Today, just a lovely fashion plate from the February 1862 edition of Le Follet.
I absolutely adore the purple gown with the black sleeves. It looks deliciously sumptuous! Click on the image to see the details better. I like the black gown too, but the copper or brown underskirt seems strange to me (though it does match the muff).
Winter styles have always appealed to me more than other seasons.
And the girl's matching blue booties are also very sweet.
The worst part of not having a scanner for all those weeks and falling into a funk is that I spent a lot of time thinking. This is an unfortunate business, of course, because thinking invariably leads to re-thinking, and subsequently revising. I love my water color paper dolls, but they give me anxiety for whatever reason. I seem to approach working on them with dread, which is the opposite of what making paper dolls should mean to me (and what it has always been in the past: a contemplative de-stressor). So when the think you love causes more stress than what it's supposed to alleviate, it's definitely time to reevaluate it.
Part of what causes so much stress is that it feels so time-consuming (even though it's really not ~ I can paint a page in under two hours; under one if it's not terribly complex). So even though it takes as long as it takes, it feels long and that's another good indicator that I'm not enjoying it as I should be.
I drew the dolls above over the last week; five last weekend and five today. I don't doubt I could produce clothing for all of them over the next two days (and then some). It would basically mean getting very well ahead of the last effort, which has taken me almost six months, in a matter of weeks.
I computer colored these because I have not decided whether to color them, how the color them, or leave them black & white. I do like the option of letting other people color them, so the original artwork is all simple ink.
I am shy here of a few characters I had previously painted (like Razi-el, Henry and Buster), but have added Eulalia and Peg & John Stewart Preston. You can click the image and see them a little larger, but since I have not decided what to do with them, I'm not making them the official choice until I can get some perspective.
If I stick with these, I can produce work quickly, which ostensibly means I can post more. Doesn't that sound like a good deal?
I dunno. Most days I just want to retreat into a corner.
Scanner still kaput, no relief in sight (it's a tragedy, I know). But I thought I better update with some small thing at least just so you know I have not disappeared off the planet. This is an English set of dolls from the 1860s which I found at Bibliopolis
. And just think! It can be yours for the bargain price of $8,500!Totally insane price, but the set does sound very nice: "
two adult paper dolls are accompanied by ten costumes, including outerwear, elegant evening dress, and a long bridal veil. One gown, fit for a ball, has three tiers of blue satin and white floral lace, and short lace-trimmed sleeves. Wrist-length kid gloves and a fan complete the ensemble. Each of the child figures has four costumes, including a boy's tunic with a tamed squirrel perched on the shoulder. Also included are fourteen hats and two stands for the dolls. All costumes are vibrantly colored and partially varnished and are also two-sided. Housed in the original gilt-trimmed, printed box".Wish they had shared more pictures.
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This is Lieutenant Henry Lighthorse [Worth]. Henry is one of my favorite characters. He's a mixedblood Cherokee whose Mexican War Veteren grandfather is a prominent slaveowner in Darkesville, VA
. Henry attended the VMI
, which is kinda sensational for his time. Even though he is a low-ranking officer, he doesn't get the respect he deserves (I'm sure you can imagine). Anyway, Henry's in the cavalry under Colonel Bernard on duty at Fort Stark (a remote short-straw duty to be certain).
In other news, I am clearly falling into bad habits again. I haven't been working on stuff lately due to either stress or tiredness (or both), and this past weekend I just felt too burned out to bother with anything. But I am trying to climb out of the proverbial hole, so thank you for your patience. I shall have more Judy for you this weekend to make up for my delinquency.
Visit the Gallery
to see the new plates. I have been really behind in the posting of updates, so there's not much new (James' outfit in four pieces shown assembled here). I have a coat and bonnet for Emmaline as well, but it didn't fit on the plate (so: next time). The really good news is that I have been working on all manner of paper doll stuff for the last two weeks. The bad news is I haven't been sharing any of it yet! I am in the process of getting a new computer and scanner, so my world is a little topsy turvy at the moment, but presumably will run a lot smoother once everything is in place. Anticipating a new system in early February. It had to be done ~ I am rather tired of struggling with this poor old thing.For whatever reason I have been struggling with these plates too. I think my mind is a bit unfocused, but that's pretty typical at the beginning of a New Year, so hopefully I will get into a groove. I am definitely getting better at letting go of some of my horrid perfectionism. Now I just need to work on my color palette (could I possibly use more yellow???). I may not have anything very bold for the next two plates, but I will try to splash a little more variation in color where I can (if I can).
I am still apparently very myopic in the realm of color. I am working on a project to try to help with that. Also, more Judy to come. Lots more! I will be sure to post her by Friday at the latest.
