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How to Draw Dolly Dingle

About the Author Greetings! This is me when I was 3. And, as you can see from the photo, I was very happy when playing with my dolls. Decades later, dolls still hold a fond place in my heart. I have created DollKind in order to publish my doll history research articles and to share my enjoyment of dolls with you.

  closeup image of Dolly Dingle Face

Dolly Dingle and the Campbell's Soup Kids - Old Friends We Love!

When I was a little girl, I played with Dolly Dingle paper dolls. I also loved the Campbell's Soup Kids. At that time, I realized that these two sets of characters were somehow similar, but it wasn't until I grew up that I realized that both familiar icons were the creation of Grace Drayton. It was a real a-ha moment for me, and suddenly it made perfect sense to me why I had felt such a fondness for the chubby toddler-like beings with so many different names.

Grace Gebbie was born in 1876 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of an art publisher and grew up in a world of artistic endeavor. Like Rose O'Neill, creator of the Kewpie Doll, she enjoyed an unusual degree of success and reknown as an illustrator at an early age. This was the Edwardian period - a time when women were not strongly encouraged to seek their own fame or fortune. Grace Gebbie's first works were published in 1895. Soon after, she married Theodore Wiederseim.

1915 Advertisement of Campbell's Soup Kids Mmm-mmm, Campbell's Soup Kids
Wiederseim was a Philadelphia streetcar advertising executive. In 1904, he was slated to attend a business meeting with the Joseph Campbell Company. In order to walk into the meeting with something to show Campbell's representatives, he asked his wife to draw a few characters that might be used for advertising Campbell's Soup. The Joseph Campbell Company loved the pink-cheeked children that Grace Gebbie Wiederseim had drawn, and quickly adopted them as the charming mascots for Campbell's Soup. To the left, you can see an example of an early advertisement using the Campbell's Soup Kids.

By this point in her career, Grace Gebbie Wiederseim had not only created an icon for Campbell's, but had also published an illustrated series in the Philadelphia Press called "Bobby Blake" and "Dolly Drake". In 1909, she published a book in collaboration with her sister entitled The Terrible Tales of Captain Kiddo. This talented illustrator often referred to her creations as her funny babies, and they are certainly imbued with a spirit of jollity and fun. Sadly, Grace Gebbie Wiederseim's private life had become an unhappy one. In 1911, she divorced Theodore Wiederseim, and soon was remarried - this time to W. Heyward Drayton II. You will find this illustrator's work signed by all three of the last names she ever possessed: Gebbie, Wiederseim, and Drayton.

Image of Dolly Dingle paper doll Hello, Dolly Dingle!
While the Joseph Campbell Company was busy using Drayton's wonderful illustrations to sell soup to the nation, Drayton continued to illustrate for various magazines. In 1913, she created a new character, Dolly Dingle, to appear in the popular publication Pictorial Review. With her shoe-button eyes and baby curls, Dolly Dingle instantly skipped into the hearts of the American public.

Over the next 20 years, Drayton would create more than 200 paper dolls in the Dolly Dingle series. Prior to 1926, the paper dolls were printed in full color, but during the Depression, Pictorial Review switched to a two color series. Dolly Dingle's adventures included travelling around the world to visit children of distant lands, including such characters as Beppo and Prince Dalim Kumar. These foreign friends came complete with costumes and symbols of their native lands. Travel by steamer had never been easier and even the most stay at home Americans were often turned into globetrotters visiting Egypt, Rome, and the Holy Land because voyages had become comparitively simple. The round the world set of Dolly Dingle dolls is a wonderful reflection of the new found fascination with distant lands. Dolly Dingle also celebrated American holidays at home, and, of course, she spent lots of time playing with her special friends and relations.

Dolly Dingle's companions, apart from her dog Fido and her cat Kitty-Cutie, included:
Sample of Billy Bumps paper doll

  • Billy Bumps
  • Joey
  • Teedie
  • Sammy
  • Tottie
  • Robin
  • Grace Harriman
  • Mary Lamb
  • Junior Allen
  • Carol
  • Bessie Brooks
  • Tommy Tingle
  • Max
  • Elsie
  • Jock

Perhaps one of the most enchanting aspects of these paper dolls were the fun and widely varied costumes, toys, and accessories provided for them. They offer excellent depictions of period clothing from the early 1900's through the 1930's. It is interesting to take note of the reflection of World War I that is present in the life of these happy paper dolls when one sees them dressed as army scouts or Red Cross nurses. But, for the most part, the clothing created by Grace Drayton is simple and fun.

Just look below at the charming set of Billy Bumps pyjamas, complete with a cuddly stuffed elephant tucked under the arm. Dolly Dingle's school dress is a perfect example of the color and embroidery that was in style in the late Edwardian and early Jazz ages. Paper dolls can show us past fashions in such a remarkable way!

Example of Dolly Dingle paper doll clothing Second example of Dolly Dingle paper doll clothing

The last set of Dolly Dingle paper dolls was published in 1933, and for a time, this pleasant playfellow seemed to fall out of the American consciousness. Grace Drayton passed away at the age of 58 in 1934, but her legacy was to live on in the continued advertising of the Campbell's Soup Kids. In the early 1950's, these characters were brought back into the spotlight at a 50th birthday party, and began to appear not only in print, but also in the new medium of television.

