Introducing Emi!

Emi, the new doll. She has light skin with yellow undertones, dark brown eyes and brown hair gathered up in a bun, with bangs and two curls around her ears. She is wearing a sleeveless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The bodice is white satin with a subtle scroll pattern,  and the skirt is sparkly all over and starts off sky blue, then gradually turns into dark blue at the hem. It's gathered into folds at the hips, while the front of the dress appears flat. There's a golden belt with a scroll pattern, and at the center is a magenta gem surrounded by a ring of pearls. There's also a gold circlet decorated with a magenta gem and two pearls.Meet Emi, my third doll! I’m happy with how she turned out, even though the dolls are always a lot more work than I anticipate. She is intended to be Japanese or have Japanese ancestry, and her name is pronounced like “Amy,” not “Emmy.” I’m glad to have her join Mia and Leyla, and I hope to do a better job of getting new dolls out! (One a month may have been overly optimistic.)

One thing to note about the PDFs: I was asked to provide a doll with less revealing underwear, so I put a dress on the base dolls. Most of the outfits will work fine with this dress, and given my propensity for drawing outfits that use a lot of virtual fabric, those that prefer the more modest doll base will probably be able to enjoy most of the things I draw. I made the original underwear pretty minimal so I can do more interesting mermaid designs without worrying that the underwear would show, and any mermaid designs I do will not take the dress into account. Each PDF for the dolls now contains both versions, and I’ll also separate the dolls from the dresses and have them available as Gumroad downloads.

I feel like I want to try to get ahead this month, so that I have posts ready to go before it’s time to post them and I can concentrate on doing something fun for Halloween. It felt good when I was able to do that before, but then a week-long vacation wiped out my buffer. I’ll probably do several dresses in the same theme, to cut down on the research and design time. Help me choose the theme!

Next week you’ll probably see whatever wins the poll, or appears to be winning the poll when I get started! Don’t forget that you can now download combined color and black and white PDFs of all of my 2014 dolls and outfits for free! Also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for sneak previews, paperdoll thoughts and lots of very pretty dresses. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.


Introducing Leyla!

An adult female paper doll in a white and purple gown. She has dark brown skin and black hair arranged in several small box braids that curve gently around her face and fall past her shoulders. Her eyes are brown with tiny gold flecks, and she has sparkly gold eyeshadow. Her lips are full and deep  red, and she is wearing pearl earrings. She is wearing a sleeveless dress with a scoop neck, slightly gathered at the shoulders. The top is white satin, decorated with a pattern of light grey spirals. Around her hips is a belt made of gold, with a sunburst pattern in the middle. Set in the middle of the belt is a brilliant topaz rounded with pearls. The skirt is long and trumpet shaped, flaring out at the calves, and is light magenta at the top and deep purple at the base. It is covered all over with sequins. She also wears a gold circlet decorated with pearls and a second topaz.Please welcome my second paper doll in the new series, Leyla! Her name was chosen from a set of six names I picked out, and as with Mia’s name it was close for a while there but Leyla was the winner. I hope you like her! I’m very happy with her, I had a good time drawing her hair.

With my previous sets of dolls I’ve only made two for each set, but my intention is to keep going and do a new one every month until I have enough dolls to put together a soccer team. Since Leyla has been released on time, I feel very confident that I will be able to pull that off. Their outfits aren’t going to get any more varied, I’m afraid, because the dolls themselves are rather a lot of work. I’m happy with the series dress theme, though. In my imagination, Mia, Leyla and the dolls to come after are the new goddesses of my paperdollverse, and so I thought to myself, what would this little pantheon like to wear? The answer, apparently, is “lots of sparkles.”

Speaking of goddesses, the contest on Twitter is over, and the winner is Karen Martin! (Her favorite Greek goddess, by the way, is Athena.) You will see how she chose to color an ancient Greek outfit next Friday. As I mentioned before, I’m going to start doing the contests on the blog after this, so if you would like to take part next time, just keep reading!

The Oscars are on March 2nd, and that means Oscar dresses! Twice before, I’ve “livedolled” the Oscars – that is, drawn some dresses straight from the red carpet. I did this in 2009, drawing three gowns, and in 2011, drawing an amazing four gowns. I’m ready to do it again this year, but with a twist. I’ll sketch the gowns I like on my iPad and post them here as I draw them. At the end, I’ll put up a poll for which one you all like best, then I’ll make the winner into a proper dress. Also, there’ll be a special Oscars contest! The red carpet starts at 7 PM EST, 4 PM Pacific. Join me and we’ll enjoy all those great gowns together!

