I had the eyebrows too thick and >:[ on my Bill doll, so I repainted them tonight thinner and more uplifted. I wanted to capture her friendly, wondering expression. She kicks ass too, but I think of her more as an open-hearted character. New version below.
I love the Disney Elite 10″ Jyn and Rey figs I got, but their small heads make them unusable for my larger 1:6 scale populations. I thus got the idea to make the figures into 1:6 scale kids by putting Barbie heads on them. I did this by popping off the original heads and twisting off the neck posts inside the torso. Then I sawed off a neck from a donor Barbie with a roughly matching skintone, cutting the edges so that they fit in the torso socket. After hot gluing the neck in there, I added a matching Barbie head.
My quick and dirty solution works well for a few reasons: 1) Both Jyn and Rey’s costumes disguise the area where Barbie neck and Disney Elite torso meet, permitting me to just glue the necks in without finished or matching paint, which I can’t be arsed to do. 2) Both Jyn and Rey’s costumes cover enough skin to make the difference in tone between Barbie heads and Disney Elite bodies less noticeable. 3) The heads being comparatively large works for more childlike or teen-like proportions.
While I was customizing these bodies, I also did a partial repaint of the tan Barbie head, who is from a Made To Move body. I removed original eyebrows and atrocious lipstick, as well as some eyelashes. A suggestion of eyebrows and a lip line do a good job of sketching more youthful features. Leaving as is because I don’t want to overdo it.
Here’s Bill! I finished the repaint this morning. She’s a Fresh Dolls Mia head on a temporary body: a tan Cy Girl 1.0. I customized her by giving her a full repaint, a haircut, and a pin-back of some of her hair. She’s wearing an action figure fem shirt, a vest by Dolls Ahoy, pants from Fashionista Ken Color Block, and shoefeet made from Hasbro Shoezies.
While only single-jointed right now, she can still cuddle with her girlfriend Alison. Awwwww, lookit the WUVS! <3 <3
Alison is a custom cast resin action figure fem by Eric Barclay on a Triad Toys “Hispanic” skintone. I customized her with a full faceup and addition of a [shittily styled] wig. I also modified all major joints for greater flexion. She wears a Triad Toys leotard, arm sleeves and skirt from Mezco Fashion Victims, and her favoritest yellow sneakers, even though they do not match. I made her choker.
For context, Alison Cheney is the companion of an alternative Ninth Doctor in a [crappily animated] web series done for the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who called Scream of the Shalka. Bill Potts was the companion of the canonical Twelfth Doctor in the latest season of Doctor Who, otherwise known as A Tragic Waste of a Wonderful, Compassionate, Curious, Level-Headed, and Overall Adorable Black British Lesbian Character Played by the Talented Pearl Mackie. I disapproved and fixed things in my head by moving Alison forward to the present day, having her rescue Bill, and then having them get together. See? They’re so happy together! And, when Bill gets a body with better articulation, they’ll really be able to snuggle!Continue reading Fresh Dolls Mia repaint as 1:6 scale custom Bill Potts done
Added eye bags and lips.
This morning I erased the Fresh Doll Mia’s eyebrows, most of eyelashes and eye makeup, and lips. Current status of repaint below. At least needs better eye bags, as well as gloss to eyes and mouth. Hanging out with Alison below.
Well, the Integrity Toys Janay head, which I previously thought would be a good base for my 1:6 scale Bill Potts, ended up having an irredeemably sharp jaw, so I gave up on it. Thanks to @natalunasans, I am now in possession of a Fresh Doll Mia, who has a much better face shape. Below is a picture of Pearl Mackie at the DW season 10 photocall in London in April. Below that is a photo of Fresh Doll Mia after I braided some of the top left of her hair and then clipped back some of the top right. Looking good… Still needs redone eyes and lips. Also more eyeliner. Unsure about body, as this light brown/golden skintone is nowhere available in action figures.Continue reading 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts take 2
I just got an Integrity Toys Janay head to make a 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts as played by Pearl Mackie the amazing.Continue reading 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts forthcoming
Inspired by an upcoming visit to the Montreal Otakuthon Dollfest, I finally got my ass in gear and finished Delmar. She is the top half of a Leekeworld Little Mermaid. Her fat little butt + tail I commissioned from @pandorkful who made it out of wool. She also put an armature in it so that Delmar can either sit reasonably well or lie down. Either way, the tail provides a drastic improvement over the resin one that she came with. I only need to make one improvement. Because her tail is lightweight felt, she does not sit well against propped against something. I need to weight her tail to keep her upright better.
Most recently I got a fabulous set of kitchen cabinets and appliances, along with two Disney Elite Star Wars 10″ figures, Jyn and Rey, as well as a 7″ Disney Star Wars Elite K2SO [not shown]. I really like the 10″ figures. Though a bit smaller than 1:6 scale, they have amazing articulation [including double-jointed limbs and ball-of-foot joints], decently tailored clothing, detailed molded plastic accessories, rooted hair that accurately replicates the styles in the movie, and headsculpts with recognizable likenesses to the actors. I weathered both Jyn and Rey’s faces and redid their eyebrows to add more character. Then I shot this pointless photostory to show off some of my @natalunasans gifts. Zombie was also from her.
The final Shalkaverse cast member is done. Here’s the Doctor! Headsculpt is a custom sculpt of Richard E. Grant as Withnail, which works surprisingly well as a base for the Doctor. I modded it by removing the original eyebrows and sculpting them higher on the forehead. I painted the head and stuck it on a Triad Omega body. Hands are from an unknown figure. Vest, pants, shoes, and coat are from Pop Toys’ British Detective figure. Cape is by dollsahoy. Shirt is from unknown figure.