Campbell's Soup Kids Collectible Dish All at once, the Campbell's Soup Kids began turning up in all kinds of memorabilia. This collectible Campbell's Soup Kids plate, shown left, was one of a series featuring different types of soup. In addition to this, there were books, games, toys, fabric, figurines, mugs, Christmas ornaments, and numerous other Campbell's Soup Kids-themed collectibles.

In 1976, Campbell's Soup put out a set of dolls to mark the Bicentennial, dressed in Colonial-style costumes. Further dolls were created in the 1980's and 1990's, and I show examples below of both the Bicentennial dolls and the more recent ones. These dolls are highly collectible. People who love the Campbell's Soup Kids take great pride in owning dolls like these. If you have additional photographs of Campbell's Soup memorabilia, I'd love to see them.

Collectible Bicentennial Campbell's Soup Doll Collectible Campbell's Soup Kid Doll Photo

Doll collectors have not failed to notice that the Campbell's Soup Kids seem to be getting thinner as time goes by. No doubt, the Campbell's Soup Company decided that the original kids might lead people to believe that eating Campbell's soup would make you chubby. I have to say, I find this rather silly, and would prefer them to go back to the more child-like appearance created by Grace Drayton.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle
I have worked for the past 15 years as a fine artist, and the simplicity of Grace Drayton's illustrations have appealed to me since I was a little girl. I thought it would be fun here to give you step-by-step instructions for drawing your own Dolly Dingle doll.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle

First, draw a circle with a regular pencil. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just try to keep your lines light. I drew with more pressure than normal here in order to be able to scan my drawing.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle

Dolly Dingle's eyes are a mounded half-circle with a slightly down-drooping lower line. The top of her eye is a little less than halfway up her face from her chin. The eyebrows are set very high on the head. The mouth is just a small line with two curved cheek marks. The nose is as shown. Draw these.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle

Dolly Dingle's curls follow the line of the circle you have originally drawn, and swing out from the chin line of the head in semi-bell shapes. Draw these.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle

Now, with your eraser, significantly lighten all of your pencil marks until they are almost invisible and will only serve as faint guides. Again, mine are heavier marks that I would normally draw. With a peach colored pencil, color in Dolly Dingle's whole face except for the whites of her eyes. Then, with a carmine colored pencil, create the circular cheeks with a small spot left unreddened for shine. The nose is a carmine oval with a spot left for a shine. The chin is shaped like a carmine comma. Try to shade carefully and lightly with the carmine pencil.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle

Next, with a yellow pencil, color in Dolly Dingle's entire hair area. Follow this by taking a goldenrod pencil and coloring over the yellow in all but a few places. As you can see from my illustration, I've left some of the yellow shining through in patches. This gives dimension to the hair.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle

Next, take a black pencil and create Dolly Dingle's eyes. I am giving you a closeup here, so that you can see the smudgy arc at the top of the eye and the colored portion of the eye having a shape resembling a Pac-Man symbol, with that little "bite" taken out of it. This is what gives the eyes their shining look. There is a bit of black in the lower corner of each eye and a hint of eyelashes at the far corners.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle

Continue to work with your black pencil, darkening all of the lines that you made with your regular pencil. Do the outline of the face, the hair and the other facial features as shown.

How to Draw Dolly Dingle

To finish your Dolly Dingle drawing, make sure your black pencil is well sharpened and sketch in all of the little details of the hair. Study how the lines at the top of the head give a slightly rippled and shining effect and the lines in the hanging curls give a sense of roundness. And that's it. You've drawn your first Dolly Dingle. You could now move on to draw the rest of the figure and design wonderful Dolly Dingle clothes for your creation.

Collectors' Value of Dolly Dingle and Campbell's Soup Kid Collectibles
I continue to be amazed at just how many sets of the original Pictorial Review paper dolls have survived into the 21st century, and are appearing at auction. A single sheet in good condition tends to value in the $10 - $30 range. Values might be higher, but the publication of reproduction paper dolls in book format have made it easier for Dolly Dingle fans to own these reproduction items at quite a low cost. I have also seen antique Grace Drayton illustrative prints being valued in the $100 - $200 range. The Goebel Hardelsges division of the House of Global Art produced a series of collectible Dolly Dingle porcelain dolls and figurines that tend to run in the $100 - $300 range. Campbell's Soup Kid collectibles are quite common at auction. You can discover terrific old tin signs from the 1950's, as well as inexpensive plastic mugs from the 1990's, all in one auction. Price will depend on condition and rarity.

In conclusion, I find the creation of Grace Drayton to be one of the 20th century's most splendid examples of a special and human appeal being given to advertising by the gifts of a talented illustrator. So much of what is marketed to us in modern times is based upon the assumption that high-tech, mass-produced and robotic imagery is what consumers should want and find appealing. Yet, many of us find no reason to make an emotional connection to that which is faceless or futuristic.

Dolly Dingle and the Campbell's Soup Kids put a charming human face on the forms of media they embellished, and the fact that people can still joyfully relate to these characters today is something that modern advertising executives should be paying attention to.