Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vampire Mermaids from the deep ... an unholy pestilence.

I have an almost completed draft of the mermaid paper doll that will accompany my octopus girl. I seem to being doing The Little Mermaid in reverse... evil looking mermaids + pretty witches = confused children. Oh well... sometimes these things just get away from you.

I have several little tweaks to do on her, mostly where her waist meets her fish tail seems to be an awkward joint as I have it now. Not awkward if the mermaid is always going to swim in a straight line, but maybe I could do something more clever to give more options for poses. (In fact - I just had an idea for a third piece that will fit between the torso and the tail and disguise any bumps/weirdness when the doll is posed. Why didn't I think of this 45 minutes ago? Oh well.)

I've been doing paper dolls for three days straight so my eyes are a little blurry and I'm pretty sure I need to either decide to brush my hair or take that tremulous first step towards dred-locks. I also need to go grocery shopping... so the Mermaid will have to wait for her final form till after I acquire more Cheerios.

In the meantime, here's an 'in progress' photo:

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Paper Doll of a Noteworthy Cat.

I wanted to do a quick paper doll today from start to finish, and managed to make this in the same time it took to listen to a Gershwin album. Viola. This is my friend's cat, "Hank". My friend didn't answer my texts today in enough time to weigh in on the design - so after the fact, I discovered that the real life Hank actually has a short/fluffy tail and my version is a little 'siamese-ish'. These things happen.

I'm not sure how if I'm going to list him on Etsy, or use him as a "bonus" throw-in when people buy a full paper doll, or maybe draw a girl that he goes along with? I just really like how his face is all black like a little cat-mask or something... he's a cool cat. Maybe I could draw a girl that has a mask that matches? Now there's an idea.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

'The Sea Witch' (... or 'Scarlett Johansson spliced with an octopus'...)

I think it's 5am. This is an unfortunate fact for me, but at least I'm almost completed with the new "Sea Witch" paper doll. Behold:

This is a rough draft. There's still a lot to fix... her hair is too hard to cut out, even though I'm a seasoned veteran with a craft knife. There's a weird dark patch in her hair I need to photoshop out. I have to add some flowers to her bodice cause I undershot on the modesty... and I have to fix the upper arms on this doll, too because I'm apparently a very slow learner.

Other than that, I think she's purty. I have a very neat background pattern for her layout which I'm excited about - but I need to grab a couple hours sleep. Final layout stuff can wait. (I'm going to need a soda in the morning as it is.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Snow White in all her glory! (...and some hesitation about clam-shell bras...)

I just realized that neither my mom or I posted the big news... we had our first sale! It was probably silly that as soon as the email about the sale hit my blackberry I called my mother one minute later to share the big news. IT IS A BIG DEAL. Until you sell that first item to a total stranger - you can't really feel any certainty that a business endeavor is anything but a lark, a whim, a fancy!

So that was exciting/motivating.

I finished up Snow White with all the touch-ups and fixed the fact that I seem to have some sort of mental block when figuring out the length of people's upper arms. Now her arms are a suitable length. Oh the little issues to making paper dolls...

Now of course, I'm debating the next project. I already have the horse almost complete on a Victorian Horse Woman doll so I could finish that up but I'm also thinking what I really want to do is The Little Mermaid. This train of thought led me to asking one of my friends, "Do all mermaids have either a clam-shell bra or just their chest covered by long hair? What if they're swimming and their hair drifts away? Wouldn't that distract all the other merfolk and make them swim into boat propellers and such?"

There was some thoughtful silence on the matter, and an eventual agreement that if I want to make a G-rated mermaid I'm going to have to make some sort of clam-shell/flower/seaweed halter-top of sorts cause I don't know if I like the idea of scantilly clad mermaids. (I have really settled into the Victorian mindset about my dolls that massive amounts of cleavage is ok but bare shoulders are SHOCKING. Jane Austen would agree with me.)

Also - I think I'm going to make the little mermaid blonde because Disney isn't the boss of me, and also because I remember in the version I read as a child she was blonde and all her sisters were brunette. Granted, it was a black-and-white illustrated book (with some very lovely woodcuts if I remember right) but my child's mind interpretted her lack of brunette-ness as blonde so... the end.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snow White and her Poisoned Apple Bouquet

I can't believe how much faster the creation process was with Photoshop CS4. I did Snow White in one day today and it would have taken me three days to do it with Paint.Net. Also, I had no color issues even with (at times) 20+ layers going on.

I haven't included the coffin yet - I got to thinking that it would take another sheet of paper and really might need to be sold as a separate accessory anyway... so maybe it would be wiser to get more dolls up first and then come back and do playset-stuff? It's all sort of a guess what collectors would want, I suppose. I'm going to think more on it. Doing a glass coffin out of paper would mostly just mean a really delicate grid overlay maybe and that seems very fragile and annoying for people to cut out. I did give her an apple-blossom bouquet though just to be slightly morbid... and overall I think she turned out really well. I gave her elongated proportions because... well she's my doll and I'll make her legs too long if I want to.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It was Ms. White... in the dwarves' house... with the poisoned apple.

I can just pretend that I didn't go silent for 3 months there, right? Sure I can. Watch me. (I had some stuff going on - but now back to business. Literally.)

So tonight I listened to two hours of one of my new favorite musical groups "Grizzly Bear", ate a turkey sandwich, and pondered what a girl would have to look like to inspire another woman to want to murder her just for being too darn pretty.

And so it was that I drew Snow White.

Snow White was probably a teenager when a woman suffering from a large amount of insecurity decided to expend the effort to take a hit out on her, but not expend the energy to follow-up properly and make sure she got her money's worth. I always thought that was a strange part of the story - but of course demonstrative of an age old fact which is that if you want something done you have to bake up some poisoned apples and do it yourself.

Anyway, it took me awhile to draw her hair - so this is as far as I got in one night. See her hair? That's time-consuming there... probably about 45 minutes just on hair. But I like her.

Tomorrow I'll do her dress and death shroud (yes, this is going to be a morbid paper doll replete with glass coffin and poisoned apple! yay!). Then probably another day to color it in.

I finally was able to get Photoshop installed on my computer. I would tell you all the lengths I had to go to, but it would sound a lot like one of those tapes that people listen to in order to get to sleep. Ambient, boring noise is all that story is. Thank god Photoshop is installed though. Paint.Net is terribly limiting.