22 November 2010

Face It

A while ago, I started a different blog to talk about another of my ongoing interests/ hobbies/ obsessions/ whatever. I've been interested in dolls in some capacity or another for most of my life & it's an interest that doesn't seem to be in danger of waning anytime soon. It's one of my several hobbies that elicit responses like "Oh, my Grandma used to do that!". Let me tell you, there are few things that make a single man feel sexier than hearing that response to one of his hobbies...but I digress.

My usual thought is something like, "I promise you that my dolls and knitting are not like those of your Grandma," but that is neither here nor there. As Davitron pointed out to me one day, my dolls--for the most part--aren't 'cabinet babies' or items that are purely for collecting and display. I'm pretty selective about which dolls I buy (for several reasons), and I tend to do a good bit of research into a type or brand of doll before I decide whether to buy one of that group. Beyond that, I usually make stuff for them. I made Irena's dress in the picture above, for example, and I've knitted more than a couple of doll-sized sweaters. Since they are, in many ways, another venue for me to be creative, I decided to stop compartmentalising and post everything here. Because, seriously, keeping up with more than one "serious" blog is more than I can deal with right now.  ;o)

The dolls in this post are Asian Ball-Jointed Dolls, often called ABJD's or BJD's for short. Dolls are usually sold naked, bald, and without facepaint or a "faceup", as it's called among BJD enthusiasts. Wigs & eyes are interchangeable and are available from various sources. Most companies make clothes that fit their dolls, and there are several 'standard sizes' of dolls, so it's also common for companies that don't make dolls to make clothes designed to fit dolls of any of the standard sizes. The faceups and aesthetic work (such as Ismael's body hair) in the pics above were done by someone else, who I commissioned to do the work. Tonight, I had my first go at trying a faceup of my own.

The subject is this "Lotus" head from Doll Zone. I got the head in a trade with another doll collector, since I wanted a blank head to practice my faceup skills, and he wanted the autographed standee I won at Dolpa in NYC. Here she is without eyes (yikes!).

Here she is with eyes for the benefit of those who are skeeved out by dolls in the best of circumstances (it probably doesn't help a whole lot, since this is still a pic of a head without a body, but I'm making my best effort here. ;o) ). People use different media for faceups, from high quality acrylic paints, to chalk pastels, to airbrush paints, to colored pencils. The guy who did Irena & Ismael's aesthetic work used pencils and chalk pastels, so I thought I'd give those a try.

As is the case with most skills, those who are good at it make it look much easier than it is. I had watched the guy do at least part of the faceup for both of my kids, and left thinking, "Oh, it's just like coloring! I can totally do that!" Suffice to say, it's just quite just like coloring.

Tonight was mostly about getting experience working with this surface & media, which I've never done before on either account. The lipcolor isn't a color I'm likely to use in a faceup I actually want to keep; it was just the best option I had on hand & I wanted to see how I might go about applying color to lips on a mouth that doesn't open & is made from an unyielding material like resin.

The cheek blushing barely shows in these pics, but it's my favorite part of this faceup by far. LOL  Overall, I'm pleased with it as a first attempt, but I definitely need to do a couple more practice runs before I try to execute a 'final' faceup on Pakko (the lovely tan guy with Irena in the first pic) or Chico (modeling the tiny hoodie in my previous post).

This was definitely the first attempt of many, & ultimately I think it looks like this will head in a direction I can be pleased with.

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