a bright, pastel color palette. The first theme for this set was Easter, so I went with a floral dress and hat.  Next was rabbit - a bunny applique sweater.  Garden is carrot patterned leggings.  Rain is a bright yellow raincoat.  Picnic is a plaid shirt with a basket and capri pants.  And finally, logo is a farm logo in pastels.

Also, I just thought I'd share that I have a paper doll in the 2018 convention souvenir packet! You can find out more here or here.  I am truly lucky to be part of such an amazing group of artists!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Paper Doll Collaboration 2018 - Then and Now

It's time for another round of the collaboration project! This month's theme was re-interpreting  an old fashion as a new fashion.  I wasn't really sure where to go with this, but I follow an author on Instagram - Lydia Edwards - who wrote a book called How to Read a Dress. I haven't picked up the book yet.  Based on her fantastic Instagram feed, I probably should! Sometimes she compares old and new clothing styles and that's where I started this project.

On the left, I have an Elizabethan gown, complete with ruffs at the neck and hands, circa 1575.  On the right, a Giambattista Valli gown from 2017.

This portrait was the inspiration for my Elizabethan gown. I wasn't super fussy about including all of the details.

And the contemporary gown.  Again, I wasn't super fussy with pattern, details, etc. I really wanted the overall similarities to stand out.

For more in the ongoing collaboration project series, go check out Rachel's contribution and Melissa's contribution!

Also, happy spring holidays to everyone celebrating! We're having Easter with my family and very much looking forward to it & getting rid of all the snow!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 5

This is it! The last sheet in the March paper doll series.  I loved the colors this month & although I wawsn't crazy about the doll at first, it really grew on me over the course of the month.

The themes for this set were fun, too.  For "icing" I made a drippy cake-inspired top.  "Can" I decided to go a bit more abstract - I went with a "can-do" attitude with a Rosie the Riveter inspired overall set.  "Stretch" is a basic pair of leggings.  "Hair" is a fur vest.  For "house" I went with a 1930s inspired house dress. "Dance" is a ballet inspired outfit.  And then "fruit" is a pineapple colored dress. Finally, there's a random skirt just for fun.

April will have a new doll, the last of the new dolls. I'm eager to get started on the new set and I'll have the first one up sometime next week! 

Friday, March 23, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 4

Every post I seem to start off with: "I meant to work on this but didn't......"  And I guess that's true today.  My posting has been a bit sparse but it's because I'm working on a bunch of stuff.

Today is set 4 of the March paper doll. I have one more sheet after this. Then I'll draw an April doll and cycle through the four dolls through the end of the year.

Right click to download and print

This doll was not my favorite, but the more I work on it, the more I like it!

For "roll" I made rolled up jeans.  "Spring" is a bright green sweater with a flower motif that coordinates well with leggings from the first set.  "Lettering" is a book lover's dream jacket.  And "treats" is a sweet shirt with cupcakes and ice cream.  "Space" is a star covered dress and solar system necklace.  And finally, "desk" is a business suite perfect for a corner office. I also included an orange skirt for some mix-and-match flexibility.

The next sheet will be the last sheet in this set.  I'm amazed that I've kept this up so long!! It's been a tough project.  I spend more time on this than I've spent on any other project for this blog!  It's worth it!!

Friday, March 16, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 3

So Saint Patrick's Day is tomorrow.  I'm Irish on my mother's side but we've been here so long I don't know if that even counts! I live north of Boston in a traditionally very Irish place. Saint Patrick's Day is a big deal around here.

Because of this, I went a little more Irish inspired with this wardrobe sheet.

Once I finished with the themes for this set, I realized I had a bit more extra space on the page.  I threw in a couple of mix-and-match pieces (the green top and white skirt).  Aside from that, there were some fun themes! For "screen", I went with the silver screen and chose a Marilyn Monroe style dress.  "Jewel" is a bold statement necklace and that matches the "butterfly" shorts.  For "make" I created an artist (naturally!!) and for "green" I made some green jeans.  "Rainbow" is a shamrock and small rainbow. Finally, for "fresh" I thought of gardening so there's a nice basket of fresh veggies.  With that top, I'd suggest NOT cutting the interior spaces. It won't fit the doll correctly if you do.

I'm hoping to post Monday but with yet another Nor'eastern on its way, I'm not sure about that. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Inking in ArtRage - Video

It's yet another snow day here in northern Massachusetts.  My kids are now wild.  Sorry, civilization, you lost!

Today I'm posting a video capture I took a couple of weeks ago.  It's me, inking a top in ArtRage.  It's about seven minutes long with no audio, no editing, and no commentary at all. It was an experiment to 1) see if I could do it and 2) see how long it takes me to draw.