Despite being conceived of as “aristocratic and aloof” by screenwriter Paul Cornell, my Shalka Doctor wouldn’t know “aristocratic and aloof” if it smacked them upside the head. They’re rather a mess, which is why their shirt is untucked and vest unbuttoned. They’re an extremely enthusiastic and hammy person, any aloofness being a misinterpretation of the fact that they often get distracted in their attempt to experience all of life in all its wonder all at once. While they certainly have various wells of guilt, melancholy, and sadness inside them, I wanted to emphasize their scenery-chewing aspects — hence the boingy eyebrows and blue eye makeup. Hey…it works!
Now she looks more realistic and more like how I picture her in my head. Continue reading Alison got a haircut
Finally I have finished a doll that I have been working on for about three months. It’s my version of Alison Cheney, protagonist of alternative Doctor Who adventure Scream of the Shalka, for which I’ve been writing entirely too much fanfic. This is the version from the Alison Wonderland ‘verse, which means that she and everyone else are significantly happier than they were in the Reverberations of the Shalka ‘verse. In my ‘verses, she ends up much closer friends with the Master [the Magister to her because it means teacher in Latin, and don’t tell her any different :p ] than the Doctor, which is why she’s hanging around with him in these pictures. Once I finish the Doctor, I’ll have all four major characters of the Alison Wonderland series. [The other is Brad, Alison’s significant other. Hmmmm, I should take pics of the two of them, though Brad has not officially entered the storyline yet…]Continue reading At long last, Alison Cheney!
My first iteration of the Master is finished! Custom sculpted Roger Delgado head painted by meeeeeeee [note to self: skin color is a mixture of Plaid/Apple Barrel Colors/20556 “Medium Flesh” and Anita’s All Purpose Acrylic Craft Paint 11007 “Chocolate Brown”], Dragon action figure body, “Chinese suit” for clothing, gloves from some other action figure, shoes from Character Options Dalek Sec [the only ones that fit]. The Stylist, a fellow Time Dork, is a 2016 Holiday Barbie repainted by meeeeeeeee, Made to Move Barbie body, most of the MTM yoga outfit, and MC2 shoefeet. Bookcases are from @natalunasans. I made the books a few weekends ago with a perfect bound notepad for signatures and note cards or origami paper for covers.
Now that I have him all together, the Master definitely needs some improvement. 1) A better body with more poseability. 2) Gloved hands in molded plastic. These bendy ones are shit. 3) Decent shoes. 4) A decent suit. 5) Most importantly, his Domina carissima, Alison!
P.S. Hey, Master, you do know that’s Julian’s Device, right?
My dolls follow mainstream fashion insofar as the clothes they wear are recognizable as modern, culturally acceptable wardrobe elements such as shirts, pants, and shoes. Beyond that, though, they merrily deviate from the norm with their own definitions of what’s cool. Latest crop of sweaters made from novelty socks illustrates this well. Pictures below. Continue reading More sweaters, no fashion sense, and a repaint
In other news, I finished a body mod on Novella and got her back from the faceup artist with a new paint job!Continue reading December doll update: Novella gets new faceup and half a new body
In successes, Submit’s Hujoo Wings body in apricot came on Friday. I narrowed the neck to fit her head socket, trimmed down the feet so they could fit into her glittery shoes, and wired her arms. The apricot plastic matches with the color of her resin well, and the proportions work very well; she now looks like she’s between 8 and 10 instead of between 6 and 8. With more evenly distributed weight, a jointed torso, single-jointed elbows, and double-jointed knees, she has much greater stability and articulation than she did in her original form.Continue reading Doll successes and frustrations this weekend
I recently completed a significant amount of work on Polly, none of which is particularly apparent.
- I removed her old faceup, thoroughly cleaned her head, sealed it, gave her a new faceup, then sealed that.
- I got her a new wig.
- I restrung her core [i.e., everything except her arms] and made a notch in her headback to hold the elastic instead of trying to keep it up in her head with swears and hot glue.
Polly is very much a jerry-rigged doll, a fact immediately visible when her wig is removed. Her head started off as an Elfdoll Doona Kathlen sleeping faceplate without a headback, so I made one very messily out of Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Also, when I was removing one of her earliest faceups, I applied Pebeo too aggressively, removing the top layer of resin in a patch on her lower left cheek. Her hair and makeup have mostly been inspired by my desire to minimize the color discrepancies between a) her faceplate and headback and b) her slightly yellowed faceplate and the whiter scars left by Pebeo. I’m pleased to report that her new wig hides pretty much all the Aves Apoxie Sculpt visible when she used other wigs. As for her facial scars, they’re much less obvious than the grey Aves Apoxie Sculpt, and I tend to shoot her from the front and the right side anyway. :pContinue reading Polly’s do-over
I had one of those evenings where I felt dissatisfied with all my accomplishments. Continue reading A frustrating evening with digital and 1:6 scale dolls
Sure, I’m going to give her some lighter eyes eventually and make her a brighter shirt, but this is pretty much her final look.Continue reading Thalia is pretty much done.
My signature style takes inspiration from gesture drawings and caricature. Gesture drawings reveal a quick, loose line that nevertheless finds a strong, organic flow. I like to capture this rough, sketchy, open-ended, expressive quality in my paint jobs. In other words, they’re messy. :p
I also, as I have repeatedly noted, take design cues from caricature, in which salient features are exaggerated to the point of ostentatiousness. Limited palettes with bright colors appeal to me. The darks need to be darker, the lights lighter, the sheens shinier. MORE IS BETTER.