As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for update notifications, links to things I find interesting and many, many fashion plates. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

In preparation for our Academy Awards party, let’s have a poll…


Introducing Mia!

An adult female doll in a long, flowing gown. She has olive skin and shiny brown hair arranged in large curls that extends past her shoulders. Her expression is serene and she has hazel eyes, subdued purple eyeshadow and natural pink lipstick. She has pearl earrings and pink fingernails. She is wearing a one-shoulder gown with a white satin bodice patterned with thin, light grey scrolls. The skirt of the gown is yellow near the waist, then gradually turns to orange, then to red near the hem, and is sparkling all over. A gold belt separates the two parts of the gown, and has a large amethyst circled by a ring of pearls. She is wearing a gold circlet decorated with pearls and three smaller amethysts.Meet Mia, my first digitally-colored doll! I hope you all like her, as I’ve worked very hard to prepare a doll that I was happy with. I also intend to release other dolls to go with her, hopefully once a month. Mia’s name was partially chosen by people on the mailing list and people who follow me on Facebook and Twitter: I chose five names I liked, then made a poll. Right up to the very end, Mia and Amethyst were tied, but Mia pulled forward at the very end. I enjoyed the poll and will probably do it for future dolls!

The site is also shiny and new, thanks to my husband Brian Kerr of Different Chairs. Brian happens to do this sort of thing for a living, and he worked with me to create a fabulous showcase for my art and make the site faster, easier to read and tablet and mobile phone-friendly. The results are amazing, and I feel very lucky that I can put my new, more detailed digital coloring work on such a simple, but sophisticated site. It’s even got its own domain name! (Took me long enough.)

You’ll notice some changes. First, if you want to print out the dolls and dresses, you’ll want to use the PDFs; the other graphics no longer have tabs. This is so that you can enjoy the detail without the tabs to distract you, and also so that the pages print out consistently.

There is also a black-and-white version that you can print out, too! When I was drawing paper dolls that had black outlines, I used to make black-and-white versions of the dresses, but when I stopped outlining the drawings, that was the end of versions that you could color yourself. Now, because of the way I transfer my drawings to digital versions, it’s simple to make black-and-white versions of the dresses. If you color them yourself, I’d love to see the results!

I’ve made it easier to follow me on social media: I post site updates and my thoughts about paperdolling on Twitter @lianapaperdolls, site updates, things I’ve been working on and fun links on my Facebook fan page, and a steady stream of ballgowns, saris and Art Nouveau jewelry on my Pinterest boards. You can also sign up for my mailing list, the form is on the top right-hand side of the page. I’d love if you’d follow me on whichever of these fine platforms best suits you, or just come back to the page every Friday!

I finished my Paperdoll Retrospective from the other day by saying that the best days of this blog are still to come. I hope you’ll agree that Mia is a good start!

Come back next Friday for a medieval gown fit for a queen. The subject was chosen by my Facebook fans, and the coloring will be decided by Nikki Paulsen, who won my contest.

Edit (Feb. 2, 2014): I’ve edited the PDFs so that the dolls and dresses are slightly smaller, so that more elaborate gowns will be able to fit into the printable area on the page. If you’ve already downloaded the old PDFs, please delete them and download the new ones!


Meet Grace, the second in my new paper doll series!

Click for larger version with gown (PNG); click for PDF version with gown. Click for larger version without gown (PNG); click for PDF version without gown.

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get another doll up. I’ve had this dress drawn for months, waiting for a doll to go with it — it’s that making a doll part that’s the problem! Grace here was actually made from my upcoming system that will eventually allow people to create their own dolls, but that’s not ready yet, so one doll will have to suffice for now. I think she turned out pretty well, so consider her a test of the system and let me know what you think! I named her Grace because it’s a name I’ve always thought was pretty, but it’s not one I can saddle any of my hypothetical daughters with, because any child born to me and my husband is bound to be woefully clumsy.

I’m wondering what you all think of putting the thumbnail clothes on the doll, now you’ve seen it a couple of times? Should I keep doing it? Take the poll, please!