Catwalk Couture: Tome [Plate 18]

I don’t know why Tome seemed like a good idea at the time that I actually drew these dresses. In retrospect they’re not terribly interesting. Maybe I was just looking for something simple. I tried to perk up the dress that Ifu is wearing on the left a little. It was originally a sort of dull brown color.

I don’t doubt my bias toward the men also played into this, but I’m going to do some Balmain for the ladies next. Hopefully that will even out the score. Balmain makes lots of amazing women’s clothing too, after all!

It was Balmain’s clothing for Cookie on Empire that actually inspired me to want to do modern fashion paper dolls in the first place.

I guess the other thing I liked about Tome was just the clean lines on the dresses; sometimes simplicity is nice. This is my idea of simplicity with style. When I see women in cotton sacks that hang from their shoulders–that’s not simplicity to me; that’s farmwear.

Tome has a lot of form-fitting clothing that I think would flatter most body types. The knit dresses maybe not so much (honestly, who can wear those unless you’re skinny as a q-tip?).

But I think, for example, the dresses on the colored plate here would/could look good on pretty much anybody. That’s a nice thing even if my models are rather idealized.

I’m not good at making different body types for my paper dolls and I know that’s a shortcoming, but I’d also mostly made my peace with it. So I want to at least be conscientious about what they are wearing. You will not likely see any shoulder-hanging sack dresses here ~ ha!

I still have done nothing to remedy the fact that I am out of plates for this series and haven’t managed to get anything else going. I’m hoping to get to work on the Balmain stuff for the ladies (and right soon), and I have no idea what I’m doing next for the men. Might do something simple like a mixed swimwear page for everybody.  It’s summer, why not?

Next: more jackets and boots from Balmain for the menfolk!

[click this link or the black & white plate  to download a printable .pdf]

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Catwalk Couture: Balmain [Plate 17]

I didn’t leave myself enough time to paint this week’s plate, so I slapped some color on this in Photoshop. Will have to go back and replace it when I have a chance. Just didn’t want to miss an update since I managed to draw this at the last minute. Miracles do happen!

This is probably the first of many Balmain plates. This is a designer I absolutely love. A lot of it borders on costume rather than practical everyday wear, but somehow it manages to pull off a lot of glam and still look sophisticated in some way. Balmain does a lot of stuff in black that I adore, but also has some startling bright colors in the mix now and then.

I decided Niall would definitely be on the “bright colors” end of the spectrum. I tried not to pick all black stuff for Lonan, but yes, here’s another pair of black pants. Of course, with the uncolored plates, you can make them whatever you want: denim, fuchsia, marmalade–just go for it!

The pattern on Niall’s jacket is definitely an approximation. I started out trying to be faithful, but when the shapes get that small, I tend to give in to my laziness. That jacket is actually beaded, which is insanely impressive when you see it up close. It probably weighs a ton.

I gave them both sandals for this plate (so they are kind of Spring/Summer still). The next plate for them will have more cool jackets and boots instead.

Totally love the fussy details on all of Balmain’s stuff, though it is painstaking to draw–even when I’m fudging it. I probably can’t do many of these items justice, but they are fun to try render.

At this point in my life I don’t know why I am still so surprised how easy it is to fall out of the habit of drawing regularly. And how once you do, it’s all that much harder to get back into it. I’m going to try to get back on a schedule of making sure to always incorporate it into my week.

Lastly, a big Happy Mother’s Day to all you fine mothers out there!

Next week: more from Tome for the women.

[click this link or the black & white plate  to download a printable .pdf]

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Catwalk Couture: Tome [Plate 16]

This week some toned-down styles from New York designer Tome. I never quite know how these plates will come out.  Sometimes the clothes look fabulous in the pictures but not quite as exciting as paper doll pieces. I did two plates of Tome and I think they both look flat. But I’m sharing them anyway!

And yes, I cheated a little because Xia’s hosiery and shoes are actually on the next plate even though I included them in the colored example here. I also would like to point out that these stockings ended up being thigh-highs instead of full panyhose/tights because they wouldn’t have fit on the plates otherwise. They can still be used to mix and match with other dresses and skirts, though. I don’t think I have drawn anything yet that is so short as to not cover the tops.

