I just finished this new piece Bedtime Stories. I very am happy with the final result but the process was a struggle.
For the base I used an old drawer that I had already for maybe 20 year.
First decision was the color of the drawer. I always have problems choosing colors. The original color was dark chocolate brown so I started with sanding it. I did not sand all color off. Then I started with adding a terracotta acrylic. That came out too bright red, so I sponged some yellow ochre over it. I had no idea what I was looking for. On top of that I added a dark grey to tone everything down and that came out quite nice….. for the moment.
In the meantime I was thinking about what to use this for. The layout of the boxes was fixed: three small boxes on the left and this long box on the right. The big center one was for whatever doll I was going to make.
My first idea was to fill every box with a fish. But maybe a bit too fishy…
That took me a few days and then I came up with several animals. I like to sculpt animals. I made a rough sketch and the decision to make a cat, a pig, a bunny, a fish and a duck was quite easy.
I sculpted all animals and all doll parts in Creative Paperclay. The duck and the doll head are a whole.
Still didn’t know if the color for the drawer was alright and what to use for the costume of the doll so I kept the painting with water color paint quite neutral. Although the color and pattern of the socks and the fish took me a while.
At that point I found out that the backdrop color worked really nicely. Since my painting is quite pale, the darker backdrop made everything stand out very good.
But then: the torso. The first one was too long, the second one too wide and the third one was finally okay.
I put the doll together and then I had ten(!) piles with possible costuming fabrics.
That took me days again to bring that back to two. But then, because of the wide trousers I had no fabric left for the sleeves so I had a new decision to make there: contrast or tone in tone? I also took out a lot of embellishments but I only used beads on the little bows on the sleeves.
And to decide on the hair. I had six possibilities for that. One moment I liked one, the other moment I was convinced about an other one. The one I picked is fringed cotton strips.
And don’t mention the collar…… I like this one very much (thank you Margo!) but the structure is a bit too close to the hair.
But I made it. Dollmaking is fun!
I always say: if you have nothing worse to worry about than the details of your doll then you have a good life.