I'm happy with the video.  It was cool to see that I could do it.  I may try to do this more - I may even learn to edit/add text, etc! As far as drawing goes, I've migrated almost completely to ArtRage.  I sketch and ink in that program now.  I could actually do ALL of my work in ArtRage, but I'm taking baby steps. (As usual, no one paid me to say that - I just love it all on my own!!)

So if you, too, are enjoying another Nor'easter barricaded in your home, here's a little video to brighten your day!

Monday, March 12, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 2

For those of you who don't know, I live in Massachusetts. We had two nor-easter storms causing major flooding and power outages.  We were lucky - we lost power for about an hour.  Most of my town was not so lucky! And we're preparing for a third storm tonight.

It's been a messy March!

Today I have the second doodle-a-day sheet.  The sheets this month have slightly fewer pieces. I can't keep the pace that I attempted in January and February - it was just too much! I don't think March is any less fantastic, however, and I hope you agree.

Right-click to download and print

This set was fun! I had to think outside the box a bit. For "fragrant" I went with a lemon patterned top.  "Throwback" is a retro skirt and plaid top with a '40s hairstyle.  "Begins with C" is a bright, modern coat.  And "female" I interpreted as feminine and made a neo-Victorian blouse.  "Morning" is a sunny yoga set.  And finally, "blooms" is a brilliant orange floral gown.

The shadows on the gown were tough and I'm not entirely happy with it.  And the black & white pattern was tough.  Overall, though, it's a set I'm happy with!

And the next set should go up Friday....depending on snow days, etc.  March has been brutal!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March Paper Doll - Set 1

Welcome March! My baby just turned 6 this month.  I don't know where the time goes....

How did he get so big?!

I started this blog shortly after he was born.  So I guess this is almost six, too!


I have the next doodle-a-day set ready to go.  I'm still working from the prompts at @ellolovey ( Instagram and Facebook). 

Follow along with me! 

I made a new doll for this month.  I think I'll make one more in April and then start cycling through. That means that doll #4 will also be the December doll - I'm taking this project through the whole year.

Right-click to download and print

Right-click to download and print

For this set, I went full-tilt Saint Patrick's Day.  She's a redhead with a green palette. I was debating about how to color this set.  I almost went with a tawny skin tone and dark hair but my February doll was sort of like that so I decided not to.  I can tell you that April will feature a dark skinned doll.

So this sheet covers days 1-5.  For "early" I made a dress with a crocus motif for early spring.  "Creature" is a graphic monster shirt. "Food and drink" is a beer on a green shirt.  "Compliment" was a bit harder - I decided to create a denim skirt and a pair of jeans since denim compliments everything! And for "woods" I used a stump and flower motif with matching leggings.

I'm trying to pare down these sets so they're a little less overwhelming for me and a little more regularly scheduled. So look for more sheets soon!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Paper Doll -Set 6


It's done! Just barely.... I really wanted to get this last sheet posted today.

Right-click to download and print

I REALLY need to streamline this whole process if I plan on making it a whole year!

This set features: weekend (track suit), begins with "a" (an A-line skirt), vases (patterned on a shirt), frame, dinos, and gnome.  Gnome was a tough one! So she got a polka dot cap, green tunic, and leggings.

I'm moving on to March.  I'm going to shoot for 5ish sets next month.  Need to tighten up the process. I recorded a little video of me inking one top from an earlier set and it took 7 minutes! Just to ink it!

Anyway, back with March in a few days. Let me know what you think of this crazy project of mine!

Monday, February 26, 2018

February Paper Doll - Set 5

Here's the next set for the February doodle-a-day paper doll. I think by May these will go a bit faster.  Drawing the base doll is pretty time consuming & my 2018 has been off to a busy start.  My plan is to have 4 dolls in rotation so the January doll will come around again in May, etc. This is the first time I've ever tried a year-long project like this.  It's ambitious and scary and overwhelming...and exciting and fun and a real learning experience!

Right-click to download and print

I streamlined this set a bit.  Initially I thought I'd break the month into groups with 4 or so themes per sheet. That's a lot! This sheet has six themes and the final sheet (going up tomorrow or the first...) will have six themes, too. All of these sheets mix and match really well because of the limited color scheme.

For themes, I tackled: cafe (barista apron), "in your bag" with a camping backpack, four legs features a cat, royal is a gown & crown, tall was tough and I went with a long & lean jumpsuit, and finally bit was really challenging - that's a bit out there with a monster/reptile mouth and reddish sleeve.

The last sheet is well on its way. Tomorrow or the first maybe it should be up!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February Paper Doll - Set 4

I have fallen WAY behind on this project.  You should not expect this to be finished before the end of the month.  I'm trying but, truthfully, this was a bigger project than I could handle this year.

