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The Jareth Experiment

The Jareth Experiment published on 2 Comments on The Jareth Experiment

These are the traits of BJD faceups [paint jobs] valorized by the ABJD community on DOA:

  • They should be done with expensive materials, preferably chalk pastels, with sealant imported from Japan, because no one has ever done any good on a doll head with, say, acrylic paints.
  • Boy dolls should have darker faceups with heavier lines and less makeup when compared to girl dolls, who can have faceups with a lighter palette, more obvious cosmetics and a greater range of color.
  • They should be minutely detailed with individual lip creases and eyebrow hairs showing.
  • Blushing should be of a color found on actual humans in nature.
  • They should be exactly symmetrical.
  • They should not obscure the resin, but, instead, be subtle enough to allow the natural beauty of resin to shine through the paint.
  • One should not go for a bold faceup, but instead strive for subtlety, delicacy and lightness in one’s paint job.

These are the traits of modifications valorized by the ABJD community on DOA:

  • They should be done in two-part epoxy or a clay specifically for doll-making because anything else, such as polymer clay, is unworthy of being used upon such expensive dolls.
  • They should be perfectly sanded so that there is no obvious difference between original resin and added mod.
  • They should be symmetrical.

For a good example of the type of faceup valued by most members on DOA, please see Absinthe. It has a natural palette, a subtle and harmonious arrangement of colors, detailed strokes on lips and brows and a high degree of symmetry.
Isn’t that exciting?

Now, in case regular mockery from other people hasn’t already convinced me, the most appreciated style of faceups and mods is not mine at all. I use cheap materials, whatever palette I want to, heavy strokes that obscure the resin, a stylized appearance with little lip or brow detailing, minimal sanding and, for God’s sake, only approximate symmetry. I do not understand the obsessive fixation on symmetry in ABJD mods and faceups. First, it’s unachievable, and, second, no one is perfectly bilaterally symmetrical anyway, so why even try for such an unrealistic goal? If one is pursuing realism in brushwork, why not go futher and make the curves of brows and mouth asymmetrical? It’s much more interesting.

Therefore, in defiance of the dominant paradigms of ABJD aesthetics, I present my latest masterful mess, the Jareth Experiment. Since I earlier noted that my 1:3 customized Jareth head could look like my Daz version of Jareth with a little modding, I decided to take on this project.

Step 1. Determine where to add the mods by SCRIBBLING ALL OVER his perfect, realistic, subtle, delicate, symmetrical faceup. The scribbles below his eyes show where I will add Sculpey, while the scribbles above his eyes are my drafts of new eyebrows and forehead wrinkles.

Step 2. Remove most of the paint, and wash the head a few times. Ignore the remaining 5% of paint flakes in unobtrusive areas because they will be painted over. This picture shows the mods, unpainted, that Armeleia did. They are in a greyer color than the original resin.

Step 3. Add translucent Sculpey in appropriate areas. Strive for smoothness and symmetry, but mostly just wing it. The Sculpey is the darker stuff, slightly peachy in color.

Step 4. Dry Sculpey with hair dryer. Put Jareth’s eyes and wig on him and stick him on Frank’s body to get general effect of mods. Hey, the man has a jawbone!!
Step 5. Do some light carving with a scalpel to make jawline more symmetrical.

Step 6. Paint head with acrylic paints. Ignore divots and imperfections in Sculpey.


Ha ha, I thought you were really pompous when i first started reading this, thankfully it was all snark. I love BJDs but hate all this “Master-race” symmetry boll**ks. And many a good face-up has been done with acrylics if you know what you’re doing. Interesting to see how this develops. :o)

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