Friday, July 31, 2015

Akinyi, A Mix and Match Paper Doll

I've mentioned before that I've been working in Photoshop lately.  There's a style that I started working with way back with my Karl Urban paper doll and I've been refining it on & off ever since.  When I colored the Karl Urban doll, I used a Wacom tablet.  It's great, but wasn't quite what I wanted.  Since then, I've upgraded (with some challenges) to a Microsoft Surface Pro 3.  It provides a much more natural drawing/painting feel since I'm drawing directly on the screen.

Last summer, I pulled a tiny sketch out of one of my sketchbooks.  It was an older scribble, not great but interesting.  So I started playing around with it.  Eventually, I created 4 paper dolls that I thought might become my December paper doll.  They didn't, for a number of reasons.

Here's one of those sketches, complete with notes.  I write a lot of notes on my initial sketches -- sometimes it takes me years to come back to a project!

I liked the winter outfit sketches for these dolls, but it still just wasn't something I was interested in pursuing.  I needed a reason to work on these dolls.  I found this summer (so about a year later...) that a great reason would be to practice my ever-evolving Photoshop coloring technique and perfecting the use of my Surface.

To download, right-click and save image.  This is a jpg image and should print just fine!

I still wanted a mix and match doll.  I wanted to represent a broad swath of skin tones and ethnicities.  I also wanted to work with some patterns & textures that I recently acquired for a totally different project.  This is the first paper doll in the set.

I'm posting it as just the jpg but I may have a pdf at some point.  The four dolls in this set with have mix and match wardrobes on each sheet, as well as mixing with each other.  I may release wardrobe-only sheets after the initial four doll set is complete.

The coloring on these came out exactly the way I wanted!  The lines and anatomy....well, I have a lot more to say about that.  Maybe on Monday.

One last thing -- if there's any demand for this as a black & white sheet for coloring, I can do that.  Just let me know!

I promise, there will be more toddler paper dolls in the future.  I just needed a bit of a break!


  1. She looks wonderful Julie. I love her wardrobe and her face. Her lips are particularly compelling. Painting in Photoshop is something I have played with, but never really felt comfortable committing too. Perhaps because I don't have a tablet.

    1. Thanks -- I'm really happy with the Photoshop painting on this one! The anatomy is kinda weird, but I can live with it. Being able to draw or paint directly on my screen has made a huge difference and I don't think I could ever go back to a computer that didn't have a touchscreen & stylus.