Finally, my signature style has a sarcastic, silly sense of humor. While I seriously like the “more is better” concept, I also find it hilarious. The sheer weight and boldness of Sardonix’ indelible eyebrows amuse me. Yamarrah’s ice cream earrings, ice cream sweatshirt, and creemee props become even more entertaining when I juxtapose them with her flaming eyebrows, head-on-fire wig, and speed-flame shoes. The clothes I commissioned for Jareth, with their indiscriminate proliferation of layers, ruffles, textures, and gradations of the same color, take coordination [or lack thereof] to a laughable extreme. Thalia’s morbid Gothic skullface makeup and phalanges tattoos on her hands become a source of comedy when paired with her flowery skull shirt and skull-and-crossbones loafers. Bold, messy overkill is a gas.
And here are some pictures of Thalia’s faceup in progress, illustrating exactly what I mean. I wonder if she should have eyes that match her tongue in color…Continue reading Thalia, latest exemplar of my signature style
The next meetup of VTDL heralds the return of the popular Halloween theme. I finally have an incentive to complete Thalia, as her skeletal aesthetic will make for a perfect Samhain debut. Of course, I haven’t made much progress since the last time we saw her early in July with faceup plans penciled all over her face. But here she is again.
First I painted the inside of her mouth black. Then I used Pebeo and an Xacto knife to remove black paint from her teeth and wherever else it wasn’t supposed to go. At the same time, I painted one of her tongues [the licking one, as opposed to the sticking-out one]. Then I did her face in white and gave her some temporary red eyes, as I haven’t made her specific ones yet. Pictures follow.
Continue reading Update on creative endeavors #1: Thalia the neverending project
I’m working very slowly on Thalia. Very, very, very slowly. I sketched my faceup design on her a while back, and then she sat around like that until maybe two weeks ago, when I finally primed her and laid down the white base for her skullface makeup. This is what she looked like back in the mockup stages.Continue reading Recent projects #2: Thalia’s faceup
Thalia[‘s head] came yesterday! She matches well with Janvier Jett’s Angelsdoll massive girl body in Volks NS resin, so that’s good. The proportions look good too. And, after all that excitement about the novelty of a doll with two tongues, I actually like her with no tongue and an open mouth best. [I may be saying this in part because it’s really hard to get her licking tongue out of her mouth once it magnetizes in.]
I’m thinking about how I want to do her faceup. I’ve been really interested in duochrome faceups for quite a while now, mostly generated for Jareth with Instant Makeup and Geisha Builder. My attraction to duochrome probably stems from the fact that two colors and gradations thereof are easier to work with than a whole varied palette. So I’m thinking something duochrome for Thalia.
Actually, I’m thinking about grey, multiple soft shades of grey, not as stark as Timonium’s black-and-white job, but something with less definite outlines, shadows suggesting haggardness and depth. In fact, I’m thinking a subtle skullface faceup in gradations of grey, kind of like Jareth did for Halloween. And since there’s no way I could affordably duplicate these lovely bracelet restraint things in 1:3 scale, I’ll try painting some stylized phalanges on the back of an extra set of hands.
Well, I mean that I have finished her wig and faceup. I still need to make her "I BELIEVE [in Champ]" shirt and her customized wheelchair. Maybe I should take some inspiration from one of my digital models and give her a steampunk power chair!!
Continue reading Polly my little mermaid is done!
Because it’s been too hot to go outside and do her torso/abdomen mods, I have stayed inside and brightened Yamarrah’s faceup. What’s shown below is pretty much done; I just need to even out the color on her tongue and regloss it.
I’m pretty sure she’s trying to decide her favorite creemee flavor: either vanilla/chocolate swirl or black raspberry. ^_^
After languishing in pieces for over half a year, Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!!! Today I took her new torso [specially cast by Mirodoll to match her Iplehouse realskin head] and modded it to accept her original Domuya arms. I filled in the large shoulder sockets with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt so that they would more snugly accommodate her shoulder balls, which were on the small side. I managed a snug fit by layering Aves Apoxie Sculpt on the inside of each socket and then, after letting it stiffen for about 45 minutes, rolling the shoulder ball around in the Apoxie Sculpt to create a new socket, perfectly shaped for her shoulder ball.Continue reading Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!
Flower came to work a few weeks ago to take advantage of the wonderful natural light there. Here he is in the window. I tried to frame shots so that they could include him, as well as the flourishing trees and Lake Champlain, but he wanted the camera to focus on him alone.
Continue reading Flower in the window
Usually I’m not a fan of green in faceups, preferring pink, magenta, red, orange, yellow and black, but I must say that Flower is rockin’ the green here. Since the last picture earlier this evening, I progressed the freckles further down his torso and also onto the tops of his shoulders. I also started sealing his mouth with high-gloss varnish and added the style of eye makeup that’s been my signature since the very first faceup I ever did on Sardonix 1.0. Of the BJDs who bug me, Sardonix, Mellifer, Timonium, Yamarrah and now Flower have the upswept eyeliner and the down-slanting eyebrows.
Anyway, behold Flower the Unsubtle! What a change! I always knew he was fabulous…
Flower has languished, paintless, since he finished playing Mackenzie in Me and My Muses, but I have finally been giving him a new faceup recently. Continue reading Flower and the unexpected freckles!
