Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Native Pair Project

Okay so I bought new dolls... but they're not for me! Not really anyway. I may end up long-term loaning them as an exhibit to our tribal culture museum.

This is a project I've meant to do for a long time but I've put off because I couldn't find anything realistic enough at a nice price and a small size. I've put down money on an AncientTales pair of male and female 1/6 scale mature dolls. I am going to modify and use them for diorama photos of my native tribe's history.

I am very excited to finally do this, later this year. I can make photos into illustrations for books if they're good enough.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Making Aspen the Dryad, part I

So I've wanted for ages to make one of the weird super-slim alien jointed bodies sold by Doll Chateau into a Dryad. I found the perfect body for this, the K-08 male, and while it is 52cm with a head on, in scale it counts as Mini sized. She'll just be awfully tall for a 1/4 doll.

I chose the boy version of that body for this project because the girl body has huge hips and almost no ribcage ....and i know it's weird but just looking at its frail and tiny torso makes it hard for me to breathe- it's a personal anatomy nitpick/phobia/involuntary reaction I can't get around. So I bought a boy doll and will be making it into a girl who could plausibly have organs and inhale or exhale.

Then I just needed to find a head. I wanted it to be more than just another pretty face. The right face for my dryad would need to be something special, striking, otherworldly. Armeleia of Seed Doll/Seed Arts made this little bird faced head called Wol, and I knew she'd be perfect. I snagged one as soon as the order went up.

In the months before Wol arrived, I spent a lot of time working out how I would make her into a dryad. I knew I wanted a very special kind of wig, not just a green hair wig. I wanted to give her leaves, and do four or more wigs that I could change seasonally to take her outside for photoshoots. I settled on hand dyeing a LOT of fringey lace.

So much lace. So much hand dyeing. Partly I used Dye-Na-Flow by Jacquard, and partly just fabric markers for the brown twiggy bits. Each piece of lace was laid out flat, then painted and marker'ed one.
 at a time.  ....Yikes. Sometimes I wonder about myself and my idea of fun.

 Then it was time to work on the body mods. I shaved off the boy bits on the hip piece, which was easy, but the chest was a little trickier. I wanted her to have some small breasts, so I had to sculpt some in. Luckily this body has wide, low, long pecs so there's plenty of room. Here's the first few cuts with the ceramic scraper knife, and you can see my pencil guidelines. Nothing too extreme, just an A-cup size.

 Making things symmetrical before I refine the shapes. A certain amount of symmetry is desired here.

 Then a LOT of sanding! So often the key to a good mod vs a kind of shoddy one is the amount of time you're willing to put in with the sandpaper and descending fineness of grits to get a good smooth finish.
 Even at this stage she's not quite done. I hurt my thumb with an S-Hook at this point, (you do NOT want to know, it was pretty bad) so sanding had to stop while my poor digit recovered. 
Luckily Wol arrived to distract me!

 Here she is! And with her genius little s-hook holder made in the shape of a cluster of crystals! It's super sparkly in person. Armeleia hand cast it herself to include the glittery bits, so unless a bigger company wants to go to that kind of trouble they might not steal the concept. (fingers crossed. it's such a nice detail) Wol herself was in a cute little printed cloth bag I will be keeping.

I spent some time with my bandaged thumb and engaged in an evening of wigmaking. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

 Here she is, starting to come together! I am so excited! Her eyes are some I'd already owned and used on a doll I had sold on, and I was hoping they'd work for her. I love her look!

What you're seeing here on the blog is the Summer Wig, but she'll have other seasons too. From similar lace I've made her an Autumn wig in full Aspen Gold. I want to make a Spring wig with budding leaves and flowers, and a Winter wig full of ice crystals and dusted with snow.

I plan to blush her like an Aspen Tree, with lots of little black bark texture marks, and greyish brown shading and faceup.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dolly GOALS for 2017

- Launch the Shop!

- Finish making Aspen, my Wol dryad on a Doll Chateau body, and Shade, my dark starry art doll.

- Do lots more photoshoots. The Shop may kind of force me to do that.

-whip up a batch of petal pink dye and finally just gradient dye the tips of most of my dolls' fingers so their darn blushing will quit just wearing off the hands.

- Finish  "Project Noggin" and get resin duplicates made. Probably by Haru Casting, they seem to be wonderful.  It's a secret, you will see... Stay tuned!

