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Friday, September 28, 2012

Dolls in Progress

This is a doll I've been working on for a couple of months. The face mold is made of PaperClay which I prefer over Sculpey because it air dries, is lighter in weight, and it's easier to get off your hands that Sculpey. She looks like a being from outer space with that endearing yellow/green skin!! I used a soccer shirt scrap for her face covering (I'ts some manmade fabric), and I don't suggest anyone ever use that  for covering a face mold. It is NOT cooperative and it fought me every step of the way. However, I can be stubborn, and I didn't want to start all over on the skin, so I just kept adding extra Elmer's Glue and holding it down where it wouldn't stick with pins. Finally it gave up before I did, stuck and dried, and I could take out the pins.
Then I added some PaperClay to a couple places where there were folds or wrinkles in the fabric. This doesn't usually happrn with cotton, but I had them with this fabric. She'll eventually have hair, so I really didn't need to patch the top of her head, but I wanted to, just in case I change my mind about the hair.
Next, I added three coats of gesso to prepare the doll for painting:
The first coat of gesso was white, the second bright pink, and the next the light pink you see here.  I'd tinted the gesso for something else I was working on, so this doll got the same stuff.
Next, I paiinted her flesh color and painted her mouth, but I didn't like the mouth, so I painted over it. I had drawn on some eyes with a pencil, but didn't like them either. They were too small and I decided I wanted a child doll, not a woman doll; this means that her eyes needed to be bigger and her lips less full than I'd had them, so I painted over them and went to bed.  This morning, I drew an eye the size and shape I wanted it on a piece of "sticker paper." This can be an address label or whatever. I always save the part of an invoice that is sticker-paper and use that, or sometimes I save and use the margins from sheets of stick-on mailing labels. I never waste that stuff, because you really don't need very much to make eyes on. Then I stuck the blank eyes on the doll's face and penciled in the pupil and iris of the eyes-- sometimes I draw the eyelid fold, too. If you want realistic eyes, it helps to look at every eye you can find: eye's on people you know, eyes on people in magaizines, model's eyes, movie stars' eyes, children's eyes, any eyes you can find. The nice thing about using sticky paper is is that you can move those eyes around on the doll's face until you get them where you really want them.  
     Even though I have made lots of dolls and painted lots of faces like this, I noticed that I had one eye a lot closer to the bridge of the nose than the other one. This is SO easy to do, and unless you look at your doll's face really closely, you might just miss it. So I had to move the eye on the right over a bit, to where you see it now; I decided I like them where they were now, but  I had already penciled in eyebrows (I should have waited--I tend to work too fast and live to regret it), so I had to erase the right one and pencil in a new one. It's good to pencil everything lightly, and only use a white eraser. Some mechanical pencils have white erasers; if you don't have pencils with white erasers, you'll need to buy one. Pink erasers tend to leave a pink mark.
     So now, she is close to being ready to paint, and it would have been good if I'd stayed away from the paint until this point, but as I said, I tend to hurry things and then I'm sorry. But I like this girl's face now, and I will probably paint it today. I've already blushed the cheeks lightly, as I like to do that when painting the skin color; I mix a little of the shade of pink I want with the face paint and use that. Be VERY careful when painting cheek color on dolls; too much and she'll look like a harlot!!
I doubt that this doll will have ears, but if I decide she should have braids, or have her hair in a "updo," I will add them then. I can make fabric ears and stuff them a tiny bit, glue them to the head, and then gesso and paint them, or I can make PaperClay ears,  cover, gesso, and paint them, and then glue them to the head--with either style of ear, it's up to you when, in the process, you glue on the ears--before or after gessoing and painting. The tops of the ears should be just about even with the tops of the eyes, and the size varies a lot from person to person and thus from doll to doll.
    That's all for today. The decluttering is coming along--slower than I want it to, but I'm finding I just don't have enough extra time to devote large blocks of time to it. So I do what I can in small segments of time and keep the effort moving forward.
The next time I post, which I hope will be Tues or Weds (it's Friday now), I will report on my Art Journal Workshop, which is Monday, Sept 29. 

1 comment:

  1. Its fascinating to read about your process. I made a few cloth dolls when my daughters were little, but nothing for the last 20 years! I enjoy your blog.
    Cheryl Warren