Craftsmas is coming! Craftsmas is coming!
Let’s be honest, every week is crafty up in here.
The dark months are craftholes.
I’m on medication for my anxiety and depression but when you add the darkness into that it becomes very easy to hyperfocus on a single task to release all the thoughts and energy…and one doesn’t always have the time.
I can’t very well be late to work at elementary school with the excuse “I really had to tweeze all the hair plugs out of that doll. I know I could do it after work but time just dissipated. First graders should understand.”…first graders WOULD understand but they aren’t my bosses.
Let’s get to some of the crafts I haven’t had time to tell you about.
I couldn’t well leave my Raven without Beastie, her once a season boyfriend.
I knew I couldn’t get a 17” tall one, like Raven, because Monster High doesn’t make Frightfully Tall Mansters (yeah, Manster…that’s not on me) but Beastie is a short dude. It’d be fine if he was half her height and made from one of the male Monster High dolls…Manster Hunt.
I’ve come to accept that the facial structures of MH dolls makes any cute character….hawt.
Beastie is hawt.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
I found this on Mercari locally for about 800¥.
He’s originally Fair Heath Burns: Son of the Fire Elements.
I know. He’s not green. I fixed that.
Head off. Remove the face with acetone. Prime with Mr. Super Clear! Start painting the hair.
I buffed his body with a high grit sandpaper to remove the sheen and give it some tooth for pigment to adhere to, of course cleaning to remove the dust afterwards. I primed the body with the usual Mr. Super Clean. Then I set to work using chalk pastel pigment to blush and color the body and face. This takes layers and patience.
I also added a shard of polymer clay for his snaggle fang.
Blushing is more like highlighting and shading with pigments than turning a doll one color.
For a very uniform color I’d need an airbrush.
I’m not ready to buy another tool.
Also, airbrushes remind me of my friends in art school who worked thankless jobs at airbrush t-shirt kiosks in Grand Avenue Mall in Milwaukee where they’d have to explain either that they don’t do gang signs or that each shirt will look a little different..and take abuse from people who didn’t think the bunnies or whatnot they were painting were cute enough. . Think “Make the bunny cuter” when I see airbrush equipment.
In that same mall I worked a while in a kiosk that sold a variety of Russian woodwork, nesting dolls and troll dolls,and the seasonal Christmas store owned by the same people.
All of us students there would eventually visit Pat S who worked in the bar (yes) in the food court. Milwaukee.
Back in Japan, to my doll bodies.
My small balcony in my second floor flat can easily be viewed by people exiting their apartments in the apartment complex next to me. I use it as my ventilated spray area. I wonder what neighbours make of the tiny hanging green bodies, primed faced, and full dolls in curlers.
Working up Beastie’s face.
I’ve purchased a lighted magnifier that clips on to my workspace. It helps at this scale. I’ve also found it helpful to take frequent photos of the doll. My phone flips images which helps highlight when something is off with proportions.
I spent a lot of time looking at eyebrows online and thinking about where resting eyebrows rest on the face (on the upper ridge of your skull socket…touch them). My Senior year of college I was in figure drawing and drawing classes 12 hours a week and doing huge pages of self portraits in my work time. I feel like I understand muscles and bones more than I grasp eyebrows. They vex me. I also don’t have much in the way of them, which doesn’t help.
Drawing in a comic or cartoony style always eluded me. I wish we’d done rapid (30sec-1minute) gesture drawings of faces like we did for live figure drawing every session. The way dolls play with facial proportions and simplification is more tied to cartoon work than representative figure drawing.
Satisfied with Beastie’s hawt face I sent many photos with texts to friends and then returns him to his body.
These pictures where taken before I remembered to add a bit of gloss medium to his eyes and lips.
I don’t yet have pink spandex to make his Teen Titans Go outfit yet so he’s been hanging out in a black top and MTM Soccer Barbie’s shorts. I’m not sure what I’m doing with the rescued TaeYang next to him yet…so TaeYang gets rotated through humiliating outfits from the Madison Christmas Box.
Making his outfit will involve finding (or making) shoes. I’m not easy yet, it maybe when Craftsmas is in full swing.