These are the absolutel final final final plates (officially, I promise). These are the plates that are going to be attached to the series, so there will be no more dickering with them ~ they are done done done. Right now I just have the two completed. I will be working on the others and rearranging them as I work on the series. I will always try to post the plates here before they are available for download on the Reconstruction web site, so that if you are visiting here, you will have them early!New plates will post every two weeks regularly, but again, you'll see stuff sooner.
Additionally, the plates are only posting on the actual "production" schedule. I will continue to post drafts and work that I am doing ahead of schedule here ~ it's just the final plates themselves that will be on my fortnightly posting timeline.
I'm not 100% organized yet, but definitely getting there. Hoping by the New Year I will have enough of a routine to be at least semi-predictable with regard to this work.
So much to do in the meantime. Will try to post something for Christmas in the next day or so to celebrate the holiday!
My Saint Nicholas idea wasn't inspiring me and I realized I was kinda jumping the gun with that since he doesn't even appear in this first Christmas story, so I abandoned that particular ship and painted this tonight: wings!
I was really debating whether I would since it's been a long time since I have thought about Razi-el as being a "traditional" angel-shaped thing, but after some consideration, I thought, well, why not. He would have been perceived as such contemporary to when the story is taking place and I do want to keep the whole bird/feather/wing leitmotif afloat, so voila. Enjoy. When I repost the plates (again ~ I know, I know, but I think I finally have them right this time), I will include these wings in their proper size, etc. In the meantime, you can click on them to see some of the detail (they are very basic, I guess, but not bad for a job done while talking on the phone and flinging paint on the page.
I need to remind myself more often how easy this is when I just relax and roll with it instead of agonizing over all the little details.
Okay, back to working on the story again. It's very nearly done and I have to admit I am rather proud of the noble thing it is turning out to be (particularly considering its surly, hideous start and its rather cantankerous journey into maturity. Expect it to be ready to download on Christmas Day ~ yay!
Yes, it's true, I couldn't stand it. After painting Tennessee Morse and him coming out looking just so, I knew I was doing poor Razi-el an injustice. I really should repaint him, but for now I just PhotoShopped the heck outta his face and came up with something that might actually work (I'll have to live with it for a while before I decide).
I seriously don't know which of the two (Razi-el or Tennessee) should be the more vapid-looking. Right now I think Tennessee is winning. And that's okay. Razi-el should probably be the brighter-eyed and bushier-tailed.
Plates No. 1 and 2 are now available in the Gallery.
There was traveling and then I was all out of sync again with what I was doing, which is just tragic. I get so easily derailed! But I am back now and will hopefully get on the tracks again. For whatever reason, putting together the second plate was really agonizing! Fitting things in, making sure everything was right. I couldn't fit Olivia's apron on this plate, so it will have to come later. It's a good lesson to me to make sure to work in sets that I can squeeze onto a page. I will be more careful with the next round now that I know the format/size/etc. that I am working with.
Now if I could just figure out my tags in a way that made more sense....Will be working on new stuff over the weekend. Sorry to be such a slacker!
With caveats: I have not tested the printing on it to make sure it will come out okay. But it will
definitely download a nice .pdf at the moment, so feel free to clicky click! All of these plates will eventually be posted in the Gallery
. And while I am quibbling: the .pdf text refers to the website at Lookingland.com
, but I confess it's still not pulled together at the moment. In fact, I figure you who are visiting here and seeing this work are actually getting to see it before it's officially posted (which is great for you since I don't think I am officially posting anything over there until the start of the new year!). But anyway, here are the characters in their "official" scaling (unless the printing test goes horridly wrong). They are reduced about 25% of their original size, but I don't think they are too small to enjoy. I also gotta say: no matter how much I love Photoshop and think it's the most amazing thing ever, I also can hate it sometimes. Putting the dolls on their bases and getting all this laid out was practically painful. I sure hope it gets easier now that I have a template.
I'll try to post the download for the second plate (with all the clothes) this weekend. And then: new stuff!UPDATE: The print test was a success on my end. Yay!
Still fighting with the scanner, but had to do less touch-up on this one (or else maybe I am just okay with the weird way it is representing the colors. Painting clothing that is black is always a challenge and I try to avoid (as much as possible) using straight blacks (except to dull other colors). Here I used a little bit of Payne's Grey (which has a blueish tint) and Yellow Grey (which is slightly greenish). I'm painting with very high-grade Holbein & Windsor/Newton watercolors and gouache, but doing so on very low-grade cardstock. I'm much more comfortable taking chances when I don't feel like I am wasting paper, which is strange, but it's getting the job done.
The scan came out very blue. I'll keep messing with it, and again, ultimately, I'll .pdf these all nicely so that they can be downloaded and printed.
Meanwhile, I have to add that this outfit is only very vaguely era-appropriate. I wanted to keep it very simple and borrowed a little bit of the feel from 19th century Russian dress. But again, very simplified (tempted, though I was, to add frogging and shiny embroidery). He's got plain black riding boots, black leather gloves, a black merino frock coat with a long wide skirt (the interior lining is probably red silk, but we never see it), and a red sash of fine pasham.
We first meet Razi-el in a snowy forest and don't get a good look at him, but he needed something to wear and this is what he's wearing when we do get a look at him (much later), so there you have it.
Thought I would also post a smaller image of what the clothing looks like on the figure. Not sure what people want to see (or how they want to see it). Since I am .pdfing the art for your own amusement, maybe it's redundant to post it here like this at first, but it's keeping me engaged, so I will do it anyway for now.
This is pretty much all we see of Razi-el for a long while, so I won't be coming back to this character for some time. I tried to think up some accessories for him, but he doesn't wear a hat and the pear (Pirum) is generally the only object he carries around, so, alas, there's nothing more to add.
The "Christmas, 1859" in the title refers to the story and not the style of dress. I will have to figure out the best way to "tag" these characters as I go along. Since you are just seeing the characters and clothing here--and not the story--I'll try to provide some context where helpful, but mostly I will focus on descriptions of what they are wearing and probably do a lot of kvetching about the process.
Won't it be so much fun?
It's kind of exciting to finally be off and running!
Oh look! As promised!
I am still fighting with my scanner and had to do quite a bit of touch-up on this (scanning watercolors is the worst, I think), but here's Razi-el and Pirum (the pear has a name). It's kind of strange, on a 19th century paper doll blog, to post the least 19th century character out of my entire pantheon first, but Razi-el is the first character we meet in the story, and I figured we would just go in order of appearance (more or less).I'm working on getting over my perfectionism and trying to produce these quickly, so it won't be long before I post something for him to wear (perhaps even later today). If you're wondering about the black "tights" in the meantime, I really struggled with what to put him in and decided to go with the black because he's not a real person per se (though I call him a "him", he's really an "it"), and so his physical form is kind of irrelevant. That will maybe only make sense in context of the story, which is currently not posting at my other mess of a website: Reconstruction
This is the absolutely last time I am reinventing these dolls, so I promise from here on out you should have semi-regular updates with original work. The dpi on this is not good enough to download and make a very good print. When I have enough pieces, I will try to post printable .pdfs. Right now I need to concentrate on just getting the characters started!