November 12, 2008

Soul Journal – Day 13

Posted in Art, Art for beginners, Art journals, Art samples, Beginner's art, Papercrafts, Soul Journal tagged , at 11:34 pm by amateur-in-art

Today we’re making paper dolls. The first step was to measure the house-pocket. Mine was pretty small – about 2 1/2 by 3 inches tall. I guessed I’d want the head of the person to be about one inch.

Next, I had to select the pictures to be used. The dolls were supposed to be of our family, but I thought about this and delayed for a long time. I just couldn’t get used to the idea of cutting up family photos – even if they were copies. I just didn’t like the idea of making everybody into paper dolls. I also knew that if I used pictures of my immediate family, I didn’t want to post them online, for privacy, but that was actually a very small concern. The bigger issue was just that I couldn’t get comfortable with the idea of literally cutting up my family.

I had also been thinking that I wanted to use some old-fashioned photos, because I like the look of them and I think I’d like to work more with old photos in my artwork. I considered using pictures of my grandparents or great-grandparents, but again, I just couldn’t get comfortable with the idea of cutting them up. Plus, the angles on the faces just wouldn’t work right, for me, either.

So, I decided to see what I could find online. I went to the Thrifty Collage Artist and found two images I liked there.  Sarah’s instructions for the paper dolls said to mount the pictures on watercolor paper, but I just printed mine on regular photograph paper, and that seemed heavy enough to me.

Here’s how things were looking when I started out:

sj-day13-startThe stick figure was my estimate of the size I needed for my paper doll.

Next, I cut out the heads, leaving extra neck room to attach them to their paper doll bodies.


I just happened to put her here after I cut her out. It made me laugh when I saw her as a disembodied head floating above the landscape. I kind of like it!


I deliberately used the man’s suit collar as a pattern to cut out. I also like his tie. Then I realized that if I punched the brad through his tie, it would look like a tie-pin.  I also decided I wanted him to be a tall and skinny guy, so I just cut out a long rectangle for his body.


I wanted her to be a “short and stout” kind of woman, so I gave her a very plump and round body. I didn’t realize until I was attaching her head that the brad could also work as a brooch on her, because of the slender line on her collar.  I also realized once I decided to give her a plump body shape, that there would be no way she would fit in my house-pocket. That was OK, I decided, because my house was so tiny anyway. Besides, I liked her. The shape made me think of her as a bird-woman, and I was very tempted to give her wings and bird legs, but I was concerned that I had seen that somewhere else, possibly with the same or a similar image, and I wanted him to have a human wife, so I didn’t go that route. But, I may have to remake her at some point in the future as a bird. I can definitely see that in my mind.

Next, add arms and legs.


There we go! All done for the day – and I really like this couple!

© amateur-in-art, 2008



  1. Cecilia said,

    I “accidentally” came across your site. I love your paper dolls, your journal page. Great idea with the shapes. I am really interested in doing this. Can I? Is there anywhere I can go to get the first 12 prompts? how long does this last? One reason I am really interested is because I feel frozen in the art journaling process, have been unble to start one even though I have everything……Maybe this would help. I think that I could do this…Thank you.

  2. Cecilia – I hope you come back to visit and find this comment here, because I was unable to email you. It bounced back.

    Thank you so very much for your kind comments. They are
    so encouraging!

    To find out more about Soul Journaling, just follow the link to Sarah Whitmire’s blog, Caspiana, in my blogroll at right. She started Soul Journaling in July, so you will have to go to her archives at her site. I have links to her blog all throughout mine, on just about every day, since that’s where I’m getting the instructions from. She also has lots of links to other Soul Journalers.

    If I can do this, I’m sure you can. I am verrrrrrry new at all of this. New to Soul Journal, new to art journals (didn’t even know what one was until a few months ago) and new to art in general. So given that, I appreciate your comments even more! Thank you.

    I have found the whole SJ process very rewarding, and I’m sure you will, too. Good luck, and enjoy!

    And I hope you’ll come back, soon, so you can see how my paper dolls finish up!

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