-Give Lir, Donovan and Kitso the Hob their makeovers. Kevya too. My dolls have been neglected and I want to give them better faceups and new hardcap wigs. Lir hasn't had work done since 2009!

-keep making tunics and shoes. lots and lots of shoes. Possibly dabble is a few fancy fullsets, props and furniture pieces, but the demand is for fantasy basics and shoes!

Friday, December 16, 2016

So it's been a Year

And I haven't posted much at all. This year I haven't had much time for dolls, just a few moments snagged here and there. I'm not sure what more to say than that- real life jumped up and took all my time.

I guess I can recount some of what I did manage over the course of the whole year.
 This is Chioma, my dyed Chibi Unoa. I finally dyed her, with iDye Poly and bought new PanPastels and finished her off with them. The richer colors were perfect for making her dye colors flawless. Her wig is a custom job by StellaMaris. I had made her clothes in 2015, while I was sick that Autumn.

Fayeth (Resionsoul Ju/Soom Adamelli body) is now modeling an experimental outfit I made for her last Spring, in the influence of green and growing things.
The top is just a heavy necklace made out of silver and glass beads. Now that it's cold winter, I feel like I should make her a more fitting gown for snowy weather.

 I finally made an outfit for Amadi. (Simply Divine Harlequin on a Dollstown18 body) This ombre silk has been in my fabric stash for ages, but I couldn't work out what to do with such odd colors- peach and mint?- until I matched them to this vintage scarf I've made a coat out of. Silk is so hard to work with, but the draping it gives is gorgeous. I hand-stitched it all, but it caught and snagged on every callous of my working hands. I was worried I'd ruin it.

I finished the blushing and faceup on my Withdoll Mai girl Nevae, part of the Eddion story. She's been without a faceup for far too long.

 I also made her a wig, after the one I bought for her just did not work out. This is black dyed tibetan lambswool type fiber, applied to a hardcap, pulled back in a chignon knot.

Doll stuff was planned: I am waiting on a head from Armeleia. "Wol" will be put on a slender Doll Chateau Kid body to become my long desired Aspen Dryad. I hand dyed some lace to make stuff for wigs for that doll, but I can't proceed without the head. The next step will be merely to work on the mods I want to do to the body. I can't blush it yet without the head to match it to.

I'm also making another doll I've thought a long time about, or  I will when I have time. I don't know how long I'll keep him, a few years, I guess- Some dolls are just compulsions, art I have to make, that pesters at my mind until I make them real. This one's name is Shade, and he is an IOS Anima head on a Dikadoll body. It will be dyed black.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

PSA- why you NEED a proper respirator when spraying Sealants or paints.

Dear friends, Let me show you guys why respirators are VITAL no matter what you are spraying.

I have a shop where I do my spraying work. It has a filter and a fan that sucks the air out of the spray chamber, filtering as it goes.

This is a few sprays of a paint onto some doll parts. You see that square in the wall? That is the filter. It was white when I started this. That is what was pulled out of the air while I sprayed, the can was never aimed at the filter. 

That's what ends up in your lungs when you inhale aerosols. it just shows up here because I was using a paint which has a strong color.

Please, PLEASE use a properly fitted and rated respirator. You only get one set of lungs.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Making Solas, part 2

Part 2,
Part 1 is here.

I am making a doll of a Dragon Age character called Solas, who is a bald elf male.
I am going to make the lovely but happily inexpensive Resinsoul/Bobobie Tang into this character.

The Plan:

First, facial mods. I need Tang to resemble Solas more closely. I'll be adding or refining his elf ears, and reshaping parts of his face.

Second, Aesthetics. I want to paint and blush him to look just like the art style of the games.

Third, Outfit. I'm going to make him his basic clothing from the game art, with a few accessories.

I ended up going out of order and doing a lot of the sewing first.
Then I did a ton of sculpting. See part 1.

So as of yesterday here is what he looked like.
We went from this:

To this:

And then today I scrubbed my fingers sore doing sanding work on this sculpt and polishing up the details. More pics and updates to come!

edit: UPDATE 1/10

I am now adding paint and blushing, using images from Dragon Age Inquisition to see how the actual animated figure was "skinned" with a digitally painted texture. I can copy the shading and colors. I was able to put his little brow scar in as an actual indentation- pretty proud of that. I will be adding more color and details later today, like his lip color, freckles, eyebrows and eyelashes, and so on.

