Sunday, September 28, 2008

Finished! (Well, almost)

These pictures show a little of the wig-making process - you can see the board I use to tension a thread to which the mohair fleece is knotted in tiny clumps. You can also see the wig-cap made from stretch knit fabric fitted to the doll's head.
She is almost finished - she has no (*whispers*) underwear, no shoes and these toys she is holding are borrowed, but she will be completed this week.

Friday, September 26, 2008

.....And More!

With the face-painting largely done, I will put this aside now for a few days, and add any minor touches as I need to. I like a bit of time before declaring a face'done' to look at it and adjust if necessary. I'll start work on the wig, which will be made from hand-knotted mohair, while this little face 'gestates'.


After a bit of a break when other things have intervened, I have finally got round to starting the painting of this doll. Her body has been given a flesh-coloured wash and some blushing. I've also put in the finer details, such as fingernails. You can also see where the neck-socket has been lined with felt and the strong elastic cord that will eventually keep head and body together. At this stage you could say that she is beside herself in anticipation of that happening! (Groan)

The head has had several coats of gesso and then four coats of flesh coloured acrylic paint (I use 'Matisse' Artist's Acrylics - superb quality - and I mix the flesh tone myself). The features have been underpainted with Burnt Umber thinned down to watercolour consistency. I tend to work in layers - gradually building up the colour and tone of the face.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ready to paint

Here is the little doll almost ready to paint. All the needle-sculpting is done (toes, knees, ankles, bottom, navel, sternum and spine). I just need to work a little more on the head, sanding it back to a smoother finish. It has been coated with four layers of 'goopy stuff' - a mixture of acrylic gel medium, modelling paste and water - this sets very hard and makes the head pretty indestructible.

Friday, September 19, 2008

More Progress

This picture shows all the parts finished, but not yet needle-sculpted. The arms are not attached. I have started to glue on the cloth covering for the head. This needs to be done carefully and in stages, because it is easy to trap an air pocket underneath.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Next Steps

The first picture shows the body sketch taken from the finished head, and the pattern drafted from the sketch. Doing it this way helps me to get the proportions right - I think visually, so being able to see it all laid out really helps.

The second picture shows the legs sewn and cut out, but not turned; the arms sewn, but not cut out and the body turned and temporarily stuffed to check the size with the head. It will be 'unstuffed' to do the leg joints. You will also notice that I have pencilled in the features - this helps to make sure there are no major unevennesses. Having said that, I am not hung up on absolute symmetry in a face!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Working Drawings for New Piece

These are some of the rough sketches for the piece I am currently working on.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A New Start

Maura Kathleen O'Mahoney Fetchin' Apples

Here she is complete with her basket of fresh apples. Thanks to Mary Wiseman for suggesting the name 'Maura', since she looks a little Irish (I agree). I thought she deserved a full name, so she is 'Maura Kathleen O'Mahoney'.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Doll's doll

Here is the small (3") doll made for my new cloth doll to hold. I used crackle medium to 'age' the doll and dressed it in some scraps of vintage cotton lace.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Doll

This is a doll I've been working on - not quite finished yet, but finished enogh to give you a sneak peek! She is one-of-a-kind cloth; moulded cloth head; hand-knotted mohair wig. I plan to make her a basket with some apples and an 'old-fashioned' doll of her own.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

From The Arbley Chronicles

This is a collage/painting I made recently. I was aiming for a mnemonic piece which evokes landscape (the forests of my childhood in the highlands), but is somewhat enigmatic: not spelled out.
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