How I did it: Paper doll commission

Hotties Vintage owner Trica booked me for a commission recently. She wanted a plus size paper doll piece with a vintage theme for the launch of her new plus size clothing and accessories boutique. Obviously, I was all over it!


I started out by skecthing the model. I did this directly onto a piece of A3 Bristol board. She started out nude and bald. The intention had always been to give her some underwear, but I spent quite a while deliberating over whether she should have hair. Since I was going to be adding hair pieces, leaving her bald would give me more freedom. However, I did not think she looked in keeping with the vintage pinup look without hair, so I sketched in a short style for her.

Once I was happy that she was pencilled well enough, I threw her onto my lightbox and started to roughly sketch outfit ideas onto marker pager using pigment liners. I kept the outfit sketches quite sparse and did more than I could possibly fit on one A3 page. This left me with a load of options for the final composition. There were a couple of items I planned to definitely include – like the red wiggle dress – but there were also plenty of things that I was willing to experiment with. I swapped the pages over on the lightbox, so now I could move the black line outfit sketches around underneath the Bristol board. I quickly pencilled in the items I had decided I would include, leaving space between each, not just for the composition, but also to add foldable tabs.


By this point, I had rough pencils for the whole piece. I tightened a few parts up so that I did not lose track of details, and then got stuck in with inks. I like to get to inking quite quickly, as I find it stops me procrastinating over the piece. I started with the model. She was the focus of this piece and the part which I had definite ideas for how she should look. The outlines for the outfits came next, before I added and adjusted the details on each item of clothing.

Lastly, the colours went in. I used ProMarkers for this piece. They are great for getting the bold tones and contours that really helped set off the luxurious curves of the model and make the clothes pop right out at you. I left it for a night before going back over the whole piece to make a few minor tweaks and changes to give it the sumptuous look it has, before getting it swiftly in the post to Tricia in time for her boutique launch.

I am always up for doing more commissions. If you would like your own piece of custom art by me, get in touch with me by email at, or tweet me @gojacksongo.



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