This week I received my copy of Paper Doll Studio, the quarterly magazine showcasing the work of members of OPDAG (The Original Paper Doll Artists Guild). The theme for this issue was GOOD SPORTS and for my contribution I decided to submit two sheets of dolls playing croquet with outfits from 3 different eras.
This is my second submission to the magazine. My first was a doll called Clarissa. On that occasion I was given a quarter of an A4 size page. This time I was thrilled to see my dolls received a lot more exposure. The two colour scans shown above were allocated a whole page on their own (pg 14). I also appeared in the section of 'Artists talk about their theme art paper dolls...' and was listed first! (But that was probably because I sent in these dolls such a long time ago.) Jenny chose the blue skirted outfit (top left) to put with my introduction.
The cover page I put together (above) was not printed - I mainly included it to show how the hats and umbrella work. For the umbrella if you make a slit in her left hand (our right) the handle can slide through quite nicely and then the other end hooks into the area between her thumb and hand.
I based everything on contemporary images from the eras represented and just rounded up the dates. The two figures are taken from an American fashion magazine of the late 19th and early 20th centuries called The Delineator. Something about their poses made me think they could be easily adapted to croquet This illustration appeared in the magazine in 1911.
The two outfits on the page with the dolls were inspired by this delightful illustration. It is called 'Croquet or Wicket Thoughts' and appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post dated 5 September 1931. Although I loved the design of her outfit I felt I needed more colour in my interpretation and was really happy with the way it turned out.
These are the sketches for the two pages. I drew each outfit separately and then cut and positioned them on the page. Cleaning everything up afterwards can be a bit fiddly but I find its the easiest way to get the different pieces arranged to make optimum use of the space. I've been experimenting with different ways of doing the lettering. For Clarissa I printed it directly onto the sheet with the doll once she and her outfits were drawn but not coloured. That was quite difficult and it took a couple of attempts to get it right. Here I printed and pasted the wording on the original sketch. I cleaned everything up, printed it again and then coloured it in. For the new doll I'm working on (next submission) I've taken yet another approach. I'm doing the lettering last directly onto the scanned image using Microsoft Paint.
These two paintings provided the inspiration for the dresses on the second sheet. I adore this next image. It is by the English painter Percy W Gibbs (1894-1937) and is called 'Ladies Playing Croquet'. I love the pastel colours and the feminine effect of the artist's technique. I would have liked to have reproduced these figures exactly as you see them here, but the style of my dolls was quite different so I had to adapt it to keep the overall look of my pages consistent.
The last two gowns come from this painting, possibly the most famous and well known depiction of a Victorian croquet game. It is by the American artist Winslow Homer (1836 - 1910),
When I completed my paper doll of Alice I sent a scan of her off to Jenny at OPDAG. Jenny liked her but as the doll did not fit in with either the Sports theme or any of the upcoming themes she could not include Alice in the body of the magazine. What she did for me instead is put Alice in the Showcase Section where members advertise paper doll books for sale. A small image of Alice is shown with a link to my blog. It was so exciting to see my work there - I felt like a child who was allowed to mix with the grown-ups!
The theme for the next issue is QUEENS. I've almost finished my submission (due by the end of next month) and have already sent in two outfits for the special Dress-a-Doll section - in this issue a young Queen Elizabeth circa her coronation in 1953