Decided last night to take the colors from Flower’s skirt and use them as a palette for his new faceup. Pink! Magenta! Possibly some reddish purple! With accents in lime green [color of his eyes]! I find the pink/purple/lime combination a wonderful one. I may add some swirly viny lines too…
Also decided last night that Polly’s faceup will feature predominantly turquoise, with accents in white and navy blue. There will also be a lot of dots, for example, forming her eyebrows and maybe coming up and out like bubbles from the outer edges of her eyes.
About a year ago, Doctor Z, the Zombieville denizen who diagnoses Isabel with spondis and tells her about the condition and the community of people who have it, started off as a Hasbro AA helo Jane with a very purple faceup.
I’ve been working on Yamarrah’s faceup for a long time, mostly, as can be discerned from the results, with orange, red and yellow Prismacolors. Her tongue, inner mouth, eyebrows and eyelashes are done, and right now she’s resting to see if I like the way her lips have turned out. If I do, I will seal her lips and then work on her teeth.
She’s one of the sweetest dolls I’ve had the pleasure of working on. I can’t really describe it any other way except to say that her mischievous expression and floppy body combine to make her a friendly, cuddly, cheery person. I’ve thought about getting a bronze Soom Mega Gem body to match her head, but I really do like her wiggly, floppy Domuya Flexibody. As much as her inability to hold a pose bothers me, it’s become part of her character now that I don’t think I can sacrifice, even for resin matching. I guess she’s just a really loungey fire elemental!
I have finally finished body mods and basic faceup on yet another FAT DOLL!!!!!!!!! This is Sylvia Blomqvist, last seen as a Fun-4-All talking Kelly Osbourne head on a customized male action figure body.
Continue reading Sylvia with finished body mods and basic faceup
I redid Béatrice’s faceup over the past few days, as well as her hair. She used to have a faceup in unsealed Prismacolor colored pencil and no hair at all. Her faceup wore away with handling, however. I also found her blindingly white skin difficult to photograph. To cut down on the amount of blindingly white skin she shows, I made her a coordinating wig when I redid her faceup.
Faceup consists of the following: brown watercolor pencil for eyebrows, lashes and shading around nose, neon purple over neon pink acrylic for eyeshadow, neon pink with neon purple line for mouth, pink colored pencil for blush. Wig is faux fur with a blue 1" base, originally with 3" pink and purple spikes. I trimmed the spikes down to 1" as well and gave Béatrice bangs.
Everyone in Zombieville achieves a minimum level of loud tackiness, but Béatrice is especially loud and flamboyant. I mean, she wears neon lipstick, for shit’s sake! She also chooses, as a cancer survivor who has lost her hair to radiation, to wear a tricolor wig. Plus she is actually really loud and pushy, in part because she is used to being literally overlooked.
She still needs her chandelier earrings.
I darkened the shadows around Chaz’ eyes today. I also tried to make her a wig of some of the poodle shag swatches, but I found it too difficult to work with. It has a more slippery, stretchy backing than regular faux fur, so it’s hard to measure and cut. >:(
Bulked out her neck more and sanded it, while also carving out neck hole in bottom of her head. For her faceup, narrowed her eyes, lowered her eyebrows and added shadows. Glossed eyes and lips. As usual, black acrylic and brown watercolor pencil.
Continue reading Further refining of Pearlene’s neck and faceup draft
Head didn’t rotate on previous draft of neck, so I thinned and lengthened neck. Head now rotates.
Pearlene’s eyes need to be narrower and her eyebrows lower.
Ever since I decided to clean up his lips, I have faced challenges in repainting them satisfactorily. Here’s the latest iteration:
Redid Perdita’s eyebrows and controlled her hair with Mod Podge tonight. Now waiting for her oxygen mask…and some hands.
I erased Barrett’s default eyebrows and sheared his default hair this evening. Amazing how much younger he looks! I also changed his shirt, since I decided he was too uninterested in his looks to wear a snazzy red button-down. He got the puke sweater instead.
Darkened them with some wet black watercolor pencil, hit ’em with a few coats of satin varnish and erased some of the blurry dots around his lower lip. He’s ridiculously photogenic, I think, especially in stark lighting conditions.
Erased the watercolor pencil lips and redid them in paint. Bottom lip is tomato red acrylic. Top lip is same, darkened with a bit of black. Also went over his eyebrows with black paint. Sealed the shit out of his mouth with satin varnish and eyebrows with matte.
Here he is borrowing Yamarrah’s body. The bad proportions make me twitch.
I decided to improve Jareth’s faceup today. Since his body is out being fitted for fabulous clothes beyond imagination [!!!!!!!], Janvier Jett allowed him to borrow hers. First he borrowed her wig and glasses too. He has rocked her wig and a pair of the orange spectacles before, but him on her body with all her gear just strikes me as jarringly wrong. [I wonder what he’ll look like on Yamarrah’s Domuya Flexi body when it comes?]
This version is slightly different from the previous. She has adjusted nasal bridge lines and neatened mouth with satin varnish.
Her outfit and her hair weren’t doing her any favors, so I improved them. Her faceup also needs refinement. I like the features, but the coloring is a little messy. I need to touch up her lips and the lines around her nose. Her eyebrows and eye bags, however, are perfect! She’s so cute.
Her shiny purple face made her really difficult to photograph, so I wiped it this weekend and redid her. The darkness of her complexion, again, makes it hard for me to photograph her, but some highlighting helps pick out her features.
She also got new hair, the volume of which I reduced by flattening it with some Mod Podge. I also gave her a different top so she’s showing a little more skin.