The plates I am making for plates I will post on January 22 include Morse, so I thought I would try to get ahead and finish his first bits of wardrobe. I made the mistake of posing this character in a way that makes it a little difficult to layer his outfits and alter the position of his hands, but I am working on ways around that. In the meantime, it's a typical pose for him, so it works, regardless what he's wearing.
This should not have taken me as long as it did, but I made some huge sloppy mistakes with the layers (despite my lightbox), so it required a lot of Photo-shopping to correct (alas). The good news is, the pieces should work together fine now.
The other difficulty with Mister Morse is his infernal collection of purple vests. Purple is the absolutely most wretched color to mix, keep consistent, and paint. Most pre-mixed purples are not very good (and look like no color known to nature), so I feel like I have to make my own. Fortunately the end result doesn't look nearly like I struggled with it as much as I did. Now let's see how many variations on the purple vest I can manage. This one is pretty simple because I was exhausted from just getting the color to layer.
The base outfit on the left, above, pretty much represents what Morse will wear for the rest of his life (ha!). We shall see how many more pairs of trousers I have to end up painting for him, though (certainly his war uniforms will offer some variety ~ at least for a while).
Today, a gorgeous 1860s-style dress featured on the fabulous website Costume Dramas and Period Clothing
was really no information provided about this particular dress, but I am guessing (based on the presentation in the photograph) that it is a museum piece somewhere. Check out the website for tons of other amazing period clothing ~ both from movies and museums. The blog has some pretty amazing movie stills and publicity/costume shots so you get to see some incredible detail on the costuming.Will be posting more original dolls (clothing!) this weekend!
Edited to add: this yellow/gold dress from 1866 ~ total stunner! I could have made two separate posts, but they fall under the same category, were found on the same blog and they are both "beautiful things" so here we go.
I will definitely be stealing these designs for my own characters when the time comes to work out their 1860s ensembles.
I love how vivid the colors are. A woman photographed in this dress would have appeared to be wearing black as yellow and gold tones in sepia prints translate very dark (I should probably find out why, but it's true).
This dress is identified as being from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection.
Today we have a doll from National Doll World that was published in the summer of 1984. She's a bisque-looking critter with a stuffed body (popular in the 19th century), and looks to be dress for the 50s or 60s.
What's interesting about her is that she's got interchangeable heads! So if you like your dolls blonde or red-headed, you can cover up her brunette locks. Putting a new head on a paper doll always has seemed sort of counter to the point of having the doll to begin with (it being the stationary base on which to hang other things), but in this case I think it's kind of funny.
Sadly there's no artist identified on this piece, but at least the dolls have names: Sally, Meg, and Nell. I came across this in my random wanderings on eBay. I don't have many magazine dolls in my collection and am always finding interesting ones when I have time to browse. Don't know if there was originally a second page to this (as most magazine dolls are double-spreads). The other page may have had more information about the work. As always, click on the image to see a slightly larger version that will show some the details.
I have very few of these sticker-type paper dolls. I generally don't find them very interesting subject-wise, and don't really like the idea of stickers for clothing since you can't really gather the wardrobe in a pile and luxuriate at all the colors and shapes ~ which I think is one of the great appeals of playing with paper dolls. Nevertheless, occasionally a sticker doll comes along that I absolutely must have for my collection, and it seems like artist A.G. Smith is the one to make them. This little Abraham Lincoln is fabulously simple and nicely researched. As an added bonus, Smith has included a pair of hands wielding an axe. Of course, this is intended to represent Lincoln as the "rail-splitter" of his youth, but I think it doubles nicely in case you want to play Abraham Lincoln, Vampire-Hunter as well. In case you have never seen the above book, be sure to look at the image of the back cover, though if you're sensitive to bloodshed, you might want to skip it. Because this is a Dover "Little" activity book, it's nicely inexpensive and fun for all ages (vampires or no).
This is one of several Lincoln paper dolls I have to share with you and it being ten days until the anniversary of the Gettysburg address, it seems now's a good time to do so. It strikes me peculiar, however, that such an unlikely subject would have so many paper dolls modeled after him. Not that I am complaining.
I'm running late, but determined to stay on schedule! For our first (and sadly brief) mourning post, I wanted to share with you one of Walter Plunkett's costume designs from Gone with the Wind
, featuring the character of Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton dressed in deep mourning after the death of her first husband, Charles.
While a number of the costumes constructed for the film production went off the rails in terms of historicality, the mourning dress worn by various characters throughout was generally very period-appropriate (which is good since Scarlett's flaunting the mourning attire is an important part of her character and the story).
The image here (and click it to see it up close in all of its watercolor glory!) was found at Dial B for Blogger
, a Spanish-language blog that features others of Plunkett's designs in a post honoring Gone with the Wind
's 70th anniversary.