Monday, October 14, 2013

Kawaii Doll

This was a tough one!  I have been sketching for days.... I thought a simplified form would be easy.  It wasn't!  I'm not totally happy with my dolls, but I'm going to go with it.  I think once I start designing outfits & themes, I'll like the dolls more.

So here's the process.

First, I sketched out a ton of images.  This is just the one sheet that survived!

Most of these scribbles could easily become a doll (and just might).  None of them were quite what I was looking for, though.

 So I kept drawing.
 It was getting closer....
 I initially tried drawing in a style that didn't feel like "me".
 The more I tried to draw like myself, and not someone else, the more I like it.
 Almost there....
That's the final scribble.  I took it into Illustrator and created a final image:

I wanted to have a boy and girl doll.  I was able to do that from the one sketch.  To create these dolls in Illustrator,  I drew the one side of the body I liked (the left) and reflected it.  It took a little tweaking and refining, but I got the two sides to line up.  To get the heavy outline, I combined the head & body shapes using the Pathfinder tool and then outlined the final shape with a heavier stroke.

Feel free to download & play around with those dolls.  My plan is to make 30 one-page theme dolls.  All outfits will fit all dolls, but each sheet will have a unique doll & outfit set.

I know this isn't as thorough a tutorial as I usually like to write.  I really struggled with this self-imposed assignment.  I'm still taking theme requests, so let me know your thoughts!


  1. I think they're darling... I haven't checked back here in such a long time, but I feel so happy to see so many new posts that I missed. I love these little guys. I think they're just darling and I like that I can imagine younger children, who might have trouble with detailed cutting, could both cut them out themselves and draw them lots of clothing themselves.

    I am totally jealous of your illustrator skills. Despite owning two books on the program, I just can't seem to teach myself to use it. I suppose I should take a class or something... Anyway, keep up the beautiful paper dolls. :)

    1. Thanks! I'm not sure I like the heads on these dolls, but I'm going to commit & just go with it.

      I love Illustrator. I've been using it almost every day for 5+ years. I took some graphic design classes, but a lot of it I just learned on my own. I can post some resources if you think that might help. I think, like anything else, it's just about putting in as much time as possible.

      And if you're jealous of my skills, I'm utterly amazed by your creativity! The most recent Flock fairy tale doll is gorgeous. I have such trouble coming up with themes!

      It's nice to see your life is returning back to normal :)