Hi ho, lovely readers!
You’ve probably seen some of the pics of my lil art doll project this weekend, cross-posted from my Instagram account. I thought I’d give a bit more detail about the materials I used to make this little gal. One of the things on my bucket list has been to make art dolls. Since sewing hasn’t been so good on my hands due to all the gripping involved, I thought I’d see if sculpting would be easier. There are a lot of breaks in the action to clean up and wait for things to dry, so it is easier on my hands. Hurray!
I followed the basic instructions from Tamara Laporte’s Art Doll Angel. One of her examples was a bust, which inspired this one. Here are the supplies I used:
Sargent Sculpt-It! air dry clay, sculpting tools, an old fashion magazine, graphite pencil, gel pens, E6000 glue, masking tape, Deco Art flesh acyrlic paint, pink and white with glitter dots tissue paper, rubber stamp, Stayzon ink in black, an old non-glossy magazine, Pitt pens, Molotow white acrylic marker, lace, ribbon, ribbon roses, Golden interference red, a small amount of natural light tan colored alpaca rover, Modge Podge, Gloss varnish, and tiny chain with tiny turquoise beads, 2 plyers and a jump ring.
I made the head and bust by wadding up pages from on old Vogue magazine and then taping the heck out of it in order to shape it into the head and bust. I put on layers of Sculpt-it and worked on smoothing it. I kept it pretty wet, so it didn’t crack as much as one of the other dolls I made that is still drying…
Sculpt-it takes 24 hours to fully dry. For this one, I decided not to build up a chin and brow and just see how well I could do the highlights and shadows by hand.
I adhered the torn pieces of non-glossy magazine page to the bust. While it dried, I took one of my favorite stamps and black Stayzon ink and stamped onto pink tissue paper. I painted the head and neck with flesh tone paint. Then layered the tissue paper over the magazine layer. While I was doing this, I didn’t like the little cracks in the head and neck, so I took the white tissue paper with little glittery dots and glued it all over the head and neck.
While I was working, I examined the head to figure out where I would put the face and she seemed to be looking up and to the side, so that’s how I drew on her face. I used Pitt Brush pens to shade the face and color her eyes and lips and used my white Molotow marker to do the highlights. It look three layers of Pitt pen shading to get a look I liked. You do have to wait for each Pitt layer to dry before continuing – otherwise, you just pull off the color or get an unattractive blob.
I pulled sections of the alpaca and glued sections down with matte gel medium. That was kinda tedious but it worked out. As I was waiting for the first layer of hair to dry, I braided a little section to go around the front of her head (bangs just weren’t going to work). Once I got all the hair on, I twisted and formed a bun at the back. Added a ribbon to the bun and glued 5 ribbon roses to the top of her head.
Glued on the lace for a neck line and used the interfance red above the lace.I made the necklace from the tiny gold chain with beads and a jump ring. Wrote the words on her chest with a Pitt pen and highlighted it with a white gel pen. Made wings from a paper doll template I have, embellished the wings with gel pens and used E6000 to glue them on.
I’m pretty happy with her – I think she’s just adorable and think I’ll take her to work on put her on my desk.
I’ve got a few more dolls on the window sill drying. I trying to use up the 2 lb bucket of Sculpt-it before I break open the Paperclay. I want to reuse the bucket for the lefter over clay. I’m hoping the Paperclay dries faster and is easier to use than the Sculpt-it, which seems a might fussy and has a plastic-y feel while you’re working with it. It doesn’t feel plastic when it’s dry. Weird.
I really enjoyed making this gal and realized part way through the process that many of my girl portraits are the same style: head and shoulders with no arms. There’s no real mystery to the lack of arms – I’m not very happy with how these usually turn out, so I tend to make heads on shoulders.
Expect to see more art dolls – I had a lot of fun making and embellishing this gal.
If you’re interested in Tam’s class, you can purchase it from her Etsy shop.
How did you spend your weekend? What projects are you working on?