Studio Art Head

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My First ArtDoll Tutorial...

I did it!!!  I finally finished this beautiful doll that I've been working on since last year.  I did have step-by-step pictures of the process of making this doll, however; when my phone crashed a couple of weeks ago I lost everything.  Sorry.  But I will give you the skinny of how the doll came to be.

I started out with a cloth muslin stuffed doll I carry in my ETSY shop.  (see below)  The first thing I did was cover the entire doll with a coat of gesso and let dry over night.  One coat is all that is needed.  The more gesso you apply, the cloth picks up the brush strokes.  I also removed the undergarments.  Since I didn't need them for the design of this particular doll, I placed them aside.  I also removed the tag that comes on the side of the doll with a pair of scissors.

After the gesso dried, I did a light pencil sketch on the doll.  I mainly concentrated on the facial features and hair style  since I had an idea of what she was going to be.  To be honest, the face and head of the doll intimidated me.  I kept thinking, 'oh no...what if I ruin her?!' so I left this part last and I'm glad I did.  Painting the body made the doll come to life and I was able to relax about her face/head.

I knew she was going to be a ballerina and she had to have some pink.  I used my favorite acrylic paints... Amsterdam Standard Acrylic Series in the colors Quinacridone, Light Rose, and Zinc White.  I l-o-v-e these paints.  They're highly pigmented, not heavy body or too fluid, and they mix well with other colors.  I mixed all three colors to get a shabby dark pink that I wanted for her shoes and body/torso.  I mixed the Light rose and Zinc white to get an even lighter shade of pink for her tights and sleeves.

After the body was completely painted I started on the facial features and hair.  I wanted her to have a black little bob with a flip and whispy bangs.  The bangs kinda got away from me because I couldn't find a thinner paint brush, but over all I was pleased.  For the face I used a combination of some paint for the eyes and mouth and Derwent Inkintense pencils for the checks and shadowing of the eyes.  (see below)

When her face was complete, it was time for wardrobe!  But before the clothes came, I completely sprayed her (front & back) with one coat of spray sealer.  This helps seal the doll, especially her face, and keeps her face from smudging if too much touching.

I used two different widths of a pretty light pink tulle ribbon with dark pink glitter specks for her tutu.  After cutting them to the size that fit around her waist, I used a needle and thread to sew them in a scrunchy way to give the tutu form.  Trust me, that is as much sewing that I know how to do.  So after the tutu was formed I hot glued it around her waist.

Then came the fun part...the bling and embellishments!!  I wanted to keep her simple yet make her stand-out.  For her ballet slippers, I used a darker pink/magenta sequins trim and hot glued it around both her legs.  I used a ribbon that had sparkly beads and glued it around her waist to add bling and keep her tutu seems from showing.  I found the cutest rhinestone clip to accent the tutu and a pearl and rhinestone embellishment for her hair barrette that I attached via EGlue6000 and art doll is complete!

As I mentioned this was my first time making and painting an art doll.  I had so much fun with her, I'm think of making her a friend.  The doll was made for my other website  

The lesson I learned while making this doll was to 'just let yourself go...and not worry about ruining anything.'  Remember you can always cover-up and mistake or re-do anything with the help of a little gesso!

Leave me a comment or email me with your thoughts on the ballerina.  I also need to come up with her name, so if you have any suggestions...leave me comment.

Until next time!

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