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]

 

 

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!]

 

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]

 

 

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]

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]

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!]

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]

Paper Doll Subjects: Randomness Reigns

Some years ago, I made a paper doll of Frank Merriwell, a character from a late 19th century nickel weekly called Tip Top Weekly. It was a lark: I liked the idea more than I liked the character. Frank himself was insufferably righteous and his stories were invariably pretty standard fare. Though he was incredibly popular at the time and survived into the radio days, I was pretty much done with him after reading half a dozen adventures. The appeal for the paper doll was mostly that he was playing some new sport every week, so always had a new uniform which was kind of fun.

Frank notwithstanding, I have had a long love affair with nickel weeklies. These trashy things predate comic books and though they were a moral bore now and then, some were quite gruesome. There was no “code” so often you had characters meeting all sorts of murderers and opium addicts. Painted ladies were mostly out, though–that remained a taboo.

Last year, while I was taking some time out in the Pacific Northwest, I dug up my copies of Young Klondike. For sheer appeal, this was one of the more interesting of the weeklies for me. It didn’t have the steampunk travel-around-the-world fantasy of Frank Reade’s Library or the crime-solving hard boiled noir of Nick Carter, but it had something far more attractive: snow! For me, an adventure in Alaska was way more exotic and exciting than gumshoes and robots.

Young Klondike ran for 39 issues, 27 of which are available online. I haven’t read them all because they’re obviously a finite resource. So I like to savor them–as much as one can savor what amounts to pulp trash. Objectively they aren’t great, but I started thinking about re-purposing the text. If Young Klondike were written today, what might it look like? Last summer I took the text and began appropriating it into something new. I kept the basic plot and left its quirkiest character untouched for the most part. But I re-imagined the other three central characters for a modern audience. Three hundred pages later, I might have something that could be a book, but that’s not the point. I’m telling you this because I idly started sketching paper dolls for the characters and I thought to myself: this is so completely random.

But then, really, all my paper dolls always are.

I don’t know what the appeal is for half the stuff I make. But I make things for my own amusement and if they amuse others, three cheers! I just know there are lots of paper dolls for fashion models or popular personalities/characters. I enjoy those as much as anybody (and I make them too!). But I’m also probably that one person who, if I saw a paper doll book of Klondike explorers from 1898, would go completely nuts for it.

So, like it or not, you’re probably getting 19th century Klondiker paper dolls in the coming months. It’s just the way this blog rolls. To be fair, I warned you from the start about my esoteric tastes ~ ha!

Catwalk Couture: Gucci [Plates 9 & 10]

The House of Gucci is 96 years old–one of the oldest fashion houses around. And certainly one of the most recognized brands in fashion. This year’s fashions have some fun patterns that were difficult to draw, but I’m glad I challenged myself with them. Once again, these pieces all came from farfetch.com.

I really love Ifu’s zebra shoes. And the purse with the bambo handle. I’m not good about making accessories for paper dolls, but always glad when I do.

These are the last plates with each character on their own plate. After I built the first ten, I saw it was hard to fill the plates in a way that made sense (particularly for the men due to their difference in stature).

So from here on out with this series, instead of two plates a week, it will only be one, but if I can continue to produce these at a quick clip, I might be able to post two a week after all. We’ll see, I’ve been super busy lately. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going.

Once again pieces of these plates can be mixed or layered for additional looks.

[click each black & white plate below to download a printable .pdf]

Catwalk Couture: McQueen [Plates 7 & 8]

Because I don’t have any Judy Tuesday in the wings, you get some midweek couture instead.

I really need to do something with Lonan’s hair. He looks like a lion. Also, I gotta say Niall’s shirt was a horror to draw, but now I love it. And the gold sneakers.  Niall’s clothes are ridiculous, but somehow they just work for him. I gave Lonan my own aesthetic, but I’m trying not to put him in so much black.

It continues to be a major temptation to just make all-black and white clothing. It doesn’t help that it’s what’s on the runway recently.

All of the Alexander McQueen stuff this week came from farfetch.com, which it only just occurred to me that I should archive regularly. It’s a commercial site, so the fashions comes and go. I’ve already lost images from the collection. But you can still get those gold sneakers for 30% off at $648. And the shirt? That will set you back $825.  Sorry, Lonan’s red beaded jacket and the other jacket (which was khaki), are sold out! 

[click each black & white plate below to download a printable .pdf]