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For the second week in a row I didn’t see any new tutorial videos from Ady Almanza. It wasn’t until she made a Facebook post that I finally learned what was going on with her. Basically she and her family are spending a two-week vacation in France and she’s been posting pictures from her travels online. (Yeah, I wish I was there myself. <LOL!>)
Since Ady Almanza is otherwise busy and since I still have more pages to fill (mainly because the board book I chose to use has more pages than the board book that Ady Almanza is using in her videos), I decided to do what I did last week and wing it once again by doing my own two-page spread.
Last time I did a full two-page spread based on two American Girl dolls that I own. (They are known as Julie and Ivy and they are historical dolls who are supposed to represent the 1970’s. You can learn a little bit more about the characters through my last summer project where I reviewed all of the books about Julie and Ivy while I compared how the 1970’s were portrayed in those books with my own direct memories of that same era.) For this new spread I decided to draw upon the third American Girl doll that I bought for myself for a combined Birthday/Christmas present (my birthday falls 10 days before Christmas) after I was given a nice gift check from my mother.
I purchased Addy Walker because she wears this gorgeous blue and black dress that’s to die for. It’s definitely an improvement over what her default outfit used to be before American Girl revamped its historical doll line under the new name BeForever and, in the process, all of the current historical dolls were given new outfits.
Addy is sort of the odd American Girl out in my collection because, unlike Julie and Ivy, she comes from an earlier historical period than the 1970’s. In fact, her story begins in 1864 and ends in 1865 right around the time that the Civil War ended. Addy’s childhood is way more traumatic than even the divorce of Julie’s parents. Addy was born a slave and, like Julie, her family gets separated at one point but, unlike Julie, it was due to the whims of the plantation master and the parents had no choice in the matter. The chapters where Addy and her mother escaped slavery were way more harrowing than anything that Julie or Ivy ever experienced in the 1970’s. I could go on and on about this but I know that you, the reader, are dying to see what kind of art I did based on Addy Walker so I might as well get to it right now.
Here are the original pages of the children’s board book before I started working on them.
Here are the pages after I finished working on them.
I decided to experiment with having a faraway view of Addy Walker because I really wanted her lovely royal blue with black trim dress to be seen. I also decided to do a combination of ink and watercolor in order to create a dreamy effect. I was influenced by the old Holly Hobbie art that was very popular in the 1970’s where the artist depicted a side profile of a girl wearing a rag dress and a large bonnet. I’ve also seen numerous samples of anime art that show a female figure standing on a hilltop or in a field staring into the right margins as if she’s daydreaming or it could symbolize facing an uncertain future.
So I did both the sky and the grass in straight watercolor using watercolor pencils that I initially dipped in a glass of water before using. For Addy herself I mostly used ink with a few exceptions. For the conch shell that she wears as a necklace, I used watercolor pencils (without dipping them in water first) because I didn’t have any light grey ink handy. For her skin I also used dry watercolor pencil because the one brown ink pen I own comes out in a way darker color than the color of Addy’s skin. (I used the brown ink on her hair instead.)
The only real challenge was rendering Addy’s dark blue dress with black trim in ink. While, in real life, one can clearly see the black trim against the dark blue background, trying to reproduce it resulted in the dress looking like it was one dark color. I tried to solve the problem by using blue glitter glue on the blue areas of her dress and black glitter acrylic paint on the black trim sections. It looks a bit more discernible when viewed but it’s still not quite the same as seeing Addy’s dress in real life where one can clearly see where the dark blue areas end and the black black trim begins.
Addy wears a conch shell necklace because her original story depicts her as receiving it from her mother. That necklace was one that Addy’s great-grandmother made when she originally lived in Africa. She happened to be wearing it when she was captured by slave traders and she kept on wearing it when she was sent across the ocean to the United States and sold into slavery. In real life the necklace is on a black cord. (For the record, the conch shell is really a plastic reproduction and not a real shell.) But, like the black trim of Addy’s dress, the black cord also seemed to disappear into the dark blue areas of her dress. I grew tired of dealing with this so I re-painted the cord in white so the viewer can clearly see that Addy is wearing a long necklace that dangles down the front of her dress.
That’s it for my latest entry in my Doll Dreams book. If Ady Almanza resumes putting up her tutorial video series, it’ll be reflected in my next entry. Otherwise, I’ll probably wing it again since I still have a few extra pages that I can use since the board book I’m using has more pages than the one that Ady Almanza uses in her tutorial series.
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