Well the doll was very nearly finished at this point, all the pieces were effectively finished, barring some minor tweaks around joints and the face. Ears were in place, and lots of fiddling around with the headcap interior had been done. I put a magnet and hook clasp into the headcap, which works, but isn’t very sturdy unfortunately, I will try something different next time round.
Here’s some final test stringing, she can hold poses beautifully, and can easily balance on one leg, and do suwarrico ‘cute’ sitting. The final steps then, were sanding with a high grade paper, and spray priming (and repeating as many times as needed to achieve a super smooth finish!)
I had decided to prime and paint my doll with acrylic paints, although in hindsight, I didn’t really need to do as much super smooth sanding as I did (since I wasn’t making her to be moulded and cast in resin).
Here you can see I improvised a stand to separate and hold all the doll bits on as I sprayed them, and the lovely grey colour of the primer. It’s a ‘Rustoleum’ car filler-primer, recommended by lots of doll makers for this purpose. The colour helps you to see imperfections that may be unclear when working with different coloured modelling materials, or semi-transparent ones. If I was planning to mould and cast my girl in resin, then this stage would be very important to achieve a smooth, castable surface.
After priming, I then used a flesh coloured acrylic paint to build up the skin tone using many, many, many thin layers. I was careful not to leave brush marks, or allow the paint to build up and change the shape of the sockets anywhere. After the acrylics came the body blushing, using dry pastels and a paint brush to lightly colour around the extremities, adding warmer patches of colour to the skin, adding realism. I used another ‘Rustoleum’ product, a clear protective top coat spray, in matte, between layers of pastel to fix them in place, and build up denser colour in areas where it was needed. Finally, I used very sharp watercolour pencils to draw in the lower eyelashes, eyebrows and lips, coating with a final layer of clear spray.
The face-up was essentially complete, though I did add home-made eyelashes too, using synthetic hair curled very carefully with hair straighteners. They’re ok, but only stuck in with PVA glue, so I could potentially peel them off and remake them in the future. (I’m far too stingy to buy proper doll sized fake eyelashes right now!)
Before I shifted gears and started sewing her some tiny clothes, I made her a wig! Using the same wefted synthetic hair as her eyelashes (unpicked from a weird elasticated hairy-hair bauble from Primark!!!) I sewed lengths of the wefted hair to a crocheted wig cap, which was in turn held in place by three velcro dots that were glued directly to her head, with the corresponding dots sewn to the inside of the wig. This makes styling and brushing and tying up her hair a lot easier!
Next time – final photos of the doll, the wig and her outfits!