Monday, February 15, 2016

Gravity Falls - Mabel Paper Doll

Today is a surprise fan art kind of day!

We watch a lot of cartoons in my house.  A lot.  We've all come to love Gravity Falls on Disney XD and the series finale is tonight.  For anyone who isn't familiar, Gravity Falls is about a set of twins -- Dipper and Mabel -- who spend the summer with their great uncle ("Grunkle") Stan and help out in his roadside attraction/kitsch shop.  Strange and paranormal things happen in Gravity Falls. There are series-long mysteries, jokes, and codes to crack.  It's really an amazing cartoon.

I would love to create a paper doll for every character on the show.  Since I had about 3 days to create this from inception to completion, that didn't happen.  I stuck with Mabel because I love Mabel!

I started with a sketch of Mabel.  She is a nearly 12 year old girl who loves "girly" things but she's also smart, fearless, selfless, and has a grappling hook.  She's a great role model for kids: she's a good friend, a good sister, and true to herself. And she has a best friend, a pig named Waddles.

One thing I love about modern cartoons is the flexibility that computers have given animators.  Mabel is able to have a different sweater in every episode -- something that would be much more challenging in traditional animation.  For the sake of time, I didn't create every sweater or costume for the series.  Mabel has something like 70 wardrobe changes in the series!!

The first sketch is for the stock sweater & skirt wardrobe set.  The middle is a formal dress from a party episode and the outfit on the right is a Summerween costume.  I'd like to create all of these at some point in the future.

Right-click to save and print this image.

Feel free to print & play with this doll.  It's fan art so personal use only, etc, etc.... My cut out Mable will be watching the series finale tonight.  #TakeBackTheFalls!


  1. Fantastic. I've been pondering doing a Mable Paper doll myself, since I love all her sweaters. Great job!

    1. Aw, thanks! Mabel and I very much enjoyed the series finale last night! I got the idea to make this during the Gravity Falls marathon. I was going to make this a much bigger set, but narrowed it down for the sake of time. I'd love to make ALL of her sweaters but that would be....a lot.

      I really love Wendy but she doesn't have a lot of wardrobe changes. My sons are begging me for a Dipper set, so this probably won't be my only Gravity Falls set....

  2. wow! it's so cool to see something in a different style (i'm not familiar with the show at all, but i do recognize that adorable pig!)

    i love that you posted your process pictures as well. always inspiring!

    1. This was a very different style for me! I rarely try to emulate another artist's style (this is the fourth fan art/based on a cartoon paper doll I've ever made) and it's a nice exercise in looking at things differently. It's also great to think up, draw, and finalize a project quickly. Sometimes my projects drag on forever.......

      I post the process photos in part because sharing my process is a big part of this blog and also to show that yes, I have to put in the work, too. I sit with paper & pencil and draw before I get out my computer. Drawing is so important!! And I don't do it nearly enough.

      Gravity Falls is a surprisingly sophisticated cartoon. We all genuinely enjoyed it and I highly recommend it.

  3. I have never even heard of Gravity Falls, but I totally love that pig! So fun and cute.

    I also love to see process photos. I do think the whole nature of blogging is sometimes to create the illusion of spontaneity- "Oh I just decide last Tuesday to turn these packing crates into a coffee table." Like that happens...

    At the same time, I always wonder where the boundary is between sharing the process and doing nothing but posting photos of my sketchbook.

    1. The pig was fun to draw and well outside of my comfort zone!

      I love seeing sketchbook photos and sharing them. I'm kind of used to people looking over my shoulder while I draw, so why not have the world virtually looking over my shoulder, too?!

      For me, blogging is way more spontaneous than I should probably admit. It's 8:45ish on a Thursday night and I just finished my Friday morning post. I really need to get better about doing things ahead of time! But I agree with you: those staged, perfect Pinterest posts didn't just happen overnight with one take.