Anna, Zombieville denizen and Isabel’s close friend, used to look like this:
Megan Meehan, Zombieville denizen and Doctor Z.’s assistant, used to look like this:
Continue reading New and improved Megan, now with increased wrinkles and bags!
I did Dillon — Isabel’s ex, coworker, purchaser of her car and carpooler, not to mention Carter’s friend and representative of stupid shit people say about PWS — for once and for all tonight. He started off as an AA Hasbro GI Jane Vietnam Nurse, who is quite possibly one of the sweetest, cutest, most adorable dolls ever. Don’t you just want to be her friend?
Continue reading Voici Dillon!
I have finished the dead version of Isabel tonight. Last night I broke lots of her fingers and repositioned them in less tense, claw-shaped configurations. I also made her a skirt by hacking out a circle of black velvet with a 9-inch radius, snipping a hole in the center, pulling it over her pelvis, then sewing it closed around her spine with embroidery thread. That’s as far as my tailoring skills go.
Today her shirt came, so I lettered it first with watercolor pencil, then with white paint. The blotchiness of the paint and the smears from the watercolor pencil both worked in my favor, creating the effect of worn screenprinting. I also hacked out the hems on the sleeves and neckline.
Finally I gave the exposed portions of her body [neck, arms, hands, lower legs, feet] a wash and dry brush of light grey to a) disguise the fact that I had reshaped her hands and filled in gaps with hot glue and b) make her body match her head better. I am aware that her left hand especially looks like shit. I may improve her hands later; I’m not sure.
Here she is. She looks sad.
When we last saw Novella, she looked like this. I made some changes today.
1. I wired from her neck down through her thighs to reduce her floppiness.
2. While I liked the flamboyance of her outfit, I never liked her bikini top, which seemed way too casual for her personal style and for her job as receptionist, bookkeeper and Webmaster at Champlain Valley Body Art. One of my improvements was therefore covering up her midsection with a red tank, a skull tank and then the nubby pink overshirt.
3. Her pale resin made her nose seem undefined, so I gave her some nasal shading.
I’m pleased with the results, which make her look more proportional. Uyoo’s headsculpt has eyes, nose and lips much too big for the small skull, so the temptation is to balance out the large face by adding a high-volume wig. I did that, and the results only accentuated that Uyoo’s head is way out of proportion to her narrow, flat body. By giving her a few layers of clothes up top, I gave her some bulk, which makes her look less cartoony and more realistic. Her proportions are much more stylized than the other regular issue Minigem girls, all because of her huge facial features on a small head.
When we last saw Brandeis, she had no faceup, a different wig and a different outfit. Now she has a faceup [all brown and a little pink for the lips], a black-based wig instead of a white-based one and a different outfit. I ditched her hat and changed her pants and shoes. She’s adorable! Love her little legwarmers with hearts. <3 <3 The simplicity of her faceup brings out the lively detail in her sculpt.
Now her smirk is smirkier!
Here’s Carter with his faceup done. The hat is definitely getting replaced, and I’m not a fan of the shirt either. But this is what his face looks like. Colors used were white, black, grey and brown.
Lightning-shaped sideburns are the awesomest awesome that ever awesomed!
Inspired by the striking effect of Timonium’s dried-blood choker against his pale and black palette, I redid his ears in the same color.
Continue reading Preying in the night
…into whatever medium I’m working with. Timonium exemplifies these rare and welcome occurrences.
When I last photoed Timonium, I had glued up his final wig and then enjoyed how much he reminded me of Jareth from Labyrinth.
I’ve been laboring intently over him yesterday and today. I did his ears and his face in a limited palette of Prismacolor watercolor pencils [French grey 20%, French grey 50%, black and white] and some diluted snow white acrylic paint.
Watercolor pencils make mouths so much easier, as I can wet my brush and push color into the creases between lips!
I’ve finally figured out my faceup style: sketchy and impressionistic, but also bold and stylized, in narrow palettes. I don’t do subtle!
Now painted, Timonium looks much different. At first, he seemed like a neutral alabaster statue. Originally I thought I would give him a relaxed mouth, but I decided to stick on a smirk, just to see what would happen. Suddenly he came alive with devilish attitude! in contrast to the smirk on my Jareth doll — a playful, devious one — Timonium’s smirk is dangerous and quite possibly malicious. The word that comes to mind when I look at him is chthonic.
Yes, he’s supposed to look like the Goblin King. I was trying to capture that threatening, powerful allure he evinces when he enters Sarah’s room, sneering, smirking and sparkling.
He was originally going to be avian and more grey [and possibly blue], but he obviously wanted to be grey/black/white instead. This starker palette accentuates his pallor, making him look kind of cadaverous.
I put the red choker [a string from Jareth’s shirt] on him because he needed a choker, and I couldn’t find a black one. I like the dark red accent enough that I’m contemplating doing his fairy feets in the same dried-blood color. Maybe splatters, as if he’s been walking through blood. He strikes me as that kind of person. Probably drinks it too.
Anyway, onto the pictures….
I mostly blame his faery feets.
- Of course, he can’t stand unaided because of them, but I’m resigned to that.
- I can’t wire them all the way through, as the S hooks attach to bars inside the tops of his calves. Therefore, his legs don’t want to stay straight, which makes any balancing that I try to do with him, even with the help of a stand, nearly impossible. I need to core out some of the resin down in his calves so I can jam wire in there.
- Furthermore, he’s looking very stiff compared to Flower and Mellifer. I think I need to rewire his torso joints.
- His resin has this fascinating translucent quality that reminds me of alabaster. It also makes him hard to photograph because he instantly washes out. This is a temporary problem that will be rectified when he gets a faceup and some hair, but I still reserve the right to be annoyed.