 Here he is all shirtless and scrawny but looking more himself. I wish I had better eyes for him to use but these were the only ones that fit. They are the perfect color, just not the best fit.

 He's judging me over having trouble trying to work out those stupid foot wraps of his. He couldn't just wear boots like an ordinary fantasy character, oooooh no.

Friday, December 11, 2015

About Arkady Magir

Arkady Magir
of Kiria

Company and sculpt: Fairyland MNF Mika/Mir, or Mir/ka, much modded, Tan Skin
Resin color: Fairyland Tan Skin (and paint.)
Modifications: A lot of face mods. His head was in NS but after I modded it, I also painted it to match his Tan body, using Montana Gold spraypaint in "Toffee".
Faceup: by Me
Eyes: Eyeco Chuck Hazel in 14mm
Wig: Handmade, a hardcap wig with Tibetan mohair

Name (and nicknames): Arkady Magir
Age: 32
Birthday: in Spring

Family and/or relationships:
Somewhere in Kiria, his parents and two younger sisters might still be alive. Both his parents were caught up in alcoholism and a life of petty crimes. His father had once served in their ruling Lord's levy army, but drink ruled the poor man's life after that. Arkady doesn't know much of his mother's history, remembering her as a tired, soft spoken woman worn out by a hard life. They were never cruel to him, but neither were they able to pay him much attention. Maybe in an effort to get him out of their world, his parents traded him to an army officer for a short barrel of southern wine when he was six. He was raised among warriors in the local fortress, and occasionally visited by his Uncle, a successful merchant who tried to help his family out from time to time. He's not sure if his family are still living now, but his Uncle travels so there's always a chance they might meet on the road. Arkady isn't sure what his Uncle would think of what his nephew has become.

He's a vagrant worker, moving from town to town looking for basic menial work. Arkady, unusually for a common freeman, has no skill at any trade. He can't ride a horse, he can't farm, he can't fish, he can't cook, he can't work a craft, mines make him claustrophobic, he can't sail a boat, and he's awkward with hand tools. People usually give him a few meals in exchange for roughly chopping wood or mucking out stock stalls.
He has three tattoos high on his left arm, the Cadre Marks of a Kiriani Dog Soldier, the private elite warriors of the ruling Lords of Kiria. Unlike the armies of farmer-soldiers levvied from a Lord's tenant population in times of frequent war, the Dog Soldiers dedicate their lives to the arts of battle. They train daily, live in their own barracks, and spend all their time with their Cadre, a score or so of other young men with whom they form a close bond. Dog Soldiers don't often grow old. These men are known all across the Northern lands for their relentless efficiency in battle. He was one of them once- and he is reluctant to talk about why he isn't one now.

None. He's not very good at riding horses, which belong only to nobles or warleaders in Kiria.

Generally optimistic and cheerful, he likes to think things through before he acts on them. He's an introspective person, but he tries to live in the moment as much as he can. He's very compassionate to people around him, and will go out of his way to avoid conflicts or arguments. 

He hasn't really got any... Does napping count as a hobby? He says it does.

He loves having a warm dry place to sleep, and regular food. Like, meals more than every few days. He's a creature of very simple tastes. He loves having dry feet in comfy shoes. Anything he didn't cook is always welcome. (he can't cook.) He's actually a People Person and likes to meet or talk with people, just to be around people. He mopes if he's by himself too long, and gets restless and edgy. He likes getting a full night's sleep, which is rare for him, therefore he also likes naps. He likes dogs when they aren't chasing him, but he really loves cats. A lapful of purring cat beside the fire is his idea of a lovely time.

Dislikes: Wet feet, bad food or no food, walking in bad weather, being cold, sleeping on cold ground or wet ground, and he really hates mud. And biting flies (mosquitoes). He strongly dislikes bullies. In a feudal society there's plenty of those around. He hates it when people try to pick a fight with him. He flat-out refuses to handle any blade larger than a knife. He won't sleep in a room without two exits (window and a door). He can't sit with his back to a doorway. If someone steps in close to him suddenly he will back up or off to the side.

Other/misc: He has a habit of watching other peoples' hands- like what they're doing with them. He sleeps very, Very lightly.