Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rockin Round Robin Challenge

I participated in a Round Robin challenge with my doll club this year.  We each made a doll body and blank head and placed it in a brown paper bag.  The doll was then passed from dollmaker to dollmaker, each artist completing one of the dolls features.  One worked on the face, another the hair, etc.  This has been going on for months, but today we got our original dolls back!

I chose Ute Vasina's Little Folks pattern for my base.  He is made with doe suede, a buttery fabric that hides seams well.  I needle sculpted an extra face in case the first person to get my bag was afraid to needle sculpt.  Then he went into a bag and was hidden from me for nine months!    

I was particularly happy with the work on did on some of the other dolls.  I had never worked on  finished a flat face before.  Painting the features on is a challenge for me.  I don't have control of the amount of paint or the movement of the brush and I give up before I really start.  I had no idea how I was going to make this work.  

I'm Gen X, I figure I can use technology to help me with anything, right?  So I took a picture of this pristine white face on a one inch grid.  I scaled the photo so that it printed exactly life size.  I even found faces I liked and used transparent overlays to find features I liked.

I printed one out that I was satisfied with, folded it in half and pinned it to the head.  Then I drew a mirror of the printed image.  Over and over and over again.  So, eventually the face was drawn in pencil, but so what?  That's not presentable...  I decided to try colored pencil instead of paint.  I have a lot of Prismacolors, and assembled the colors from their portrait set.  AND I checked every dollmaking book out of the library and followed every direction for coloring faces I could find.  

It took layer upon layer of colored pencil to get the effect I wanted, but I was so happy with the results. I hope I can replicate the process with some of the unfinished dolls I have in the closet!

So here's the big reveal.....
It's Snickle Fritz!  Fritzie for short.  
He likes to play tricks on, well, everyone.  
And he's kind of crotchety, but like the old man in Up, everyone loves him anyway.

Face by Julie G, clothes by Mary, hair by Nita, embellishments by Ann R, shoes by Ann C, and presentation by Julie W.  Thank you all for such wonderful work!

We all worked on Fritzie, but I'm glad he gets to come home with me!
To see all the other round robin dolls, visit the Indy Cloth Dollmakers blog.

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