- And his skirt is too big and needs to have its waistband adjusted.
That said, I know he’ll be very nifty-looking when I do some work on him. I have ordered a 36-color Prismacolor watercolor pencil set. I’ve also ordered some longish silver grey faux fur for his wig, and I plan to do his faceup in shades of grey [possibly 50 of them :p ]. He’ll be a muted greyscale doll, a change from my usual bright palettes.
Uh, anyway, I took a few pictures of him tonight. Not very well shown is the articulated Obitsu stand that I spent 1.5 hours putting together, only to have it fail on me because Mr. Wobbly can’t keep his legs straight so that his en pointe feets can serve as load-bearing points. >:( Continue reading Timonium’s pissing me off.
I made her eyebrows thicker. As is my wont, I’ll most likely end up doing her up based on what I think will look best when I have her and my colored pencils actually in front of me. Well, and my paints too. There’s no way I’m scribbling on the inside of her mouth. Continue reading Yamarrah’s edited faceup concept
From head to toe:
- Faux fur wig with parallelograms of pink, red and black
- Earrings made from Iwako creemee erasers
- Oversize, off-the-shoulder, pink sweatshirt with a) red cuffs, collar and bottom trim, b) glittery creemee applique and c) added shoulder strap to make it seem like there’s a tank top underneath
- Black leggings
- Black/red basketball shoes
She will also, of course, have actual non-clothing creemees to eat. 😀
I sure hope this split goes through! 😀
One of my first tries creating an old character in action figure form was Mamie. She was an LHF character, grandmother of the protagonist Anneka, and she was a tough 95-year-old.
I started off with a BBI Burner F15 Pilot head, as she was an androgynous woman, then recolored the hair silver with white highlights. I also added some light pink polymer clay to extend the end of her nose and her chin, then blushed them a bit to blend in with her existing skin. Mostly I used regular #2 pencil to draw wrinkles on her face, with colored pencil accents for especially dark shadows. Her head’s in poor condition, so I’ve tossed it. However, I have retained these photos for historical purposes. Continue reading Ageing an action figure: Mamie
I made some 1:6 scale spaghetti this week. At first I coveted Rement’s Fun Meals #8, Spaghetti and Meatballs, but it’s out of print and running at ridiculous prices on Ebay. I am not paying $20.00 for a plate of plastic spaghetti! I don’t even pay that much for a plate of real spaghetti.
Anyway, I decided to make my own. I mixed up some yellowish tan polymer clay and rolled it into a long thin string. The I swirled the string into a pile and cured it. After curing, I added sauce. The lumpy consistency of the acrylic paint worked in my favor, giving the appearance of tomato chunks and possibly pieces of ground beef.
Continue reading Recent projects: spaghetti and Peter
Chaz, a denizen of Zombieville [my future storyline], is a Batchix Nan Sook BJD in tan resin. Her spondis [fictional condition that causes people’s body parts to fall off, which can only be arrested by a diet of 50% fresh human brains] has cost her her right hand and forearm, as well as her left foot and calf. Ideally she should use an electric wheelchair, but I only have one, which is currently occupied, so :p.
Chaz rescued her Russian tortoise Dandelion after Dandelion lost her leg in a car crash. Chaz nursed Dandelion back to health with a steady diet of dandelions…hence her name. Chaz and Dandelion love each other very much. ^_^
Dandelion is a custom Russian tortoise figurine sculpted by theTurtlePond on Etsy. She is anatomically detailed down to the accurate patterns on her shell. She is stylized, though, with a bigger head and eyes than true scale, as well as an overall larger size. [Female Russian tortoises rarely get over 8 inches long, from beak to rear feet.] She’s also smiling. I plan to put some wheels on an elastic strap that fits around Dandelion’s shell so that she can have a tortoise wheelchair.Continue reading Chaz and Dandelion!
I improvised a sports bra for Isabel using a stretchy cropped tank top. Then I cut up a quarter of a tissue into strips, balled it up, then stuck it in each of her cups. Look — breast forms! And she’ll still fit into most of the clothes that I tried on previously.
Continue reading “Spare me the bullshit.”
I started working on Isabel’s faceup last night, but eventually swapped her out to a Soom Uyoo body, as the Elfdoll Doona Ryung body she came with was weirding me out with its childlike proportions. Though her temporary body represents a shape Isabel has never had, it certainly disturbs me less than seeing the head of a 35-year-old on a 7-year-old’s body.Continue reading Isabel acquires faceup, hair and temporary body.
Another Zombieville denizen attains completion!
I had the worst time with Anna’s hair. Originally I just wanted to repaint the base in royal purple, the bangs and braids in pink, her lips in raspberry and the lesions on her face in red. I had no problem doing the royal purple parts [aside for some paint leaking under the copious masking tape and onto her ears >:( ], but I struggled mightily with the pink parts.
I encountered two problems when repainting her bangs and braids. First, the dark neon green paint that she came with did not want to hide under the much lighter neon pink replacement. Furthermore, the neon pink was slightly diluted [curse you, "craft paint!"], so it kept sliding into the low parts of her hair sculpt, leaving the prominent areas flagrantly green.
I considered thickening the paint. I made a thickening agent out of corn starch and water, then decided not to use it. I looked for modeling paste in the local craft store, but they didn’t have it. My frustration increased.