These are the colors of the original dresses.  You can probably come up with schemes to make these a lot brighter. Again, color and I have our good days and our bay days. I do the best I can with what I have.

This is the end of my buffer on this set, so I might be scrambling in the coming week. I just haven’t had sufficient focus to draw and that’s put me very sadly behind. It’s frustrating, but you can only do so much with the time and energy you have.

Still, I cleared off my desk this weekend and hopefully that’s a first step toward getting organized and being able to narrow down my concentration.

I’m also looking to buy a new computer this summer and doing that conversion is always incredibly painful for me. I’m going to try very hard not to drop off the face of the earth, but there’s a good chance the posting will get even more sporadic. I don’t want to drop the blog, so I might just change gears a little while I make transitions.

In the meantime, I do have some Star Wars plates to post, and I will push myself to pull a plate together for the guys. I have absolutely zip at the moment. And since I haven’t been painting my Klondike dolls like I hoped to be doing, maybe I can get Judy back on the docket. She’s always easy because she’s so low-pressure. Some days I wish I was just doing everything with a black pen and nothing else!

Lots of fire, too many irons.

Pretty much the story of my life.

[click this link or the black & white plate  to download a printable .pdf]

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Catwalk Couture: David Hart [Plate 15]

I probably have said it before, but it bears repeating: I really strongly (strongly) dislike spring/summer fashions. Maybe especially on men. So pulling this one out was real work for me.

I don’t hate the plate, really. I actually like their tropical shirts and they were fun to draw. The shorts and the shoes, though. Ugh. Give me the willies. I’m pretty sure Lonan hates them too (though he looks good, so there is that). Niall, on the other hand, definitely strikes me as a summer person and I’m sure this is not the last of the khaki we’ll see on him. That polo shirt totally makes my skin crawl!

I have been horrendously busy and neglecting this blog, which means I’m coming to the end of my couture buffer with no backup in sight! I’m hoping to double-down on my drawing efforts in the next few weeks, though, but posting may continue to be sort of sporadic. Summer is always a struggle, I guess.

And once again, it’s not for lack of reference material, that’s for sure. My reference folder is so out of control I could probably ignore the fashion sites for the rest of the year and never run out of material to work from.

I’d like to randomly point out, as a matter of process, that Niall’s awful shirt is the same color as Ifu’s dress from last week. This is because I mix all my own colors from a palette of alizarin crimson, indigo, and yellow ochre. Then I mix those and use Payne’s grey, sepia, and white to modulate the tones.

Aside from the crimson, technically these aren’t the colors you should mix with (bad color theory!), but I like them. It does make it hard for someone as lazy as I am to get a lot of particular shades. I still can’t make purple at all (which is why you never see purple here). I taught myself to paint with gouache that my dad got from some sign painter when I was a kid. Still have his tubes 20+ years later and the pigment is still good. So this is to say: all of my habits are bad and I probably work twice as hard as I should on this stuff.

One of my goals this summer is to make purple. Maybe add proper yellow to my palette. And proper blue as well. And maybe then the painting won’t be so hard. We shall see.

Next week: fashion from Tomé for the girls.

[click this link or the black & white plate  to download a printable .pdf]

 

 

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Geneviéve: As Eponine

This month’s theme is literary! Picking my favorite book character was easy. It was always going to be either Eponine from Les Miserables, or Haydee from the Count of Monte Cristo. Haydee would have been more exotic, but Eponine won out. It was easier to draw gutter 19th century French clothes than try to do justice in short order to 19th century Turkish royalty. I would have had to Google it to death.

I hope you enjoy these outfits. You have Eponine’s day wear with a long belted wrap, and her outfit for sneaking through the barricade. She disguises herself as a boy to get a message to Cosette (who didn’t deserve it). And her actions have tragic consequences.

Find more theme outfits to match this doll at the following fabulous blogs:

This collaborative doll is posted at the end of each month throughout 2017. There’s a new theme each month!  To find all related posts on this blog, just click the “Geneviéve” tag.

