Wanted to update with the project I am currently working on (and which has a deadline of May 15th, so I guess I need to get cracking on it). I'm making a paper doll of Henry Fleming from The Red Badge of Courage. Nothing too complex: just Henry in his uniform in various states and, of course, carrying the standard for the triumphant finale.
I haven't quite decided on a lot of things for this doll including his pose. I want him to look both startled and heroic, which is sort of a hard mix, but I think I can get it there so that he can play both coward and courage as required.
My favorite piece of this, of course, is the bandage for his head. I like the shock of hair coming off the top. I'm going to do this one in color. I feel safe enough about it since it's just a Yankee uniform, so I don't have to think too hard about how it ought to look. Not sure about all the pieces yet, though. I might make him some civilian clothes as well (and put regular brogans on his feet instead of the gaiters ~ I just happen to be fond of gaiters).
I am pushing myself to try to overcome my fear of color with timid results so far. I had really wanted this to be a blue coat with a red vest, but just couldn't do it. At the last moment I opted for the much safer grey. Neverthless, the results are encouraging (click on the picture to see a larger image).
There's nothing quite like having a finished piece to look at; makes you feel pretty accomplished, even if you've chickened out on what you set yourself to do on some level. At the very least, painting these pieces has got me back into the "mode" of painting (and so I have overcome a little bit of that rustiness that sets in between projects).
You may notice (or not) that this is a new body for James. I just couldn't deal with the other one. It was too anemic-looking and too clothed! You'll see below that the new body is less dressed and a good deal more hairy (eeek!). But I guess I have always imagined James to be rather a manly-man in this regard and so I'm much happier with the result, though painting the hair was sort of weird (not bad for a first try, though).
I also painted a sort of poet's shirt with a French collar (not common in America, yet) and a glass of brandy. The brandy came out great (it's not well-reproduced here in the small scan), but the shirt is rather ill-fitting (I didn't measure properly. So I'll either fix it or make a new one.
Oh, and I love the shoes here. Most of my other characters either wear the same shoes (or type of shoes) or their shoes are covered by skirts, etc., so it's fun to give James some interesting and different shoes. These could be dress shoes, but just as likely might not.
The whole outfit hearkens later Victorian, though the coat style was popular from the 70s to the 90s. The cravat is older-style (as early as 40s), but it's the style James favors. Also, the hat is more 50s-60s, but it's the hat James wears pretty much ever-after the Civil War. But because of the coat and on account of the shoes, which are a more particular late-style, I'll call this ensemble late 80s.
The image below shows the arrangement of the painting on the actual page. I tend to squeeze things in where I can so to maximize the paper.
I have been truly dreadful about updating here, I know. So many other things on my plate, including a grim sinus infection that made me lose a couple of weeks in crabby mungness. But I'm always full of excuses, I know, so I'll just offer this colorful plate from a fashion magazine the name of which, unfortunately, I do not know. Dapper chaps, aren't they? This is circa 1830 and these fellas are clearly young gadabouts who have nothing better to do than flaunt the latest styles as they promenade about. I like the "sporting" outfit in the back as well. When they're not trying to impress the ladies, they can take their spaniels into the bush and flush grouse or somesuch. Also love the stovepipe hats with the rounded brims. Very particular to the era since by the 40s, the wider tops and curvier sides were much more popular by and large.
As for my own work, suffice it to say, it keeps getting back burner-ed while I wrangle with a multitude of other projects. But I do have a deadline for the 15th of May, which means I need to get back working on this stuff soon.
I also changed the body shape on one doll (the adjustments never end, do they?). I will post stuff by Sunday night (trying to make a commitment here!).