I decided to dispense with the existing braids and bangs, both of which I had yanked off, and sculpt some from scratch. Unfortunately, I did this by using uncured polymer clay directly on Anna’s head. Bad idea. They clay stuck there and would not remove in one piece for curing, so I spent at least an hour undoing all my work and scraping every goddamn sticky bit of polymer clay out of all the crevices in her ears and hairline.
Having found modeling paste at another craft store, i tried mixing modeling paste and paint to then cover over all the green parts. The result looked okay, but a) it cracked and then b) it wouldn’t fit snugly back on her forehead anyway.
At that point, I threw away her bangs and braid, since they clearly existed only to mock me. I created my own bangs, as well as a ponytail for her braid hole, from small strips of faux fur. The fur, a tricolored atrocity in neon purple, pink and green, actually worked much better than I expected. The pink picks up the pink on her skirt, while the purple picks up the purple in the rest of her hair and in the stitching on her bellbottoms. Finally, the green in her hair coordinates with her green lipstick.
While I was at it, I modified the upper portion of Anna’s outfit from the last time we saw her. I gave her a cropped T-shirt with a NO BOYZ sign on it, over which is a cropped short-sleeved jacket in white faux fur with gold threads. She also has a load of beaded bracelets on her left wrist. Her pants and boots are the same. And I took off that disastrous green nail polish. Oh yeah, and her wheelchair is a Mattel Becky one spray painted black.
Clearly, she is fabulous!Continue reading Anna’s done!
This is what my desk looked like earlier this afternoon. ^_^Continue reading Repainting Anna: creative chaos!
Pretty much done with Jareth for now. I gave his bangs a trim and evened out some of the color application. One picture without glasses, one picture with. I find it amusing to see him with glasses. At the same time, they go well with the planes of his face.
What you are about to see will shock and astound you.
I offer you a fainting couch if you feel a syncope of amazement coming on.
If your companion passes out, please use the complimentary smelling salts to bring them around.
We also have antacid tablets for those who truly can’t stomach the sight.
…As well as blindfolds for those who don’t even want to think about looking in its general direction.
Is everyone ready? Good. Continue reading Prepare yourself, ladies and gentlequeers.
Meggilu has an extremely detailed tutorial about how to paint eyebrows on BJDs. I may use it, or I might squint and say, "Okay…the eyebrows go about there…" *scribble*
Naiara's general faceup tutorial on DOA.
Cifr's general faceup tutorial on DOA.
Elisa_maza's tutorial on DOA.
I like Ellery's confident, smirky expression!Continue reading My messy little protagonist, Ellery
Ellery and Lucian's clothes from Andrea came today! Sadly the jeans and the underwear did not fit because the measurements that I gave Andrea were too small, though I took them from Lumedoll's Web site. Regardless, here's Ellery the geek with her questionable sense of style and Lucian the sly, finally with pants. Bonus picture of them together!!Continue reading Ellery the geek and Lucian the sly
I painted Ellery this evening. She's much more sarcastic than I expected. :p I have also included a picture of my messy desk with faceup supplies all over it.
Continue reading The Great Sarcasmo, or, Ellery scribbled on [=painted]
I deplore the divergent trends in male and female action figs. Basically, the male figs have craggy faces with a variety of ages, expressions and personalities [go to War Toys and look at the nudes if you need examples], while the female figs have stylized, generic faces with a tendency toward bland neoteny. I myself am not free from this bias, at least for female figs, but I actively fight it by scribbling on my dolls’ faces!! Continue reading Scribbling on my dolls’ faces makes everything better!
I got some new paintbrushes today. I will NOT be storing these bristles down. Anyway, I got out my supplies…
Then I shaved some pastels with my craft knife onto my technologically advanced palette:
Then I made a mess all over Will’s face, putting some brown around his nose and on his philtrum and, most significantly, a thin layer of purple shadows [see unmixed blue + red above] under his eyes. Here’s a harshly lit shot that shows the additions. I am just now exploiting his darkened eyes in a formal shoot.
Will had some marks on his nose. I tried to erase them with paint remover. In doing so, I erased all the paint from his nose, forming ragged edges between his paintless bridge of his nose and everywhere where the paint is. I tried to fix this today by applying some shaved pastels to the ragged areas. The result is very messy because I was working in low lamplight, not natural daylight. Also my paintbrush was frazzled. Finally, I have a messy and unfinished style of painting and drawing anyway.
I’m not really perturbed by the messiness. When I first got Will, he looked perfect, pure and unblemished. I admire the high grade of resin used to make the doll, but the appearance of the doll is not accurate to Will’s character. Will is supposed to be over 130 years old. While his body has remained at approximately 30, he has suffered over a century of wear and tear. I imagine him as beautiful but also haggard, more like an aristocratic, finely made-up old lady who used to be a pageant queen, rather than a person in his shining prime. My messiness thus takes away his flawless appearance, but he’s not supposed to look young anyway.
…you should have seen it before I cleaned it up with the paint remover. I am returning to my dolly roots lately with some 1:6 makeovers. Using BBI’s latest issue of the Perfect Bodies, I’m making yet another head for my 1:6 Frank doll. I repainted the eyes brown and made them glance to the side. I also added shading around eyes and nose with paint. The eye shadow, blush and lip shading is done with pastels. Stupendously enough, I’m actually much better with pastels now than I used to be. I still need to find some appropriately curly, dark brown hair with in-scale, small curls…
We continue with the illustriously bad example of customizations on my first BJD, Zephque. These pictures come from his for sale posts in November, 2005. Read and weep.
Do NOT use a combination of Prismacolor and charcoal pencil to redo the eyebrows.
Do NOT paint lips in a single thick layer of a single color.