[Click on this link or the picture to download a printable .pdf plate!]

 

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Catwalk Couture: Marchessa [Plate 14]

Where have I been? So terribly busy! Good stuff, but no time to tend the garden here despite having prepared a buffer of material in advance. But my schedule is opening up and hopefully I can gt back on track in some fashion in the coming week (pun intended).

To get us back in the mood, here are some jewel-toned gowns from Marchessa! Ifu’s dress on the left is fairly accurate to the original color, but Xia’s on the right was actually that pale bright yellow that’s all the rage right now. I decided to change it since Xia’s Oscar’s dress was already that shade (and it’s a color I’m not that fond of). Anyway, I much prefer this rich golden tone instead.

I also realize that I desperately need to make more hairstyles for the women. I’ve still got a handful of plates to post that have been done since March or early April (I forget). So it might be a while before I get to offer up more hair options for these lovely runway models.

I also have failed to make a decision about what to post next. I fell behind on the Klondike paper dolls in the last couple of weeks, but I might be getting back to them. Also, I still have lingering Star Wars dolls to post. I’m just so disorganized.

As I said, though, things are settling down. Hopefully I can focus on what I want to do and get some regular posting going on here again. I hate falling out of sync with this blog because it’s hard getting the momentum going again.

But I’m going to try to post at least a couple of times this week. Even if it’s stuff about paper dolls and not actual paper dolls themselves. I’m no good at “how I do stuff” kind of posts, but I can definitely share things I love that other people do!

As always with this series, if you want to make suggestions or recommend a designer, I’m game for that. Couture is certainly a bottomless pit of possibilities!

Next up on the catwalk: something a little more “Springtime” for Lonan and Niall!

[click this link or the black & white plate  to download a printable .pdf]

 

 

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Catwalk Couture: Ralph Lauren [Plate 13]

This is one of my favorite plates.

Both because I managed to work in some unusual patterns/textures that previously I would have chickened out on, and also because it’s another great example of the difference between these two men’s styles even with the same designer.

Lonan’s geometric-patterned jacket isn’t quite exact, but I still like the way it came out. And Niall’s long sweater looks like something I wouldn’t mind curling up with on a winter day.

And I managed to fit everything on the plate without it looking too insanely packed. All wins!

As I’m painting, I’m seeing the mix-and-match possibilities between the designers and that’s pretty fun too. I’m trying to be very deliberate in not making things very similar (black pants on Lonan notwithstanding). So these two are gradually developing an interesting array of shoes and tops and jackets.

This is much easier with the women. With the men sometimes I really like something but it’s just too similar to something I’ve already done. So I end up skipping it in favor of something a little more unique.

I promise their next plate will be more appropriate for the season–and very colorful!

While I’m waiting for fresh inspiration to strike for to resume Judy and I have my last Star Wars plates on hold because I’ve falling down on sending them first to a friend, I may be updating/reposting some old paper dolls from my old blogs.

This is a busy month and I just haven’t made much progress on new stuff unfortunately. The Klondike dolls are done but I haven’t had a chance to paint any clothes for them! So expect to see some very random old superhero stuff over the next six weeks or so. I see from my files there’s stuff I just never posted, so some of it may be new to you. I’ll try to keep it interesting!

Meanwhile, I’m especially grateful that I have a decent Couture buffer because otherwise I would be seriously struggling to post something right now!

Next up from this series: more Marchessa!

[click this link or the black & white plate  to download a printable .pdf]

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Catwalk Couture: Marchessa [Plate 12]

Marchessa has so many beautiful dresses it was almost impossible to choose. But I narrowed it down to six (for now). I might go back and pick up a couple more.

Plate 12 shows the first three choices. There are two here for Xia and one for Ifu. On Plate 14 there will be two for Ifu and one for Xia, so it will even out.

I also really meant to make more fancy hairstyles and ones with fancy earrings for these red carpet dresses, but oops. I’ll work on that. And accessories in general.

In coloring the two representative dresses, I changed the original color of Ifu’s gown from a soft baby blue to this bolder green. Ifu already has a light blue dress (from the Oscars plate).

