It’s been a loooong time since I’ve used my dolly blog and in truth doll stuff has been happening, but with maintaining 2 webcomics and other work, this blog has become neglected. I want to try to remedy this and I have a couple blog posts planned but for now I wanted to mention that I’m sculpting again!
I don’t think I’ve ever shared this girl on the blog, but I am working on a kind of tallish mature MSD sized girl. I’ve posted some progress shots for her on my Instagram. My goal is to eventually make an artist cast of her and then have her sent off to be professionally cast. If I can’t manage a professional casting then I will probably be happy with making my own artist cast of her for myself as I want her to have a “birth” in resin because I still think she has a cute face here a year or more later since I started!!
Anyway let’s hope I can finish her!!
So, I’ve got the lips looking more natural now, and I brought down the nose a little and gave it some more shaping. I also started rounding out the cranium in the hopes that I can get wigs to fit better on her since her head shape was a little off. My only concern with rounding out the cranium is that her head is getting a bit larger and I worry that her head may be coming more MSD size and perhaps a bit too large for her body. I won’t really know until I get a chance to lay out the doll again though which won’t happen until after I get the last of my comic work done for the week (probably Sunday night or Monday). Still have a lot to do with this head, but I am still happy with the direction it is taking.
Shot this pic right before I had to clean up my drawing table. I made some joint progress, as you can see the torso joint is coming along and all the joints are in place for the whole left leg. The right leg still needs it’s knee and ankle joint fitted though. The hip joints are giving me grief of course, but I won’t mess with them too much more until I am able to get the legs strung so I can see the balance issues and make corrections. The right knee joint is going to be a bear though because the foam core got twisted so the leg walls are thick in places they shouldn’t be among other problems. XP Just writing about it makes me anxious to be able to get her back out and get to work on those leg joints. I really want to see if she will stand at all, and as soon as I test that it will give me insight into better hip joints.
So, she has ears now, yay! But one is a tick higher than the other, boooo~. So I’ll have to do some careful sanding and add itty bitty bits of clay here and there to even it out. I tried to work on the shape of her lips a little as well. I’m hoping I was able to refine it just a bit more…I really hope I’m not overworking it! ^^;;; The other thing on my to-do list for the head is to even out the eyes, since one is just a tick lower. I think I might save the eye adjustment for when I have the headcap off, this way I can carve the wells for the eyes and then sculpt with the eyes in place.
The rest of my progress has been in cutting up the different part to prepare them for jointing. I also started work on the balls for the hip joint and have molds done for the ankle and knee joints. Now comes the long tedious work of creating all of the ball joints and then waiting for them to dry so I can tool them and graft them onto their respective body parts.
My next goal is to get the hip joints grafted onto the thighs and get the hip socket properly set to accept the joint. After that I plan to begin work on the torso joint, then probably work on the knee and ankle joints..or perhaps the other way around, ha ha ha.
I thought I would write a blurb on here about reconstituting clays in case it might be helpful to someone and save some money. It is pretty rudimentary for those who are already familiar with working with clay, but for the benefit of the sculpting beginners I will elaborate.
Unfortunately I had a couple of whole bricks of clay go dry despite their packages never being opened. It’s my fault for leaving it sit for over a year I imagine. ^^;;; Anyhow, my clay was around in a greenware state. It was cool to the touch with a slight dampness and I could carve it with my fingernail, but other than that it wasn’t pliable at all.
Since these clays are expensive and I really didn’t relish the thought of having to throw out these clays I decided I would at least make an effort to reconstitute them. So far the method I have employed is slow going, but so far successful. Basically what it comes down to is this. I broke off a small section of the brick, dipped it in water, then wrapped it in a wet paper towel and sealed it in a ziploc baggie. After it sat overnight, the surface of the clay started becoming workable, while the core of the brick was still too firm. So basically I scraped off the workable clay and broke apart the brick even further. After I removed the workable clay, I sprinkled the remaining brick with water, re-wet the paper towel and wrapped the clay up again. For the workable clay I kneaded it and wrapped it in it’s own damp paper towel and kept it separate from the drier clays in the plastic baggie. If you keep the workable clay in with the very wet unworkable clay it will only cause the workable clay to become too wet and sticky. So in the end, just remember, keep them separated and you will have no problems.
So, as I said before, it’s pretty rudimentary stuff, and so far I have found no tricks to make the reconstituting process go faster. Basically you just repeat all of the above steps until you’ve finally turned all the clay back into a workable mass. My last bit of advice though is to change out your paper towels every so often because if mold starts growing on your towels it will contaminate the clay and well mold is just bad business! 😉
I’ve decided to return to my doll project after having been inspired by other artisans great looking dolls. So here is my progress on “Cookie” who is looking less to me like a Cookie the more I work on her, haha. Anyhow since this picture was taken I’ve made her upper lip a little less thin and have been endeavoring to make the lips look a little less pinched/pursed. I think I am on the right track, but I will see after I post this latest bit up for critique in a doll making forum I frequent.
I plan on adding the ears soon and then cutting off the headcap. Once I am able to do that I’ll be able to drill out the eye sockets and start fitting in some eyes and better forming the eye shape. I’m hoping she will take a 14mm or even a unoa size eye since I have plenty of that size lying around.
I also cut the legs at the ankle last night so now I will sculpt the feet and add the ball joint. I noticed too late that I cut the ankle straight through the joint area so I will need to trim off a few millimeters of the ankle. It’s not a critical error, but it is one that will require extra work down the road…sigh.
You may notice in the picture that I accidentally sanded down to my styrofoam core. I ended up making a patch on the inside of the leg so as to keep the outside shape. Styrofoam cores are a bit tricky to work with when you are dealing with a smaller doll as any thin areas of styrofoam are apt to break, which is exactly what happened in both of my ankles. This in turn caused a drifting of the core so they weren’t perfectly centered…thus a thin side. XP
That’s it on my progress for now. I’ll post again when I have any substantial changes.