And yet, I refuse to throw in the towel.  I will keep working on these dolls until every month is completed!

 Right-click to download and print
 Right-click to download and print

This set of outfits was fun! They all came together quickly.  For "pal" I made a top with a puppy on it.  Love was easy.  For "windows", I went with a stained glass window print on a skirt.  And "pencil" was a pencil skirt of course. It seems like each month is working out to be six or seven sheets which is a lot! I'll get to work on the next set!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Paper Doll Collaboration 2018 - Date Night

Welcome to the next installment of the Paper Doll Collaboration Project! This month really hit me by surprise! I've been beyond busy -- my grandmother (who moved in with us in October) is coming home from rehab today.  She broker her pelvis & has been recuperating. I've been visiting her twice a day every day for a month.  It's also school vacation week which comes with its own brand of crazy!

So "date night" is almost a laughable theme for me right now! Though, truthfully, my husband and I were able to go out and catch Black Panther (on opening night!!) because my parents had the kids. The costuming and effects, etc, are amazing.  I enjoyed it very much.  My husband felt is lack something in the plot and pacing.  We often disagree about movies!

Today's sheet features two date night outfits -- a comfy movie going outfit (complete with popcorn) and something a bit more fancy.

Right-click to download and print

I'm finding with this base doll that two outfits fit very easily on a sheet.  And I'm experimenting with text in a shape - I like how it looks!

For more in the series, see Miss Missy and Paper Thin Personas

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February Paper Doll - Set 3

It's been a while, I know! Things are going to go back to normal for me soon and I should get back on a more regular schedule.

For now, I have another set in the February series!

Right-click to download and print

Right-click to download and print

This set of themes were more more difficult than the last two.  First up is "match".  I created leggings with a pattern of matches.  Pizza is next with a two layer shirt.  Kiss is a skater dress with a smoochy pattern.  For t-shirt I created two: a basic white and a colorful dark.  Finally, for chocolate, I added a chocolate dipped fruit border to a skirt.

I'm shooting for a Monday post so we'll see if I can manage that! Check back!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February Paper Doll - Set 2

Obviously I'm still running a bit behind.  Today's set covers days 4 through 7.  Because this doll has a wider format than the January doll, I can't quite fit as much per sheet.  Or maybe it just feels that way!

Right-click to download and print

Right-click to download and print

The themes for this set were all over the place! Bowl - which I interpreted as bowling and created a retro bowling ensemble. Hearts - that was pretty straightforward.  For birds I reused the pattern from the mail set on page one.  And finally, I made a ship in a bottle for "bottle".

I'm still plugging away at the next set.  I have a lot of stuff on my plate for this week so there most likely won't be a page on Friday.  Maybe Monday depending on how my tasks go.

Friday, February 9, 2018

February Paper Doll - Set 1

I didn't really mean to start February quite so quietly here at the ol' blog but I've been dealing with some stuff.  My grandmother moved in with us this fall & had a pretty bad fall at the end of January.  She's fine but it's been a lot of back & forth to hospitals and rehab, etc, while assisting in her care.  We're eager to get her back home! So that's taken up some of my time.

The other reason it's been a bit quiet is because I decided to go big with this doodle-a-day paper doll project.  I'm going to draw a new doll for each month.  It's more work, but more work means more practice and that's a good thing!

I'm working from the February prompts from @ellolovey ( Instagram and Facebook).  This is the whole list if you'd like to follow along.

Right-click to download and print

Right-click to download and print

Just like the January set, this will have a limited color palette and everything should mix & match fairly well.  This sheet has the first three days: tiger, weather, and mail.  I'm hoping to get a bit caught up and further into the prompts over the weekend.  We'll see how that goes!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Paper Doll - Set 7

It's a little late but I managed to get the last sheet for January finished! I'm working on February now so look for that soon.  Hopefully I can get a little ahead on this project but I say that all the time and it never happens!

Right-click to download and print

Right-click to download and print

This set covers the 28th through the 31st. I had to place the outfits a bit out of order so that they would fit.  The themes are: vine, mobile, boots, and fairy.  The fairy is easily one of my favorite paper doll outfits ever.  Love how it came out!

February is on it's way so check for that in a few days!

Monday, January 29, 2018

January Paper Doll - Set 6

It's almost the end of January and I'm really close to finishing up the January series.  I'm definitely going to keep going! It's a tough project but I'm really enjoying it.

 Right-click to download and print

This set covers days 23 through 27.  The themes this time were: handwriting, mix, blue, socks, and mood.  Handwriting was an easy one - I added a handwriting graphic to the skirt.  For mix, I used a mix of patterns in a Gunne Sax inspired dress.  Blue was straightforward and I am SO glad I had a blue in my limited palette! For socks, I went with a plaid skirt and argyle knee socks.  And I thought emojis would be a fun way to express mood.

