Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Repainting Howleen and Catrine Part 1

Since my camera was out of battery today I used my tablet to take photos.  But I can't figure out why those horrible white lines keep showing up!  Next time I'll make sure to use my camera!

Here they are all blank and ready to be painted!   I taped off their hair to make sure nothing gets in it.

I did white on Howleen to make some highlights, since Catrine is already white she doesn't need that!

I used a bubblegum pink color to make her look very 'made up', her pink hair is so bright I wanted to come up with something bright and bubbly to go with it.

Here's the first layer of the whites of her eyes, it needs to dry a little before I can do another layer.

While Howleen's eyes are drying I used a purple to do some shading on Catrine.  Since she's already white, I do a little more shading than I normally would.  With the darker dolls I can use white and dark colors to contour, but since she's already white I can only use darker colors.

I used a more blue purple in a few spots, so she won't look too monochrome.

One layer of white eyes on Catrine, and two layers on Howeleen.

I did pink eyeliner at first on Howleen.

But It wasn't giving me enough contrast, so I added black eyeliner on the top of the eye, and used it to blend down into the eye too.

More work on the eyes!  I'll post again in the next few days once I'm able to finish them!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Silhouette Portrait die cut machine

Ack, it's been a while since I've posted!  Unfortunately this year has been a little rough on me, I lost both of my dogs so motivation has been a little low for me :(  I still get things done, but it's usually the bare minimum, so I'm working on getting back up there though!

A while ago I got interested in cut paper art (I don't know if there's a more elegant term for that?), and was interested in making some pieces that way.  The trouble is that I have a bit of tendonitis trouble, so working with the exacto blade to cut that paper was painful and difficult.  Because of that I had difficulty getting smooth lines, and overall just wasn't happy with the finished product.

I was surfing on Joann's website when one of their sales pages pointed me to some discounted Cricut die cut machines.  I'd heard of them since I have a friend whose mother buys her all kinds of things from QVC, but never seen one in person.  It got me interested in the idea of being able to use the machine to get perfect curves out of cut paper, as well as being able to produce multiples!

I did a lot of research into it, and although Cricut seems to be the most heavily advertised (as well as offering some of the most reasonably prices machines) they also had the most stringent rules about printing.  It was a real disappointment to learn that you really can only print using their images which are expensive to purchase.  Since I wanted to use it for my own images, it seemed like it just wasn't going to work, since any savings that I would get buying a cheaper Cricut machine would be lost in me buying expensive 'bootleg' software (which Cricut fights to keep off the market).

I ended up choosing the Silhouette Portrait.  It's their lower end model, their higher end one being the Silhouette Cameo.  I bought it for $160 from Amazon and it comes with the machine, one blade, one cutting mat and Silhouette's software; Silhouette Studio.  Their software allows you to easily upload your own images and make your own cuts, just what I was looking for!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Making a Rainbow Wig!

I made a rainbow wig for one of my dolls and got a lot of interest in how I made it, so here's a little tutorial!  I threw another one together today with the leftover materials from the first one :)

I don't specify how I made the wefts in the tutorial, but it's basically the same way as this, the only difference is that I sew them onto tracing paper and tear them off instead of tulle.

I used some cheap braiding hair because I needed six different colors, but only a little bit of each color, so I wanted to save some money.  You can buy it for $3.55 a pack at Doctored Locks, they have a low price guarantee and a huge selection of colors, so I like buying from them :)  Or if you have some more money to burn feel free to buy wefts pre made somewhere like Cool Cat, they have a huge selection of doll hair wefts.  If you're looking to just make a junky practice wig I recommend buying a cheap weave from a beauty supply store in your area, they come as cheap as $8 in my experience, and are good if you don't want to waste money on more expensive hair just for practice!

On to the tutorial!