Do NOT try to take your doll’s eyes out unless you know what are doing. The first time I tried to fiddle with Zephque’s eyes, I cut myself on the stems. Then I broke one of the eyes, which I eventually scraped out, in pieces, along with some eye putty. I stuck a clear marble in the socket, and that eye never caught light again.
Other things to avoid:
Do NOT make your doll a cross-dresser unless there’s a really good reason for it. “I like bishie fag boys” is not a good reason. “My character’s a sort of executive transvestite who’s seriously confused about his gender presentation because his mom wanted him to be a girl” is more acceptable…marginally.
Do NOT make your doll a vampire or something supernatural and/or undead unless there’s a really good reason for it. “Vampirism is so sexy and so, like, deep” is not a good reason. “This is my story character in resin form who explores the symbolic connections between vampirism and psychological deviance” is okay…maybe.
Do NOT give your doll a name involving apostrophes, unorthodox use of capitalization and/or gratuitous diphthongs. “Because it’s cool” is not a good reason because it’s NEVER COOL to call your doll something like Zephque d’Amaranth. Try something like Sardonix Sanguinarius instead.
I think Sardonix needs a NO BISHIES T-shirt, like the NO SMOKING sign, BISHIES with a line through it.
Diatribe aside, I retain much fondness for Zephque. He helped to catalyze my interest in BJDs, photostories, Love Has Fangs, photography in general. I also feel some affection for the character, who was simultaneously melodramatic and brittle, sensitive and repressed. He always seemed rather afraid of himself, of admitting what he truly desired; thus he paralleled my own uncertainty at that time. Now that I have more confidence, my dolls manifest more ebullient attitudes, but I certainly don’t want to dismiss Zephque because one has to be fragile and overprotective before one flourishes in flaming fabulosity [if that’s not a word, I made it up].
Back in May, 2004, I got my first BJD, a Custom House Gene, for the ungodly sum of $675.00.
Anyway, after playing with him for a while, I liked him less than I did originally. I also saw many more BJDs debuting that were more attractive in weight, poseability, sculpt and price. So I sold him in November, 2005. Below are some of the “for sale” photos that I took to illustrate my post on DOA. You’ll get to see how NOT to take pictures and how NOT to modify your doll…
Do NOT pierce ears with a hot needle, as this may cause cracking and staining in the resin.
Do NOT tattoo your doll with a mixture of colored pencils, water-based markers and ballpoint pens and then seal it with matte paint varnish.
Do NOT try moving temporary tattoos on your doll before they are dry, as this will cause the design to peel off. On second thought, don’t put huge temp tattoos on your doll…it just looks tacky.
And, for the sweet bleeding love of Christ on a Pogo Stick up a tree without a paddle, DO NOT seal the tattoo with thick layers of varnish that you apply with a dirty paintbrush.
Stay tuned…scary faceup details in the next entry.
I finished painting Sardonix 2.0’s head tonight.
Blank Juri ’06:
Final product, awaiting her body and clearly plotting devious schemes:
Sardonix 1.0 for comparison:
2.0 looks happier, but also more hypnotic and evil. 1.0 just looks pissed.
Substituted light pink and brown for hideous mauve shadows around Frank’s nose. I think there’s some improvement. Continue reading Repelling the purple forces of doom
EDIT: Picture now visible. Global Dolls “Candy” wig, dark brown, WRONG STYLE [= horrid ringlets], size 9-10: $8.65. Global Dolls “Carolina” wig, dark brown, RIGHT STYLE [= mohair curls], size 9-10: $25.90 [!! — blame it on the mohair]. Kemper glass eyes, brown, Karl brand, 16mm: $14.18. Finally giving Frank his eyes and hair: priceless. There are things money can’t buy. If it’s purchasable and doll-related, though, go to Audrey’s Dolls for a wide variety of supplies at deep discount.
Frank borrowed Jareth’s body for some quick photos this evening. Continue reading Repent of the purple shadows! [aka hair and eyes for Frank]
In yet another stage of Frank’s face-up, I painted over his eyebrows with black acrylic paint. I also tipped his eyelashes with the same color to make them more visible. [Thank you for the tip, Armeleia!] Finally, I shaved the pointy tip off Frank’s nose with my Xacto knife. See the strip of progress photos below the cut. Continue reading Frank’s face-up progress
I removed much of the grape Popsicle shading around Frank’s nose and mouth. I still like the purple between his eyes, so I left that for now. Also I’ve applied the blush much more evenly than before. Picture below. Continue reading Fight against the grape Popsicle!
With my eraser, my Colorless Blender [sounds like a kitchen appliance in a boring shade of grey] and Prismacolor Blush [PC928], I reapplied Frank's blush, trying to make it more even, but still highly visible.Continue reading Slightly refined blushing
Lips glossed with satin gloss, eye make-up with matte gloss. Human eyelashes [Manic Panic, Purple Rain Dance] cut down to size and added. I’m really proud of my work. The finished product looks much smirkier and more animated than my mask-like conceptual drawing. I attribute this less to any talent that I may have and more to the high-quality canvas [Volks resin] and tools [Prismacolors] at my disposal. Pic below. Continue reading Frank’s final eyes and lips
On Frank’s eyelids: Prismacolor Violet [PC932] on Frank’s eyelids, blended with Prismacolor Mulberry [PC995]. Above the lids: a stripe of Mulberry above the lids, with a layer of Violet above it. Between the eyes and the brows: a light layer of Violet, partly stripped with decapant universel, blended with Mulberry. Picture below. Continue reading Eye-shadow attack!!