I was searching for a new idea for a doll and struggling making heads. I decided until I got head I was happy with, I wasn’t going to start building the doll. It’s easier to build the proportions about the head than vice versa. Besides the head is the hardest part and I’d rather get than done first.
I was working intently on the head but wasn’t sure of what the next step would be. My husband joking said they remind me of “sad girl in snow” which he said was an anime meme but the idea hit me as perfect. I checked a few images for it, just for some inspiration and quickly came up with this sketch. I realized I could do a soft body with polymer clay hands and legs with boots on them.
I thought first of a winter coat but since I knit I decided a bulky sweater would work possibly a teddy bear. I have fleece and know how to needle felt. The hands will have mittens. Should I make them from polymer clay or make small knitted one, that’s still up in the air.
But I have I a plan at least, which is more than I usually do plus I finished the head, I got lips down but sculpting the eyes is giving me so much trouble so finally I decided to leave them and paint them in after. I can sort of do them but they never match and tend to look off. Since eyes are such a focal point, I want them to look good no matter how they are done.
So I actually have a plan and the beginnings of the head, now to build the rest and dress her. Sounds so simple that way doesn’t it?
Anabelle came out just like I wanted her too. There is no I like her “sorta”; no I am really happy how she came out. She’s right on the line of creepy- cute. Her long black hair and eyes just seem to add to it. She is jointed so she doesn’t stand on her own but a stand is included. Red striped tights just complete the look.
La da da da — she is haunting. I listed her on ebay on March 19 to see if she sells. Wish me luck and check her out.
With a little love and some more time, I finished a second elf. I am much happier with this doll. I gave the last one to my husband, it was kind of creepy. He’s keeping at his desk to scare his co workers.
This one came out a bit better, I decided to just do a simpler face and enjoy the process rather than force a realistic face that just wasn’t wasn’t working. She is a tomboy of an elf, with her freckles and wild hair. She carries a small knife and has a gold armband.
Right now I’m working on a commission for a Tardis and Dr Who 10 and 11 charms. So until the next time. Have a great day
Magrat -a Polymer Clay Doll
In my last post, I went through some of my early steps in making this doll. She ‘s not quite finished but she is close. Her clothes aren’t finished yet but she already has quite personality. I find my self thinking of Magrat – one of the witches from Terry Pratchett’s Disc world books. Magrat would be a little younger but she had the wild hair and the country spirit. She was the youngest in the coven of 3 witches, eventually she is known as powerful with in her own right. “All but for a missing letter and her life would have been so different.”
I need to add some pizzazz to the clothes, I hand sewed all the garments so far, she has a white petticoat with lace trim sticking out. I added a little ruffle of purple on her shirt and a waist band on her skirt but now interesting details await. Magrat was a herbalist and was into the occult and occult jewelry so I will keep that in mind as I add accessories.
So how to I get to here from this?
Part of the doll
First step gluing the hands and feet on, then filling out the body with some aluminum foil and then wrapping the wrapping the doll with quilt batting for a soft body. This is when I really start to see it coming together, all that’s left is to dress her. That sounded so simple until I really got down to deciding what to have her wear and then finding the supplies. I wound up dying the skirt since all I couldn’t find a color I liked.
Now to clean it all up, clean up the seams, fix her hair, accessorize to make her special. She stands about 11 inches tall and stands on her own. So far this is the largest doll I made, now I want to make it the best one as well. The real mark will coming in the finishing details. So until next time…
Part of the doll
That last head was a dead-end but then I turned the other way. I started over and tried again. I have the polymer clay parts and the frame completed, now I have to work on the soft stuff, like her clothes and hair. It starts with the head, hands and feet.
I molded the hands and feet, I was pretty happy with the results sculpturally wise but of course, she’ll need some color and some hair. I used acrylics paints to add some color.
This the head after I added the paint and the hair. What a change. I still need to style the hair but there is a little life now. I felt like the original head could go in many ways – male or female. I wanted to do a woman. She’s older but not old witch old, she’s got wisdom but she’s still got spark with those pink cheeks, freckles and ginger hair.
I sculpted the hands and feet. I didn’t use armature in the hands but I did let them cool down and wait to keep them more even; I have a bad problem of rushing and the clay gets too soft – thus mushing the features. I sculpted and baked the feet before adding the sandals. I like the finished look. I decided on the style with the toe mainly because these would be the sandals I want.
After completed all this I built the skeleton/armature using aluminum wire. The head is sculpted on piece with a spiral on each end so the head is on securely and then I use 1 piece for the 2 arms and shoulders and another for the legs and hips. The wire from the head helps form the body. After using wire to secure it all together I bound it with floral tape for more security and to get the wires from getting loose.
The next step will be to glue the hands and feet onto the skeleton. As you can see from the feet, there is a hole in each – the thick wire fits in there exactly and I will add super glue to secure them in place. One they are in place I will be a soft body. Then the real fun – dress up time! I have some vague ideas but I now I need to make them real.
I found a just about finished doll head the other day and was inspired to move forward and finish it.I wanted to fix some details and then add an armature and body. It wasn’t bad but was lacking an character. So I decided to do some work on it. BTW I should have taken a “before” pic to compare this to but I forgot. I had already added acrylic paint so I looks messy in place.
A good rule to follow is to take photos before baking to get a good idea of mistakes, places that still need work and proportion. A second good rule is to let it sit a day before baking, just to so you can take a second look.
Like I said, I broke both rules. The proportions aren’t bad, it looks good from the front and both side but I can see I missed a lot of places I that I really needed to work on more. The side facing right needs to have blended more completely, I can fix that by sanding and filling in. The profile facing left looks really nice.
However the from the front – this face really fails. Trying to resculpt the eyes to add age and they just look bizarre. I may just have to take this as a good lesson – take pictures and not be in a rush to get things done. Patience is not my strong suit. But I feel like I want to keep this going.
Lesson learned: Mistakes should be learned from, not end a project. But even better, keep old work, you never know what will inspire you later on or what can be used in a new way.
Either way, on to work on a new head and a new doll. I want to go slowly and make one I will truly be proud of.