Supplies you'll need:
-Scissors, sharp enough to cut hair
-Hair wefts
-Plastic bag
-Stretchy, thin fabric for the wig cap
-Brush or comb, to deal with the hair
-Hot glue gun (not shown)
-Needle and thread, or sewing machine (not shown)

See the rest after the cut!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Monster High 'Design Lab' Head

I painted this head on a commission.  I've never picked it up from the stores because of the lack of features, but it was interesting to paint :)  The customer had the head on a skeleton body and asked for dark and skeleton like!


White highlights, especially important with suck a smooth head.

Some subtle yellow blush on the cheeks and above the eyes.

Black around the eyes, since it's going to be black sclera (to look like a skull with eye holes instead of eyes).

I used some pastels to give the black a sharper edge, making it look more like blank sockets.

This head has no lips so they have to be painted on, a little difficult to make them look not flat?  I did it with pastels and added some paint detail after.

I started just painting white outlines where I wanted shading (the pupil and iris on the left) and slowly worked on blending it into the black.  In some ways doing white on black is easier, and in others much harder!

Finished both eyes up to match.

Added eyelashes, just some light black ones, but no eyebrows this time.  I also painted a black line between the lips to help give it a little depth, but there's only so much that can be done on a flat face.

I almost forgot to do the little shinies in the eyes, but she's all done now!  And the finished doll looks like...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Monster High Harpy CAM Painting

Progress photos of painting this girl, I found myself liking her face more and more the more I looked at her :)

First step white highlights.

Next a little color, I was trying to go with something a little bird like.

More color.

Even more color ^^;  At this point I  thought I had messed everything up and this face up was going to be a disaster, but kept going anyways.

Paint the whites of the eyes.

Another layer of white on the eyes, and some black details in the nostrils and corners of the mouth.

Black eyeliner, red water line, and white outline.  I didn't do black eyeliner on the bottom lid since I wanted to keep her a little natural looking, not too much make up.

Painted her iris color.

Black shadows.

A quick initial blend with the eyes.

More blending, this part always takes much longer than the rest of the head combined!

Put a little white in the bottoms of the eyes and blended it.

Little eye shine dots.



I put some white 'freckles' in, I thought it would be a cute little thing to keep her looking 'bird like' and feathery.  The last step is seal and add gloss!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Blank Heads!

I was lucky enough to pick up a few of the new girls when I was at Walmart, so here's a blank photo of all of them!

Part of what makes Monster High dolls so nice is their sculpting.  There's so many small details and differences in each of their faces, someone really cared making them :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Obitsu Apple Ara from MUdoll

Obitsus are funny little things, especially without clothes!  But they can be a lot of fun, and their lower prices can make them a lot of fun for customizations that you wouldn't want to do on a $500+ doll.  I like using them a lot for character customizations, making them in to little fan made dolls from series that I like.  For $50~ and a little bit of work you can actually have a nice little doll, even if it isn't technically a 'bjd' and isn't allowed on Den of Angels.

I got this MUdoll little apple Ara head on a whim (it was $20 from JunkySpot), it’s not the greatest thing though.  It is made of resin, but it came with some flashing in the eye wells still (that means very thin pieces of resin left over from the casting process).  Not a huge deal but not everyone can fix that on their own, and in my opinion it would have made the doll look bad when painted over the uneven areas.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it comes with a magnetic head cap though, that makes it so much easier with such a small head, and I haven't had any trouble with the head cap falling off on its own. Not to mention that the inside of the head is quite spacious, making eye positioning much easier.

The body I got is unfortunately too small, I for some reason got 21cm bodies when these should be on 27cm ones.  With such a small doll 6cm can make all the difference!  Maybe next time I make an order I'll splurge a little more and get a new body.  The head really just doesn't fit on the 21cm neck, whoops!

I got it painted up pretty nicely, but the resin is really thin in some places.  You can see it looks like bruising on the temples the resin is so thin.  I might be able to airbrush it a little, just to give some extra opacity in those areas and the bruising effect would go away, but that's a lot of trouble.

With a wig the thin spots won’t be so noticeable, but I don’t know that I’d buy another.  The styling reminds me a lot of the old Rasendou head that I have though, very sharp angles and smooth planes, not a very refined sculpt.