This yellow-green was a fun color to mix and I wanted something that was just more season-appropriate. Let’s face it: nothing screams “Spring” louder than bright bright green!

Xia’s dress has a lot of sequins and things on it. Even though I tried to paint it glittery, the scan didn’t pick that up. It looks all right, but when you color your own version feel free to tart it up! It should be spangly!

Ah well, it’s all good practice.

The third dress on the plate was originally bright yellow, but again, I already painted Xia’s Oscars dress yellow, so I skipped it. You can decide for yourself what color you want it to be for yourself.

For all the Marchessa gowns I picked ones with relatively straight or fishtail skirts. There were a number of bigger poufier gowns, but I figured they would only fit two to a plate (and only if I put one upside-down) so I originally skipped them.

I’m getting smarter about how to plate stuff, however. So, like I mentioned above, I’ll probably go back and pick up a couple more plates worth of Marchessa fashions.

Marchessa is definitely one of those designers were you could make dozens of dresses and not run out of exciting reference material. When I get better at doing the glittery stuff, you will certainly see more. Glitz is something I need to work on. Especially in Black and white.

Next up: Ralph Lauren and some totally not-Spring fashions for the men!

[click this link or the black & white plate to download a printable .pdf]

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Geneviéve: In Outer Space

I cheated a little with this one. The theme “outer space” goes hand-in-hand with the fact that I’m a big fan of that galaxy far, far away. Immediately I thought it would be cool to make Geneviéve into a Twi’lek.

Or you can skip the extra head and she can be a cool smuggler or Resistance fighter using one of her previous heads. I also added an astromech in an attempt to make her a little more “outer spacey” since technically she’s not wearing a flight suit or a helmet or other gear you would associate with actually being, you know, in space.  The astromech at least implies that she’s a pilot. It’s an R7 unit. Feel free to name it yourself.

I hope you’ll forgive this indulgence.

Find more theme outfits to match this doll at the following fabulous blogs:

This collaborative doll will be posted at the end of each month all throughout 2017 with a new theme each month.  To find all related posts on this blog, just click the “Geneviéve” tag.

[Click on this link or the picture to download a printable .pdf plate!]

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Catwalk Couture: Gucci [Plate 11]

Yes, this plate is insanely packed. This was the moment I realized that I had to rethink my plating overall. Originally I had each character on a plate of his own except that Niall’s plate looked really spare and weird.

I knew putting the two together was too much, but the only other option was to add more items from the Gucci collection, which, I’ll be honest, for the men I wasn’t that crazy about.

As it is, I made some pretty weak choices with this designer. Too much red and black! Also, Lonan is doomed to have a closet full of black jeans apparently. That’s okay, though. Sometimes it just is what it is.

I did try to challenge myself to attempt a plaid-like/checked design, which is pretty much near-impossible without gradients. You can see in the colored version of Niall’s pants at least that these things aren’t nearly as ugly as they look in black and white.

I also wanted to take a stab at some printed t-shirts. The cats are hideous (but that’s really what they looked like!). I like the snake and it was fun to draw. Niall’s satin jacket was a late addition and I kind of fudged some of the details, but it came out all right.

Part of the problem was that I was just trying to follow the lead with the women: Gucci there, Gucci here. Bad idea. I won’t be forcing that again! Still, each plate offers its own interesting problems to solve and I’m glad I didn’t just pitch this one out. Also, I like their shoes.

Though, Lonan: I’m pretty sure those boots don’t actually go well with those pants rolled that way.  That said, it seems totally in-character for him to make that mistake. I’m sure Niall would tease him mercilessly for it.

I have one more sort of overstuffed plate for Lonan and Niall, but afterwards things will even out. The characters will share plates so that there’s a balance. I always like keeping a single character per plate (in case someone only likes x and not y), but this makes the process easier. And I like making the colored thumbnails with multiple characters instead of just one.

All of these first eleven plates came from mixing and matching on farfetch.com, but I’ll be getting into actual runway stuff after this.

Next up: gowns from Marchessa!

[click this link or the black & white plate  to download a printable .pdf]

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