I'll round out this series on the 31st and get cracking on February! Come back for more!!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Paper Doll Collaboration 2018 - Fairy Tales

First, I will finish up the January paper doll series next week....and get started on February! I'm loving this little project! It's more drawing than I've done in a long time but that was kind of the point.

Second, who's ready for the next collaboration series?!

This year's collaboration paper doll was designed by Melissa at Miss Missy's Paper Dolls. Last year I had the privilege of designing the collaboration doll & it's fun to be on the other side of that.  All of the artists gave my doll their own little adjustments and so I did that this time.

Right-click to download and print

Melissa's style is more based on anime than mine is, so it was interesting to work with that style. I drew a new face (much like everyone did last year).  The doll was slim enough that I fit her and the first outfit on one page.

The January theme is fairy tale and although Alice in Wonderland isn't *technically* a fairy tale, it felt right for this doll.  I included a quote, too, to help with the composition. Those curls were a fun challenge!

For more in this series, visit Miss Missy and Paper Thin Personas!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

January Paper Doll - Set 5

Today we have the rare Tuesday post! I've posting these doodle-a-day paper dolls as I finish them instead of on a set-in-stone schedule.  As it is, I feel like I'm very behind!

This set covers days 18 through 21. It's a little less jam packed with pieces partly because the themes were a bit more challenging.

Right-click to download, print, and color

Right-click to download

The themes for this set were: row, warmth, cheese, hugs, and under.  For "row" I went with a rowing uniform and windbreaker.  "Warmth" is a pretty standard peacoat and jeans.  I struggled a bit with "cheese" and hugs but they came out ok.  For "under" I went with a slip in the same pattern as the pajamas for "sleep" and robe I made for "bath".

Stay tuned for the next round of outfits....posted whenever I finish them!

Friday, January 19, 2018

January Paper Doll - Set 4

This paper doll project is a marathon!! It's fun and I'm loving it, but it's a lot more time intensive than I realized!

Not stopping anytime soon!!

Today is days 13 through 17.  The themes are: suits, cans, wheels, paint, and denim.

Right-click to download, print, and color

Right-click to download and print

For suits, I wanted a bright, tweed-y suit.  Cans was a challenging theme and I settled on an Andy Warhol pop art soup can.  Wheels is a VW van.  Paint is a paint splattered dress.  Denim was easy.  There are two things I think of when I think of denim: my parents and Canadian tuxedos.  What's a Canadian tuxedo? It's a denim jacket with jeans, a jean-on-jean look.  My family is from the Vermont-Canada border and culture was a bit cross-pollinated.  My parents love their denim looks! The other thing I think of when I think of denim is Gordon Downie of the Tragically Hip.  He was an amazing musician and activist, and the hat is an homage to the hat he wore on his final tour.

So next week I'll get another sheet up as I finish it! I'm leaning towards having one doll for the whole year.  Maybe I'll change up the hair/face/skin.  Maybe I won't. I dunno.

Check back for more next week!!

Friday, January 12, 2018

January Paper Doll - Set 3

So I've made it through the first 12 drawing prompts from the January doodle-a-day suggestions from Rhianna Wurman.  It was sheer luck that I completed the day 12 prompt on January 12th! I'm not sure exactly what day I'll get the next set up - it might be Monday, it might be Wednesday.  We'll see how the weekend goes.

Today's set covers days days 8 through 12.  The themes are: bath, clouds, houseplants, circles, and something that starts with "l".

Right-click to download, print, and color

Right-click to download and print

For bath, I made a robe and head wrap to match the sleep set on the first page.  I made a cloud covered top and puffy hair for clouds.  And then there's a succulent covered dress for houseplants. For circles, I added an interlocking circle pattern to pants along with a circle necklace and circle glasses.  Finally, for "L" I made a leotard with leggings and legwarmers! 

Now that it's about the midpoint for January, what would you like to see for February: the same doll with a new color scheme or a new doll with a new color scheme? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January Paper Doll - Set 2

It was tough, but I got the next page in the series ready to go! I think I'm close to getting caught up or even ahead for January, so that's good.  Today's sheet features days 4 through 7 in the doodle-a-day challenge.

Right-click to download, print, and color

Right-click to download and print

The themes for days 4 through 7 are: penguin, fringe, sailor, and building.  I was a bit stumped for "building".  There was a vintage Pierre Balmain gown that I liked. He was a trained architect and the top reminded me of coffered ceilings, so that's how I tackled "building". A bit convoluted but it works for me!

So what do you all think of the new series? It's more ensemble and less mix-and-match than a lot of my previous sets.  We'll see how that plays out over the series...

Let me know what you think!