Monday..... photo a week day! And... bet that title drew you in right? .... well, it isn't what you think....
Every doll maker has one of these.....a box of body parts..... and most have a lot bigger box than this. I am not very prolific in the doll making department...not prolific in any department when it comes right down to it, so it is a tiny box, but I do have one. (I have a separate one for bear, dog and other animal parts) ... It's kind of gruesome. We save all the experiments.. or half done things. I do it so that I can refer to them later...or try to do something with them at a later date if I stump myself midstream or if I get totally disillusioned while trying to accomplish some technique.
heads, legs ...arms..
I have been trying to sculpt a face that is sort of flat with not too much detail so that I can glue cloth over it and then do a face with watercolour pencils. I have not tried painting a face with brushes and paints, but want to try that some day too....just too much fun stuff to try and not nearly enough hours in a day..or motivation to get started any earlier in my days...
anyway.... too much detail and it is verrrry difficult to get a piece of fabric glued onto it ... I want to figure out a way to be able to get fabric onto a face... with no wrinkles evident at the chin or neck area.... so that I can get a great head onto a nice body...with a long neck in the body of the doll. That darn chin area. Unless you have a monstrous chin and a neck that goes straight down from it... it is tough. But... I persevere...
...so, after listening to my complaints and a bit of cursing..... Mr. BumbleVee said... "why don't you try a sculpted cloth face like I know you have done... and put a nylon over it like that other doll maker does"? HuH?... this guy. Honestly, he knows more about doll and bear making than I do...because he remembers every word I ever say to him about it. Whereas, I generally forget what I say the moment I say it. But, does he mean like Lisa Lichtenfels? .... geeez...he sure has a lot of faith in my doll making abilities. She is a legend for heaven's sake!
this is the picture on the cover of her book. She is amazing. Needless to say I will never be in her class...but, the idea was a good suggestion.
I just used one of the old poorly sculpted heads for practice. Stretched a nylon over it and needle sculpted it along the nose and enough to hold it in position. Used a twist tie at the back to hold it tight. It's just a practice head....... then, put on three coats of gesso so that I could get a smooth stable face to draw on. I didn't think the nylon would even soak up anything..nor did I think it would stay in position.
If I do one later as a "real thing"...I would definitely be doing a lot more stitching on more areas to define them and also to make it hold in perfect position. I didn't really like the roughness that was still present after the gesso...so tried lightly sanding the surface... but, was afraid to wreck the nylon...and it did rough it up in a few spots...so just decided to go ahead and draw on a face. I still had a bit of roughness...and I just don't really like the feel of the stiff surface.
It is a bit difficult to make the dry pencils look as nice or as soft as I want...and wetting it down.. sometimes I got some streaking...so I was tentative ... didn't want to wreck it even if it was only an experiment... maybe I'll try a bit more colouring and use a Q-tip to smudge it a bit more..... to soften some of the hard lines I still see.
Hahahha...this chunk of blue Tibetan lamb fur gets a lot of use... it is used for modeling on many a face... and it looks good on all of them. who knew blue hair could look this good?
...on this close up you can see a bit of what I mean about the surface being a bit rough still. I think... maybe more sanding...then add another coat or two of gesso and the surface would be smoother. But... it still is difficult to get good results with pencil crayons. However.... maybe painting ....if I could figure out how to do that.... might be the answer. However, for the doll I want to get done within the next few months.... I might have to go back to methods taught by a couple of dollmakers..... gluing a tight weave fabric over sculpted faces.
Like this one...
.. again with the wrinkles..... still have some tweaking to do with the tecnique and the shapes in order to get the desired result.