Monday, May 6, 2013

The Making of a Doll Part 1

I've been exploring making dolls, especially working on sculpting faces and heads. I have a lot to learn all around but I figured the first step is to really work on faces, it is the first thing you notice and eyes are the first thing you notice on a face, so this is the first to perfect. Damn but it's a bitch to get a hold on.

[caption id="attachment_1583" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Eye Eye[/caption]

I started with the eyes and man do these look bad, I spent all weekend playing with doing eyes and although I've done them before I just couldn't "get it" this time. I tried so many different ways, starting in different places and seem to get nowhere. I finally got to this and even if they still looked off, I decided to just move on with the nose and come back to them as the face moved on.

  • Lesson 1 I need to be sure to smooth constantly as I work, don't leave it rough

[caption id="attachment_1578" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Adding a Nose Adding a Nose[/caption]

I smoothed out the eyes a bit more and then added a nose. From this photo I could see the face isn't really symmetrical but until I saw the pic I wasn't seeing it. The nose helps make it look more human and I was able to soften the eyes.

  • Lesson 2 - Take lots of pic at each step, it helps to see what is "off"

[caption id="attachment_1579" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Adding a Mouth Adding a Mouth[/caption]

I added a mouth, the lips were tricky but things were coming together, still it looks off center and needs smoothing but I'm ready to clean it up a bit. I noticed some edges were squarish and needed to round them out

  • Keep smoothing, faces are round, there shouldn't be square angles

[caption id="attachment_1580" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Pulling it together Pulling it together[/caption]

Finally it is coming together, I refined the nose a little and using pics, I tried to balance the 2 sides of the face. Now the hard part seemed to be fixing one part without smooshing another part.

[caption id="attachment_1582" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Ears Ears[/caption]

Here's the result after a little more refining. I added the ears which I kept really simple, ears are REALLY complicated. Everything seems pretty balanced and I cleaned up the fingerprints and used some clay softener. I'm going to let it sit overnight before baking so I can let it rest and be able to give it a fresh look in the morning.

Big Takeaways from this

  • Smooth and blend constantly, smooth each section as you go

  • Take lots of pictures, it helps find the flaws

  • Be patient and don't be afraid to start all over if you can't fix mistake

  • Faces are round, get rid of angles, rough edges, bumps and scratches

  • Symmetry is really important, without it everything looks wrong

  •  Eyes are the first thing you see in a face, you really can't "fake" them

So for the moment I am finished making the face. I want to do the best I can do for each face I make, it's the only way I can improve but I don't want to my doll making on hold to spend months just making faces.

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