Monday, February 28, 2011

Anatomy of a Doll - Part 1

UPDATE: I've added links to the bottom of this post so you can follow this series of posts from start to finish. 

I decided to do this in case anything I say is helpful in anyway to some one interested in making dolls. Also if any established doll makers see this and want to leave me any tips based on what they see me doing, that would be most welcome.

So I'm new at art doll making. At least I consider this an art doll, but I guess that's subjective. I've been making plush dolls for a while now and this seems to be a natural progression for me. Anyway the doll I'll be showing here is a completely new body design from what I've done before. She is also a mishmash of techniques I've learned or taught myself up til now.

So I started by making a paper pattern. I found a great leg pattern in Soft Dolls and Animals Magazine and built the body pattern around the leg. The leg had a great boot design.

The torso and head are separate because I was trying to find a way to make more realistic breasts. This only partially worked as you'll see later.

I have a love of big eyed dolls like Blythe and Pullip so played around with some faces and decided on this basic face design.

This face is also reminiscent of my daughter, all big beautiful eyes, little nose and full lips.

Next I gathered up my supplies. In case some of you don't know I hand sew my dolls. They are also made of eco felt, a felt like product made from recycling water bottles. I love that I'm using a useful product that was made from something so many people just throw away. I love the way it feels and it's very durable and comes in lots of bright fun colors. Another reason I use this felt is that I'm severely allergic to wool. I buy my eco felt from Felt O Rama. They sell it by the yard and their customer service is outstanding.

 Sometimes I specifically know what the doll is that I'm making from the beginning. But not this time. I originally was thinking of making a Steam-punk doll or Costume doll for one of the ADO challenges. She took a while before she told me who she was then I was able to design the rest of her from there. She sat around as a disembodied head for a while until she decided.

I don't paint my dolls faces. Although I could paint on the felt I'm not real confident in my abilities there and since I know my felt that's what I do. All my details are hand drawn on paper to fit the needs of the doll.
The eyes, nose and mouth all have dimension to them. She looks a bit weird all flat like this. Hope I haven't bored you to tears and that you'll come back tomorrow for more.

Anatomy of a Doll PART 2 can be found here. 
PART 3 HERE and PART 4 HERE

3 comments:

Hello there! My name is June said...

Very cool! I will have to bookmark felt o rama for some future craftster swap projects!
I always think it's interesting & not boring to read about people's processes. I sometimes start a project not knowing where I'm going with it, but other times, there is a concrete plan.

SilverNikNats said...

Look forward to see what happens next! Fantastic blog!

Finding Charm said...

I think what you do for your faces is a talent that maybe a face painter may not have. For what it's worth.

Cool to follow your craft process, something I could not do!

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