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I know this is the third day in a row that I’m writing about this little summer project that I’ve embarked on. It’s just that I’ve been working on it for a while and I haven’t gotten around to sharing it until now. I also didn’t know how I would’ve reacted to working on this project so I decided to hold off on blogging about it in case it turned out that I didn’t like working on it. It turned out that I’m basically enjoying myself as I’m working on it so I’m blogging about it now.
Last week I struggled a little bit because I had never used colored pencil on acrylic paint before but I eventually found a solution. This week it was much better because I learned from my past mistakes and this week the online class dealt with using water-resistant markers.
I still had to deal with the fact that I’m using a board book that has more pages than what the artist in the online videos used. So this week I decided to continue spreading the art over two pages and create a full two-page layout effect.
So here is the original tutorial, led by Ady Almanza.
Like I wrote earlier, I had a book that was several pages longer than what was used in the tutorial. I decided once again to do a two-page spread. For this project, I decided to switch from using my Volks Dollfie Dream as a model to using two Blythe dolls that I own. (In fact, they are the only Blythe dolls that I own.) Here is a photo of the two of them that I used as part of an earlier art project. (WARNING!: Link is NSFW.)
I decided to draw the two Blythe dolls on opposite pages while giving each other the side-eye. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with these dolls, each Blythe has a string that you pull. Every time you pull the string, the doll’s eyes closes. When you let go of the string, they open again with the pupils in both a different color and a different position. You can see this in action in this vintage early 1970’s ad for the doll.)
So I made a pencil drawing over the gesso (which I covered the pages with before I began). Then I covered the lines with waterproof ink. After that I painted the background in one color with acrylic paint. Then I took white acrylic paint and I mixed it with matte medium in order to simulate the matte paint that the tutorial required and I have a hard time finding on the store shelves. I used that mixture in order to under-paint the areas where the faces would go in the scene. Then I sprayed workable fixative on top in order to give the surface enough “teeth” to hold the ink that I would draw on the top layer.
That did the trick because I used the ink with no problems. In real life my purple-haired Blythe doll is much paler in skin tone than the blonde doll (which you can see in the above photograph) so I decided to try using different colored inks to simulate flesh tones. I initially rendered the blonde Blythe’s skin in a darker skin tone by accident (I misjudged the shade of the ink and I didn’t even test it out on scratch paper before I used it). I overlaid some lighter colored markers on top and it made the doll on the left side look like she had gotten a major suntan by spending some time in one of those tanning booths. Even though the dolls don’t have any eyebrows in real life, I decided to add some in the drawing because I thought that people would find the lack of eyebrows off-putting (especially those who are unfamiliar with Blythe dolls).
I also inked over the clothes then I added a layer of glitter glue. By the time everything dried, the only area that needed filling in was the hair, which was still blank. Following the video instructions, I put a layer of tracing paper over the art and drew the outline of the hair. The original video called for using special thin fabric that’s apparently used in scrapbooking projects. I know that Ady Almanza is based in Germany so I guess it’s a German thing because I had never heard of such fabric here in the U.S. and I looked in the local big box retailers (Michaels, A.C. Moore’s, and Jo-Ann’s) only to turn up empty.
Instead I got out a few books that are filled with just 5″ x 7″ scrapbooking paper (that I purchased on sale at steep discount prices a few years ago) and cut out some hair using what I had traced on tracing paper as a template. Then, using Modge Podge, I glued the hair on the heads. I discovered that I made a mistake on one of the heads during the cutting process that would’ve exposed a white bald area close to the border of the face. I happened to find 5″ x 7″ paper with a daisy design on it so I cut out one of the daisies and stuck it over the white bald area so it looks like that female has a flower in her hair. Then, in the interests of symmetry, I decided to cut out a second daisy and glued that in the other female’s hair using Modge Podge as well. Then I decoupaged the whole thing by smearing a thin layer of Modge Podge over both pages.
Here is what the pages looked like before I worked on them.
And here is what they look like now.
That’s it for the backlog of doll pages. I’m going to look at the latest lesson video before I start my next page(s). I’ll keep you abreast at the progress I’m making in this book.
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